365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
Ogre took Mina to see a movie after school and I was downtown working when it was time to meet up for dinner. Ogre called just as I was finishing up so we decided to meet in Dallas for dinner. He apparently read somewhere that some of the best tacos in Dallas were at a place called Urban Taco. When he called me, though, he told me it was the place that we ate at with Kurt and Sole at Mockingbird Station. That place was actually Margarita Ranch. I found a parking spot and told him when I parked that I did not see a Urban Taco, but I’d see how long the wait was at Margarita Ranch. Well, it just so happens that I was parked right in front of Urban Taco! Doh! I called him hack and told him to meet me there.
I was seated right away and good thing to as it seemed like the rush developed soon after I was seated. I ordered my drink and some chips and salsa (you get to pick 3 salsas). It seemed like it was taking forever for Ogre to get there. He called and told me it was because he was circling the building looking for parking. He had me meet him outside to get the kids because he thought he’d need to park pretty far. I grabbed the kids and headed back in. I did not get them in fast enough, though, for Mina not to notice the Cold Stone Creamery next door.
Benji was excited to see the chips (as always) and dipped into the avocado-lime crema sauce. He shook and shivered at the liminess but liked it. That kept him busy until Papa finally showed up. Right about then he started getting antsy and wanting to get down from the table, and, overall, not behave. I had Ogre go out to my car to get his chair.
He was still not happy about being in the chair, but he settled down. He complained about the sauce being too far away and so we obligingly put that in arm’s reach for him. I’m not sure if it was accidental or on purpose, but he dipped into the roja sauce and immediately turned red and started crying. I gave him some water, he calmed down and proceeded to eat the rest of the roja sauce off his chip without problems.
Mina decided she did not want to sit on our side any longer. She had been doing her part to annoy Benjamin when he was freaking out by pushing him with her feet and I told her that if she continued to misbehave and shove her brother on she would not be getting ice cream after dinner. I think she decided it would be best if she just separated herself from Benji’s madness.
We ordered dinner and nothing to spectacular occurred as we waited. Ogre did ask me if I knew that my tacos al pastor came with pineapple. That didn’t seem to be a problem to me. I shrugged and left my order. Ogre also decided after seeing our table neighbors’ guac to order some for himself. It did not take too long once we ordered for our dinners to come out.
Dinner came out and I made a plate for Benji. He LOVED the black beans. I LOVED the rice (you know I’m like a rice connaisseur!). I ate my tacos and then got to the last one…the al pastor. I didn’t like it. Ogre said “he knew” I wouldn’t like it. I wrinkled my nose at him. It wasn’t because of the pineapple. He said, no, it’s because they stew the meat or something crazy like that. Whatever, he could’ve told me that earlier. He ended up eating that one for me.
The couple next to us told us that we had “some cute kids.” For a minute I thought that they must have come in after Benji was freaking out and crying, but no, the gentleman said, “All he needed was his chair and some food.” Pretty accurate assessment, actually. The woman that was with him started playing with Benji and, unfortunately for her, Benji became enthralled with her and wanted to play with her all night. I tried to give her some time and space, but it was all in vain. Luckily, they were good sports about it. She kept pretending she was sleeping on the pillow, which made Benji erupt into laughter. He decided he needed to do that, too.
After many “naps” and Mina finishing up her dinner, we settled the tab and we did head next door for some “I-shream” (ice cream).
I guess this is like pretentious street tacos. Well, they call themselves a “modern Mexican taqueria.” The menu has two main sections: the tacos and the tortas. You can choose a la carte or a plate with 3 tacos and 2 sides.
I chose a chicken al carbon taco, an ahi tuna taco, and the dreaded taco al pastor with tomato rice and black beans. The chicken taco was very tasty as was the ahi tuna taco. The corn tortilla held up to the sauces and the folding, but wasn’t chewy. I did not enjoy the taco al pastor. It just didn’t have a good pork flavor and I didn’t like the rub they used on the meat. The rice was very, very good, as were the black beans. Overall, I must admit, these are some pretty good tacos.
Ogre ordered the Chicken Tinga taco, the Barbacoa and the Chicken Mole taco. The tinga was quite good but Ogre said it was actually better at Aparicio’s in Plano. The barbacoa was probably the best item with a nice pot roast like flavor. It was simmer in a Dos Equis based sauce. The mole was somewhat disappointing with not enough chili flavor. The mango jicama slaw was a great addition and the rice was very good.
Mina ordered the Chicken Quesadillas and these were also very good.
Para los ninos, you could order Chicken or Steak Quesadillas or a Kids Chicken Taco.
I’d say the service was average. I did have to request refills for my drink, but they were overall pretty attentive and the food came out at a good tempo.
This restaurant is kid friendly once you’re in the restaurant. Parking is a nightmare, so be prepared for that! I told Ogre he should just valet (that’s what I would’ve done). There are no kids activities and they only have 2 kids menu items, but that should suffice. There were actually a few tables with kids in the restaurants and this restaurant is just shy of being so pretentious that I’d feel uncomfortable with the kids.
This is still pretty pricey for “street tacos” and I’d still rather just go to a hole in the wall to get my street tacos, but the restaurant has a fun ambiance, and the food is very good, so if you don’t mind paying a little more for the atmosphere, I’d say, yes, bring the kids and enjoy some tacos!
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!