I know it’s been almost a week since my last post, and I’m sorry for that. However, my mom is in town, which means there are LOTS of eating adventures coming up. Here’s the deal, I most definitely got my love of eating out from my mom. When I was growing up, we went out to eat all the time. My mom worked a lot, and going out meant that we could spend quality time together without worrying about cooking, cleaning up, or doing dishes. Now, whenever my mom comes to town, we eat out for pretty much every meal. We try lots of fun, local restaurants, and revisit some of our favorite chains. It’s because of my mom’s visits that Malcolm is so easy to take out to restaurants. We’ve been dragging him out to eat since he was 1 month old…and in those early days I had my mom as back-up, so we were able to work together to get Malcolm used to the restaurant environment.
When we were first planning her 12 day trip this summer (she’s a teacher and has summer off), she decided she wanted to go to Disney World for 1 day, and wanted to visit Epcot (she lives in Southern California, so wasn’t too worried about going to Magic Kingdom, since she goes to Disneyland often). Then, once she actually got here, and we spent lots of time discussing Disney, she admitted that just one day at WDW wasn’t enough. Apparently, she thought that at 34 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t going to want to spend a lot of time walking around WDW in the hot Florida sun. Okay, now seriously, we all know how much time I spend at WDW! As soon as she realized that I wasn’t spending my third trimester sitting on the couch with my feet up, she decided that 5 days was a much more reasonable number.
I immediately hopped on my computer, and grabbed my phone, and began some whirlwind planning. First, I opened the touringplans.com crowd calendar on my computer, and the 10-day forecast in their app Lines, and figured out which day we were going to go to which parks. Then, I logged onto disneyworld.com to begin the task of trying to plan meals for those days. While doing that, I also hopped on the phone to see if they had any dessert party openings. A couple of hours later, things were set. We had some awesome ADR’s, a reservation for the dessert party (made only 36 hours in advance!!), and decided that we would officially be celebrating her birthday (which was in June).
This was all decided on Thursday, but, we were planning on being at Magic Kingdom’s rope drop Friday morning. Since we wanted to be as efficient as possible (my mom is a neurotic Disney freak like me), we realized we should get her tickets and birthday button in advance. So, we decided that we should go and spend the afternoon at Downtown Disney, where we could visit guest services to take care of business, as well as get a quick Disney fix. Plus, we both really wanted to eat at T-rex, so we could check that out as well.
I went online to try to make a reservation, but the site said there weren’t any available. I was super sad, because I really wanted to go, so I called the dining line, and found out that I couldn’t make a same day ADR. That’s why the site said it was unavailable. So, we were just going to have to go and wing it.
When we got down there, it was almost 2pm, and went straight over to the restaurant. We were getting hungry, and figured we would have to wait a while, so we wanted to get our name on a list ASAP. To our surprise, we walked up, and were seated immediately. I have never had less than a 30 minute wait at T-rex, so this was super exciting!
Okay, so much like Rainforest Cafe, T-rex gets criticized often for having not-so-good food, for WAY too much money. However, also like with RFC, I really enjoy T-rex. I love the atmosphere, I think it’s so much fun! And while it is expensive, I enjoy the food, and don’t find it too outrageously priced. I brought this up to my mom while we waited for our food, and she came up with a good theory. First, she thinks that most people have an issue with the prices because they don’t think the food is worth what it costs…that, while it’s not bad, people expect something much more out of a $30 steak. Second, she thinks that the reason she and I don’t have so many issues with the cost, is because we are from California. In California (and Alaska, where we lived before that), everything is more expensive, especially when compared with the mid-west and southern states. So, when we pay $30 for steak, we just expect a steak, nothing super fancy or exceptionally delicious. I thought this made sense, but honestly, I’m not too worried about it. I like T-rex, I don’t mind the prices, and if others don’t like it, that’s okay with me.
The decor at T-rex is similar to that of Rainforest Cafe, except newer and with a dinosaur theme instead of a rainforest theme. There are gigantic animatronic dinosaurs and woolly mammoth’s. There is an ice cave that changes colors, and fossils, and geodes. And, instead of a thunderstorm every 15-20 minutes, there is a meteor shower…and BIG one, like the one that may have wiped out the dinosaurs. Although I would compare this to the RFC thunderstorms, I also think it is much scarier for little ones. Malcolm has never had an issue with being scared of it…but he doesn’t seem to think it’s as fun as the thunderstorms. He definitely thinks it’s interesting, but he doesn’t dance at laugh during it like at RFC.
Overall, the themeing is fantastic. It’s an entirely prehistoric world, with lots of fun little details (i.e. the restroom doors read “He-Rex and She-Rex). It is also fairly educational with lots of signs with information about the different dinosaurs and fossils…at least as long as you take the time to actually read them. Also, like at RFC, the menu items are all given “themed” names like Mesozoic Mahi Mahi and Melalosaurus Mozzarella.
I started with their Lava Tomato Basil Soup garnished with parmesan cheese. I ALWAYS get this soup…it is delicious! It’s so creamy and warm and tasty and it makes me happy. Also, I think it is a very good sized portion, and can be very filling. I’ve gone before and gotten it as a meal at lunchtime.
For my entree I got the Triceratop Filet with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Rice, and my mom ordered Fire-Roasted Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cinnamon Apples (Malcolm just ate off our plates). When my filet came out, they had me cut into it to see if it was cooked properly. I had ordered it medium, but the filet I got was super rare. Like, I’m seriously amazed it didn’t “Moo” at me. Okay, now I know that I’m pregnant and I’m only supposed to eat well done beef…but, it looked SOOO good. It was like some carnal instinct inside of me woke up and demanded raw beef. Even though, I’m not usually a rare-meat person, I NEEDED that rare filet…so I told the waitress it was fine. She could see that it was clearly NOT cooked as I had ordered it, and told me several times that she would be happy to take it back, but I assured her that it was how I wanted it.
Seriously, it was perfect. It was so juicy and flavorful and tender…it melted in my mouth. Maybe it was just because I had developed a sudden craving for raw meat…but this was the best steak I had ever had in my life. The only sad part was that I am 8 months pregnant and therefore, don’t have a very large stomach. I tried to eat all of it, but I just couldn’t (remember, I also had the soup). I was also very impressed with the rice. It was well seasoned and cooked properly, Malcolm really liked it too.
The garlic mashed potatoes, however, were not my favorite. They were SUPER garlicy. I really like garlic…but the garlic was completely overwhelming for me. Although, my mom LOVED the potatoes. She said that she had never had garlic mashed potatoes that were garlicy enough, so she was very impressed. She was actually impressed with her entire meal. She said the cinnamon apples were sweet and the chicken was moist and flavorful.
Overall, we all had a really great time. We enjoyed the atmosphere, the food was delicious, the service was good, and it was fun. We also got to shop in the gift store afterwards (which I LOVE as I mentioned in a previous post), although it isn’t nearly as large or as fun a shop as at RFC. They do however have the “Build-a-Dino” section (just like Build-a-Bear), where you can build, dress, and take home your own stuffed dino. I shudder to think how much money I’m going to spend THERE when Malcolm gets a bit older (his whole room and everything is done in dinosaurs, so I know he’s going to work me for these creations early on).
I do recommend people try T-rex, however, don’t go in expecting something inexpensive. I think if you go into it knowing that you are going to spend some money, and if you are willing to spend money on a dining experience like this, I think you will really enjoy it. However, if you go out to eat just to get full and don’t care about a fun theme or sharing table space with a stegosaurus, or if you (or your kids) don’t like loud noises, darkness, and intense effects…maybe you should skip this one…I’m sure you can find someplace else to get a great meal.
This was just the first of many dining adventures my mom and I have had already during her visit. I’m trying to get everything posted, but since we’re keeping pretty busy during her trip, writing time is limited. However, I can say that there is some awesome stuff coming up, so keep an eye out for that.
Remember, find me on twitter @scarlettashley1, or friend me on Facebook under Scarlett Ashley, to keep up to date.