365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Today was Mina’s first day of school! So…we decided we would take her to her favorite Italian restaurant, Compari’s. Why, you ask, is this her favorite restaurant? Because you can draw on the table, of course. So the plan was set, or so we thought. Grace’s patients had other ideas. So we decided we would meet there at the last minute. We invited Granpoo and Oma (that’d be my parents) to join us. Mina had already stopped to visit Lolo and Lala (Grace’s parents) and told them all about her first day at kindergarten so we figured it would be a good idea for her to tell her other grandparents.
I rushed to pick up the kids from Lolo’s, and my parents, too, but our kids had other plans, as well. So after a few minor delays we made it to the restaurant where Grace was waiting for some time, apparently. She had beat us to the food with the always tasty calamari. Mina loves this stuff, and apparently, so does Benji. I think he ate more than she did this time. But Mina was preoccupied coloring on the table.
Grace had some patients to get back to so she had to order early so she could leave. She ordered her usual, seafood cannelloni. While we waited, Mina retold the story of the apple tree from her first day of school. Apparently, their names go on a paper apple tree on the wall and if they stay on the tree for some period of time they get a prize. Now, if they’re bad, their apple falls slowly down the tree. If it falls in the yellow bucket, you go to time out. If it falls to the red bucket, you have to call mama and papa. Mina got an apple sticker for the day because hers didn’t fall at all. Some kids weren’t so good. Theirs already fell into the yellow bucket and it’s only the first day. There’s a long way left to go in school but not so far to the red bucket for some.
But I digress. Back to the food. I have a couple of favorites, but opted for cannelloni today, as well, but mine was the Cannelloni Italiano with ground veal and spinach. Grandpoo handn’t eaten here in years so he went for the Pasta Trio with lasagna, fettucini alfredo, and chicken parmisigan. Oma opted for the Eggplant Parmisigan. Mina went for the ziti with tomato sauce. Vegetable of the evening: salad. Compari’s salad is great. I used to eat just salad here when I was a kid. Too bad Mina doesn’t eat it that well. I gave her a small portion and we munched on the family style salad while we waited for our entrees.
Grace retold her story of the When I Get in Trouble picture Mina drew at school for her while she munched through her early meal. Our entrees arrived and shortly after Grace had to excuse herself to become Super Doctor.
We ate through our entrees but Grandpoo and Oma couldn’t make it through their massive portions. Benji ate a little bit of everything and made a large mess of the table. Mina finished off her portion of salad so she was rewarded with her ice cream that comes with the kids meal. But wait! No chocolate ice cream left! Mina says vanilla is OK and a potential disaster is averted. I get Benji a serving, as well, to avoid another disaster on that end of the table. Grandpoo, Oma, and I split crème brûlée. Benji is enjoying himself a bit too much and screaming with joy as he eats his ice cream. The old ladies at the table next to us do not look pleased. Looks like a good time to leave.
The food here is always good and they have kid portions of almost any pasta. The marinara sauce is excellent and the calamari is always tender, never chewy. It was tender enough that Grace even allowed Benji to eat it (no choking hazards allowed around Super Doctor). Grandpoo said the chicken was about the most tender he had ever eaten and he enjoyed the alfredo sauce as well. Grace loves the tomato cream sauce that comes on the Seafood Cannelloni. As I mentioned earlier, the salad her is excellent. They bring a giant bowl with lots of green and black olives (those are all for papa) and grate fresh parmesan to your liking for everyone to share. Free refills! The kids will love the free ice cream. No soft serve here. I believe it is actually homemade custard. They used to serve Blue Bell cups which wasn’t a problem, but this was even better (I had some of Benji’s). Crayons and paper on the table will keep your children very occupied so it makes for a great dinner experience. Only issue you may have is screams of ice cream joy.
(Note change in writer here, Grace is writing the service part.) Today our service was fine. Not stellar, not bad. We did not get the waiter that makes me want to cry. Today our waiter was a tall guy and he did remind me about the kids needing a drink order and he brought out the calamari lightening fast, almost too fast. Unfortunately, typically, the service ain’t so great. Be forewarned that if a short stocky dude wearing glasses with an accent I’m unfamiliar with comes to get your order, you will have a painful dining experience and only the good food and good company will redeem the dinner. It is for this reason that I did not allow Ogre to give this place 4 stars.
OK well I guess I didn’t go by the book this evening. I pretty much told you all the extras already. Mina was very excited about her first day of school! She’s been asking about this day for literally years. She’s way too smart for her age. Be sure to read up on the When I Get In Trouble picture. You won’t be disappointed.
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!