365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Today was a bit of a rough day for me and I didn’t have time for lunch. By the time I was headed home it was already 3 o’clock, so against any sane judgment, I decided to just wait until dinner to eat anything at all. Of course, Ogre was not as game. He wanted to wait until I had nary a bit of glucose in my system before eating. I wanted to leave at 4:30 so that we could be at the restaurant right when it opened. Instead, he made me pick up Mina and then come back and get him so we didn’t leave the house until around 5pm. Not wanting to go anywhere far or that would take toolong and knowing that I wanted a lot of food, we headed to the Texas Roadhouse.
We got there so early that there weren’t very many peanuts on the floor yet. Mina was pumped that there were Halloween decorations everywhere. We were seated right away and as we passed the meat case, the hostess asked us if we wanted to pick out or steak for the evening –must be a new offering, we hadn’t experienced that before. I knew I wanted prime rib, so I declined.
We sat down and Mina and I walked back over to the jukebox to pick out some music. Um, all country. I don’t know much about that. We ended up picking a Johnny Cash song and calling that a day.
We joined Ogre and Benjamin who were already fully enjoying the bread. “Have you had the bread??!” Their bread is phenomenal and it’s not just because I was slowly wasting away and the sight of food almost caused me to have a seizure.
Ogre and I colorfully discussed what appetizer to get. I knew he’d like to try the Rattlesnake Bites, but he was afraid that he’d be the only one to eat them. We considered getting the Cheese Fries, which everyone would probably enjoy but wouldn’t be very interesting. I told him that I thought Benji would eat the Rattlesnake Bites (we knew Mina probably wouldn’t eat either). He ordered the Cheese Fries, but then called the waiter back over to change back to the Rattlesnake Bites.
Mina was busy coloring her activity placemat and coloring on her drink napkin. Benji enjoyed the wall decor making fishy faces and sounds and commenting on the dead animals on the walls. When the waiter returned with our Rattlesnake Bites, we put in our dinner order. Both Ogre and I would be getting Prime Rib (different sides: both of us ordered salad, he ordered veggies and I ordered a baked potato) and Mina wanted Macaroni and Cheese. I chose the steamed vegetables as her side and for Benjamin, I ordered a Hot Dog and applesauce.
Our salads came out in short order after the appetizer. Benjamin tried his Rattlesnake Bite and while he didn’t cry or say “spah-seeee” (spicy), he wasn’t too enthralled with it either. He enjoyed the ranch much more and licked the plate clean. He also picked up the drink napkins on the table including the one that Mina drew on. He handed one to his sister and said, “Ta Ta” (Ate, Filipino for older sister). She took it and then realized that he had her napkin that she drew on so she took it away from him. This sent Benji to tears. Ogre told Mina that she should draw a heart for Benjamin, which she thought was a great idea. She drew and wrote his name on it. She said, “Look, I wrote Ben Owen.” (Owen is Benjamin’s middle name). Ogre looked at it and said, “Benon? What’s Benon?” I shook my head in exasperation, “It’s Ben O-N, get it? Ben Owen? Owen = O, N?” I thought it was pretty ingenious.
Our food came out and I cut up Benjamin’s hot dog, cut up some veggies for Mina, and then started dressing my baked potato. By the time I was ready to dig into my prime rib, Ogre was halfway done with his. I took one good look and had to send it back. Overdone. The waiter even offered to replace the baked potato for me, but I told him I’d like to keep it, it looked too tasty to give back.
When we got back, my dinner was waiting for me. Ogre said that he poked it to make sure it’d be “bloody enough” for me. And it was. Ogre was already eyeing what would eventually be leftovers for him. I don’t like that grizzly edge part and Ogre loves it.
I ate up my dinner and gave Ogre the rest. Mina was plowing through her Macaroni and Cheese. I reminded her about the vegetables. For whatever reason, Mina always saves this part for last. She got some ranch to dip the carrot in, ate the cauliflower without any problems and then ate her broccoli. It took her a little while, but she did really well overall with dinner tonight.
Benji also did well at dinner and when he was done, he said, “No mo.” and pushed his plates and saucers off his tray. We also gave him a napkin and he dutifully wiped his face and then his tray. That’s my boy.
I think this a great place for “cheap” steak. By that I mean more casual, less expensive steak dining.
Our appetizer (the Rattlesnake Bites) was okay, but I’ll be honest, I don’t love jalapenos and it’s not quite what I expected. It’s described as rounds of diced jalapenos and jack cheese battered and fried. What you get are large bullet shaped battered and fried spicy queso. Ogre thought it tasted good. I thought it tasted like fried queso.
The Prime Rib here is quite good. I like it better than Outback’s Prime Rib. They do something with the au jus that makes it have a hint of sweetness but it remains nice and hearty. We also order it with a side of the creamy horseradish (they also have the straight stuff), which just enhances the flavor.
Mina liked the Macaroni and Cheese (it’s Kraft) and the steamed vegetables are nicely done. They don’t taste to bland. I thought that the Hot Dog smelled tasty, but I was also starving when I cut it up. It’s all beef, so I don’t think it’s the funky stuff.
Their kids menu is nice because they even have a kids menu and a “ranger’s menu” for bigger kids. You can get the hot dog or mac n cheese for 2.99 and they have other selections from 3.99-6.99 and these all come with a drink (milk, juice or soda) and one side.
Our service was spot on today. Our waiter was attentive, helpful, kept our drinks filled and the table uncluttered.
This is a great place for the family to enjoy a hearty meal and have a good time. The restaurant is laid back –heck, you can throw the peanut shells on the floor! The restaurant is loud and boisterous and they have a lot of choices for the kids to eat and some healthful selections also! Their activity placemat will keep the kids busy while you wait for your food –Mina even took hers home to finish later.
The total: $ 49.30
They have lots of locations in the area (but none in Dallas).
I don’t remember when I first ate at Texas Roadhouse, Ogre says it was in medical school when I lived in College Station. Seemed like everytime one would pop up, I’d have to move away or one would pop up after I moved away. When I moved to Temple, Texas, they had one in Killeen and in Waco and now they have one less than a mile from where I lived. In Nashville, they had one placed right on the way back from Ogre’s family farm, so we’d often plan our exit so that we ended up in the right place at the right time –dinner time.
We realized on one of our trips home from the farm that we were eating at the ORIGINAL one! It’s in Clarksville, Indiana and it’s actually located in a strip mall! I think that the owners must have ties to the military since that seems to be important to the restaurant and it seemed like a lot of the restaurants were near military towns.
And we’ve tried the “other guys” such as Logan’s Roadhouse, but we like this one. It’s definitely become a chain since we started eating here, but I know that the original was started by a somebody who wanted to provide good food and good service and built his success on it, I think it’s great to include this one in our blog!
And one more thing, I think it’s funny that they call it “Texas Roadhouse” with the original being in Indiana! It reminds me of another great place: Houston’s -the original, which I’m also proud to say we dined at (but, sadly, it has since closed), is in NASHVILLE! I don’t know the story behind the name for Texas Roadhouse, but for Houstons, it was named so because the place to be was Houston, Texas, back in the day!
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!