The experience

DSC_0041As I was lying in bed nauseated, better than previous, but still nauseated, I decided it would be fun for us to eat at Truluck’s.  After all, it is St. Patrick’s Day!  When I told Ogre my great suggestion, his first comment was, “Did you make reservations?”  Hmm, why would I need reservations?  I did it anyway.  Then he asked if we should go since I was in my present state of gastrointestinal disarray.  Eh, the world can’t stop because I’m sick.  THEN, as we were leaving, he asked if he should change.  Why change?  He replied that the was wearing a t-shirt and cargo shorts.  I said, “Nah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day.”  OBVIOUSLY, I had no idea what kind of food or clientele they serve at Truluck’s.  It became more apparent as we drove up and had our car valet’d.  And it was abundantly clear when we walked up to the hostess stand and there was a shiny sign that said “Business Casual Attire Strictly Enforced.”  Uhhhhhhh….

Luckily, they weren’t strictly enforcing it tonight.  I think the waitress noticed, but decided against saying anything or turning us away.  She led us to our table in the back corner and we all settled in.

DSC_0010Unfortunately, we did not think ahead to bring anything to keep the kids occupied.  Mina and Benjamin entertained themselves with the lamp on the table and Mina took pictures for us tonight.

Benji is getting too familiar with this whole childsplate deal.  He picked up “Benji pate” and wanted “Benji pee-cher” (Benji’s picture):

DSC_0003

It was pretty difficult to keep Benji entertained and still.  We also did not have his clip on chair, so he had free reign of the booth.  I tried to keep him contained by blocking his way and did a pretty good job.  He finally gave up and was happy to just sit in my lap.

DSC_0006

DSC_0007

DSC_0014

The bread also kept him occupied, which was a  plus.  We ordered an appetizer and then our entrees.  We had to ask the waiter about choices for the kids and he told us that we could order either Fried Shrimp or Chicken Strips; Mina chose the Chicken Strips.  Ogre also asked the waiter what his favorite dish was and without hesitation, our waiter said the Pontchartrain.

The calamari came out pretty quickly and we started divi’ing up and portioning out sauces.  About the time that I licked some of the “marinara” sauce off my finger and both Mina and Benji had dipped in it, we all realized that it wasn’t marinara sauce.  Nope it was liquid fire.  I don’t know what they put in it, but it was basically like a thick, more spicy Tabasco sauce!  Ogre loved it, the kids were trying to shake the flavor for the next 10 minutes!

Ogre and I went to work on the Stone Crab.  Mina refused to try any.  Benji did, but didn’t seem to care too much for it.  We both enjoyed it immensely!

DSC_0015

We got the rest of our dinner in short order.  There were no surprises with my Caesar Salad since Ogre had one between the calamari and his dish.  This was Ogre’s first time eating this fish and he was pleasantly surprise.  He kept telling me what a “risky” move it was on his part, but that he was impressed by the fish -both the flavor and sheer size of the serving!

I cut up a chicken strip for Benji and was busy doing I don’t know what when Ogre asked if we should let the waiter know about “this” and tossed a ripped tip of a latex glove at me.  I think my eyes grew about three times their normal size.  Really?  Is that a question?

Mina was more interested in this piece of calamari she found in her fries.  Better that than the other!

DSC_0019

Ogre said that, like she typically does with anything that is not a meat or starch, asked “what’s this?” And, she’d actually asked that of a few things in the calamari that turned out to be a parsley leaf or a lemon slice.  This time, she apparently said, “WHAT is this?” and held up the broken tip of a latex glove.

I called our waiter over to show him and the look on hisface was pretty priceless (or perhaps worth the price of Mina’s dish!).  He was basically horrified, apologized profusely, offered another one right away and zoomed off.  After about 30 seconds, the manager appeared.  He was also apologetic and said that it was, well, just plain embarrassing.

Now I remember that Mina did bring her Nintendo DS and she retreated to her corner playing that while she waited for her new entree to come out. I have to be thankful for the fact that they were so good that she did not require much prodding along to eat since we were done eating by the time round 2 came out.

Our waiter encouraged us to eat dessert since it was on the house.  No problem, we’re the Phipps.  He brought over the dessert tray, which had us all mesmerized.  Benji about threw a tantrum when he took the tray away!

DSC_0020

 

Ogre let Mina decide what she wanted and Benji continued to fuss until he returned with our dessert. The dessert is truly an event. Our waitre chopped it open and then poured 1/2 a cup of chocolate on top and THEN we dug in.  Benji was more interested in that than the cup of ice cream I ordered for him!

I asked our waiter for some extra napkins and when he returned, he even helped me wipe off Benji”s hands and brought some warm, wet towels over for the “final” clean up.

DSC_0029

DSC_0030

Once we had our fill of dessert and could eat no more, we settled our tab and waddled out.

 

The food

They pride themselves on their stone crab, steaks, and seafood.

DSC_0004First, I’ll have to talk about the bread.  They serve a harder, thinly cut sourdough bread, which is nothing to write home about, but then they have a sweet berry nut bread served warm.  It was really, really good.  Ogre thought it was the best bread he’s had in a long time and tasted great with the butter they serve!  Mina and Benji loved the butter so much Mina had to take a picture!

DSC_0011We ordered calamari at Mina’ request as an appetizer. I guess I should remind you that I’m still feeling slightly off from my illness, because I think my review is a little skewed.  I thought it was in the average range. Not that great, in my honest opinion.  The breading was a little soggy and the calamari was a little more “chewy” than I want.  The kids and Ogre thought it tasted good though and Ogre gave thumbs up to the sauces that come with it.  Yeah, let me just warn you that the red sauce is not marinara sauce.  It’s some kind of spicy (?tabasco) sauce that will set your mouth on fire!  The aioli was, in my opinion, just okay -nothing special about it, but Ogre thought it was good.

DSC_0012We also had to try the stone crab.  These were nice and meaty and had a good flavor.  Nothing to complain about here.  They even “crunched” them well so it was easy to access the crab meat.

DSC_0013Ogre and I both ordered the Caesar Salad (I ordered mine as my entree).  I thought this was above average.  The Caesar dressing was creamy and a nice sharpness to it.  I also like the fact that they serve whole anchovies -and good quality anchovies with it.  Added the perfect amount of saltiness to it.  They add shaved pecorino cheese, which was also a welcome addition.

DSC_0018Ogre ordered the Redfish Pontchartrain on the recommendation of our server.  He thought it was really good mentioning that it was a milder fish (Ogre thinks salmon is too fishy if you need a frame of reference).

DSC_0017Mina had the Chicken Strips with Fries.  Ignoring the fact that they’re first attempt came with part of a latex glove, this was actually an excellent dish.  The chicken strips were very juicy with a nice crisp breading.

There really are no good words to describe the dessert.  We had the Choclate Brown Bag.  This is chocolate molded into the shape of a brown bag that is filled with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, poundcake, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.  The richness of the chocolate was perfectly cut by the fruit and tamed by the poundcake.  Then the server cuts in open at the table and pours chocolate syrup on top!  It was dessert perfection!!

DSC_0025

DSC_0026

DSC_0027

DSC_0028

The service

Our server was really good for most of the night.  He was attentive, very helpful and nice to the kids.  What more could I ask for?  Oh, that’s right, no broken plastic gloves in our food.  We did find it amusing that our waiter was more horrified than we were at the sight of it.  The manager came over right away and said it was “embarrassaing.”  They corrected the situation right away, told us they’d talked to the “culprit,” comp’d Mina’s meal and gave us a free dessert.

The kids

I wouldn’t call this bring your kids and have a great time kid friendly, but they’re definitely kid accomodating and did not seem to mind the kids too much.  They did put us in one of the back corners, not that I’m complaining!  It’s definitely a more mature crowd at this restaurant!

I would probably save this restaurant for a night out without the kids, but if you had to bring ‘em, they have some off the menu choices for the kids and it’s not unfriendly.

DSC_0031

The total: 97 ish (Mina’s dish and dessert comp’d.  I think there was one alcoholic beverage).

Related Fiascos