The experience

So I had talked with Grace earlier and mentioned that she might be on her own for dinner this evening since I had too much work to catch up on.  Turns out I was in for a reversal of fortunes and ended up be on my own with the kids instead as Dr. Mom was headed to work for the evening.  It very hard to keep up with the Phipps Family schedule.  Probably due to the fact that we don’t actually have one.  So I tried to squeeze in as much work as I could and headed over to pick up the kids a little on the late side.  I recalled a little restaurant right around the corner and said why not.  So we’d be heading to Los Rios Mediterranean Bistro.

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I juggled all the kids and dining equipment, as well as Benji’s pillow that he insisted on taking inside and we were immediately seated.  The only other couple in the restaurant were on their way out the door.  I didn’t imagine there would be much of a crowd.  I ordered up the kids some juices and got myself a soda from the waiter.  He returned with a can of soda.  I am not a big fan of places that charge you by the can, seeing as I can go thru 3-4 easily.

I reviewed the menu and quickly saw there was no kids menu.  Luckily, I knew the kids had eaten quite a bit while waiting on me.  I asked Mina what she had eaten and she rattled off a crazy list:  2 bologna sandwiches, chocolate milk, juice and grapes!  I almost didn’t order them anything but the waiter said he could make a small pasta for them with tomato sauce.  So I went ahead and ordered that and a small appetizer for me.

When the waiter arrived I asked for his opinion and went ahead with ordering what he suggested.  While we waited on the food, Mina decided she wanted to take some pictures of the flowers on the table.  She made a point to move my drink and everything out of the way to setup the shot perfectly.

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The eggplant dip appetizer arrived shortly and Benji wanted some of the bread that came with it.  Mina wanted to know what it was, so I gave her a bit to try.  She actually seemed to enjoy it.

While we waited on the meal Mina was busy balancing her spoon on her nose.

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Benji had to follow suit with his own trick, making me wear his hat.

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Not to be outdone, Mina had her stuffed giraffe do the trick too.

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My food was not all that far behind.  Shortly after it arrived the restaurant was officially closed and they turned off the overhead lights for whatever reason.  Benji proceeded to scream, “Dark!” the rest of the meal.  Luckily we were the only ones around.

It was getting quite late and the kids weren’t all that interested in eating anymore since they were clearly full from earlier.  So I quickly grabbed the check and got them home for bed.  I think this was the fastest meal to date of Child’s Plate.  Here’s a shot of Benji because it wouldn’t be the same without one:

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The food

So I came in expecting sub par food but was pleasantly surprised.  What I was was above average as was the children’s pasta.

DSC01073We started with Eggplant Dip.  This was Mina’s vegetable for the evening.  She said it tasted like dumplings.  Not so sure about that but it was quite good.  It was very rustic and chunky and since it was eggplant, slimy.  Fine by me, but I think Grace would not have been pleased with the texture.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It came with some flatbread with toasted sesame seeds that was quite good as well.

DSC01077I got the kids a small order of penne pasta with the tomato garlic sauce.  I took a small bite and thought it was pretty good.  The sauce had a unique sweet flavor to it with some spices I could not quite place that are not typical of Italian tomato sauce.  It gave it an exotic flavor that was quite good.  The kids seemed to enjoy it even though they had already gorged themselves that grandparent’s house.  Benji was a huge fan of the mango juice I got him.

DSC01076I ordered the Tuscan Beef and Chicken at the waiter’s recommendation.  It came in a large hot iron skillet with all sorts of vegetables and a small bit of cheese melted over the grilled tomatoes.  The meat was excellent as were the vegetables. Both were well cooked.  The meats were flavorful and tender and the vegetables were nicely grilled but not grilled to mush.  There was a small bit of lemon herb oil that it had be sautéed with still in the skillet, giving it a nice citrus kick.  It was a very healthy portion.  Much more than I was really in the mood to eat this evening.

The service

Seeing as how we were the last and only table, it was fine.  He made sure to get us more bread and drinks and he checked back often.  No complaints here.

The kids

Not really kid friendly, more kid accommodating.  No kids menu or activities but they did offer to make a smaller portion of pasta that wasn’t on the menu for the kids.  The atmosphere is fine as this restaurant isn’t very trafficked and the its in the middle of East Plano residences.  I’m sure you will be comfortable here with the kids if they can make do with the menu and lack of activities.

Total Cost: ~$25

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