365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Well, my original plans for Chinese went out the window when we drove up to Jeng Chi and found it closed for the evening. I knew it was closed one day of the week and of course it had to be this one. There are plenty of other choices for Asian food, and particularly, Chinese, since we were in the mini “Chinatown” or maybe “China row” in Richardson. Jeng chi, though, is my favorite. Enough about Jeng Chi, we decided to just walk across to Canton Chinese Restaurant. Benjamin fell asleep on the way over so Ogre pulled him out of his car seat and carried him in.
We chose our own table in the back corner and at first Ogre was standing there with Benjamin. I asked him why he wasn’t sitting down and he said it was because of Benjamin. I have carried that sleeping child many times and sitting down with him has never been a problem. Ogre wondered about setting him down on a couple of chairs, which would a) have a higher probability of waking him up and b)would be totally unsafe. I told Ogre to sit down because I would not be able to enjoy dinner if he is standing the whole time. Of course, sitting down went off without a hitch. Mina asked if she could color on the horoscope placemat and I said yes, but had to dig a pen out of my purse. Now that I think about it, I think I left my pen there.
We looked over the menu and I warned Ogre that the portions are very large here. He initially gunned for 3 entrees and something for the kids (at Jeng Chi, this is what we typically do plus some, but the servings are smaller). We decided to get two entrees and something for the kids. Ogre asked Mina if she wanted the barbecue pork fried rice or noodles. She chose noodles. Then he asked if she wanted spaghetti noodles (lo mein) or flat noodles. She chose flat. I’m actually surprised with her choices. I also asked Ogre to throw the hot and sour soup for two on there (it was super cheap -$3.25).
When the waitress came back, we ordered our dinner. We decided on the Green Beans with Pork (which we love at Jeng Chi -I know, I can’t stop talking about the other restaurant). We asked the waitress if we should get the Four Treasures or the House Special Chicken. She immediately said, “Four Treasures.” She indicated that the House Special Chicken was not that great.
Mina entertained herself drawing numbers and letters on her placemat and then discovered that she could make her straw whistle by blowing across the top of it. A maneuver that was likely appreciated by anyone sitting near us. About that time, the soup showed up and our waitress dished out mine and Ogre’s. Mina said that she did not want any. I noticed that Ogre was not eating his. “You can’t eat with your right hand?” I asked him. He said that he couldn’t, in fact, he needed BOTH hands to eat. Sheesh. I told him I’d take Benji, he’d been asleep for awhile anyway. We knew this would probably wake him up, but I didn’t want Ogre to suffer starvation since now the entrees were coming out. I took him and Mina’s whistle blowing is what ended up waking him up. He woke up and said “Lalo” (flower). I think he must have been dreaming.
We scooped out the tofu from the hot and sour soup to give Benji and put some rice and noodles on his plate. I set him in his chair where he fussed a little bit, but after redirection towards his tofu, he was happy. Mina was given green beans and broccoli to eat tonight in addion to her flat noodle dish.
Her flat noodle dish ended up also being our flat noodle dish. I remembered correctly that the portions were huge. There was a ridiculous amount of food set before us. We ate family style tonight, which I love to do because I get to try a lot of different things. Benji, on the other hand, only wanted to try one thing, the tofu. He kept asking Papa for “mo mo” and handing him his plate. It’s not easy to dig tofu out of the soup because they’re skinny little strips, still, we did. It was entertaining for us to watch him the tofu because it was a little spicy, but he loved it. He’d tell us “ha ha” (hot) and wave his little hand and ask for water and dive in for more.
Mina also likes the “toe food” and asked for some, luckily, she got distracted because we didn’t have much toe food to go around. Mina wanted to try some of the beef from the Four Treasures, it, too, is spicy. And we did warn her, so it’s not like we were tricking her to be mean. She also liked it enough to have more despite the fact that it was spicy. This was a huge step for Mina, who normally hits a wall when it comes to anything outside of her normal food repertoire. She also ate her green beans without any problems (I suspect that she likes green beans prepared this way). She had to be prodded along to eat her noodle dish, but that’s par for her.
During dinner, Mina exclaimed, “Oh no! There’s someone smoking over there!” Ogre and I, being oh so gullible, turned our heads in the direction she was pointing. “Oh, wait, that’s just steam coming up from the food,” she sheepishly said. Crisis averted.
We finally had to tell Benjamin that there was no more. He seemed to get it after awhile saying “gah” (all gone) and turning his hands in and out. Ogre finally got him to try the noodles that he ignored all night in favor of the tofu and Benji realized that he likes that, too. So, he was back to asking for “mo mo..” When he decided he was done and wanted down, I initially was not going to give him, but then he said “pee” (please). Encouraging using his words is more important to me than making him stay seated during dinner, so I took him out of his chair to look at the fishes; Mina was not far behind. We waited outside while Ogre got some to go boxes and settled the check.
The food here is average. I am TOTALLY biased to Jeng Chi though. As far as the spectrum of “Americanized” Chinese food to “Traditional” Chinese Food, I think that the food here leans more toward “Americanized” than some of the restaurants in this area. Don’t get me wrong, they have some doozies on the menu like Pig Intestine with Black Bean Sauce and Sour Cabbage with Pork Stomach, but the overall choices, sauces, and flavors remind me of what you can get at any corner Chinese joint. This may not necessarily be a bad thing. If you are going out with friends or family who will not stray from familiar Chinese food, this might be the way to go. It could also be a transition restaurant if you’re a little wary to get you to the Jeng-Chi style restaurants!
The hot and sour soup was excellent. It was very flavorful and had a good amount of kick, not overpowering. The Green Beans with Porkwas not as good as at Jeng Chi. Green beans are one of my favorite veggies and I didn’t love this dish here; the green beans were not cooked as well here -they were a little more limp and chewy than I like. The Four Treasures was probably my least favorite, it was good, but the sauce seemed pretty generic and the flavor of the brown garlic sauce completely overpowered the flavor of any of the meat (shrimp, chicken, beef, scallops) or vegetables (there was a lot of celery!). We both liked the Flat Noodles with BBQ Pork. I thought the pork could have stood to be a little more tender, but the noodles were cooked well and the sauce was a lighter brown sauce.
They do not have a kids menu, but you can eat family style here. I firmly believe that four adults can share two entrees, so don’t make the same mistake we made! This will save you some money!!
Our service was decent today. Our waitress was kind and talked to Mina and told us how she pretty she was. You don’t get extras stars for that. We did have to request refills and she seemed to ignore us after the entrees arrived. I think she was just busy with the new tables that sat after we got our food, but I was outside awhile waiting for Ogre to get the check and settle the tab.
Nothing to occupy the kids except a fish tank here. Bring your pens and crayons because you can write on the generic horoscope placemats. There is no kids menu, but as we said above, you can eat family style -if your family can agree on food! They don’t have very many smaller dishes/appetizers that could work well for child’s plates. Definitely, not the most kid-friendly or kid-accommodating restaurant, but it’s casual Chinese, so I don’t think you’ll have too much of a problem here unless your kid doesn’t like Chinese AT ALL.
Total: $ 38.00
Why in the world would you name a place “May’s ICE CREAM” and not sell ice cream????!!!!!
As you may have noted if you’re a regular reader, I love ice cream. Love it. We eat in this area pretty frequently because I am Asian and I like Asian food. When I want Chinese food, we come to this area. After dinner, makes sense to go to the place called May’s Ice Cream.
Ogre and I walked in there once and it’s a grungy little restaurant. I even walked all the way to the back of the restaurant thinking the ice cream has to be around here somewhere. Maybe it’s just eluding us. Apparently, common sense was eluding them. Don’t be fooled by the name, there is no ice cream at May’s Ice Cream!
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!