365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Day two and I was already going solo to dinner with the kids. The wife was working overnight so it fell to me to keep the “dream” alive. So my first thoughts were, “Since we won’t be going back for a year, where can I go that won’t irritate the wife?”
That made the choice a bit difficult. Joining me on this adventure would be my friend and our perpetual roommate Dusty. So we headed off without a direction. Mina wanted Chili’s for the ribs promising she’d eat corn. Not a big fan and it wouldn’t be a review worth reading so I had to refuse. Mina came to tears. I had to promise a visit soon.
A Dallas staple since 1941, its bottom on the list for my wife as far as BBQ goes. And they have ribs. Two birds with one stone. Seeing how Grace already knows she doesn’t like it, going without her is also the only chance for a objective review.
I know the place well. I grew to despise the place after a few too many months of going 3-4 times a week with my family as a child. But that is all the past, I’ll be judging it honestly. Besides, I haven’t been there in a year or more.
If you’ve never been, when you walk in the line begins to you right. Makes for a good flow of the people in and out for the large lunch crowd this place gets. It is your typical BBQ counter approach. You grab a tray and order. Think school lunch line. They have all the meats you want and even had one new since last I came: pulled pork.
Wait! Hold everything. Mina needs to go to the restroom. Haven’t even finished reviewing the menu this time.
We slide down to the side dishes. Mina wanted corn. Surprisingly, no corn. I opt to get her mac and cheese and choose coleslaw and potato salad. I figure Mina can eat some of my vegetables. Hard choice to pass up the fried okra. Its quite good here.
I get one of the gaudy yellow Dickey’s cups for a large iced tea. They have brewed sweet tea for you fanatics out there. We choose a booth and begin eating. Benjamin insists on feeding himself so I lend him my teaspoon. I pile his tray with food but he’d rather try for the pile of potato salad on my plate. Cute for the first scoop or two but not so much after getting it all over my arm. I confiscate the spoon and get screaming in response. Benjamin picks over his food but isn’t eating much. More interested in trying to retrieve the spoon. I let him have another try and even give him his own plate off to the side as a decoy. No luck.
Soon he sees my bright yellow cup and begs for something to drink. I let him try my iced tea. He won’t like it. Wrong! He won’t let me take it away. The backwash is collecting in my cup and ruining my appetite. I get him his own cup and pour him a little watered down tea and get a clean serving of tea. He spends the rest of the meal playing with the ice in the cup and nursing the beverage. Time to get Mina to eat her veggies.
I had given her a bit of both my potato salad and cole slaw. Seeing trouble, I suggested she eat it with BBQ sauce. That did the trick. She devoured her ribs as usual but then slowed up to a snails pace on finishing her veggies once the bottle of Sunkist ran dry. I promised ice cream knowing that Dickey’s has a free soft serve machine. Apparently Mina took note earlier as well. “From the ice cream machine?”, pointing in the right direction.
Benjamin had eaten a bit more and wanted down. I let him wander as there weren’t many people in the restaurant. He jogged directly for the door. Plan B: ice cream. I got Benji a cone with a bit of soft serve. He loved it and when we got back to the table he wanted to hold it himself. I let him and he was doing quite well on his own. Mina was jealous but was still busy attempting to down the last of her veggies. About this time Dusty asked if I was hot. I noted it was a bit stuffy. Dusty was noticeably sweating. He had to get out of the booth to cool off.
Benji was enjoying the cone so much he demanded to get back in his chair to finish eating. I figured he would eat the ice cream off the top and stop but he began on the cone. He quickly decided it would be easier to stick his finger down into the cone. A minute later he was screaming that his finger was hurting from the cold. So back to using his teeth. He kept going. Ate all but the very bottom of the cone. And surprisingly little mess except his hands and face. Guess he didn’t want to waste ice cream. Dusty was wondering when we could get back to some air conditioning. Some comments were made on how surprisingly low their cooling bill must be.
Now it was Mina’s turn. She had finished her allotment of veggies and ate the ice cream cone about 20 times faster than the veggies. Time for another trip to the bathroom to clean up. We figured out last time that the restroom was kid friendly. She could reach the sink, soap, and towels. So I sent her in by herself and went outside to take quick picture…
A few minutes standing around and I figured she decided she needed to do more than just wash her hands. Five minutes later she finally emerged. I asked what the delay was. “The door wouldn’t open.”, was the reply. Apparently she was just stuck. Time to pack it up and go home.
Dickey’s has a wide assortment of meats. Just about everything you imagine from a BBQ joint. The meats are decent but nothing outstanding. The brisket could stand to be juicier and the sausage isn’t the best. They offer original and spicy sauce. Its your typical tangy Texas sauce and the spicy gets a decent kick from all the pepper seeds floating in it. They have a good selection of sides from hot casseroles and mac and cheese to fried okra and cucumber and tomato salad. The okra is quite good and the do a good job at potato salad and cole slaw. The tea is fantastic. Overall good but the meats don’t rise to the level of fantastic and the meat is the backbone of a BBQ meal. Good kid friendly choices and you can get a good deal at lunch with $3 sandwiches or one of the daily specials.
This place is do it yourself. Minus for the lack of A/C on this visit.
Mina said the ribs were tasty and she is quite the connoisseur. Besides that, BBQ always makes an easy kid meal, though possibly quite messy. The offer several kid friendly sides if you children eat as few vegetables as our oldest. And hey, free ice cream!
Total cost: $36.84
Childsplate.com chronicles our journey to find the perfect family restaurant. We are looking for restaurants with excellent food and a great attitude towards kids, even the whiny, cranky ones! We will be headed out to a different restaurant every single day to provide ourselves (and you) with some entertainment and good information about DFW area restaurants. We hope you will visit frequently and use our experiences to create some fun dining experiences of your own! Watch out, DFW, the Phipps family is going out to eat!