365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
I have been looking for a Caribbean restaurant since we moved here from Nashville, but have not been to a single one since we moved here. Ogre remembered that there was one called Taste of the Islands in Plano so we thought this would be a great adventure for us. Read the rest of this entry »
After an exhausting afternoon taking an advantage of Texas Tax Free Holiday, we were off to dinner. We decided on an old friend, May Dragon. Dubbed the only Four Star Chinese Restaurant in Dallas.
They seated us promptly. We are always concerned that one day this wonderful secret will be unearthed and we’ll have to actually wait for a table, but thus far, we’ve always been able to get right in. They asked us if we’d like a table or a booth. When you’ve got kids, booths are the way to go. Especially when you forget your son’s clip on chair. Doh! They suggest a booster and we agree, this will be Benjamin’s first experience in a booster chair. Mina never used a booster chair, it was always a disaster when we tried to use them. She’d try to get out, fall over, cry. If we didn’t have the clip on chair we’d just suffer with her on our laps or in a booth.
Benjamin was quite impressed with the booster chair and seemed very content. We order the pork pan-fried dumplings and drinks right off. They dropped off “crunchies” with a side of sweet and sour sauce and a side of hot mustard. I don’t know what the real name of those little “crunchies” is. They are deep fried strips of dough that aren’t salty or sweet, just addictive. Mina loves them. I thought Benji would, too. So I gave him some with a spoon to play with. He immediately threw it aside angrily. He gave me a stern look and said “Mo!” while pointing toward the sauces. Well, I can tell you he was not going to get his hands on that sticky sweet and sour sauce. Forget it. “MO!” I hear again with more crunchies getting tossed towards me. Okay, Benji, you win…sort of. I took the hot mustard and dipped his spoon in it. “What? No, no, no.” I hear his Papa say. Sure, he’s sitting across the table and not having to deal with a precariously sitting, angry 15 month old. He can have empathy. I have to have solutions. So, I let him try the mustard, and as antipicated, his little mouth turns upside down and he cries for his water. He sucks some water down and that ends the desire for any sauces. He realizes the fun of the crunchies and is quite happy to munch on those. Problem solved.
Solo night 3. I think we’re nearing 50% sans wife. Just when I think we can’t get any later a start than yesterday. No Dusty this time so, its just the three of us. Considering the time, I decide on two places very close to home. Pho Que Huong or Napoli’s. I let Mina decide. She sways towards the tasty pork dish at Pho, but quickly decides on pizza.
It’s right on the way home from the babysitter’s house (Grace’s parent’s). What could be easier. It’s located in a strip mall walking distance from where I grew up. We enter the nondescript location and I let Mina pick a table (its seat yourself). She opts for the one where she can watch TV. Figures. The waitress quickly arrives to get our drink orders. Only sugar water and sugar free water were available for the kids. I let Mina get the pink lemonade this evening. I throw on an order of their tasty garlic rolls and a side of marinara for dipping. Dips; a must have for both kids. I also order a child size ziti and meatballs for Benji. Mina has already opted for pizza this evening; with sausage and pineapple. I throw jalapenos on my side and throw off the pineapple.
Another solo night and we get off to a late start. Mina asks for Chili’s, yet again. Dusty also joins in for a second round. It’s only on the ride over that Dusty finally realizes exactly what we are doing with our eating out challenge. He suggested I break the rules since Grace wasn’t home. Don’t think she’d appreciate that.
The original plan was Shady Oak BBQ or Chaat Cafe (stay tuned, we’ll be going there soon). Since Dusty was along and his food choices revolve mainly around double cheeseburgers, Chaat was out. Shady Oak is outstanding BBQ but pulling up I realize it has shuttered its doors! Now what? What am I going to tell Grace? Best ribs in Plano since Tony Roma’s vanished.
Dusty suggests Abuelo’s, which is right next door. We briefly consider it but then opt to go elsewhere. So a quick u-turn and we end up at Posado’s. I’d been before and wasn’t all that impressed but it was getting late and I’m sure we’d end up here sooner or later.
I had to smile a lot at lunch earlier today. For some reason, this can give me quite the headache later in the day. Unfortunately for me, or perhaps, the husband and kids, the headache started right as we pulled away to drive to dinner. We decided to let Mina decide where we should go for dinner. We gave her three choices: Indian food, German food, or Taste of Galilee (we’ve never been there). Initially she chose Indian food, but after being reminded that she would have to eat vegetables and that the vegetables would probably have curry on them, she changed to German food, so off we were to Bavarian Grill!
We sat down right by where the accordion guy plays and Mina said “Oh goodie, right up front!” To which I replied, I don’t think he’s here tonight (since it’s a random Tuesday night). The kids got a kids menu that they could color, which I was happy to see. Unfortunately, my kids were not interested in coloring tonight and the papers were left practically untouched. We had only been sitting for 5 minutes when Benjamin started saying “Dow, dow” for down. No, Benji, eat first, no dow. The waiter brought us our drinks and sat Benji’s right on his tray and I promptly moved it away. “Too close?” the waiter asked. “Only if you want it on the floor.” I sarcastically replied. That is called foreshadowing.
I’m a very excited to share with you one of our favorite restaruants in Plano. It’ll be awhile before we return because of this whole blogging thing so I savored every moment…
There is one thing that Mina does not let us forget when we go to Sushi Awaji. Her bento box. This toy is one of the best presents she (we) has ever received! We bring it every time we have sushi. So before we left the house, we all made sure and double sure that we had her wooden sushi.
On a weekday night, it’s not too busy. On the weekends there is sometimes a little bit of a wait, but we have never had an outrageous wait there. We like to sit in the back where we can spread ourselves out and feel a little less conspicuous. Joining us again tonight was Dusty, Ogre’s best friend. Normally, a sticking-only-to-burgers-kind-of-guy, we have converted him to love sushi!
We pretty much know what we want and only sometimes do we stray from our normal order of 3 Mamasan rolls (mine and Dusty specify “mild”, Ogre requests ”extra extra spicy with jalapenos”), a few tunas, a few halibuts, and a few yellowtails. I usually get a tuna roll and shrimp sushi and Dusty likes the albacore tuna. Today, instead of the tuna roll, I had to order a tuna handroll. You see, I was doing research for my Halloween costume. I am going as a sushi handroll!
Benjamin did not wake up until 11 am this morning! So much for a true breakfast. Mina’s favorite “going out” meal is breakfast. Brunch is the non-early-riser’s breakfast or for the family that can’t decide on going out for lunch or breakfast, in my unwanted opinion. On our way to “brunch,” Ogre mentioned that he thought it is because she does not have to eat vegetables at breakfast. He’s probably right, plus the fact that it’s often all about carbs, sweets, and grease. We decided to have brunch at place called Benedict’s in Addison. One of our friends had mentioned that it was a good place to have breakfast.
They told us it would be about a 5 minute wait and they were right on the money. We hooked in Benjamin’s seat and noted that the table was a little bit unsteady. I made Ogres sit across from Benji just in case Benjamin might decide to tip the table somehow.
The menu was a little overwhelming with all the choices for breakfast. We did not even look at lunch items. Ogre tried to joke with Mina about having a PB&J sandwich; of course, this almost turned into a fiasco as Mina decided that, indeed, that would be what she would have. After some coaxing and redirection, she decided that, instead, she would have chocolate chip pancakes with eggs and bacon.
How does your child end up in the buff in his car seat after lunch?? It’s another Phipps family fiasco!
But first, let’s get down to business…
Celebrity Cafe and Bakery in Plano sits in a strip mall, but once inside there is a quaint space dressed like a tea room. You pick your own table and order at the counter. We went at lunch and there was plenty of seating. We were initially distracted by the case filled with cookies, brownies, and petit fours, but quickly focused our attention on the menu. The lady behind the counter pointed us in the direction of the kids menu, which is not on the menu board above your head, and Ogre and I chose our respective lunches.
For Mina, she picked a PB&J sandwich. For Benji, I chose one chicken and one pimento cheese finger sandwich. Ogre and I often ask our waitstaff about their favorite choices on the menu; after all, they should be experts. The lady behind the counter suggested a Hawaiian Ham and Pineapple sandwich, which Ogre decided on and I went with the Tea Sandwich Trio that had a nice variety of foods to sample from.
Day two and I was already going solo to dinner with the kids. The wife was working overnight so it fell to me to keep the “dream” alive. So my first thoughts were, “Since we won’t be going back for a year, where can I go that won’t irritate the wife?”
That made the choice a bit difficult. Joining me on this adventure would be my friend and our perpetual roommate Dusty. So we headed off without a direction. Mina wanted Chili’s for the ribs promising she’d eat corn. Not a big fan and it wouldn’t be a review worth reading so I had to refuse. Mina came to tears. I had to promise a visit soon.
This gave me an idea: Dickey’s BBQ (the original Plano one on 15th Street).
A Dallas staple since 1941, its bottom on the list for my wife as far as BBQ goes. And they have ribs. Two birds with one stone. Seeing how Grace already knows she doesn’t like it, going without her is also the only chance for a objective review.
I know the place well. I grew to despise the place after a few too many months of going 3-4 times a week with my family as a child. But that is all the past, I’ll be judging it honestly. Besides, I haven’t been there in a year or more.
“He didn’t take a nap today.” This is never the statement you want to hear before taking your kids out to dinner to an untried restaurant. We hopped in the car not knowing where we’d eat dinner and as we discussed our options, little Benji fell asleep. We settled on Brooklyn’s, a restaurant we had noted on our way to Gloria’s (one of our favorites!) at Firewheel Mall once before.
The minute we walked in the door I was a little wary. First, I had Benjamin draped across my shoulder sleeping and there was a huge menu hanging before us with too-small-for-me-to-read print. I attempted to leave the dinner decision making to Ogre; however, I was barraged by questions about which salad and which pizza and which pasta… I was unaware that at some point Ogre went to have a table bussed so I could lay Benjamin down somewhere to sleep while we waited for our order. I saw the cleaned table, but was not comfortable sitting down after noting a sign that directed us to allow those who order before us to sit down first. So I stood there with Benji for fifteen minutes while the Phipps clan chose dinner. I’m pretty sure Ogre rolled his eyes at me.
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!