365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
We tried to eat at this restaurant a few weeks ago, but it is closed on Monday and Tuesday evenings. That day, we ended up at Canton Chinese restaurant across the way. Tonight, Mina would missing because of her music class at Grandpoo and Oma’s church, so we thought we head out to Jeng Chi, which Mina likes but doesn’t love. I’m sure she was very happy to eat at Mickey D’s with her grandparents. In typical Benji fashion, he fell asleep on the way there. Ogre asked me why I didn’t put him down for a nap this afternoon. I told him he was having too much fun. He told me he always puts him down around 2 or 3 for a nap. Okay, SuperDad.
So, when we arrived to the restaurant and I pulled Benjamin out of his carseat, he woke up and was pretty displeased with life. He was crying so I didn’t even attempt to put him in his chair. Luckily, we know what we want, so we ordered our drinks and dinner straight away. I sang the baby turtle song that ends with “bubble, bubble…POP!” and that did not even make him happy. I sang “Stinky Benji, Stinky Benji, what do you see? I see a Stinky Benji looking at me!” He told me he saw a “ca” (car) and pointed out the window. Things started to turn around a tad when they brought out our drinks. We let him blow the paper off the straws and that made him smile, but it was the arrival of the rice that really improved his mood.
I was able to put him in his chair and as I did, he said “RYE!” (rice). He started shoveling fistfuls of rice into his mouth. When I got up to put Benji in his chair, Ogre decided he wasn’t going to sit next to him and moved to the other side of the table, so I sat down in Ogre’s place. I still don’t fully understand why this transpired. Ogre said he was going to sit next to me and that there wasn’t much room beside Benji. I think that’s weird to have both of us sitting across from Benji. I stayed put beside Benji.
Next came the Schezuan Green Beans and Green Onion Pancakes. The pancakes were super hot, though, so we couldn’t give that to Benji right away. We gave Benji green beans and some of the pork and he ate it right up. Ogre and I started in on things, as well. A few minutes later, the Crispy Sliced Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce arrived. Benji started pointing at it and whining. This was also flaming hot. Ogre cut up a piece and cooled it off for Benji. He wolfed this down as well and asked for “mo mo.” No more complaints out of Benji now unless he was running out of food!
Lastly, the Steamed Juicy Dumplings arrived. The waitress warned us that it was hot so we put it well out of reach from Benjamin. Even after it sat there for awhile, when we opened it a large plume of steam arose prompting Benji to say, “WOWWW!” We requested spoons to eat ours with and Ogre served a couple up. Now, I hate it when I burn my mouth on food -it ruins my taste for days so I do not even risk eating food that looks the least bit too hot. Ogre, of course, digs right in. His eyes were watering. I asked him if it was hot (stupid question), he actually told me that it wasn’t so hot that you couldn’t juggle it around in your mouth. Yeah, right. I waited awhile longer!
We also cut one up for Benji. His response? ”Mo mo, yeah.” He ended up eating 3 dumplings. Ogre asked me if I wanted another and I told him I was about done with dinner. He said that Benji ate more than I did. Not true, I countered! He said, “Well, almost as much as you.”
As we were finishing up, Grandpoo called to say they were already at our house. Mina hopped on the phone and Ogre couldn’t understand what she was saying (translation: Danger!! read this post from my other blog!). So he handed the phone to me. Thank goodness because he kept responding to her something about strawberries and what she was saying was that she had saved a Starburst for me from music class.
We finished up so we could head home to see Mina and my Starburst.
This is our favorite restaurant for casual, more “non-Americanized” Chinese food. We have a certain repertoire of dishes that we always order here and have tried other places and find it to be the best here.
The Schezuan String Beans with Pork is excellent. The string beans are “nutty” flavored and both of our kids love the bits of pork in the dish. The sauce is not too spicy, it’s slightly sweet and has a great garlic flavor. (We normally order the Schezuan Eggplant also, but didn’t because Mina was not here and we typically overdo it on ordering anyway. It’s similar to the green beans except there are small slivers of pork instead.) Ogre doesn’t like green beans anywhere except here! And, interestingly, I don’t like eggplant anywhere but here!
Next up to discuss is the Crispy Sliced Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Excellent. Don’t be scared, it’s not whole fish. It is breaded slices of white fish. This is not the artificially colored red sweet and sour sauce that you typically see at Chinese restaurants. Nope, this is a not sickeningly sweet sauce. It’s a mild sweet and sour sauce that compliments the fish very well.
This is one of our favorite reasons to come here. The Steamed Juicy Dumplings. They come in a fun bamboo steaming dish. We actually request soup spoons so that none of the juice from the dumplings are lost! The pork is very flavorful and the dumpling wrapper is a nice texture.
There is no kids menu here, but I can tell you that Benji ate a little bit of everything that we ordered including the green beans!
The service here is decent. It’s not spectacular, but they are pretty attentive to keeping drinks refilled. Their service is rolling, which means that they bring out dishes as they’re ready, so be prepared for that.
This is a not an overtly kid friendly restaurant in that it doesn’t have a kids menu and it doesn’t hand out kids’ activities. But this is a nice, casual restaurant that I feel very comfortable having my kids eat in and there have been times that my kids were not in great moods (like tonight). You can also eat family style, which is how we do it. The waitstaff is very friendly to kids and the owner who sits behind the counter is also very friendly (like a super nice grandpa). When Mina is with us, he always finds some chocolate candy to give her. He offered it to Benji once, but we told him he was too little.
If your kids will eat the food here, which I honestly think a lot of the kids will, you’ll get to enjoy some great Chinese food.
The total: $28.90
During dinner, a mother and daughter of Chinese descent were sitting at the table behind us. I could hear them talking about school and funny enough, I hear a small voice say, “ate up all the soap…” She was singing the turtle song! I turned around and said, “Wow, Benjamin loves that song!” She learned it in daycare that day. Her mom said that she was three years old, and she was obviously VERY smart. She proceded to count to 10 in Spanish, as well! Then, her mom made her sing a song for us in Spanish, too. It was all very, very cute!! I really don’t see how people don’t enjoy having little ones sit near them in a restaurant when they can be so gosh darn cute!!
In case you are thinking what the heck is this turtle song??!! It is sung to the tune of “Miss Lucy Had a Baby”:
(pat your cheeks with your hands at this part!)
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!