The experience

We decided to try and knock out dinner early tonight.  I wanted to eat pie at home for dessert tonight.  So when Grace got home we researched a few places nearby that might be healthy.  We looked around Firewheel and found Houlihan’s.  We decided it was a bit pricey for the evening so we opted on San Francisco Oven that was in Firewheel also.

Sweet Mina

Dr. Mom would have to head back up to the hospital after dinner so we took separate cars.  I had lost my car keys so Grace went to pick up Benji from Lolo’s so I could buy some time to find my keys and meet her there with Mina.  That ended up working out perfect as Grace was right behind us when we parked at the restaurant.

It was freezing and windy outside so I rushed in with Mina who was freaking out.  I forgot Benji’s chair in the process.  Mina picked a table and I grabbed a couple menus from the counter and sat down.  Grace and Benji showed up right behind with Benji in his new jacket.  He looks like Kurt Russell from The Thing.

Benji's new coat

Separated at birth?  Is he The Thing?


We reviewed the menu and since I already knew I wanted salad I quickly settled on the Chopped Chicken & Pecan Salad.  We got the Peanut Butter and Jelly for Mina and the Kid’s Pasta for Benji.  We opted for applesauce over the chips for both of them.  Grace took a minute and a few phone calls to decide on the Zinfandel Chicken & Feta Salad.  She requested no cranraisins, but I forgot to tell them.  Mina whispered a request “Can I have Fanta please, Papa?”  Of course.  I went and ordered and then Benji took the number and I went to fill the drinks.

Sweet Mina and Benji

I got Benji lemonade which was sugar-free.  I didn’t think he’d like it but he said “goo”.  We chatted for a few minutes when the food arrived.  That is when Grace noticed I forgot to leave off the cranraisins.  I got stinkeye and a sigh as she picked them off.  Then she realized the chicken was served cold, so she picked that off.  Then she decided them almonds needed to go.  So she was left with a lettuce and feta.  I told her to order the house salad with feta next time.  It would have been cheaper.

Then, as is usual, she only ate the broth of her soup leaving all the onion, bread, and cheese behind.

Mina was digging into her sandwich and in no time had finished off half.  Definitely much faster than usual. Then she saw Benji stuffing his face with Ziti and asked for some.  No way Benji was going to eat it all so we obliged.  She ate that up too and even refused Mommy’s sugar and butter coated bread that her salad came with.  I guess its OK that we forgot to give her a vegetable tonight.

Yum PB&J

Mina asked Mommy for her crackers and then sweetly asked if she could give them to her brother.  We told her she was the sweetest sister ever.  Then she started with the philosophical questions, “What is ever?”  A few failed explanations later and we just gave up.

Sweet Mina giving Benji crackers

Mina was done eating before Benji this evening and he started messing with her with his nasty hands and had her backed into a corner laughing.  It was quite cute.

Dirty Benji trying to slime Mina

Grace mentioned it was time for her to get going so we packed up the kids and headed out.


The food

The food was above average to average.  The did have a good selection of salads for the healthy meal we were after.

Pecan Chicken SaladMy Chopped Chicken & Pecan Salad was really quite good.  The pecan vingerette it came with was very unique with a surprisingly strong pecan flavor.  Very good.  The chicken had a herb crust that was quite good as well.  I would suggest a non-refrigerated version of the chicken to leave the crust crisp.

Zinfindel Chicken SaladGrace said her salad was good with a sweet dressing which is how she likes it.  I know she did not enjoy the fact the chicken was cold.  I thought it tasted fine.  She also picked off everything else but the feta so I am not so confident in her review.

Onion SoupShe always eats only the broth of her soup so that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.  She thought it was weird that the cheese was in the bottom but she doesn’t eat it anyhow.  She thought the broth tasted fine.

Peanut Butter and JellyKid PastaMina ate a full half of her sandwich and said it was very good.  It came with applesauce.  Mott’s.  She also ate and enjoyed Benji’s ziti.  Benji ate quite a bit of ziti as well and even ate some of Mommy’s unwanted cranraisins.

The service

This is counter service so not much to say here.

The kids

This place is average as far as kid friendly restaurants.  The atmosphere was casual and the food comes out at a good pace.  The have a nice selection of items on the kids’ menu including pizza, pasta, PB&J, grilled cheese or a turkey sandwich.  It comes with chips or applesauce and a drink for $3.99.  The kids could get a little rowdy in here without feeling uncomfortable.

The rest

Anyone out there been to Houlihan’s in Firewheel?  Worth going to soon?  I’m sure we’ll have to go there sooner or later. We’ve got quite a few restaurants to go.

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