365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
After I rounded this morning, Ogre called me to ask about lunch with the kids. I was actually on my way to see my business partner to drop off Ogre’s gift to her husband. We decided it’d be best to meet for lunch in Dallas so I’d have time to visit while they drove down. We thought we’d be frugaland eat a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant on Henderson. Ogre couldn’t remember the name and told me general directions on how to get there. While I was visiting with my friends, Ogre called to tell me that the restaurant was closed. Doh! We decided we’d eat at Momo’s Pasta instead. So much for a nice cheap lunch!
I arrived to the restaurant to find Ogre and the kids already seated on the patio. I was a little worried that it might be too cold outside, but with the sun shining down, it was actually quite nice. Of course, Ogre was complaining that it was “too hot” and he was starting to sweat and wished he wore shorts. I also noticed that Benji was keeping his back to the table. Weird. Mina was already busy doing some activities with her legos and a little activity she brought from home.
Ogre already ordered drinks and calamari. He told me that Mina requested the calamari. While we were perusing the menu, my attention kept returning to Benji who continued to refuse to face the table. Ogre and I discussed that perhaps it was because the sun was in his eyes.
We decided for me to switch places with Benji. His eyes were still watery, but at least I could see his sweet little face.
The waiter came to get our orders and I pointed to the Conchigle a Modo Mio and Ogre said, “Huh, that’s what I’m ordering, too. ” I remembered that this is his favorite dish here -typically, he would have ordered something different, but it didn’t seem like that was happening today. I’d actually also thought the Gnocchi Gorgonzola/Fontina looked really good, so I changed my order to that. Ogre ordered the Spinach Gnocchi for the kids. Interesting choice, I thought.
The bread and calamari came out and both got a head nod and “goo” (good) from the Benj. Once he had some of the calamari, he was pointing to the plate and saying, “Mo mo yah.” I was thinking mo mom yah, too. It was very good. Even the guy that seemed to be a manager came over and noted that the calamari was something that everyone at the table agreed seemed to like. I corrected him. Everyone at the table LOVES the calamari.
Mina asked me about a weird shaped calamari that she picked out. I told her it “just looked like that because it was shaped weird.” Ogre looked at me like I was a freak and told me it was the face of the squid. I told Mina to ask her father since he has an answer for everything. So she did and got a real answer.
Next out came our entrees. They set the Spinach Gnocchi down. Ummm, nope, not going to work. It was large (~4cm diameter) spinach balls. We decided that we’d better order something else for the kids and told them we didn’t want the Spinach Gnocchi. We ordered Gnocchi with Red Sauce instead.
Ogre gave Benjamin some of his pasta to which Benji gave adamant approval. He didn’t finish what he had in his mouth before pointing to Ogre’s dish, nodding, and saying, “Mo mo yah.” He also told us it was “goo” (good). Mina was content to continue her activity book and eat a few bites here and there of the calamari she had left. Ogre gave her some of his pasta as well. And, it’s not like I was being stingy with my gnocchi. While Ogre and I gave it rave reviews, the kids did not like it so much!
Their gnocchi came out and while Mina said it was good, she preferred Papa’s pasta. Poor Ogre only had about half of his dish. I was still enjoying my pasta when the kids and Ogre ran out of their pasta. We decided we’d let Benji out of his high chair and he was content to stand up on the railing and people watch. Which reminds me, at some point during lunch this guy jumping rope was across the street, jumping and rockin’ out. The table next to us saw us staring in amazement and bewilderment and told us that FOUR years ago, they saw that same guy jumping rope. Must be a Knox street staple.
Anyway, Mina told me that her ear was burning from the sun beating down on her and requested a seat change, which I obliged to do. After our changing of seats, I decided I was done with lunch and ready to order dessert. Unfortunately for my waistline and our pocket book, I saw another table’s tiramisu and decided I would be needing some of that. Ogre ordered a double espresso for himself.
While we waited, I looked over to see one of our good friends standing at the valet. Apparently they’d eaten next door at Toulouse! We chatted a bit until their car arrived. Soon after, our dessert arrived.
The dessert met everyone’s approval and when we were all out and Benji asked for “mo mo yah,” I told him that there was ”no mo.” Ah, but when you have Papa wrapped around your finger, more tiramisu was scraped off the plate for Benji.
This place serves your traditional Italian food -if you eat at the one on Knox, it has a great little neighborhood feel to it.
We ordered the calamari as an appetizer and, I have to tell you, it was outstanding. The breading is light and the seasoning is just right. The calamari was not chewy -it was nice and crisp. Gosh, the marinara sauce was exquisite. It was nice and thick and had a great flavor to it! Perfect.
Ogre and I split the Warm Spinach Salad. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was still good. The dressing is very rich, but it grew on me as I ate it. Ogre liked it also.
I ordered the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola/Fontina. Now, I’m not one who normally likes the creamier sauces, but the description of a sauce made of gorgonzola, bleu cheese, and goat’s milk sounded luscious. I was not disappointed! It was absolutely divine. The gnocchi was very good also. It had a nice texture to it and was great with the sauce.
For the kids, we initially ordered the Spinach Gnocchi thinking it was gnocchi with spinach mixed into the potato dumpling, we were wrong. It was large balls of spinach. NO WAY would the Phipps Children eat this! Then we ordered the Gnocchi with red sauce. Ogre and I thought this was very good also, but the kids, who had been eating Papa’s pasta throughout lunch, were not as impressed. They preferred the pasta.
Ogre had espresso and thought it was very good. This from the coffee snob.
Our service was pretty good today. Our primary waiter seemed a little scattered and we did have to request a refill here and there, but one of the seemingly managerial guys checked on us frequently, was very friendly and interacted with the kids and tried to help our primary waiter out.
The tempo of the food coming out was good also.
While I wouldn’t put this is in the category of kid friendly restaurants in the traditional sense, they are certainly kid-accommodating and nice to kids! We sat outside, which is a major plus when you have kids. When we were done with the main part of the meal, Benji was able to get down from his highchair and played on the rail. Also, there is no kids menu, but when we realized the mistake of the spinach gnocchi, we asked them to whip up something else and they charged us “kids menu” on the bill. So, it seems like you could request something for them for the kids.
The total: $68.74
My poor, sweet Benji. He sat at the table with his back turned to the table for a good 10-15 minutes. Yeah, sometimes, Ogre and I suck as parents.
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!