The experience

Ogre was complaining to me that he was hungry at 4:45 when we were checking out at Wal-Mart.  At 4:45 we headed to dinner, but first we had to pick up Mina at school, then we had to get the camera from home, and next it was to Lolo’s house to pick up Benji.  We got to the restaurant at 5:45.  Ogre could not stand to drive too far, so we decide on the new Two Rows in Garland, we’d been to the one in Allen a few times before, but not this one.

En route, I was trying to figure out a scheduling pattern that had some constants and restraints.  It was very difficult and Ogre, who thinks he’s like some kind of algorithm king could not stand to not “help” me.  I have to concentrate when I’m figuring out a pattern so I was having a difficult time with his “help.”  I finally had to stop because I was developing a headache (and I’ve been sort of headache free for three days!)  Once we got to the restaurant, I grabbed a pen and some paper to continue my puzzle.

We were seated right away and Mina wanted me to sit next to her leaving Benji with Ogre.  One of our clip on chairs has been relegated to the trash after Benji almost fell out of it at Ritzy’s.  Turns out I’d be the victor in good seat choices.  We put in our drink orders right away and got them back quickly, as well.

Mina got to work coloring and Ogre apparently got to work on my scheduling puzzle with Benji’s crayons.  Benji was annoyed with Ogre, I think, for not paying attention to him and started to act up. 

He wanted to “go go yah” and tried to shove his way past his big ol’ Papa.  As you might imagine, he couldn’t get past.  Don’t worry, he showed Ogre by throwing a tantrum.  Then he decided that it might be better to go under the table.  Nope, Papa wasn’t going to let him do that either.  More tantrums.

As Benji continued to have his meltdown, I wondered where our served went.  It took quite some time for us to put in our order and then it was back to waiting.  Thankfully, Mina was busy with her coloring and asking me to help her fill our the blanks on it asking for her name, age, and address.  Ogre and I were still busy coming up with the perfect combination of days worked and days off for me and my partner and Benji was still having a fit.  Ahhhh, the joys of a 19 month old.

Our wedge salads came out and Ogre and I split that amongst us while Benji now focussed on throwing a tantrum over the fact that he had not yet been given the muffin that came with the salad.  Mina and Benji split that, but I think at some point, Benji got angry and threw it at us.  Nice.

Butter Face

 

Our entrees came out after awhile and Benji was now angry at Ogre for not serving up his pizza to him fast enough.

  Benji wants my pizza

We requested an extra plate when we ordered dinner and when we got the food, but still had to wait another 5 minutes and had to request it again before we got one.  Not a great move, Two Rows, Benji is really getting pissed.  FINALLY, we were able to serve up some food to Benji and he settled down to normalcy after that.

Upset Benji

 

I cut up some of Mina’s ribs and gave her some of my macaroni and cheese, which she liked.  She made a face at the fruit because she doesn’t like cantaloupe, but we told her she’d have to eat it anyway.  She was excited to see that her dinner came with a little cup of pudding and I assured she’d be able to eat it after dinner as long as she ate all her fruit.

Ogre and I ate our dinner while continuing to try to solve the scheduling riddle. 

Benji wants down

Nice dinner conversation

Towards the end of dinner and after we’d ordered dessert, Mina decided that she needed to use the restroom.  This was just as I decided that I’d found the most perfect template possible.  I had to sit over by Benji to attempt to keep him contained.  It didn’t work, I ended up letting him down to walk around near our table until the dessert showed up. 

Ogre and the desserts all showed up at the same time.  I think the server thought that we were freaks because of all the numbers in weird patterns written on random pieces of paper, but he just set the dessert down in a space not covered with paper and left. 

Ogre told me that he had an “epiphany” in the restroom while waiting for Mina.  He, and I’m not making this up, said that he wet fingers to make marks on the paper towel while waiting for Mina to come up with the perfect pattern.  I told him it was too little, too late, I’d already figured it out.  We did have the same basic pattern, except mine was better. 

I was able to eat my dessert in happiness as I’d figured out the pattern I needed.  Ahhhhhhh.

Mina was able to finish her canatalope and eat her dessert in happiness.  Ahhhhhh.  And she made a hat out of the pudding cup for her spoon.

Pudding hat

 

The food

I suppose this genre of food is “Bar Food?”  It has American dishes, Mexican dishes, Pastas, Pizzas.  You name it and they probably have some version of it.  Too bad quantity and quality are not synonymous.

Wedge SaladOgre and I shared a Wedge Salad to start, which was not that great tasting and I did not like how it came out.  Little piles of everything: lettuce wedge here, onions over here, blue cheese over here, a couple of tomatoes and the dressing on the side.  It made it difficult for me to get the flavors together just right.  I don’t think I’d order this again here.  (It’s much better at BJ’s Brewhouse, which I think is the same genre of restaurant).

Steak, Okra and Mac and CheeseI ordered the Bistro Steak.  I know, I know, why I am ordering a steak in this joint?  There wasn’t anything else that looked particularly appetizing (except the pizza that I knew Ogre would order). Surprisingly though, the steak was cooked a perfect medium rare and didn’t taste half bad.  It had a slight pepper crusting to it, but it still had that “gray” taste to it -perhaps because of the cut of beef it was??  I dunno.  The macaroni and cheese was quite tasty (and not Kraft brand!), nice and saucy just like Mina and I like!  The fried okra was pretty disappointing as they tasted…stale.  Ogre said these were not good okra.  I ate them anyway. I”m telling you it’s really hard to mess up fried okra.  (Ogre disagrees and would not eat anymore saying that it wasn’t that it was stale, it was bland).

 

BBQ Chicken PizzaOgre ordered the Barbecue Chicken Pizza and it was probably the best item of the night. Their pizza isn’t half bad here although Ogre agrees that BJ’s is better.  They give you a nice amount of chicken and it is topped with cilantro and red onion as well, giving it a nice balanced flavor.  The barbecue sauce is sweet and mildly tangy.  Benji enjoyed eating sticking his finger in the sauce.  The crust is pretty good here as they cook these in a wood fired oven.  Thin and nicely crisp.  Ogre usually sticks with this when we go. 

 

RibsMina ordered ribs and seemed to like them just fine.  She did not enjoy her miniature fruit cup that I thought was subbing her fries for (it ended up coming out with both fries and fruit) .  There was a lot of cantaloupe in the fruit cup.  Ogre and I did not try her ribs.

 

Peach CobblerThe peach cobbler was pretty good tonight after I got over the fact that it really was peach cobbler.  At first, there was such a lack of peach flavor that I thought it might be apple.  Anyway, peaches aren’t in season, so I’m going to give them a pass on this one. 

 

The service

Started out average and ended up below average.  We were seated quickly (we got to the restaurant at about 5:45) and we got our drinks quickly, but that’s when things started to slow down…way down.  It took quite some time for the waiter to take our dinner order, to get the dinner out, and, I think time stopped after we ordered dessert.  I didn’t need any refills on my drinks, so I’m not sure if he would have kept up with refills, but he didn’t check on us too frequently and we had to remind him about items we requested and we flagged him down a couple of times because he was so scarce.

 

The kids

I’m going to call this an average kid friendly restaurant.  It does have quite the selection of kids menu items, so maybe it’s even slightly above average.  They have a coloring page for the kids, which they’ve turned into a marketing tool to get your address!  If you fill it out and turn it in, there’s a chance you could win a free dinner.  We didn’t participate.  Anyway, the restaurant is laid back and I definitely feel comfortable eating with the family here. 

I think the food here is “eh.”  Average.  I do like their peach cobbler; otherwise, it’s one of those places where I’ll go without complaining, and leave without raving. 

The total: $49.99

Mina liked the tree

Photo courtesy of Mina who liked this tree off in the distance...

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