365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
If you follow our blog, then you might recall that Mondays are when Mina has her cooking class. We try to have dinner on that side of town. I also try to use our coupons. One of our readers suggested Red, Hot, and Blue and I was excited to find a coupon in this mailer from BestOfDFW. The culmination of all these thoughts and occurences led us to tonight’s choice: Red Hot & Blue. Ogre and Benji would have to meet us there again, which they did a little later than anticipated because of a recovered forgotten camera. First things first, Mina had saved one of the muffins she made in class for her Papa. He thought it was good but was carrying Benji, who loves anything bread-like. He ate the rest of it, smiled and said “goo” (good). That boy is so cute!
We walked in and were sat right away at a requested booth. Mina and I immediately headed to the bathroom, where they have changing stations and, apparently, they are very concerned with cleanliness. There is a switch in the bathroom you can flip if you think the bathroom needs “attention.” They also proclaim that their employees use the little foothold thing at the bottom of the door after they’ve presumably and hopefully washed their hands to get out of the bathroom. Mina thought I was supercool when I showed her and used the foot thing.
Ogre was already pressuring me to decide if I’d be getting the fixed price 3 course meal for $12.99. I scowled and told him I hadn’t had a chance to review things. Ogre ordered the drinks while Mina and I were in the restroom so they arrived just as she and I sat down. They came in pretty gosh darned cool mini pitchers. Mina exclaimed, “Ohhh! It’s just like those things they pour water from!” We were equally impressed. I reviewed the menu and the offer and noted that ribs are not a choice on the fixed price. Nope, won’t be doing that.
We went ahead and ordered the Red Hot & Blue BBQ Nachos as an appetizer and continued to peruse the menu. I do like variety, so I went for the Lonestar Delta Double (you can choose 1 other meat in addition to the St. Louis Ribs). Ogre would be doing the same. We chose our sides. Both of us ordered the potato salad because we heard that we HAD to try it. We’re easy like that. Mina wanted, of course, the ribs. I chose the corn dog for Benji.
While we waited, Mina was busy connecting dots on her activity placemat. Mina and I played Tic Tac Toe where Mina was able to out-strategize and beat me. I don’t know how she does it. And I don’t let her win. In fact, when I did finally win one, I made sure to rub it in her face! Benji was just flinging his about and crying about nothing until Ogre took the placemat away from him. He then decided to squeeze his plastic up of milk. Luckily it didn’t explode, but it was precarious enough to prompt removal of the cup from his reach. He started whining for “uh uh doo” (apple juice), which we were not going to give him. Things were about to reach a critical threshold when Ogre decided to let him try some of the BBQ sauces on the table.
They have 4 different kinds of BBQ sauce (Suffering Sweet, Mojo Mild, Double Trouble, Hoochi Coochie (super hot one). He gave the kids the sweet one and Benji dipped his finger in it, put his finger in his mouth, smiled, raised his eyebrows and said, “Goo.” That calmed him until the Nachos arrived.
Oh those Nachos! All four of us were scarfing them down. I had to stop myself for fear of not having enough room to eat my dinner! Just as we finished the Nachos, our entrees were ready. Ogre took the task of cutting up Benji’s corn dogs (yes, plural because it comes with two). and I cut up Mina’s ribs. Hers came with 3 ribs. They definitely looked overdone and they weren’t very meaty. I did not say anything to her as she is easily biased, but after she took a few bites, she proclaimed that it was too crispy and that she didn’t like it. Ogre and I gave her some of ours and she was happy again.
Both of the kids were dancing to the music overhead and we were able to finish dinner in a very happy, calm setting. Mina is wearing a crown because they celebrated her birthday at school today (I’m telling you, she has the never ending birthday celebration). I had not planned on ordering dinner since we have leftover cupcakes from the ones she and Ogre made for school today, her picture cake from her birthday dinner, and leftover ice cream cake from her party. Ugh!! BUT, we COULD NOT RESIST THE BLACKBERRY COBBLER.
So we ordered the blackberry cobbler and I got extra ice cream for the kids. When it came out, Mina proclaimed that she didn’t want ice cream here, she wanted ice cream at home. Okay, sounds good, I’ll take her ice cream. So, I did, then she said, “Wait, just one bite.” So, I gave it back. She gave it back after one bite and I continued to eat it with the cobbler. After a few bites, I hear Mina say, “Can I have the last 4 bites?” Uhhhh, okay. So, I gave it back again. The cobbler was huge and we didn’t finish it. We did, however, finish all three scoops of ice cream.
We enjoyed the food here quite a bit. I thought the highlight was the appetizer. We ordered the Red Hot and Blue BBQ Nachos for an appetizer and it was excellent. It seems as though they bake it all together. Our nachos were topped with pulled pork (you could have chosed pulled chicken or chili also). The pulled pork was very flavorful and tender. I thought the chips were nice and crisp and held up very well (i.e., they didn’t get soggy). The jalapenos and tomatoes were perfect complements. Ogre ate his with the sauces on the table (as did the kids), but I thought it tasted good without any adulteration!
Ogre and I both ordered the Lonestar Delta Double. I ordered mine with the Sweet Ribs and Brisket with Fried Okra and Potato Salad on the side. My ribs were definitely above average, but they could’ve been a little more tender. They weren’t tough or anything, but I like mine to fall off the bone a little more. I did not enjoy the brisket. Ogre told me that I shouldn’t get brisket from anyone tauting Memphis BBQ and that I should’ve learned that when we lived in Tennessee. He says that Texans are the only ones who know how to do brisket right. Uhhhh, okay. I shouldn’t have ordered the brisket.
My BBQ genius husband ordered the dry rub (which is how they like it Memphis) with pulled pork and the cole slaw and potato salad as his sides. He liked his a lot but made sure to tell me it was not as good as Corky’s (our favorite Nashville BBQ joint). The pulled pork was, again, amazing, we learned that with the appetizer. He did enjoy the fact that there are 4 types of BBQ sauces to choose from on the table.
We were told, by one of our readers, I think, that the potato salad here is outstanding. Well, we have to agree. I think that this is another very personal thing. Maybe everything BBQ is infinitely subjective. Both Ogre and I like our potato salad to have egg in it and this is loaded up. The one improvement we could see in their formula would be to add a little mustard -that would make it perfect (for us anyway!). In addition, Ogre thought the okra was notably good -above average. I did not notice anything spectacular. I love okra, but I think they’re all the same everywhere, I’ve never had bad okra, I’ve never had excellent okra, it’s always just good ol’ fried okra. Ogre did not like his cole slaw, but he’s very picky. It was too “cabbage-y.”
Mina ordered the child’s plate ribs. I thought they were overdone and not very meaty, particularly when compared to what Ogre and I got on our plates. I hope they aren’t jipping the kiddos. Ogre and I just ended up giving her portions of ours. We ordered the mashed potatoes for her and she liked it. For Benji, we ordered the corndogs and fries, which he ate right up -I did not taste these.
The Blackberry Cobbler was very tasty. It had great flavor and the breading was nice and flaky. BUT it could’ve been a few degrees warmer. Ice cream is presumably Blue Bell.
They have a lot of choices on their kids menu including chicken tenders, ribs, mac n cheese, corn dogs, hamburgers, etc. These come with one side, oreo kids and we cannot recall if it comes with a drink.
Our service was good today. He was attentive and did a pretty good job of keeping the table uncluttered, I’m sure it’s hard with all the dishes they put everything on and the huge mess that is made! It’s probably a lot easier to keep drinks filled when you use mini-pitchers! Ogre still need at least 3 refills that I can recall and the waiter kept up with him!
I’d say this is a kid-friendly restaurant. I am very partial to the “activity placemats” where there are things like word finds, games and coloring to keep the kids happy. It works for Mina, not so much for Benji, but he could still scribble…if he wanted to. They also had a nice selection of kids menu items, which I thought was nice. The restaurant is casual, laid back, and they have good tunes playing overhead. There were tons of families eating here tonight so any family would be very comfortable here.
This was surprisingly good BBQ and we’re very happy it was suggested to us. For us, it’s close, it’s good, our kids like it, and we’ll definitely be back for more (in about 10 months or if we go out to eat somewhere new for breakfast or lunch that is!)!
The total: ($44.09 with 25% off)
Yes, it’s a chain started by 3 guys in the Northeast. They have many locations across the US and multiple locations in the DFW area including Southlake, Fort Worth, Las Colinas, North Richland Hills, Plano, and Dallas.
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!