The experience

DSC_0022Today we were against wrought with the decision of what to eat for dinner tonight.  Nothing interesting came to mind and Ogre heard a Macaroni Grill commercial on the radio TWICE in arow and he must’ve taken it as a sign that we should here tonight.  I wondered if we had already eaten here for childsplate, but a quick search found that Ogre was correct.  After still some minimal debate about where to eat, we ended up at Macaroni Grill.

I thought there would be a wait, but we were seated right away.  When we sat down, I noticed that two tables across the way sat a family from our neighborhood.  Small world.  Mina wanted me to point at them, so I had to give her a quick lesson in etiquette.

Meanwhile, the kids were very pleased to have crayons and the ability to color on the table.  Ogre also brought in the set of colored gel pens he bought her earlier today.



Benji wanted to use her pens, too, and against my better judgement, Ogre let him until he started “coloring” so hard, he was ripping through the paper.  Amazingly, he did not have a meltdown when we redirected him to the crayons.

Mina started complaining that her tummy was hurting and that she needed to use the restroom, so Ogre brought her to the restroom.  The waiter came by with two loaves of bread and put one loaf between Ogre and me, and the other loaf between the kids.  Not the greatest idea in the world, but Benji thought it was so cool to have “Big bread.”


Mina came back, still complaining that her tummy hurt slightly (we later learned this was a ruse when we stopped by the ice cream store on the way home), but felt well enough to continue drawing and coloring.  Then she asked me to play tic tac dough, and I tell you, Mina has become quite the tic tac dough shark!  She beat me 2 out of 3 and we tied the 3rd game!  She actually has very good strategy, if you ever play her and she chooses the middle square, you’re done. 


Benji, on the other hand was starting to become a little bit of a pill, purposefully dropping his coloring book on to the ground.  I told Ogre to leave it so we wouldn’t continue his little game of dropping, crying, dropping and crying.  It worked.  Or maybe it was the bread that we gave him for distraction.


I took a picture of Benji and he then told me to take a picture of Papa. 


And take a picture of Mina.


And take a picture of Mommy (Mina volunteered to take it).


Just when I was really starting to wonder about our food, the entrees arrived.  Unfortunately, they got the kids’ entree wrong (spaghetti instead of requested penne).  I can’t do spaghetti with the kids anymore, too messy!  We waited on their meals to come out and then dug in.  Mina decided that she wanted some fresh grated Parmesan on her pasta, so we asked the waiter to bring it by again. Benji said that he wanted some, too, of course.

The kids found that the penne pasta here is too thin to make pasta fingers, but that didn’t stop them from trying.


At this point, I still was believing that Mina’s tummy was really hurting, so I told her she could eat what she wanted and then be done.  She actually ate a pretty good amount, but then went back to drawing and coloring. 

Just as we were finishing up, Benji decided to grab all of his food in his hands.  Ogre quickly pulled his dish away but not before he got some on to the table.  Ogre put those pieces back in the plate and Benji picked up a couple of stray noodles and threw them at Papa.  Papa was not pleased.  Mommy was amused.

And with that, we packed up our stuff and headed to the ice cream store where Mina announced that her tummy no longer hurt.  It’s a wonder how medicinal ice cream is!


The food

Italian food.

DSC_0012I ordered the Chicken Canneloni.  It’s chicken, spinach and cheese in a canneoni smothered in Asiago Cheese sauce and then there is some tomato sauce poured across the middle of it. Not bad, but too cheesy for me.  There also seemed to be a paucity of chicken.  I actually asked for a bowl so that I could steal some of Benji’s tomato sauce as I felt like it needed that to balance the cheesiness.


DSC_0010Ogre ordered the Penne Rustica.  He gets this every time we eat here.  I can’t think of a time when he hasn’t ordered this, so needless to say, he loves it.  It’s penne pasta with chicken and shrimp that is covered with a creamy Parmesan sauce.


DSC_0013The kids ordered plain penne pasta with tomato sauce.  Both of them liked it very well.



The service

Service today was good at times, bad at times, but not so bad that I’d call it less than average.  Our server was initially seemingly inattentive, but the restaurant was pretty busy.  It took awhile for him to come back and get our dinner order and it seemed like the food took awhile to come out.  As the evening wore on, things got better with him even checking the kids’s drink to see if they needed refills.


The kids

Definitely kid friendly.  Kids menu, kids activities, they can color on the table.  It’s laid back but still a nice restaurant with lots of families.

I’d recommend this for a not too fancy but nice Italian meal out with the kids.

The total: 36.10

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