The experience

We’ve already gone to over 150 restaurants and until today we have never gone out with our friends who have children!  Hard for me to believe!  My friend and OB/Gyn extraordinaire, Kamilia Smith, texted me at 7am to make a dinner date.  Absolutely!  We spent the day making plans and finally decided on Manny’s Uptown for dinner -earlier, rather than late to beat the crowds.  Of course, Team Phipps was late.  Team Smith had to endure waiting 15 minutes for us to arrive, but we were seated as soon as we completed the party.

We all settled in and the Smiths implemented their strategy of sitting on either side of their little boy, who is 2 1/2.  Mina pulled out her coloring book and markers and after a little bit of a wait, we put in our drink order.  We should have put the queso in at that time, also, but we didn’t.  Our drinks came out and unlike, the four neglectful parents, the waitress did not forget to bring something for the kids.  She brought waters for all of them.  She came and went before we could put in the queso order.

Happy Mina

Luckily, we were in very good company and the kids were thus far behaving themselves.  She eventually came by and we ordered the queso, which came out after just a short time.  The kids made short work of the queso.  Mina continued on with her coloring, our friends’ little one played with some toys that he brought, and Benji concentrated on his queso.

Playing with the Cat

 

We put in our dinner order.  I actually wanted to get Enchiladas Verdes, but Mina was insistent on shrimp quesadillas -I have no idea how this thought even came into her head, but Ogre was having some deep, way too long conversation about it, so I just changed my order to the Shrimp Quesadillas for she and I to split.  I knew that she wouldn’t like this, so I don’t why Ogre encouraged it.  He later told us it was to encourage her to be an adventuresome eater. 

We continued on with our queso until the food came out.  We really didn’t have to wait too long for the food to come out.  Our friends’ son was actually finished with dinner as he ate, I promise you, 4 or 5 tortillas with the queso before our entrees even came out!  He’d moved on to entertaining himself with play-doh.  Well, actually, he entertained us all with his play-doh.  Ryan looked down to see the fajita taco he was making for himself had some…garnish.

Play-doh fajitas

At some time during dinner, Benji managed to poke a small hole into his Styrofoam cup forcing Ogre to hold his cup the rest of dinner.  The parents discussed the “joys” of raising little boys.  They were able to empathize with us on the cup issues.  Later, during dinner, they were able to experience it also as he also broke his Styrofoam cup causing water to pour all over his lap!  He told us it was cold, but did not fuss about it very much at all.

Sick Benji

Turns out, I was right about Mina not liking the quesadillas and she got a stern talking to and encouragement to finish her quesadillas by Papa.  I was not close enough to be involved with this conversation, but it must of gone pretty well since she did finish her requisite amount. 

We ordered dessert and Mina was able to enjoy some flan by finishing off her little bit.  We decided it was time to end a great evening with friends.

As we walked through the huge crowd that had developed since we arrived, we all thanked goodness that we got in and out when we did!

 

The food

It’s Tex-Mex and it’s in Uptown.  Makes for a pretty good combination for a restaurant. 

The queso was actually really good, it was nice and creamy with chunks of avocado and beef.  The kids and the adults all enjoyed it very much!

Shrimp QuesadillasI ordered the Shrimp Quesadillas.  I thought these were above average also.  I woud have never ordered this on my own, but since I was somewhat forced to, I can say that I wasn’t disappointed.  The shrimp are actually a good size (not like popcorn shrimp) and they were buttery with a hint of lemon flavor.  I liked it a lot and so did Ogre when he tried them.  Mina did NOT like them, but she was able to muddle through them!

Mole EnchiladasOgre ordered the Chicken Enchiladas with Mole Sauce.  He thought they were very similar to Mi Cocina but a bit better here.  The mole was a bit spicier was the likely reason.

 

Sunset FajitasRyan ordered the Sunset Fajitas, which are made with some kind of spicy “Sunset” sauce.  He said they were really good.  The onions were not fried and the chicken was good. 

 

Sour Cream Chicken EnchiladaKamilia ordered two chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce, one was made with fajita chicken and the other with shredded chicken.  The shredded chicken, was definitely shredded off the bone by as she got a large piece of chicken bone as a “bonus.”  Otherwise, she said it tasted great! 

For dessert, we ordered flan and they ordered sopapillas.  The sopapillsas were served hot, which is a bonus (well, as long as no one burns themselves!).  Our flan was, in my flan-tasting experience, was slightly below average.  A little slimy and not that flavorful. 

The service

Our waitress was pretty good.  She was very thoughtful, particularly when it came to the kids.  The biggest issue was just the lag time waiting to put in our order.  I think as it started to get packed, she started to get stretched  a little thin.  The tempo of the food coming out was fine, it was putting the order that delayed things.

 

The kids

I don’t know that I would classify this restaurant as “kid friendly,” especially after about 6:30 on a Saturday night!  The restaurant is small and that is what makes it cute and have a cool vibe, but if you were waiting for a table (and I think they develop quite the wait) with your little ones, it’s going to be tough to stay sane!  They definitely have a kids menu that’s pretty good.  No kids activities for the kids (we brought our own).  At 6 o’clock (which is when we ate dinner), it was fine for dining with kids, any later and I’m skeptical.

I think the owner of this restaurant is part of the family who owns restaurants such as Mi Cocina and Mia’s.  I think Mi Cocina’s is a little better and I haven’t tried Mia’s.  Don’t get me wrong, the food was pretty good and I like the atomosphere.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with this restaurant, but there are so many other Tex-Mex spots that are out there with great Mexican food and a little bit more kid friendliness, that unless we’re meeting friends or we are not with the kids, we’re probably going to skip this one.

The total:  117.90 (4 adults, 5 margaritas)

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