Meet the Family

Ogre: The “man” of the house.  Or so he thinks.

Ogre (whose real name is Josh in case you are interested or his parents are reading this) grew up in Plano and spent many nights out at restaurants with his family.  I think that his family enjoyed certain restaurants that they would frequent over and over again.  We tend to not go to those restaurants anymore.  Ogre and I are started dating in high school and our dates, of course, often meant going out to eat.  I guess that’s when the love affair with each other and fine dining began. 

Ogre works out of the home, but tends to stay busy even into the evening hours.  While he actually enjoys cooking and is very good at it, we often times just don’t have the time or forethought to eat at home. 

Just so you can get to know him a little better personally, in addition to cooking, he is a movie fanatic and definitely enjoys playing a video game when time and his wife permit.  As you might have guessed by now, he works in the information technology world.  Anybody need a good software engineer?  He’s available for independent contracting!

Grace: Wife, Mommy, Doctor, and…Blogger?

I actually grew up eating at home.  It was only once in blue moon that we would venture out to eat and even then I can recall going to either Ryan’s Steakhouse, some non-descript Chinese restaurant, or we’d be going to some other Filipino’s house for a larger sampling of what we normally ate at home.  Not that I’m complaining.  I look back on those times quite fondly.  And I still love “going out to eat” at my mom’s house!

Ogre really started me on this whole “let’s eat out” thing.  I don’t think my palate is quite as good as Ogre’s, but I feel like I know what is “palatable.”  I know that I won’t be able to wax as eloquently and absurdly as many food critics out there (sorry, food critic people), but you’ll probably agree with a lot of what I write!

When I’m not galavanting as a blogger (which, by the way, I’ve never done before) or am being a wife and mother, you can find me at some area hospital taking care of hospitalized children. 

Mina: 4 years old.  Princess.  Supergirl.  Non-vegetable eater. 

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Mina’s first dining experience came at 3 days of age at a little Mexican restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.  La Terraza.  Try it out if you’re ever in Nashville, we have lots of good memories there!

Mina is a very well-behaved child-diner.  I think it is because when we lived in Nashville during my residency we were too poor to hire baby-sitters and too naive to not bring her out with us.  We were very lucky because usually going out to eat with friends meant going out to eat with other young pediatricians.  I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, so at that time, the girls were all still fiending for a baby to hold.  Mina went out to eat a lot during her first 2 years of life and we are pretty consistent and persistent with our expectations of appropriate restaurant behavior, but she is four years old and a four year can only be expected to behave so well for so long…

Benjamin: 1 year old.  Wildcard.  Still developing his restaurant personality…

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Benjamin’s first restaurant experience came even younger than Mina’s!  He was two days old and we went to Sushi Awaji in Plano (THE BEST SUSHI IN DFW!).  I had to have it after missing it for so long when pregnant with the little guy! 

We’re still trying to get Benjamin to eat non-pureed and soft foods, so we’ll see how this goes.  He usually behaves pretty well when eating out, but obviously his age makes things difficult.  Right now, we do what we can and he does what he wants -to a degree.  It’ll be interesting for us (and you) to see how things develop in the next year as we try to teach him how to act appropriately in restaurants and evolve his eating habits.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Click here for my tips for eating out with children.

 

Dusty: “…But Who is Dusty?”

Dusty is Ogre’s best friend.  I always laugh when I hear the story of how they met.  Dusty moved to the house right across the alley from Ogre’s house.  When Dusty was 5 years old, he knocked on their door.  Ogre’s dad answered and Dusty said, “Hello.  My name is Dustin Tanner.  Can I play with your kids?”  A quarter century later, they are still buds.

50 Responses to “Meet the Family”

  1. Casey
    August 17th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Love It!!! I need your time management secrets!!

  2. Kellie
    September 17th, 2008 at 8:00 am

    I love this blog. I recently stumbled upon the link from the DMN’s Eats blog. I think I’ve figured out all the players…but who is Dusty? Friend or relative. Just curious. Thanks. P.S. Have you tried Dream Cafe yet? It’s healthy and the Addison location has a little outdoor play area.

  3. grace
    September 17th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    LOL!! Dusty is my husband’s best friend. I guess he’s been a regular diner with us so much that it is time to add a profile for him!

    We have eaten at Dream Cafe and we love it (I think it’s the epitome of the perfect kid-friendly restaruant), we are trying to save it for a special occasion or brunch with friends, but don’t worry we’ll be visiting at some point!!

  4. Holly
    June 10th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Hi Grace,
    I just found this blog today and LOVE it. I actually came across your other blog a few months ago and commented on the Great Wolf Lodge post. I couldn’t find an email address anywhere to ask you a question. Please email me because I have a little proposal if you are interested.
    Thanks!
    Holly
    PS–We had a HORRIBLE experience at the Dream Cafe with a collective 6 kids a few months ago. SO weird!

  5. Jasmine
    June 26th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Love the blog- I have an 18month old and I was wondering if you typically bring your own booster seat for your son and if you do, what do you use?

  6. grace
    June 26th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    thanks! we do… it’s a clip on chair that is very portable and comes with a tray.

    here is a link:
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7964360

    we like it a lot, you just have to make sure that the table will hold the weight and that the table is thick enough.

  7. Cheryl
    July 7th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I came across your blog last night after searching for any reviews on Plano Chinese BBQ. Thanks for all the detailed information on the dishes you tried. From your information above, I am assuming you are Filipino. I am actually from the Phils (chinese though so I really cannot say I am Filipino since most Filipinos would say I am not a “real Filipino). Anyway, I did not see any reviews on Filipino restaurants but not surprising since what we have here is not even half as good.

  8. grace
    July 7th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    yup, i’m filipino…you are probably more “filipino” than me even if you are chinese!

    there are NO filipino restaurants in the DFW area. Palayok closed about 3 years ago. There is a store in Mesquite that sells Filipino food/products. You can go in and take food to go and they also cater. We have used them in the past for parties and I do like their food. i cannot for the life of me remember the name of the store right this second, but will ask my parents.

    i am lucky that my parents live just down the road from me, so I head to their house when i need a filipino food fix (which is pretty often!!)

  9. Cheryl Sy
    July 7th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    In case you need to order food for a party, Palayok (I can’t remember the name of the owner….Ray, I think) still does catering…well, more like pick-up but I bought Lechon from him a few months ago and it is the best in Dallas but not even close to Manila. Just went this January and ate Lechon paksiw almost every day. Anyway, glad I stumbled into your blog. I usually look up Guidelive for best restaurant but the new format is not user-friendly and they re-vamp all the old postings.

    Hubby and I with the 2 kids going to New York so let me know of some good haunts over there if you have any idea.

  10. grace
    July 8th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    thanks for the tip! we got lechon (with head and all) for my son’s 1st birthday, but i don’t where we got it because when i say “we,” i really mean “my parents.” we were watching “no reservations” on the travel channell and bourdain said that the best “fried pig” is from the philippines hands down!!

    as for new york, i can’t remember the places we went to…it’s been awhile and we didn’t have kids at the time, but there is a great italian place called ballato’s (it’s a fave of lenny kravitz). i think it’s on the pricier side, but the food is EXCELLENT!

  11. Cheryl
    July 13th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I have been wanting to recommend my favorite restaurant to you but have been hesitant since I naturally felt that if you have a bad experience then I would feel bad too for recommending it….but here goes – Simon Sushi – this is my family’s regular place. Small japanese restaurant and a favorite of a lot of Plano locals. Location on 75 and Plano Parkway. Try the BTS (..if you don’t know what it stands for… just ask them). Salmon sashimi and salmon skin roll is good as well. Just tell them Cheryl sent you – the couple with the baby and the 5 year old with the DVD player – the owner’s wife would know us. Enjoy.

  12. grace
    July 16th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    i have passed there a million times and haven’t ever tried that place. we will try it though and soon. we love sushi and are running out of places to go!! thanks for the tip!

  13. grace
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    cheryl-my husband reminded me there is one restaurant in dfw that serves filipino food: d’kusina

    2122 E. Beltline Road
    Richardson, TX 75081

    we weren’t overly impressed with it, and as i mentioned previously, i tend to just go to my mom’s when i’m wanting filipino food, but it seems to get good reviews when i just searched it to get the address for you. i should probably eat here for the blog…will put that on our list!

  14. Cheryl
    July 22nd, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for going to the trouble of finding the info on this place. I have tried it before and the lumpia shanghai and pansit were good…good enough. Portions are small though – especially for their prices but not bad. I would say – stay with mama’s cooking.

    Just got back from NY and tried going to all the restaurants everyone recommended including yours but too many good restaurants and too little time. Kids drove us crazy. Very expensive city but it was an amazing experience. Tons of Filipinos – wish I found a filipino restaurant there though.

  15. grace
    July 31st, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    glad you had a good time in ny. for good filipino food, it’s a trip to houston (aside from mom’s of course!)

  16. Cheryl
    August 31st, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Would you happen to recall where you got that lechon you mentioned you got for your son’s birthday?? My husband’s 40th bday is coming up and he wants Lechon. I usually go to Palayok for their catering but yours sound like more authentic-style. Any help would be appreciated.

  17. grace
    September 5th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    i keep forgetting to ask my parents, but i’m pretty sure they got it from New Manila in Mesquite. I’ll try to remember to ask them on Monday! It was delicious!

  18. Cheryl
    September 29th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    No problem. I ended up ordering from Palayok…AND on the morning of my husband’s birthday (at 8am while we were at Original Pancake House), the owner called me to say that their oven broke down and they can’t do the Lechon. My husband’s expression was SOOO PRICELESS. I immediately called New Manila and thankfully they got Lechon that day and ordered. I had to go to AsiaWorld to get the rest of my order from Palayok and then to Mesquite for the priceless Lechon….which turned out to be REALLY GOOD!…EVEN AS LECHON PASIW. HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, MY WONDERFUL HUSBAND! Anyway, one of my friends said they have a new filipino place in Mesquite called Elijah…not sure if good though – just fyi.

  19. Nick
    July 23rd, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Your website is absolutley awesome. We have 2 kids and we like to take them with use everywhere. We try to go out to eat a few times a week and your reviews are great. I am a doc too. Thanks!

  20. Nick
    July 23rd, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Your website is absolutley awesome. We have 2 kids and we like to take them with us everywhere. We try to go out to eat a few times a week and your reviews are great. I am a doc too. Thanks!

  21. Anonymous
    July 23rd, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    thanks! i truly believe that my kids have excellent restaurant manners because we take them everywhere we go! glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  22. Trish Phipps Rhods
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    What a coincidence … I was searching for something on the Internet and your blog was among the responses … My maiden name is Phipps … I eat at the Grand Lux at the Galleria as often as I can … and I have a granddaughter named Mina who will be 5 in June.

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About Child's Plate

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!

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