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This gal is an artist.

Her medium? The Mongolian Barbecue in Asia Wok here in Market Creek Plaza in Lincoln Park (324 Euclid Avenue, #405, 619-266-8881).

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I’m watching Kimberly pile beef, pineapple, broccoli, green and red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, spinach leaves…a whole bunch of food from this buffet along with oodles of noodles.

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She doesn’t stop when it’s just overflowing. She goes on piling higher, higher…

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"It's okay," she says. "It's whatever you can load in the bowl."

She should know. She works here. This is her lunchtime.

Now she starts adding sauces and oils. Mongolian sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic sauce, hot oil, ginger sauce, lemon sauce…

Finally she hands the teetering food mountain over to Jesús the cook waiting on the other side of the buffet counter.

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“No problem,” he says. He throws the whole lot on the huge Mongolian hot plate.

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A cloud of steam and smoke blasts off the surface.

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This has to be one of the best eating deals west of the Rockies. Kimberly's paying $6.49 for it. If she'd stuck to the veggies, she would have gotten it for $4.99. Or less if she’d taken noodles, veggies, one meat direct from the chafing dishes.

“If you’re really tight,” she says, “you can get two egg rolls or a small serving of wonton soup for $1.50.”

I look up at the dome in this beautiful ceiling...

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...Everyone in the international mural seems to approve.

More soon in upcoming Tin Fork. T

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