365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
We were headed down to Austin for the weekend for the benefit concert for our friend, Leah, who is battling cancer. Grace said it would be fun to go back to an old favorite from when we lived in Austin, Fonda San Miguel. We hadn’t been here in about 12 years! We had been there for their famous Sunday brunch. this place has been around for about 3o years! I knew they got packed on Sunday so I got online on Wednesday and made reservations. We would be joining our friend from Austin, Satyen.
We arrived right on time. After having stayed up way past curfew for the benefit, we slept in as long as possible. We stopped to take a picture in front of their cool entrance. This is the only sign that has their name. This place is kind of tucked in there. Satyen was right behind and we were seated right away.
Our waiter came up quickly and got our drink orders and explained the dishes on the buffet. It smelled fabulous. I was a bit worried about how Mina would do with this “authentic” food. Very rich flavors that Mina usually doesn’t do well with. Grace and Mina went first and they arrived with an appetizer plate with some fried fish for Mina. Seemed OK until we found out there was no sauce like ketchup to be had. Mina wasn’t amused.
I returned and found Mina still no eating and ordered some tortillas. At least she’d be able to eat those and maybe make a burrito out of something. We finished up round one and the waiter came back with some clean plates and Satyen and I went first this time. I grabbed a few items and sat back down. Mina still hadn’t eaten much but the tortillas had arrived and she munched on one of those.
Grace returned with her plate and was so proud of her beautiful dish she stopped to take a picture of it.
The adults had some conversation of the recent events in our respective towns. Mina still didn’t eat. Grace decided to give her some quail, or “little chicken”. She seemed to like it OK, though she thought it was slightly peppery. So I went and grabbed her one and a few more small samplings of some different items for myself. I bribed her into eating chicken in return for dessert. While she was finishing up she was treated to a mariachi band. Grace wanted her favorite, non-common mariachi song, La Pollera Colora.
la pollera colora
Again, apparently unknown to these mariachis so they choose for us a happy, upbeat song by request. I didn’t recognize it but it was a good song the Mina enjoyed dancing to.
I went up with Mina and grabbed desserts. Grace decided after her first round of desserts that the tres leches was superior to the flan and requested I get her an additional slice. I got a larger piece for her the second time around.
I didn’t even get through my desserts I was so full. Mina and I went for a brief bathroom break where there was no space to change a child for the next man who came in with his baby. He walked back out to find a new location. On the way back to the table to wrap up brunch, we stopped to look at the parrot. Then, it was time to head home to Dallas before it go too late. We stopped to check out Satyen’s Honda Ruckus
Fantastic food! All of it is homemade from scratch. The brunch spread is amazing. A full selection of side items and always several entree choices. Then a ridiculously good dessert spread if you have room to take it. True Mexican food, not Tex-Mex.
Today they had grilled quail that had been mostly de-boned allowing for easy eating. It was rubbed with a chile seasoning. The meat was juicy and the quails were all very plump. They removed the breast bones so the breast meat was easy to get to and there was a ton of it. It was a big hit with the entire table.
They also had a pork dish that I can’t recall the name of. This is a dish they seem to have every time. It is chunks of pork simmered in a hearty sauce that is not spicy at all but has a great, rich flavor. Then they top it off with marinated onions that Grace loves. The tender meat with the tangy onions is a fantastic combination.
Then there was the mole poblano. Once again, a great dish. The mole had a rich chocolate flavor without being bitter. Satyen said the taste reminded him of some Indian curries. The chicken was juicy and tender. This went great with the fresh tortillas.
Also on the buffet was the mole amarillo. It was more red than yellow but still fantastic. More of a tomato flavor than tradition mole. Spare rips were simmered in this sauce till they were falling off the bone and had absorbed all the fantastic spices from the sauce.
The sides included some fantastic guacamole, a cactus salad, a green bean salad, a fruit and jicama salad marinated in lime juice, great black beans, a verde tortillas casserole, a mexican egg scramble and about 5 other dishes I didn’t get around to trying. All in all a fantastic combination of flavors.
The dessert spread had too many items to mention. I tried the bread pudding that came with an awesome rum vanilla sauce. Mina and Grace had the flan. Mina loved it. Grace still prefers Mario’s Chiquita. Grace also had the tres leches which was completely soaked in sweet milks. Very good. I had to get her seconds. The had an assortment of pies, tarts, cookies, rice pudding and banana pudding as well.
The service was very good today. It was a brunch buffet, so he didn’t really have to bring us much besides drinks but he was very helpful in describing the choices and was quick to clear the table and refill the drinks.
A bit low on the kid friendliness scale. Its on the upscale side and, while I am sure the regular weekday menu offers some Mexican choices you kids would enjoy, brunch choices are very rustic and homemade. Great for adults, not so much for the kids. If they are just eating dessert they’ll love it! You’ll want you gets to be on their good behavior to be comfortable here, though our friends just brought they new baby here. Their babies are always the quiet type, so it doesn’t really count.
Total Cost: $96.18
We may have already recounted the story, but it is always funny to tell the story of Mina’s first boyfriend, the young mariachi from Nashville that we used to go see at La Terraza at least once a week. Grace will have to chime in with his name as I am drawing a blank right now. But it was so funny how Mina used to just smile so big at him and dance around. She would just stare at him the entire song every single time. We were actually going to take her there for a small second birthday party. Second as in the second party of the year, it was actually her 1st birthday. We had gone to Dallas and had seen some other mariachis but Mina was not as enthralled. When we returned a few days later to La Terraza, we found out our Mariachis had retuned home and they never did come back. Very sad. Mina really enjoyed it. These guys are also the ones that introduced grace to her song, La Pollera Colora. Turns out is the traditional cuban dress and the song isn’t really Mexican at all. Hence, not all mariachis know it.
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!