365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
It’s another crazy day for the Phipps family. We had Mina’s birthday party this afternoon. When it came time for dinner, Dusty wanted to join us and recommended Mexican food. We listed some off that we could eat at, but decided that we would do Gloria’s even though it is really El Salvadorian food. Mina had a costume party and we were still in full regalia when we discussed dinner and it deteriorated into daring one another to go to dinner dressed up. Mina was actually totally up for it and it became a if you’ll do it, I’ll do it amongst Ogre and me. Poor Benji had to go with the flow. So, to the Bat Cave we went. Dusty joked that he should’ve put on a coat and tie. Of course, I didn’t get it; Ogre explained that’s what Albert, I mean Alfred (I just corrected after asking Ogre), wears and Dusty was driving. Ohhh. I’m obviously not a Justice League fan.
We arrived and Dusty double checked the wait time. 15 minutes. I changed Benji’s diaper and by the time I finished I heard that the table was ready. Quick 15 minutes.
As we walked from the car to the restaurant, we were bombarded by tweeners asking Ogre for his autograph and oohing and ahhing. I think they all thought Benji was really cute. I’m still not really sure who Batgirl ever was, and have rationaled that non one else knows of her either so I was not as popular with the crowd.
Ogre sent Dusty back to the car to get Benji’s forgotten chair. While he was gone, Benjamin enjoyed saying “baa-maa” and pointing to Ogre’s chest. When the waiter came to get our drink order, he very emphatically kept repeating “BAA MAA!!” to the waiter who didn’t realize Benji was talking to him at all. Not that anyone would.
At Gloria’s they serve salsa and a black bean dip that is very, very good. In fact, I believe Benji would say it was excellent. We ordered plantains and queso after our drinks, but Ogre and Mina needed a minute to review the menu. Benjamin started chowing down on the black bean dip. He was ridiculous with those beans!
When the plantains came out, Benji immediately yelled “Nanas!” and pointed to them. We cut some up for him and gave one to Mina also. When the queso came out, the waiter tried to give it and the empty bowl I requested to me, but I encouraged him to give it to Dusty (as he ordered it and I didn’t want Benji to see the queso -he makes a huge mess). I think the waiter thought we were freaks, not because of our costumes, but because I was telling him to give the queso to the random guy who was obviously not the parent. Whatever. And whatever to me, too. I was worried about Benji making a mess and he looked like this:
When it was all said and done, he ate two bowls of black beans all by his lonesome. He kept smiling and saying “goo.” Not so “goo” for the diaper changer tomorrow. WHEW!!
We didn’t not wait long at all for our dinners. Ogre exclaimed (like he does every time we come here) that they make the best quesadillas here. I have never had the soup here before, when I told Dusty that I ordered Chicken Soup, Benji’s head spun around and he started whining “su, su.” I cut up pieces of avocado and fed him the soup. He said “goo.” (good). I ordered a tostado with queso on the side and got a tostado with melted (I think) Jack cheese on top. I told the waiter I wanted queso and pointed at Dusty’s queso on my tostado and he took it back to correct it.
Mina ate her one scoop of guacamole begrudgingly and then told me she was full. She had not yet touched her chicken fingers or fries. I remembered that she did just eat with her friends at birthday party and let her off the hook after eating one chicken strip.
The rest of us ate our dinner while Mina continued to work on her activity placemat. We discussed Dusty’s dating life -he is still single- and finished up dinner. When I was finished, Mina came and sit with me in my lap while she finished her artwork. Then Benji said “Uh-oh” and had his concerned, I just pooped look. Yup, Robin laid an egg. He doesn’t like to sit on his bottom anymore after something like this happens.
I made Ogre clean off Benji while Mina went to the restroom and we settled our bill. Then we got outta there to save the planet.
I think the food here is above average to excellent. I will say that I normally get the Arrachera Adobado, which is skirt steak smothered in a tomato sauce and it is always very, very good.
But, I digress. The plantains here are excellent. It may be seem weird to serve this with sour cream, but give it a try, it’s actually very good. Filipinos eat their plantains plain, with sugar or with cream cheese, so it’s consistent across oceans to dip it dairy product!
I also ate a late afternoon snack and wasn’t too hungry, so I went with something nice and light -the Chicken Soup for dinner. It was very good! I am going to remember this soup for the next time I’m feeling under the weather. It’s probably placebo, but soup is all I want when I’m sick. Thetostadowas not the best I’ve ever had. I think a big part of what makes a tostado good is how dense the tostado is -it can’t be too thick or get too mushy; it must have just the right crispness.
Ogre has always thought the quesadillas here (and he got the beef fajita quesadillas) are the best in town. Tonight was no exception.
I don’t know what Dusty thought of his fish tacos, but I do know that he orders these everytime we come here and he would’ve told us if they weren’t as good as usual.
Mina has never ordered the chicken tendershere before. She had Chick-Fil-A at her party and I know they aren’t as good as those. I’d say they were probably average, but I didn’t try them myself.
They have a pretty decent kids menu (which they amusingly enough to us call Child’s Plate) with your choice of one enchilada, chicken fingers, grilled chicken breast or grilled flank steak, bean and cheese nachos, bean and cheese quesadillas (this is what Mina normally gets) or a side of french fries. These are good sized portions for $3.99!
Our service was above average today. He kept our margaritas coming, the plates cleared and he even noticed when Benji finished off his first bowl of beans and quickly offered to bring Benji another and spoke directly to Benji. It was very cute. He laughed at the mess Benji was making (as opposed to gritting his teeth!). One of the managers came over to make sure everything was okay. I assume she was asking us about our dinner and not our mental state for going out dressed as we were.
Yup, it’s kid friendly. Nice selection of kids choices, kids activity placemats, and a casual feel to the restaurant with just the right amount of loudness. Bean dip that kids can eat (I think a lot of kids can’t eat salsa because of the spiciness).
You’ve got a sure bet for above average to excellent El Salvadorian food with the kids and minimal kid appeal or kid-friendliness worries. I will say though that I believe that the various locations may impact how kid friendly the service and other restaurants patrons might be. We ate at the one at Firewheel Garland so it was very family friendly. I think it is still kid-friendly at the one in Addison and the one down on Greenville, but definitely less “aw, your kids are cute even when they make big messes” when we’re at those locations.
The total: $68.58 (3 adults, 7 margaritas)
Ogre keeps trying to tell me that Supergirl (Mina) and Batgirl (me) were part of the Justice League. I freely admit that my information comes from the wiki article I looked up for this post, but they don’t mention those two, or Robin for that matter, as being members of the Justice League. He says he knows because he’s “seen it.” I can’t argue with that, but it’s also requiring me to succumb to faith in his Justice League proclamations.
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!