365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
I had a late afternoon meeting in Dallas, so I did not get home until around 6pm, this was after I stopped by my mom’s house to pick up Benji and found him to be asleep. So, I left him there and drove home to meet Ogre and Mina. Ogre apparently had made up his mind to go to Mario’s Chiquita tonight. We’ve had it at the forefronts of our minds because we went to the small Farmer’s Market nearby to get our hay bales and pumpkins and we got a coupon in the mail recently for a free appetizer. I was actually going to throw that coupon out, but Ogre told me that it was a good restaurant and that his family ate there all the time when he was younger. I have never given this restaurant a second thought and have never been or had a desire to eat there. I agreed since we do have 295 more restaurants to go to; I was sure at some point we’d be eating at Mario’s Chiquita, and well, that point was today.
On the way to the restaurant, Mina had a mini-meltdown. It was pajamas day at school so she wore these extremely hot footed pajamas. Ogre asked her if she wanted to change when they got home and she clearly said that she did not want to. Well, she changed her mind in the car and when we informed her that no, she could not change her clothes, the waterworks turned on. I told her that she needed to “get over it” and that I better see a happy, smiling, glad to be wearing my pajamas and turning 5 tomorrow Mina when we got to the restaurant. “Got it??” She replied, “got it.”
So, when we arrived and I opened the door, there was the happy, smiling, glad to be wearing my pajamas and turning 5 tomorrow Mina. She thought the outside of the restaurant was very pretty. When we walked in, I was impressed by the decor, it reminded me of an old quaint house. After we sat down and started to look at the menus, Mina asked why there was a card on the ceiling. WTH? We looked up. Yup, there was a queen of hearts on the ceiling. Huh. Mina took a picture. We told her we didn’t know why.
It took Ogre and me awhile to figure out what we wanted. First, we had to choose an appetizer. We knew we’d be getting cheese. Mina wanted queso. We decided to order the Raja Con Crema over the Queso Flameado. The waiter had to come back to get the rest of our dinner order. We were sitting on the upper level and I could see the table below me and to the left. They had, I think, Chile Rellenos with some type of green sauce. Seeing that sealed it for me, I’d be getting the Taxos Mixtecos which is covered in a salsa verde. Ogre asked the waiter if he should get the mole or the Tablita Adobado ( ancho pork). The waiter very convincingly and without hesitation said the Tablita. Mina ordered a hamburger but replaced the fries with rice and beans.
When the waiter came out with the Raja Con Crema, we saw that he was going to serve it up in flour tortillas for us. He gave 2 each to Ogre and me. We cut one in half to give to Mina. She had to eat that or the guacamole that I forgot to mention Ogre ordered. She chose the tortilla with cheese and zucchini. As she was eating, she said to me, “The waiter must be busy.” I asked her why she said that. She said, “They haven’t brought out my queso yet.” Uhhhh, I pointed at her tortilla. “Mina, they put your queso in the tortilla for you.” She said, “Aww man, I wanted to do that!” She also said that this is the first time she’s eaten zucchini and when I told her that it wasn’t, she added, “Well, eaten it and not puked it up!” Yes, that’s true.
Ogre had to take Mina to the restroom and he told me that they do have changing stations in there. When she got back, the dinner entrees were arriving. The waiter made sure everything came out okay and we dug right in. Mina wanted to dress her burger herself and wanted to make sure we documented it. “Take a picture of me!”
Of course, once she finished dressing her own burger she was a complete mess and Ogre had to help her find her napkin that must’ve fallen when they went to the bathroom, when he returned to his seat, Mina said, “AHHH! You gave me a mustache!! Take my picture.” Ogre had accidently brushed his hand on her face and we found that he had ancho sauce on his palm…well, now it was on Mina’s face.
The topic of conversation was Mina’s birthday, which will be tomorrow. That quickly deteriorates to the fact that she knows she has to see the doctor and dentist around her birthday. I told her that I made her dental appointment, but it wouldn’t be until November. We got a dance for that. This was true happiness.
The next time we saw true happiness was when we ate the dessert we ordered. Holey socks, this so good. Ogre mentioned the fact that normally Mina is such a slow eater, but now she was shoveling the flan down and even asked if she could have the last two bites. I told her yes, and she was still about to shovel more flan in while still chewing what she had in her mouth. I made her calm down and finish what she had in her mouth and she didn’t even want to put the spoon down. Crazy. Honestly though, she was just personifying my own impulses that I was supressing. If she weren’t a little girl, we might have to fight for those last two bites!
The food was surprisingly excellent. Another restaurant that might have never seen my face had it not been for Childsplate!
We had to get an appetizer because of our coupon from those little postcard mailouts we get at home every few months. We ordered the Rajas Con Crema (cream cheese and Lineras cheese with poblano peppers, zucchini, and onions). It was extremely tasty! Even Mina liked it and that means a lot because she normally vomits at the taste of zucchini (I’m being totally serious.)
Ogre’s Tablita Adobada was excellent. I was totally jealous of his dinner tonight. He was the wiser. His pork was very tender and the ancho sauce that it was smothered in was very good, just a hint of smokiness and a lot of ancho spice flavor. It also came with a cheese enchilada that was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Man, it was good. I would highly, highly recommend trying this one!
I ordered the Tacos Mixtecos (basically Green Chicken Enchiladas except that the chicken was wrapped in flour tortilla and not corn. This intrigued me because when I was new to Mexican food I would actually ask them to substitute the corn for flour tortillas. I also looked over at another table and saw their green sauce and it pushed me to order that dish over many others that looked good. The chicken was charbroiled and plentiful, which was a definite plus. The green sauce was also flavorful, but I like mine to be a little more tangy, if that makes sense. It comes with guacamole, which Ogre appreciates (I don’t like Guac) and rice, which was also very good.
This flan was ridiculously good!! I think it might be one of the best flans I’ve ever had! (Excluding my mom’s, of course!). Wow, the texture, the density, the flavor…all perfect. You must order this. I’m salivating thinking about it…
Mina ordered a cheeseburger. Sorry, I didn’t try it. She liked it though. In addition to the cheeseburger, you can an enchilada, tacos, quesadilla and something else I can’t remember. Sorry, it’s been a long day.
The service here is wonderful. Our waiter was attentive and it seemed to be the “team” waitstaff concept that I love. There were lots of waiters around to keep drinks refilled and the table uncluttered, but they weren’t smothering or making us feel rushed either.
They do not have kids crayons or anything like that, but they do have 3 items on their kids menu ranging from around $4.50-6.50. This restaurant is slightly more upscale than most casual Mexican restaurants, but definitely not so much so that it was at all uncomfortable.
Overall, I think you’ll get a really good Mexican dinner here with the kids.
The total: $45.95 (free appetizer coupon!)
So we were going to ask the waiter what the deal was with the cards on the ceiling. There were a few other cards up there as well. Well, we suck and we forgot. Anybody out there know the story??
And then there’s this:
Picture me: salivating thinking of the flan and this song stuck in my head. Hope you don’t catch 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!