365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
We were actually off to dinner early today so we thought we’d head down to Ogre’s old stomping grounds. As a bachelor he lived about a block off Greenville Avenue near the M streets. I suggested either Simply Fondue or Terilli’s. We went back and forth about this all the way down there. I did not mention that Benjamin was NOT in a good mood this afternoon. He awoke from his nap and forced me to put his SpongeBob shoes on him and I had to wear my SpongeBob pajama bottoms and carry him around. I don’t think he rested long enough. In the car, he continued to cry and be frustrated at everything around him. Ahhh, the joys of child-rearing. We decide that Simply Fondue might not be the best option with his current mood.
So we hit Terilli’s. It’s wide open. We ask Mina if we should sit in or out and she chooses in. Ogre tells me that if I ever actually want to sit outside, I shouldn’t ask Mina. It’s still pretty hot outside in the evening and the motorcycles are ridiculously loud, so I’m okay eating inside. They have booths, which are perfect when you have kids. Not another child in sight. We are there early and the hostess surprises us by asking us if we need a high chair and if we need one or two sets of crayons. They have crayons?! She brings those by as we get the children settled. Mina wants to sit by her brother. Even more surprising than the crayons is the gentleman who brings the kids BALLOONS! What?! Where are we??
We open up our menus and I am excited to order the Italchos. An absolute must! On the kids menu is either the Cheese Pizza or the Spaghetti with Meatballs. Mina chooses Spaghetti with Meatballs and continues on with coloring her masterpiece. I eye the Pork Medallions with Blackberry Sauce. All this time, Benjamin is having a fit. He is in an absolutely foul mood. He keeps pointing to my soda and knocking his water down. I think he is hungry and recall that I have some baby food in his diaper bag. I pull that out and, of course, he insists on feeding himself. Ugh. More disaster. He is getting it all over himself and not enough into his mouth and getting frustrated about it. I try to help him and he gets upset that I’m taking the spoon. Our waitress notices the mess we are creating and offers up some extra napkins. I have Ogre get the second tub of baby food ready while I use a fork to feed him the rest of the first. This works okay. But then he runs out. We are wondering where the bread is and just before Benjamin can reach ear piercing scream threshold, our waitress returns with some bread. And some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The only way I like it.
We order our entrees. Ogre asks our charming waitress what her favorite is and they discuss various entrees and Ogre decides on the Veal Parmesan, which is a little unusual from his typical Italian fare. He tells the waitress that he and I will share the salad. Ogre gets a glass of wine and I decide I’d like a martini, a Flirtini to be exact. The waitress pops her eyes and she tells me how good it is. Perfect!
Benjamin is pleased to have some bread and even more pleased when the Spaghetti with Meatballs arrive. He is also requesting some Italchos, which arrived with their entree. Ogre can’t plate it fast enough for the Benjimonster. I tell him just to give him something and as Benjamin starts to eat, he starts to dance. Thank goodness! He eats the goat cheese of the Italchos and, again, dances with approval. Ogre and I tell Mina she can have an Italcho for her vegetable. She tries to cover hers with spaghetti, but we tell her that is not allowed because she is making a huge mess. Our salad arrives on two plates, nice touch! We both like the salad a lot. Ogre tries to make Mina eat an olive. Even I don’t like olives and neither does Mina. She makes an awful face and gulps down some water. Mina is really getting into the spaghetti and eats a very good amount of it. Meanwhile, Benji is continually asking for “mo mo.” Mina announces she is full and would like to continue to coloring. I tell her that she will need to wait patiently while Papa and I finish dinner and she agrees.
My and Ogre’s entrees arrives and immediately Benji takes note and points to Ogre’s Veal Parmesan. “Sah, sah,” he says. That means, “I want some.” He always gets edgy when Ogre doesn’t move fast enough. I start to cut up my medallions also so that he’ll have something on his plate before he goes ballistic. He LOVES Ogre’s dish and keeps asking for “sah” and “mo.” Ogre gives him more bread and shows him how to dip the bread in the olive oil/vinegar as a way to quell his veal demands. Benjamin thinks this is very tasty; for the first time he says “dip-dip.” Ogre and I find this to be extremely cute as this was Mina’s term for dipping sauce for quite some time.
We finish up our entrees and order dessert. I ask Ogre to hose Benji down in the bathroom. When they get back, Ogre takes the kids to see the live musicians who have recently shown up. The kids think this is awesome! Mina asks to go to the bathroom for the second time tonight. (No changing stations, but there is a table that you might be able to change your kid on). When we get back, desserts are waiting. On the kids menu, there is a sundae that costs $2.50. Mina has the mother of all sundaes on her plate. Benjamin is dancing with his gelato and Mina is devouring her gelato sundae and strawberries. I am totally digging on the fried cheesecake dessert Ogre and I are sharing. Ogre tries some of the gelato on Mina’s dessert and finds that there are also scoops of coffee gelato. We tell her to avoid that part and we eat it ourselves. Bad for her, good for us.
I take Mina to the bathroom to clean up her hands and when I get back I take Benjamin out of the restaurant to get him away from the gelato and to keep him busy. We walk up and down the sidewalk and Ogre and Mina come out about 5 minutes later. We have to wait another 15 minutes before we get our car back. While we are waiting on the car, I noticed that Benjamin grabbed his diaper and said “Uh-oh.” This typically means he has pooped in his diaper. However, I get distracted by the police car and its bright lights (got some poor lady for her tags). We pile the kids in the car and Benji starts grabbing his diaper again and saying “Ohhhhhhhhh” over and over again. Ogre and I feel sorry for him and Ogre wants to change his diaper, so like a guy would, he just pulls over in one of the neighborhoods and changes him on the sidewalk. Men! ….Hmmm, I think the dirty diaper is still in my trunk. OGRE!!!!!!!!!!
The Italchos are awesome (awesomely priced, too -ours ended up being 19 bucks!), but for once in a blue moon treat, well worth it, in my opinion. They make a terrific red sauce here. The kids loved the spaghetti and Ogre really enjoyed the Veal Parmesan. He said that the veal was very tender and that it was a nice surprising touch for them to add a slice of zucchini. I had higher expectations for my Pork Medallions. It was a little overdone, some medallions were better than others. I love squash, so the fact that those were served on the side was great. The desserts were phenomenal. I don’t know if they make their gelato or if they buy it off-site, but man, it was so smooth!. Our fried cheesecake was great, reminiscent of a “cheesecake eggroll” dessert that Ogre and I make (ours is better).
The kids menu is a little sparse: cheese pizza and spaghetti with meatballs. I know there are a couple of moms out there who are not fans of the spaghetti sauce. As you can see from Benjamin, we can see your point!! We decide after we review the bill at home that they must have mistakenly made the regular sundae dessert for Mina. I told Ogre to look at this before he paid, but he forgot. Oh well, we enjoyed the coffee gelato ourselves.
Excellent. Love that waitress! She was cute, charming, informative, proactive. Great service!
Terilli’s certainly tried to do their part to make this a good experience for our family. Unfortunately, Benjamin did not want to do his part. I think that they are certainly child-accomodating and are obvioulsy friendly and welcoming to children. Our waitress identified potential needs (bringing drinks fast, extra napkins), so that was also a plus. I think that the dining experience here just lasts way too long. We were at the restaurant for over two hours. I did not ding them for that in the service section because I think that is expected at this restaurant. So like this post, way too long!
This might be a good place to take the 5 year and up kids, but I’d be wary about toddlers. Especially cranky, sleep deprived toddlers named Benjamin.
Total price: $118.67 ($34 alcohol, $19 appetizer, $15 desserts (should’ve been cheaper!))
I think that Ogre wanted to give this place 4 stars, but I couldn’t do it based on my dinner entree and the length of time spent at dinner. It’s not the fault of the restaurant, but it doesn’t make the dining experience parent-friendly! Another night of disagreement within the Phipps camp.
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!