The experience

Mina was starting Young Chef’s Academy today and I had to pick her up at 5 so it would be an early dinner. I would be out at Preston and Spring Creek, so I figured I’d find something there.  I didn’t bother to look before I left.  The kids and I would be winging it.  Dr. Mom was working once again.  Benji fell asleep on the ride over but, luckily he woke up happy right as I picked up Mina.  We drove around the shopping center to see what was available.  The sign for ribs caught Mina’s attention.  The rib monster had spoken so we would be eating at Red’s Patio Grill.  It was right across from the Young Chef’s Academy so this would be convenient.

Red's Patio Grill

The red doorWe made our way into the restaurant thru the door that was, not surprisingly, red.  Mina pulled a flower on the way.  We asked for a table outside and were greeted with a very nice patio with nice wooden tables.  Far superior to the unstable metal patio furniture you get at most outdoor locations.  Benji’s awesome clip-on chair would work well here.  The host supplied the coloring supplies and even had the foresight to weigh down the papers from the breeze.  First thing Benji noticed was the large geese.  He couldn’t get enough of them.  Fair warning from the host was that they would come and eat from you hand which wasn’t a good idea for little fingers.  So while highly entertaining for Benji and the other toddler seated nearby, their typical toddler food mess acted as a magnet for the birds.  Not a big deal.  A simple shoo sent them away whenever they ventured near.  Well worth it for the high entertainment value. Both of them are impressed with the ambiance of this patio.  It overhangs a nice pond, which Benji referred to as a bath.  Mina danced to the music and looked around at the ducks in the pond.

Pond/Bath

The waiter arrived shortly after and I ordered the beverages and some Calamari.  Drinks and the appetizer arrived quickly and I ordered the food.  In case you couldn’t guess, Mina wanted ribs.  The kids menu did not have ribs so I figured I’d get her the Half Slab and let Benji try some.  This is one meal Mina is actually a good eater at, so I was betting she’d eat it.  Mina asks that I replace the Asian slaw with broccoli, her “favorite” vegetable. I asked the waiter for some suggestions and ended up ordering Red’s Montana Burger.  I got it medium, making up for my mistake at Scotty P’s.

My attention turned to the calamari and I noticed it came with some fried jalapenos, too.  Yum for me.  Now for the first taste.  Delay that order.  Time for the usual Mina bathroom break.  So, we all pack up.  Before we go, I notice the sauce for the calamari is green so I ask for ketchup on the way to the restroom.

Calamari

Everything is set when we return and we dig into the calamari.  Mina, who is a calamari connoisseur, says it is nearly as good as her favorite, Compari’s.  We discuss how she loves that place because she can draw on the table.  We also discuss the calamari and she tells me she used to not like the legs but now she likes the legs and head.  Benji likes the legs, too.  Our food arrives just as Mina scoops off the last pieces for her reserve plate.

Half Rack of Ribs

Mina ate all of these ribs!

The table next to us is impressed with Mina’s order. It’s quite large. My burger looks perfectly cooked.  I cut up some ribs for Mina and serve up some to Benji.  Most of dinner, Benji is too enthralled with the geese to eat.  Mina asks all sorts of questions about the geese, wondering for a time if they scratch.  Didn’t know how to answer that one.  Mina goes thru all but one rib and says she is finished.  Solid work on the ribs but no broccoli yet eaten.  I tell her she has to eat some broccoli and she asks for the last rib to help with the task.  So, in the end, my little carnivore princess polished off a half slab of ribs and 4 pieces of broccoli, fuzzy part only.  Benji, on the other hand, was only grazing.  As dinner wraps up they bring some nicely sized warm towels with lemon.  This is great to clean up the kids with.  I finish up the cleanup and let them loose in our little corner of the patio.  The rail is child safe so as long as you keep an eye on the geese you’ll be fine.  Benji insisted on carrying around his last french fry so the goose was following him for a good while.  I was, of course, right behind the goose just in case.  Must have been quite funny.  The other tables were giggling.

Goose

On queue, the waiter returns and I order dessert.  He recommends one of their cream pies.  He likes the chocolate the best but I opt for the Coconut Cream Pie after hearing it won an award.  Benji loses interest in the goose when the pie arrives.  Mina wanted the brownie so she decides she won’t be eating dessert.  I make her take one bite anyhow.  Benji eats down the filling and spits out the coconut flakes.  A few bites later and its time to pay up and go.  And its still light outside!

Coconut Cream Pie

Benji took a few bites before I remembered the picture

The food

The menu has an array of American fare.  The ribs were fork tender and the sauce was tangy with a very slight kick (too much for Mina to dip extra of but not so much that she didn’t the whole half slab that was slathered in it).  My burger was cooked perfectly to order and was very juicy with outstanding blue cheese and gruyere.  The whole grain mustard was fabulous and the bun was very fresh.  The hand cut french fries was well above average.  The calamari was tender, not chewy, with a great creamy dipping sauce that I couldn’t quite place.  It came with fried jalapenos, which you can get by themselves.  These were very tasty, as well.  The cream pie was quite tasty as well.  Thick and creamy with lots of coconut flavor.  They have 8 different burgers, ribs, meatloaf, and their signature Red’s Rotisserie Chicken on the menu, as well. They also offer a vast array of margaritas, none of which I tried on this visit.  They also do brunch on the weekend.

Red's Montana Burger

The kids

They offer hot dogs, burgers, chicken, and quesadillas on the kids menu, so most kids should do fine. The ambiance was perfectly kid friendly and they have coloring supplies.  The waitstaff is attentive to the kids needs; and the pond, ducks and geese provide yet more entertainment.  The patio allows you to comfortably eat with your children without fear of making too much noise and the atmosphere is relaxed enough that your child can roam a bit as well.  They don’t utilize the ubiquitous rickety metal patio furniture, either, and they have changing tables, as well.  The pace of the food service was also quick but not rushed so the kids weren’t bored for any stretch.

The service

The service was outstanding.  Drinks were full, the waiter was attentive to the kids and made some great suggestions, as well.  Food arrived at the appropriate time and everyone of the staff was courteous and helpful.  No negatives at all on service this evening.

The rest

The glass celingOn the way out I noticed the entrance has a glass tile ceiling.  The sign nearby says it from the old Dr. Pepper plant (c. 1946) that was once on Mockingbird right across from Campisi’s.  Now it’s a Kroger.  They kept part of the old sign though.  It’s still on the corner.  Also, our waiter’s name this evening?  Dustin. Great job!

Total Price: $39.51

That’s cheaper than the take away sandwich meal we attempted yesterday at Eatzi’s! And Mina ordered an adult entree vs a side of Mac and Cheese.  We had dessert, too. And no mosquitos!

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