The Mongolian-style restaurant Ginger Stir-Fry & Grill on Second Street had its grand opening last Monday, Feb. 11.
Cesare Mammarella, who owns downtown restaurants like Bearfoot Tavern and the Tic Toc Room, opened his seventh restaurant in Ginger.
Mammarella opened Ginger because he wanted to look for newer things that would not compete with anybody else.
“[There is a] growing youth in the downtown scene. It is important to give that really good quality product at a reasonable price,” said Mammarella.
When customers walk in, seating is available to the left side of the building, and on the right are the kitchen and wrap-around food bar.
According to the restaurant’s website, “the real experience at Ginger however is being your own chef.”
Instead of sitting down and ordering food off a menu, customers can build their own stir-fry dishes. The wrap-around bar allows customers to choose all of their own ingredients. Customers receive two bowls: a green one for vegetables and starches and a smaller red bowl for proteins.
After choosing proteins, veggies and starches, the customers can choose whatever sauces and seasonings they want.
“Anything that has ginger in it, we actually mix ginger root. We don’t buy any powdered or pre-mixed stuff. Everything is made from scratch,” Mammarella said.
After customers choose the ingredients and sauces they want, the chefs cook the vegetables and meat together. The chefs cook the food Hibachi-style, where customers can watch the food being cooked on a 700 degree Mongolian barbecue grill.
The food at Ginger is delicious to say the least. The food is unique, and customers enjoy the ability to personally choose their own ingredients at a reasonable price.
The wait time for food to be cooked is not very long at all, and the atmosphere is exciting and entertaining.
The way that Ginger is set up makes it easy and convenient to get more food if needed. The food can be as light or as heavy as customers want it to be, and they can choose from a lot of healthy ingredients.
Since opening day, Ginger has had to tweak a few things to improve the flow and feel of the restaurant.
Mammarella and his team at Ginger made lists of what needed to be changed and then made sure to work on those changes the next day.
A big change that Mammarella still wants to work on is the timing.
Instead of taking 12 minutes for a customer to choose ingredients, pay, and wait for the food to be cooked, Mammarella wants to cut down the timing to eight or nine minutes.
The decorations and atmosphere of Ginger are definitely unique for the city of Macon. Mammarella found inspiration from Asian culture and art, and it is expressed in Ginger’s atmosphere.
The walls and lamps are various colors of orange and coral colors, while the tables are an avocado green.
“It’s kind of a big bright mess, but I didn’t want it to be a typical brown, wood, warm environment. We’re trying to keep it a little bit more energetic, a little more lively. It’s a healthier style,” Mammarella said.