Flat Top Grill is yet another chain that that disproves the axiom that chain-restaurants must be bland and vegan-unfriendly.
While the Mongolian grill set-up is fairly familiar, FTG spices things up by having unusual ingredients (such as seitan, BBQ tempeh, "Veat" chicken, and curry pakora) and well-balanced, thoughtful sauces (such as Vietnamese soy, which has a spicy kick, and Indian "vindahoo"). These features alone put FTG a cut above the competition but, to make things even better, FTG has cheap cocktails and a good bar area.
The ambience is classy-modern, with a lot of red and black tones everywhere. This is a good place to take a date or to bring the family.
The prices are reasonable for lunch, though maybe a bit on the high side for dinner ($10 for an unlimited lunch, $15 for dinner); however, if you're any kind of student, you get a $1 discount at lunch and $2 discount at dinner.
Pretty much all of the sauces (except for one or two) are vegan, and all of the mockmeats are vegan, except for the Quorn. Everything that is vegan is labeled, which is extremely helpful, and this also puts the word "vegan" more into the mainstream, as FTG is a bustling, popular chain in the Chicagoland area; "vegetarian" is not used anywhere, as far as I could tell.
I liked that no matter what combination of ingredients or sauces I used, I always came out with something really tasty. The cooking time seems a bit long (roughly 7-9 minutes per bowl), especially since I was the only person in the restaurant when I went in the late afternoon. I think it might be a calculated effort to slow down your eating, thereby making you consume less food; but that's a savvy business decision which leads to smaller waistlines, so I'm okay with it.