365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
I had the kids over at Lolo and Lola’s and we drove home to pick up Ogre. As I was trying to get Ogre out the door, Dusty asked what we were doing for dinner. As usual, we didn’t really have a gameplan so Dusty decided to come along. We’d have to ride in the Tahoe, so we took the kids out of the car and switched them over and all climbed aboard the dinner train. Dusty announced that he was hankering for some margaritias so that narrowed it down to Tex-Mex as the most likely theme for the evening. We decided on an old Phipps (pre-Grace) favorite, Tino’s Too. I’d been here a couple of times with Ogre when we started dating and only recently did we return with Ogre’s parents for dinner a few times. For a quick dinner, it’d do for tonight.
I walked in with Benji and they sat us at a very large booth. We got a high chair for Benji as Ogre forgot to put Benji’s chair back in the truck after he unloaded it last night. However, Benji was having a lot of fun walking along the booth bench that we held off on putting him in the high chair. The rest of the crew came in and we ordered our drinks. Dusty was impressed that he got his margarita before the rest of us got our drinks. While we waited, Ogre mentioned wanting some “Mexican Candy.” They have served us a couple of times strips of roasted jalapenos that is then dusted with some kind of spice. The manager overheard him and said “ah, you want some Mexican Candy?” He walked off and brought some back in short order. They got into a conversation about Ogre liking spicy foods and the manager offered something even better: Candied Habaneros…fresh off the plant out front!
I asked Ogre if he was going to eat one and he looked me as if I was crazy! He’d need his drink first. He came back with the rest of our drinks and we ordered a queso for the table. When he returned, Mina exclaimed, “This is Sprite!” She ordered lemonade. So we corrected that issue and awaited the Habanero chow down. Ogre took one bite and immediately a sweat came across his face and his eyes started to water. He seemed to be doing okay.
I think our queso came out about this time also as he was eating some of the queso to temper the mouth flame. Then a weird thing happened. Ogre somehow talked Dusty, who NEVER eats anything even remotely spicy, into trying it, too. And it’s not that Dusty was drunk, he had a few sips of his margarita at this point. But there he went taking a naive bite of habanero.
He immediately knew it was a mistake, I think he gulped down the rest of his margarita with wide, red, tearing eyes and his mouth agape. Mina said, “Your face is wet!!” Both of the kids wanted to touch his sweaty forehead. He was trying everything to control the heat, but nothing was working! The waiter and manager came to check on him. Dusty requested bread and another margarita -stat!, anything to temper the heat. Finally, the manager told him to try some sugar. All the while the waiter is trying to get our real dinner order. It was all Dusty could do to get out “Sour…Cream…Enchiladas.” After the sugar and some time passed, Dusty was able to come back from the throws of Hades.
Of course, with all this commotion, we forgot to take pictures of our food. The manager came by again and a discussion ensued about whether the red or green habaneros were hotter. The manager said that it was but Ogre thought that was an old wives tale. See, Dusty had eaten the red one while Ogre ate the green one. I think Dusty thought Ogre had done that on purpose. To prove his assertions, Ogre ate the other red one also. His burn did not last as long as Dusty’s and Ogre said they were the same heat. The manager also gave us one to take home, but we think it was accidently cleaned up when the table was cleared.
Benji was placed in his high chair when the food came and happily ate rice and beans. He danced from time to time. Mina was not too keen on her flautas, but we told her she had to eat it. She ate at a snail’s pace, of course, and we were all done with dinner before she had finished half of one flauta. We told her that she had to finish one of her flautas and the rest of us ordered dessert. We ordered the flan to share.
It was pretty tasty, but again, not as good as Mario’s Chiquita. I think Ogre is going to keep ordering this now until we find one that’s just as good or better than “Mario’s.” Poor Mina did not get to have any dessert because she was still eating her flauta. She did, in fact, finish eating flauta, but not before we were all about to gauge out our eyeballs and Benji was becoming increasingly irritated. Just before bedlam could ensue, we all walked out of there -some in more pain than others.
Average Mexican food.
I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas with Verde sauce. It was very good, but I’ve definitely had better. Nothing to write home to mom about.
Ogre’s Ranchero Chicken Enchiladas were tastier than he recalled with a mild ranchero sauce that was probably best after all the spice prior to the meal. Dusty seemed to enjoy his Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas but not sure how much he could taste at that point. Ogre always loves the Mexican Candy. It comes grilled with seasoning salt and lime. He loves it.
Mina’s flautas were traditional and again, average.
We enjoyed the flan, but like I said, it was no Mario’s Chiquita! It was more of a pudding consistency and vey sweet.
On the kids menu, they have tacos, enchiladas, and flautas -your standard Tex-Mex children’s menu fare.
I think he gets points for trying. He was a very nice guy, but he messed up a couple of the drink orders and needed to clarify our order once or twice. They didn’t clear off the clutter til the very end and I’d say he was somewhat attentive. The manager came by frequently to check on us and entertained us with good conversation, so that was a nice plus. The food service itself was a good tempo.
This is a casual, laid back, family-owned restaurant that is very welcoming of families and children. They do not have kids activities or crayons, but they do have an appropriate for a Tex-Mex restaurant menu. The restaurant has acoustics that will definitely augment your child’s screaming and yelling, so beware. I had to make Benji piper down a couple of times!
This is a place to check out when you want a quick, traditional, casual, Tex-Mex meal with the family. If you like spice, don’t forget to order the Mexican Candy. They won’t bring it out unless you ask. Its a hidden secret.
The total: 63.77 (2 very large margaritas, 3 adults)
They don’t seem to have a website and I didn’t find them on Guidelive, so…
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!