365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Once again, our original plans for dining were thwarted. We wanted to go to Jorg’s in historic downtown Plano, but it is closed on Sunday…Monday…AND Tuesday. We had a back up plan, though, as we recalled there were a couple days a week that they were closed. We’d head to Kelly’s Eastside right around the corner where we have heard they have the best burgers in DFW. We walk up and it’s such a nice evening, we opt to sit outside.
This might have been our first mistake. There was only one server for the whole patio and we sat down just as two more large tables came up right behind us. Our server let us know from the get go that he was overextended (overwhelmed, might have been a more correct term). We also noticed a strange sign on the door that said, “PATIO SEATING: No minors after 4PM.” I’m still not sure what they were referring to as our waiter told us to ignore that. There were families inside the restaurant also and it was around 7 o’clock when we sat down. I never had a chance to ask the waiter about it because he was so busy. We got our drink order off and our server disappeared for awhile. He brought back our drinks and ran off again explaining that he had to set up another table.
After a few snuggles, Benjamin quickly tires of “Memo” and makes me take him. He is already asking for “dow” (down). He is getting antsy and pointing to Ogre’s tea calling it “ju” (juice). We try to explain the ownership of the drinks again, but he’s not buying into it. When I give him his sippy cup with water, he pushes it away. Ogre takes his cup and pretends to pour his tea into it. Benjamin is fooled, but Ogre has to keep doing this. Our waiter shows up again and we order the appetizer we’ve decided on and we also ask for some crayons for Mina. Before we can put in the rest of our order, he rockets off again. We won’t be seeing him for awhile. Benjamin is now pointing at Ogre’s drink again. Ogre gives him the lemon. I am not sure if it’s true or not, but I don’t support this because I’ve heard it can ruin your teeth enamel. Someone correct me if I’m wrong or provide some data to back it up. But, it’s making Benjamin happy, so I bite my tongue.
Ogre notices that we still haven’t gotten the crayons and I tell him to go up to the hostess to request them. He does and returns only with ripped out coloring book pages, one of which is already scribbled on. Where are the crayons? He says that the hostess said she’d bring them. Mina is noticing the slow service and asks, “Why is this taking so long?” We try to reassure her that the hostess will be along shortly with the crayons. She is getting a little cranky also and not wanting to share her stickers with Benjamin. We remind her that Santa is watching her every move and not being kind to Benjamin is not a good idea. She understands, but still says it’s her sticker. We drop the subject.
Finally, our waiter shows up again and asks if we need more time. Are you kidding me? I reply, “No, we definitely don’t need any more time,” and we put in our order. I order the Hawaiian Chicken, Mina wants the Chicken Tenders and Ogre asks our waiter if he should order a burger or get the Buffalo Shrimp Po Boy. Our waiter says “Definitely the Po Boy.” (!) I guess we won’t find out how good their burgers really are tonight. As he rushes off, we remind him about the crayons since the hostess never came by.
The next time we see our waiter he has good news and bad news. Good news is that the Queso is here, bad news is that “all the other kids inside have all the crayons.” No coloring tonight. The presence of the queso busies our children, though. The queso has some kick to it and it’s fun to watch Benji eat it. He’ll take a bite, make a pained face, tell us it’s “ha” and wave his little fingers (his sign for hot), sip some of his water and dive back in for more. He LOVED the queso and, of course, his Papa was beaming with pride. Mina likes it, too, which is surprising because she is normally a spice wuss.
We are almost to the bottom of the bowl when our food arrives much later. We save the queso remnants for Benjamin who still wants to dip-dip in it. I cut up a carrot and some broccoli for Benjamin and inform Mina that she needs to eat a carrot and a piece of broccoli tonight. I also give Benji some of my rice. He nibbles on these things, but what he really wants are Mina’s french fries. And he only wants them off her plate. He will not eat the ones on his plate. He later goes for my carrots and broccoli off MY plate. Forget that he has some already. I’m still pretty impressed that he keeps going back for the broccoli. He then puts all my broccoli on Mina’s plate, who then requests that the broccoli be moved off her plate. Oy.
Benjamin is in a great mood now. He is smiling and dip-dipping and talking non-sense. He is so happy to be eating -see, it doesn’t take much to appease the Phipps kids. Mina is rockin’ through her chicken tenders, as well. As for the carrot and the broccoli -they have yet to be invited to the party in Mina’s tummy. She asks for some ranch to finish off her veggies and I oblige.
Ogre and I have finished our dinners and it’s just Mina we’re waiting on. Ogre asks if I want dessert and I say no because we need to get the kids home to bed. It’s after 8 o’clock already. Benjamin just continues to bop his head around and graze. I tell Mina that she needs to finish her carrot by the time our waiter comes if she wants to have the ice cream that comes with her kids meal. She is able to complete this task and we order dessert and get the check. Now it’s just a waiting game. And waiting. Benjamin wants out of his chair again. We tell him that we’re getting ice cream and does he want ice cream? He nods his head and calms down. Selective understanding.
Finally, the ice creams come and Mina has no issues finishing this up. Mr. Independent is having some difficulty spooning the ice cream and I try to help him. Unfortunately, I scooped out a bit to much and he gets brainfreeze. Whoops. He gets over it though and is ready for more. I see that Mina is done, and I ask Benji if he wants down. He nods his head and I try to move his ice cream away. He’s not having any of that and pulls his ice cream to his chest and holds it close in anticipation of us taking him out of his chair. We tell him no down with ice cream and set the ice cream down. I spoon out more ice cream to him and after two bites he says “no mo” and wants down.
I hope we didn’t miss the best burgers ever. The food we did order (the Hawaiian Chicken and Buffalo Shrimp Po Boy) were not the best ever by any stretch of the imagination. Ogre’s comment to how was his was “Not bad.” Specifically, he said that he didn’t like the fact that he bread is cut through and through; it made for a very messy sandwich. He also thought the coleslaw that it lay atop could’ve been more tangy. The flavor of the buffalo shrimp was good though. My response to my chicken was ”It’s good.” Good enough to blog about, but not anything to write home about. It was a small chicken breast (which is okay with me) and you could definitely taste the pineapple terriyaki, but I’ve certainly had better. It lay atop a rice pilaf, that was actually quite tasty, but a little on the wet side. Our Queso with Brisket was loved by all, the cheese was nice and creamy with a perfect amount of bite. Mina finished up her chicken tenders without any complaints so I’m sure those were fine also. So, for the food we had, good food, but not necessarily excellent, or even great food.
Their kids menu items were $5.95 and came with fries, soda, and an ice cream. Not bad for what you get. The kids have their choice of a cheeseburger, chicken tenders, pork ribs, grilled cheese, brisket, and bean and cheese nachos. That’s pretty extensive for a kids’ menu.
Our server was stretched way too thin. I think another server ended up taking one of his tables as everyone was feeling the pain of bad service and others were getting vocal about it. I’m hope it’s not this bad all the time, but there could’ve been more of a concerted effort from the restaurant to keep everyone happy. The wait was much, much too long for our food and refills.
It also would’ve been nice if the hostess had followed up with us about the crayons. I don’t enjoy reassuring my daughter that something is going to happen only to hear that it never will.
I don’t think they put too much effort outside of the kids menu choices. I don’t know what was up with the sign on the door. Ogre thinks it is so that they don’t have teens loiter on the patio, which I can see and understand. I’m also not sure what was up with the used coloring book pages. Better to not let this be an expectation, than to give out used pages without crayons. That’s like dangling a carrot that you’re never going to give the poor rabbit.
The total: $39.21
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!