Dining In and Camping Out in Grapevine Texas: Part 2

September 22, 2011

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Last week, Merelyn shared Part 1: Dining In and Camping Out in Grapevine, Texas. Take a peek to find where to stay and what to do with children in Grapevine, Texas.

Now, the real reason for our mini-vacay destination – the food. Grapevine has one slow-food Real Kid Friendly restaurant (Joe’s Crab Shack) that we fully intended to patronize.  The plans changed when we stopped into this little dive Mexican restaurant (El Taco H. – no idea what the “H” stands for or why it’s there) to pick up a quick lunch on Saturday. I had read some good reviews about the tacos at this little strip-mall eatery and being that I rate a Mexican restaurant on its crispy beef tacos and salsa, I thought we’d give it a try.  Holy cow!  The reviews were right. These were definitely the best crispy tacos I had ever had.  The beef was good-tasting, the toppings were refreshing, and the shell?!  Well, I think they deep-fried that baby!  It was terrific!!  We had ordered to-go so I was enjoying all this at the cabin; not at the restaurant where I could easily order 400 more!!!  Tad bit bummed but I thought “We’re going that way for Joe’s this evening, so I’ll just order more afterward and have them for dessert.”  I know, I know – I’m a sick puppy but we were on vacation and like the holidays, I indulge – I’ll pay later.  So, all that afternoon, I’m thinking about the perfectly-fried (I think) shell and those wonderfully prepared sauces – yes, the hot sauces are homemade and phenomenal!  Now, you make think, yeah, yeah, one person’s opinion but DH (who doesn’t like Mexican food) had one of the veggie tacos and gave thumbs up – which is very hard to get from him.

So that was the plan: Joe’s for dinner then stop in at my now-favorite Mexican food restaurant for “dessert”.  It was about 5:00 when I began to feel that we were probably not going to follow thru with that plan.  I wasn’t going to be able to wait until after dinner to visit El Taco H. I was beginning to realize that it would be another year before I would have that food again so a bit of panic was setting in.  I mentioned to DH my idea of skipping Joe’s and opting for ETH again; knowing full well that my non-Mexican-food-loving man will not like this idea.  He says “Sure!  I’ll have those veggie tacos again!”  I’m telling you this is a testament to their food.  He will accommodate my Mexican food cravings maybe every few months but twice in one day? Unheard of!  So, now I have 2 secret reasons for visiting Grapevine, Texas.

Now, let’s move on to Secret Reason #1 – Kountry Dounts —– Heavenly!

Fate put Kountry Donuts in our lives last year during our Grapevine visit. We happened upon this unassuming little shack (with 2 drive-up windows on either side and no seating area anywhere around) and it changed my life – kidding (but it did).  DH is a huge donut fan and I am the opposite –  never crave them, usually don’t have any when he buys them, don’t find much appealing about donuts – so to find myself thinking about these donuts at random times throughout this past year, was really unusual.  And to plan a vacation around them – pathetic!  But, they are divine.  Now, this is just the plain glazed that I’m talking about.  Who knows how great the other varieties are!  In case you’re wondering, I’ve had Krispy Kremes – don’t know what all the fuss it about.

I’m not sure how a donut can defy description but it does.  Besides “Super Yummy”, I can’t tell you just how great they are.  “Melt in your mouth” is overused, I think, but they kind of do that.  They are sweet but not grossly so (which is why I don’t like donuts usually) and light and on top of the fantastic-ness of their taste, they (the glazed variety) are almost twice the size of other donuts.  We compare them to the best pancakes in the whole, wide world which are in Sydney, Australia and somehow taste like ice cream.

The bad part is that we corrupted our son with these donuts. He has lots of sweets in his life but they are better-for-you sweets.  Until that visit, he thought all donuts were unglazed cake donuts.  And was completely content to ask for “plain, unglazed cake donut” when it was his turn to order.  I knew that we were going to let him try these and I knew that there would be no going back but these are important donuts – something that he should experience and have in his repertoire of tastes.  I did try to NOT give him this sugary treat, just out of habit, and handed him his usual unglazed cake donut.  He munched on that for awhile and then asked to try mine.  I gave him a bite and he politely handed me his plain, unglazed donut and said, “No, thank you” and then finished off the rest of mine.  No going back.

The plan for breakfasts for this visit was to have Kountry Donuts the first morning that we were in Grapevine and eat at a sit-down restaurant (Biscuit Café) for breakfast the second morning (mmm – bacon!), stopping by Kountry D to pick up a dozen glazed donuts to take home.  Well, as with the Joe’s plan, this one went awry.  As we were munching on our delectable donuts-that-tastes-like-ice-cream Saturday morning, I had a feeling that Biscuit Café may have to wait until next year.   I was right.  The next morning, the plan was Kountry Donuts from the moment Boe woke up.  When he greeted me Sunday morning with “Morning, Mama” followed by “Can we eat donuts?!”  I knew that I could not deny him.  After all, it’s his vacation, too, and they ARE the best donuts on the planet!  So we indulged once again.  We purchased the dozen that we had planned to take home and ate half of them at the cabin.  Note: they are not nearly as good the next day unless you’re 3, then you’ll think they’re terrific no matter what.

I should talk about all the activities there are to do in Grapevine – Great Wolf Waterpark, train rides, Lego Land, some aquarium, Grapevine Market, shopping, boating, swimming, etc. – and how much fun all those are to do with a cranky 3-year-old who only wants to go home and see his dogs but that will have to wait.

Merelyn: Real Kid Friendly

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