365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Ogre and Mina went to see Madagascar this afternoon with Oma and Grandpoo while Benji and I chilled at home. My original plan was to eat at the elusive Fritz’s in Rockwall; however, it eluded us once again as they are not open on Sundays. When Ogre arrived, he told me that the new plan was to eat Cajun up in McKinney. At the time, the name eluded Grandpoo and Oma, who made this fine suggestion. So we drove up there and found that it was Dodie’s.
We were seated right away and all got situated. I noticed that they had crayons and magna doodles at the hostess station. They have crackers on the table, which was great for the kids to keep busy.
Benji noticed the big red crawfish on the wall and called him Elmo. Silly Benji!
Then I gave Benji a taste of Tobasco. Silly Mommy!
We started to look over the menu. The guys started looking at the appetizers and immediately were drawn to the Cajun Tamales. Apparently, Grandpoo had also read my glowing review of the onion rings at The Ranch House and was now craving onion rings, too. So after we ordered our drinks, we put in the appetizer order and kept on with trying to figure out what we’d be dining on tonight.
I was intrigued by the Crawfish Monica, which was a pasta with crawfish in a creamy cheese sauce. However, I decided on the Crawfish Etouffee, since I know I like that dish and I always order it when we eat Cajun food, so it’s a good barometer for me. Ogre was impressed with himself that he knew what I was going to order, but I seriously would have (and later would learn that I should have) ordered the Crawfish Monica if I wasn’t going to review the restaurant.
Anyway, the waitress came around to get our orders and I ordered the catfish for the kids but asked them to replace the fries with dirty rice. Grandpoo and Oma did the same for their fries, as well. Ogre took the usual prolonged amount of time asking the waitress what her favorite was and using that information to guide his decision. She didn’t like crawfish so she recommended the Shrimp Etoufee.
The appetizers came out in short order and we began to work on those. I think that’s when I noticed that Mina was drawing with one of Oma’s pen on a paper towel. WTH? I asked the waitress about crayons and such and she acted a little iffy about the whole thing and went to go “check” on that. She returned with crayons, an activity sheet, and a magna doodle for each of the kids. Benji was very excited to see the Magna Doodle. So much so that at one point, he moved his appetizer plate aside to move his Magna Doodle closer and knocked over his milk. Luckily, I was able to scoop up his drink before it was a total loss, but it still left about a 3 napkin clean-up.
We ate our appetizers and we were all quite pleased with those. Next out came some weird salad looking thing for Grandpoo, Ogre told me it was cole slaw. We all tried it and I was actually pleasantly surprised. Next came my and Ogre’s salads. It’s just standard dressing, but I enjoyed my salad. That would be the last thing that I would enjoy here.
The entrees came out. I looked at my etouffee and thought, huh, it looks a little lighter than I would like. I doused it in Tobasco like I normally do. I took a bite. All I tasted was Tobasco and crawfish. The crawfish could’ve been sitting in water and it would not have tasted any different. I looked over at Ogre’s plate, his platter looked like mine and his facial expression as he ate his probably mirrored mine, as well. When he spoke up about what he thought, our thoughts were exactly the same, namely, that these dishes were not very good at all.
Grandpoo and Oma, on the other hand, did enjoy their dishes. In fact, Grandpoo raved about his Fried Catfish, and deservedly so. Mina was given a piece of Grandpoo’s catfish because their dinner had not come out. The waitress explained to me that our kids meal went to another table. Kind of weird since I asked for ours with dirty rice. She told us the kitchen was making theirs. Fair enough, at least Benji was now entertained with Magna Doodle and Mina was busy eating her salad.
When their dinner came out, it was totally wrong. They got fried shrimp with fries. I decide to just take that though. but we did make sure to let her know about it. She did offer to correct, but it was already getting to be too long at the restaurant. Their dinner also came with a Dole diced mixed fruit and Teddy Grahams, both of which brought a nod from the kids.
Ogre and I muddled through our dinner while everyone else finished up theirs. When the waitress asked us about the dishes, we told her we did not like ours. In fact, Grandpoo was very blatant that the Etouffee was awful! Her reply was to ask us what we wanted for dessert. And not like I’m going to give you free dessert. “Aw, I’m sorry. Did you guys want to order dessert tonight?” Ogre actually gave it some consideration, but I was pretty much done with Dodie.
I let the kids eat their Teddy Grahams, cleaned up the Benj and we headed out. Ogre asked me if he could stop for a burger on the way home.
First off, though, I should discuss our appetizers. We ordered the Cajun Tamales and the Onion Rings. Both of which were very good. The onion rings were lightly battered and cooked to a crisp, yet not overdone. Those Cajun Tamales were excellent. They are jalapenos stuffed with crab meat and while I thought they were super spicy because I am a spice wuss, I ate the whole thing because it tasted so gosh darn good!
I ordered the Crawfish Etouffee. (By the way, Dodie’s if you ever read this, you have it spelled wrong on your menu online). Ogre ordered the Shrimp Etouffee. Both of us were very, very, very underwhelmed. In fact, we were overwhelmed at how bland something could be. These dishes literally tasted like crawfish, or in his case shrimp, in water with rice. There was no buttery goodness, the roux was barely brown. It was just not good. I even wondered if they forgot to add some ingredients or something because I was unable to comprehend how it could be so bland.
Grandpoo’s entree was probably the best at the table. He ordered a 2 combo fried basket with catfish and shrimp and replaced his fries with dirty rice. Everyone at the table thought his fried catfish was excellent. And the shrimp were also very good. Again, not overly cooked and not to greasy for fried food.
Oma ordered the Shrimp Creole and Popcorn Shrimp. Since her Shrimp Creole apparently looked exactly like Ogre’s Etouffee, she was lucky to have the Popcorn Shrimp backup! Anyway, she liked it. That’s all I know about that.
The kids ordered the catfish and I requested that they replace the fries with dirty rice. What we got instead was Fried Shrimp with Fries. Mina liked the catfish more than she liked the shrimp and Benji just ate a few bites of his shrimp. They both ate the tub of diced fruit in syrup and the Teddy Grahams that came with their entree. They were very kind to give us two each of those even though we only ordered one entree.
The kids menu has fried shrimp, catfish, or chicken with fries.
She was nice, but not very good at what she did. First off, she forgot to get the kids’ crayons and activity sheets. Secondly, she gave Ogre an awful recommendation. Shrimp Etouffee was the best thing on the menu and her favorite??! Really??! Then the kitchen “gave” our kids’ order to another table. Then she brought out the wrong thing for the kids. And lastly, when we told her we did not like the Crawfish Etouffee, she said, “Aw, I’m sorry. Did you guys want to order dessert tonight?”
Food came out at a fine tempo; still, overall, wasn’t thrilled with the service tonight.
Well, it should’ve been wonderfully kid friendly. But they did not give up the goods. I had to mention it to the waitress who acted like she needed to check if there were any crayons. I knew there were baskets full because I saw them on the way in. They also have a great mini magna doodle to play with. Their kids menu is decent. So, if they remember to give you the kid stuff and they get your kids’ order right, you’ll be set when it comes to the children…now if you could get a great meal, the family would be set!
I just think there are other good, and even great, choices for Cajun food in DFW. If you’re looking for fried catfish, apparenly this is the place to go. If you’re looking for Cajun, look elsewhere.
The total: $83.80 (4 adults eating tonight)
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!