The experience

DSC_0040Grandpoo and Oma invited us to the Mesquite Rodeo tonight complete with dinner before at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse…in the arena!  Grandpoo likes to get to places EARLY, which means that for the 6:30 dinner, we had to leave at 5:15, not too bad of an idea considering we would be driving at rush hour.  We arrive aroun 6:15 or so and waited with some other excited rodeo-goers until the doors opened. 

It looks like the Sonny Bryan’s set up is a permanent fixture at the Resistol Arena.  They have set up buffet style (but not all you can eat unless you pay an extra three bucks).   They charged us for a plate for Benji!  That never sits too well with me.  It was a little cumbersome trying to navigate the buffet line with two plate in hand and a Benji.  Mina could hold her own plate, but Grandpoo had to help me get food for Mina.


Mina claimed a table for us and set her teddy bear down to “reserve” the table.  I settled in the kids and then went over to get condiments and drinks while the rest of the Phipps manned the table with the kid.  Grandpoo also helped round out drinks.

I spent some time cutting up Benji’s sausage only to find out that he didn’t like the sausage.  All he wante to eat was the roll with butter.  He picked up a butter packet and a knife, or as he calls it, a “danger-oos” and told me, “I need dis.”  He needed it to try to spread MORE butter on to his roll.  I told him he didn’t need it and took it away.  I was able to negotiate one more bite of sausage in exchange for added butter, but after that he did not want anything to do with the sausage or anything else on his plate.

Mina was happy to eat the brisket, and we really didn’t have to prompt her to eat tonight.

Meanwhile, all I could think is that Benji better be enjoying his $8 half of a roll!  Ogre and Oma did not realize that it was not all you can eat.  No fear, I had a big pile of sausage to share from my plate for Ogre (as did Grandpoo) -apparently, we were the only ones smart enough to read the fine print on the Sonny Bryan’s pricing.

I was able to recoup some of the money lost on Benji’s plate since I’m actually eating for two.  I ended up polishing off most of Benji’s brisket and the rest of his potato salad.

Grandpoo took the kid to get cobbler and I should have known that when the kids were done with theirs after just a few bites that it was not that great.  I think I ended up eating Benji and/or Ogre’s left over cobbler and tried to argue that it must be apple cobbler as I really could not taste any peach.  I was corrected though and finally did find a few bits of peaches in my cobbler, but it was still not awesome.

Once we all got our fill, we decided to head on to the rodeo to watch some craziness.  I can still hear Ogre laughing as they started the Bull Riding saying, “Jesus…why would anyone do this??!”

The food


This was buffet style, so we each got a little bit of everything.  They had sliced beef brisket and sausage.  The jury was hung on the meats.  Some (like Ogre) liked the sausage, but did not like the brisket. Others (like Grandpoo) did not care for the sausage at all.  The sausage had a little bit of peppery spice to it turning off the kids.  I thought it was okay, but not great.  The brisket was also average, not being too terribly tender, but not being too tough to eat.  It was not particularly fatty, which is a downer for the Phipps clan.  The BBQ sauce has a mildly vinegary flavor to it and a little bit of subtle heat and sweetness.  I liked it okay.



The potato salad was pretty good.  It is mustard based and seemed to even have a relish flavor component.  Not bad.  The beans were just “eh,” but I like my baked beans a little sweeter than what they served here.

The cobbler was big disappointment.  It’s supposed to be Peach Cobbler, but I could not even find very much peach in mine to the point that I asked if it was really Peach Cobbler!  Ogre blames it on Texas peaches (we had peaches in Tennesse that tasted like they were candied!).  I think it WOULD have been a good cobbler if the peaches were better.

The service

Buffet service.  Get your own and clean up after yourself!

The kids

No kids menu, per se.  No kids activities.  Very pricey for kids’ meal in my opinion ($7.99!)

Hard to discuss based on the arena restaurant,  I liked the BBQ sauce pretty well and the meat was average, I guess I’d eat here again, but probably not at my suggestion.

The total: $67

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