The experience

These nice nights make Team Phipps crave patio dining!  Here we were again, trying to find a place that has a decent patio and decent foods.  We finally decided, as we headed to nowhere in particular, that our best bet might be on Lower Greenville as they have a large concentration of restaurants with patio seating.  Of course, we didn’t consider the fact that most of the restaurants with patios down there were already tried on childsplate or that they might be more bar than restaurant.  Oh and the parking!  Forgot about that fact as well!  Anyway, after a drive up and down Lower Greenville, we decided we’d hit J.Pepe’s, a restaurant I have never had a desire to eat at because at first glance to a freak like myself, it reads like the word “herpes.”  I know, I know, dumb reason to not want to eat somewhere.  Well, it wouldn’t stop us tonight…

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Ogre ended up having to drop us off while he went to find a parking space.  I walked the kids in and we were told we could sit anywhere we wanted.  Out back, they actually have a pool (and I think if you have a private party, you can actually swim in it!).  I decided that pool + Benji did not mix.  We sat out front. I plopped Benji into the chair since I knew that Ogre would be bringing his clippy chair in.  These chairs have arms that would keep him contained.  Mina already looked miserable (she’s been battling the pukes and dukes for a couple of days now).  I ordered us some drinks and we waited for Papa.  I went ahead and also ordered an appetizer and a drink for Papa as well.  He ‘d be gone for at least 10 minutes at this point.

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When Ogre finally got back, he told me that it was a 2 block hike to the car and that he’d circled the block twice!  Ugh!  Parking down here is not fun!  He looked over the menu and pretty quickly, the appetizer and his drink came out.  How’s that for service! Ogre and I ordered dinner after the drop off. Unfortunately, before he could partake of the queso or his drink, Mina decided that she needed to hit the restroom.  Better hurry since she was not completely better from her illness.

Benji and I started in on the tasty appetizer.  Benji was very much a fan of the matchstick tortilla chips.  He called them “sticks.” Not only did he enjoy dipping them in the queso, he also liked offering them to me.  Now, I thought they were tasty, but I couldn’t get enough “stuff” on them, so I quickly switched to the regular chips!

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While we waited, Mina wanted to sit in my or Papa’s lap, which we let her since she was pretty pitiful.  Once the food came, I asked her how I was going to eat.  She told me that I only needed one hand to eat.  This is actually true, but Mina’s getting to be a big girl, so it was difficult for me to handle both.  I convinced her to sit in her own chair and as she slouched in her chair, I came up with the idea to put two chairs together to make her a “bed.”  She LOVED that idea and was quite content while the rest of Team Phipps ate dinner.

There was a rowdy table of younger adults at the table near us and one of them let out a ?laugh.  Benji looked at me and asked, “Baby kai-ing?” (Baby crying?).  ”No,” I told him, “Man drunk.”  He nodded his head.

When Ogre was done eating dinner, Mina was allowed to crawl up into his lap and as they cuddled, the little Benji was jealous,  I suppose.  He leaned toward me and said, “Uh uh ee, lub it”  (Up, please, I love you.”  Well, obviously, I plucked him out of his chair and let him sit with me.

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That deteriorated into him wanting to be let down, which I let him do since he just stayed close to the table and we were at the point of settlingthe tab before we left for our two block hike to the car.

The food

This place has Tex Mex, salads, wraps, burgers, but it’s mostly Tex Mex.  Definitely a bar vibe, though.

We ordered the Queso Deluxe as an appetizer and these were surprisingly good. It’s more like a plate of side by side parts of a 7 layer dip.  There’s queso in the middle flanked by taco meat, sour cream, beans, pico, jalapenos and topped with long matchstick tortilla chips.  I made a nice trail through the dip to get what I wanted.

IMG00431I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas Verdes for dinner.  I did not care very much for the rice or beans (they weren’t awful, but they weren’t great, either).  I thought the chicken was good inside the enchiladas.  I (again) had an issue with the Verde sauce.  This time,  I thought the verde sauce was too tangy.  It made me wince every time I took a bite!

IMG00430Ogre ordered a Chimichanga and said that it was really good.  It was supposed to come with Ranchera sauce and Queso atop it, but he asked for the Queso sauce on the side. Good thing, too, he said, because he thought it would be “too much” to have that much queso on the changa.  I thought that would make it taste better, myself!

The service

Service was pretty good.  Our waitress was obviously busy, but was still pretty busy and attentive.  The food came out at a pretty good tempo and I have nothing to really complain about.

The kids

I think that overall it’s a little less kid friendly than average.  They have a little kids menu, but there are no kids activities and this place definitely has a bar vibe to it with lots of drinking and smoking around you.  I don’t think that they’re kid unfriendly, either though.

I’ll admit that my expectations were on the lower side, but they did surprise me a few times with the nachos and, for Ogre, the chimichanga.  I’d say it’s not worth staying home if you and the kids are invited out with your friends and you’re not sure if you should go, but I’d probably choose other patio/Mexican spots before this one if left to my own devices…And don’t forget, parking will probably suck!

The total: 45.82 (3 margaritas)

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