365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Tonight we decided to eat at Jorg’s Cafe Vienna because they were having an Oktoberfest celebration with live music and free giveaways. After last night’s fleecing, something free might be nice. We wanted to get there early because Jorg’s is pretty intimate and we didn’t want to wait around. When we arrived, there was a gentleman playing the accordion and singing “The Chicken Dance.”
Mina and Benjamin both were very entertained by the accordion guy, and so were Ogre and I. We ordered our drinks and after a few minutes one of the other waitresses (actually, after looking at their website, I’ve realized she was one of the owners) came by with our drinks and offered to get the kids’ order. We went ahead and ordered our appetizer, the Liptauer Käse Teller (pretzels with paprika cream cheese), but decided not to put in the kids’ order quite yet. I think sometimes that can work for you, but other times it can work against you. The kids were content and they brought out some bread, so I didn’t think there was a need to push for food. My ever-prepared Mina brought her markers and coloring book; good thing, too, since there were no crayons for them. The placemats were made of paper and could be used in a pinch to draw on. Our waitress brought out the pretzels and we dug right in. I don’t actually like pretzels…except here! We put in our dinner orders and continued enjoying the music, enjoying the pretzels, and dancing.
The accordion guy plays a song near and dear to Mina’s heart, “In Heaven There Is No Beer.” While he is taking a break, she sings it again…and again.
Mina sings In Heaven There is No Beer…
Just as we’re finishing up the pretzels, Mina’s Jorg’s Kinder Wurst Teller (knackwurst) arrives, already pre-cut (sort of). We portion off some for Benjamin and Ogre cuts up the sausage a little more. (Hot dogs are a major choking hazard even if sliced cross-wise; we cut them both lengthwise and cross-wise and I still look over each piece to make sure it looks small enough.) Pretty soon after, Ogre and my Weinerschnitzels arrive. Ogre ordered his with Oma’s Paprika Sauce. He expected to have it poured on top of his, but they gave him a monkey bowl of it on the side. I notice that our red cabbage (my fave) did not accompany the entrees. The waitress pops by to see if everything came out okay and I mention that to her and she comes right back with some. Ogre gives some red cabbage to Mina as her vegetable. She is not very thrilled. She later asks is she can have the “white cabbage” (sauerkraut). I tell her that if we order that for her, she will need to eat all of it because we are spending extra money and ordering extra food for that request. She immediately says, “I’ll just take the red!” Ogre whispers to me that he would’ve liked some sauerkraut, too. I tell him he should just order some then and give a little to Mina. He, too, thinks better of it after he remembers that he is not too fond of it here.
Once the sauerkraut issue is put to rest we go back to enjoying the dinner that we actually did order. As we are eating, the accordion guy comes up to say hello to the kids. He tells us he is going to play the Barney song and asks for Mina’s name. She obligingly tells him. When he starts the music again, he asks the two kids in the audience to raise their hand when he says their name. Mina raises hers and sings along to the Barney “I love you” song -she knows the words better than he does!
The Barney Song (and note Benjamin dumping out his entire drink on to the floor)
I look over at Mina’s plate. Seems that she’s having so much fun singing and dancing she forgot that we were at dinner. Benjamin is practically done with his dinner and Ogre finished his five minutes ago. We have to have “the talk” again with her about finishing up her dinner. She tells she has been eating and shoves some spätzel in her mouth to make a point. Benjamin shoves his plate to his papa indicating that he is done and Ogre stacks it on to his empty plate. I continue finishing up my own dinner. The waitress comes by to inquire about dessert. She brings over a menu for us to look at. I tell Mina that we are ordering one dessert tonight that we will all share and that she can join in when she finishes her dinner, if she finishes her dinner. If there is not dessert left, there is no dessert left. She says she understands.
Our waitress comes back and gets our order, The Divine Chocolate Lava Cake. She starts to take away the plates, and, like he has done the past few nights, Benjamin realizes that maybe he wasn’t quite done and scowls and cries at the waitress. The waitress is concerned and tells me that “he wants something.” I tell her to go ahead and take it away, that he’s done and he’s just like that. She doesn’t seem convinced but takes the dishes anyway. Benjamin was pretty adamant and Ogre ends up spooning some of Mina’s dinner on to one of the appetizer plates to give Benji. He is not appeased. He is fussing now and asking for “dow dow.”
I get up to go to the bathroom, where I can tell you there is no changing station. I can hear Benji crying all the way at the back of the restaurant IN the bathroom. I head back to the table to find Benji not crying and half of the dessert gone. Ogre tells me I better hurry because Benji is loving this dessert. Mina is still finishing up her dinner. I have some of the lava cake. I don’t like dark chocolate, so I just kind of graze at it. Ogre tells Mina to finish up before dessert is all gone and that she should be thankful that he is not eating it because if he were, it would be all gone. Mina looks at him and dryly replies,
“Thank you for not stuffing your mouth, Papa.”
Mina finishes up her dinner just as they start calling out raffle ticket numbers for the free giveaway. (They dropped off raffle tickets sometime during dinner.) Number after number and ours are not called. Ogre is now having to encourage Mina to eat some dessert. She has “the look” on her face. I tell Ogre that Mina is upset because we have not won. She does eventually eat some, but says she doesn’t like it. I honestly didn’t think she would because it’s dark chocolate -she and I like MILK chocolate. They continue to call out numbers, still no winners. We get the check, another large table leaves, drops off all THEIR tickets for us, they continue to call out number after number after number. NADA.
We leave empty handed. It’s okay, though, they were giving out Beer Steins and Pilsners. Mina said she would’ve given hers to Papa…if she’d won. On the way home, she wishes on a star and wishes she could win all the time. We explain to her that winning isn’t as special if it’s everytime and also that if she won everytime then no one else would get to win. She rescinds her wish and wishes to be Princess Aurora instead.
Another disagreement of the Phipps parental unit. I think this place has better German (or Austrian) food. Ogre thinks it’s better at Bavarian Grill. I believe that Ogre’s parents also like the food better at Bavarian Grill. I bet there are members of each camp out there! Ogre and I both agree that the schnitzel is better here and since that’s what I order at both places, that’s one reason I like this place more. Also, I like the red cabbage better here. Ogre says it’s comparable at both, but the red cabbage here is not sickly sweet, has a bold vinegar flavor and I LOVE the texture of the cabbage, it’s very velvety. Ogre says that the sausage is better at Bavarian Grill (but both restaurants are trumped by Kuby’s in the sausage department). It’s really the only reason why he gets the schnitzel here.
The menu at Bavarian Grill has a lot more breadth than here. BUT they don’t have these tasty pretzels at Bavarian Grill! They are warm, soft, perfectly salty pretzels with a yummy Neufchatel cheese that has paprika and herbs mixed in it. Try them and you’ll be addicted.
The schnitzel here is very tender and I like the breading because it has just the right amount of crispness. It’s not “crusty” at all. They serve their entrees with a cold, fresh, Austrian potato salad that has onions and a nice dill flavor -that plus the flavor of the red cabbage and veal are a nice complement. Ogre also mentioned to me that “their mistake was my gain” when referring to the side of Oma’s Paprika Sauce. He said that it was better to dip it then to have it poured over because the breading didn’t get all soggy.
The Divine Chocolate Lava Cake is not totally “molten” in the middle, but it was still pretty moist and gooey. It consisted of dark chocolate, which I think most of the world will totally enjoy and the raspberry sauce was good, but there just didn’t seem to be enough.
The waitresses were all dolled up in “barmaid” outfits…except ours -probably to Ogre’s disappointment. It did not detract from her service, though, our service was great -in fact, all of the waitstaff seemed to be helping one another so that we had overall attentive service. The food service was brisk, but we did not feel rushed.
In many intangible ways, this place is kid friendly -or the waitstaff and management have kids. They asked us if we wanted to get the kids orders started first off and brought theirs out as soon as it was ready. They do not hand out crayons for the kids and the kids menu is somewhat sparse -but I do think the menu is appropriate for a German/Austrian restaurant. They let us substitute the spätzel for the fries without any additional charge.
If you come on a Friday night, the accordion guy is typically playing. He adds a lot of fun to dinner and made it a point to say hello to Mina and Benjamin. I think that it tends to get packed on the weekends, so you might want to come early!
Total: $84.81 (includes 41 oz of very good German beer)
Just and FYI, on their website, they boast that they have won “Cleanest restaurant in Plano, 4 years straight!” I’m impressed.
Why do they celebrate Oktoberfest in September???
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!