365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
I kept Mina out of school today since she wasn’t quite 24 hours over her GI bug. The kids spent the day at Lolo and Lala’s. I did not think Mina needed to go out again tonight for dinner even though she’d been fine all day today, so we picked up Benji and headed to dinner sans Mina. My original plans were to go to Japon, but since Mina did not go to cooking class either, we decided we hold off on that one for another week when we were on that side of town. Seems like everytime we plan in advance, something goes awry. We decided that our visits to Greek/Mediterranean restaurants were slim, so we went to Kostas Cafe, which serves Greek food here in Plano.
Benji almost fell asleep right as we were pulling up, but he wasn’t in a deep enough sleep to be too cranky and woke up on his own when the car stopped. I was worried about his temperment in the restaurant, especially since on the way there, Ogre and I discussed that the last time we were here, Ogre ended up taking Benji and sitting in the car with him while Mina and I finished dinner because he was screaming and crying. Yikes.
We were sat towards the back and when we got there, there was only one other table. I thought it was a little chilly and went back out to the truck to get my jacket. I think the owner noticed, because he turned up the thermostat. Our waiter was a young guy, probably in his teens and he took our drink orders. The last time we were here, we had some of their Babaganoush, and boy, was it tasty!! We ordered this again tonight. It came out in no time at all, but enough time for us to have discussed our options for dinner. I usually order the gyro platter, but one of the specials was a reasonably priced Lamb Shank ($13.95). I decided that one of us should get the gyro platter at the Greek restaurant; Ogre intimated that he would get the gyro, but I knew that it is not his favorite. When the waiter came to get our order, I forced Ogre to order first. He decided to go with the “what’s your favorite entree?” Our waiter recommended the Veal Lemonata. Ogre agreed and I, of course, then ordered the Gyro Platter. I couldn’t remember if Benji liked the food here and planned to share my dinner with him, but just in case, I ordered a side of fries for him.
I piled some of the eggplant dip on Benji’s plate and gave him some pita bread. He enjoyed it quite a bit and ended up just feeding himself the babganoush and requesting more. Next came the salads. Benji kept pointing to our plates as if he wanted some. I think he thought the olives were grapes, we told him they weren’t and when he got a good look at it, he didn’t try it. He DID try my salad and didn’t like it, my tomato and didn’t like it either. I’m going to blame it on the tangy Greek dressing, tasty for us and yucky for him.
After we finished our salads, the main course came out. I always think they put too much meat on the pita and took off about half and set it aside (much to Ogre’s delight). This made my gyro much more manageable. Ogre took a bite of his and immediately was impressed. He let me have a bite and I, too, was impressed. He definitely won the who ordered the better dinner category. I cut up potatoes, green beans, and gyro meat for Benjamin. He liked all of them, especially the potatoes! Of course, he loved the french fries, too.
During dinner, Benjamin was in a wickedly good mood. He was smiling, making faces, yelling “Wowowee!” and he and his Papa were movin’ and shakin’ to the Greek music playing overhead. I wonder if he was in the I’m so tired, I’ve gone crazy mode.
Ogre and I always wonder about restaurants we like that never seem full. How are they going to stay open? We discussed this and this place seems to be one of those restaurants. I wondered if they have a catering business or something because it is usually pretty empty. Tonight, though, it seemed to fill pretty nicely. Ogre was extra amused when a young lady who had dark hair and olive skin walked in and Benji pointed and yelled, “MAH-MUH! MAH-MUH!” Benjamin was in quite the mood tonight. So was Ogre.
Our dining experience was wonderful, overall, tonight. I’m sad that Mina didn’t join us, but it might have been a totally different story had she been here!
They have really good Greek food here! And a nice, vast menu with many different choices that venture from just the regular old gyros (there are platters with chicken, lamb, beef, or veal, dolmas, or spinach/feta pie). I am a pretty picky person. For example, the only hummus I like is at Izmir’s. I do not like the hummus here, but Ogre says it’s fine. I do not like babganoush -EXCEPT HERE! It is very smooth and velvety and seems to be in perfect balance with the lemon and olive oil. Their pita bread is excellent! It is served hot and it’s slightly buttered for a nice crisp and flavorful pita.
My gyro platter is great. For $10.95, you will get A LOT of food. Like I mentioned above, there is a ton of gyro meat on it. You could probably get an extra pita and make two. The gyro is a good texture and flavor with no weird chunks in it (yes, I’ve had that happen other places). It comes with the salad and 2 sides: potatoes and green beans (on the menu it just says vegetables, but these are the only kind we’ve ever had here). The potatoes are absolutely amazing! I don’t know what they do to them. They are very soft, but not mushy. They seemed to have been cooked in some type of olive oil, lemon, and herbs -whatever that herb is and in whatever proportion is soooo good, I wish I had the recipe. It seems like something easy to do! The green beans are also good, but I suspect that the green beans are canned and cooked with some seasonings.
Ogre’s Veal Lemonata was out of this world. Again, they had some kind of olive oil, lemon, herb sauce that worked perfectly. He ordered with mushrooms (no extra charge). The veal was perfectly tender. It was served with a side of rice and green beans. He kept repeating over and over how good the veal was until I gave him a little stinkeye for rubbing in the fact that his dinner was better than mine. In his defense, he did offer me the last bite.
We did not try any items off the kids menu, but they have a nice selection of both Greek dishes (Soulvaki, Mousaka, Gyro) and an American tried and true (chicken nuggets) -your choice 6 bucks and all served with french fries.
We enjoyed our service today. Our waiter was attentive, checked back with us to make sure the quality was good, and particularly to ask if Ogre enjoyed the veal. He was honest and informative when helping Ogre decide what to order and all in all a good sport. I say that because for whatever reason, when he came over to clear off some of the dishes, Benjamin really scowled at him and babbled on about something or another. Sometimes Benji gets territorial over our dishes.
No offer of anything to entertain the kids here -unless you count the music playing overhead, which kept our little Benjamin occupied. It would not have kept Mina occupied for more than 15 seconds. I like their kids menu options, which give both Greek and American choices. I bet you could substitute the fries for one of the veggies.
The total: $43.03
Our NEW Sony camera is ALREADY BROKEN!!! The flash would not go off and this was a very dark restaurant. I am going to bring it by Wolf Camera and hopefully they can diagnose and fix it without too much trouble. It’s really going to suck if it’s broken. Sorry about the lack of photos.
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!