The experience

Benji’s birthday is next week, so we thought we’d treat him out to “A Day with Thomas.”  We invited his grandparents to join us and discussed eating lunch before the train ride.  Grandpoo suggested Tolbert’s, which would be right there in historic downtown Grapevine where the trains are.  Perfect choice.  We decided to meet down there and arrived at the same time.  The area was crawling with Thomas the Train fans!  One of those being Benji, who immediately started crying when he realized we would be delaying any Thomas sightings with lunch.  He started crying “Toss y Tray! Toss y Tray!” 

Ogre got him settled into his seat and we pulled out some toys from his back pack and he was able to calm himself. 


After we all sat down, the hostess came back with crayons and coloring book pages for the kids, this was great until the kids started fighting over the crayons.  Awesome.




Mina apparently needed to apply more lip gloss before lunch.


While the rest of us were trying to figure out what we wanted to eat, Mina yanked a crayon out of Benji’s hand leading to a “Golden Rule” lecture from Papa.  Mina was very upset by this and ended up scribbling on her paper in anger and then crumpling up her paper.  Sheesh.  This went on for quite some time until I finally told her that if she didn’t change her attitude we’d be sitting in the car while everyone else enjoyed the day.  She quickly changed her attitude.



Lunch went off without a hitch after that.  Ogre thought that Benji was eating well until I pointed out that he was just giving Lolo his food. Mina tried to negotiate how much she was required to eat, but was told “all of it” and she obliged.


And with that, we all finished up lunch so we could check out Thomas.


The food

They serve “Southwestern Cuisine” here -chili (with a northern style version for those that like beans), burgers, chicken fried steak and some Tex-mex style dishes as well.

DSC_0012We ordered the Torpedos (battered jalapenos stuffed with cheese and chicken).  These were actually not that spicy (I could eat them!) and I thought they were very good. Ogre liked them as well.


I ordered a cup of the Original Texas Red and thought it was very good.  It comes with onions and cheese.  It had a subtle amount of kick (I had to add a lot of tobasco sauce, but I always do!) and the spices that are used to flavor the chili are very good and no one spice was overwhelming.  Grandpoo ordered his “Northern Style,” which really just meant that they added pinto beans.  He thought this was excellent.  In fact, Ogre and I were reminded quite a few times just how good he thinks this place in and I suspect that if I dared give this place a bad review, I might be disowned!



DSC_0015Oma ordered Cream of Poblano Soup and she and Grandpoo described this soup as excellent.  I didn’t try it.


DSC_0021Ogre ordered the Boquillas Burrito.  He ordered the chili “5 alarm.”  This is chili, lettuce, and onions stuffed in flour tortillas and covered with their queso sauce and is served with rice and beans.  How’d he like it.  Let’s just say it looked like he licked the plate clean.  He wanted to note that the 5 alarm was definitely spicy and that the queso was particularly good.

DSC_0019Grandpoo and Lolo ordered the Henderson Burger and both of them liked this a lot.  Again, described by Grandpoo as “excellent.” 


DSC_0020Oma ordered the Red Dog and her only complaint was that there could have been more chili!



DSC_0017I ordered a Grilled Cheese Sandwich (plain, like a kid would eat) and thought it was just “okay” as they make it with cheddar cheese and not something fake like Velveeta (yum!).



DSC_0022The kids ordered Chicken Fingers and seemed to like those just fine as they each ate their fair share.   Other items on the kids menu include Donkey Tails (hot dog stuffed with cheddar cheese), Grilled Cheese, a mini-burger or a hot dog.


The service

Our server was pretty good today.  He was attentive and informative, but did require some prompting on drink refills.  The food comes out rather quickly so that was a plus for us.


The kids

It was kid friendly.  Nice and casual with  a kids menu and they brought a coloring book page and a couple of crayons for the kids. 


If you’re looking for chili, this is probably where you want to go.  As Grandpoo said, “It’s hard to find good chili these days.”

The total:81.33 (5 adults)


Rants, Raves, and Ramblings

Well, I suppose Ogre gets his love and retention of useless, yet interesting historical factoids from his dad.  Grandpoo was able to tell me almost the entire history of Tolbert’s and its relationship to the apparently famous Terlingua Chili Cook offs. This little restaurant is a reincarnation developed and operated by the daughter of the late Frank S. Tolbert who opened the original chili parlor in downtown Dallas.  He and another member of the Chili Appreciation Society International founded the first “chili cook off.”  What I don’t know and what Grandpoo didn’t tell me is who won??

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