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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dining at T-Rex Cafe

Where can you eat a chocolate volcano for dessert? Where can you experience a meteor shower every 30 minutes? Where can you eat pizza next to a Wooly Mammoth or Allosaurus? Where can you dig for dinosaur bones, mine for gold, or break open rocks to find crystals?




Where else, but T-Rex Café! T-Rex Café is a part of the Landry Restaurant chain—Rainforest Café, The Chart House, The Crab House, Salt Grass, etc. Their home base is in Houston, and many of their restaurants are a part of touristy locations, such as the Kemah Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, etc. Speaking of Downtown Disney, there are only two T-Rex Cafés world wide--one in Kansas City and the other in Downtown Disney.



I know you are thinking, Kansas City. . . touristy destination? Yep. Touristy destination. You see, the T-Rex Café is located in The Legends, a shopping and dining destination. The Legends is right across the street from the Speedway, down the street from Great Wolf Lodge—the only one located in the mid-west (click here to read about our stay at Great Wolf Lodge), and down the highway from Schlitterbaun (you know, the water park). This is the first time Schlitterbaun has had a location outside their 3 locations in Texas. Are you getting the “touristy” part yet?



Anyway, we have been to T-Rex Café in Kansas City on three different occasions and have had the opportunity to sit in three different locations inside the restaurant.




Know that the restaurant is on two levels. Stairs and a well hidden elevator can take you to the second level. Bathrooms are located on the second level, just behind the “ice age” room.




Speaking of rooms, the restaurant has rooms. Well, they aren’t really walled off rooms per say, but more like themed areas of the restaurant and as you walk from area to area the décor or theme changes. There’s the Wooly Mammoth Ice Age Area, the prehistoric underwater area, large prehistoric dinosaur area, etc. The kitchen is on the main level and you get to walk by the volcanic flames!




One half on the main level is bar, kitchen, and dining. The other half of the main level is store and dinosaur dig. The dinosaur dig is extra, as are all amenities in the store. Note that if your child is below a certain age—I think 6 or younger, an adult is required to enter the dig site and the adult entry is an additional charge.





The menu is somewhat limited but has the usual selections of steak, fish, chicken, pasta, salad, and a kids menu with pizza, chicken, etc. Appetizers are available as well. Then there’s dessert! We shared a Chocolate Extinction the last time we were there. Yummy, fun, and less expensive that everyone ordering dessert.  You can check out the menu on-line at the T-Rex Cafe web-site.



You’re not really there for the food anyway. You’re there for the experience of dining with the dinosaurs and meteor shower. You’re there to say you’ve been there; that you have dined at T-Rex Café!



The store and dig site are fun to be in. There’s a portion of the store that is like “Build-a-Bear” workshop, but you make a dinosaur. There’s even a clothing collection to choose from for your new prehistoric friend. The boy has yet to get into this sort of thing, and we are kind of glad. I’m happy to pay the few dollars to get him into the dig site and he can play to his hearts content while I browse the shop. (You get to experience the meteor shower while in the shop, too.)



All in all, it is great fun! Reservations are highly recommended! I have the number to T-Rex Café programmed on my cell phone, so if we are heading that direction, I can call for a reservation. Without a reservation, the wait can be excruciating.



Take your camera, as photo ops are plentiful both inside and outside the restaurant. There is usually a photographer on hand to take your photo with the mascot Rex and you can purchase the photo.  Don't be afraid to roam the restaurant after you have been seated to take photos.  It's OK!



Dining at T-Rex Café can be a bit pricey, but discounts can be had. First, check to see if there are any T-Rex Café fliers in the display racks found in hotel entrances. You know the little tri-fold pamphlets that tell about various tourist locations. If you find a T-Rex Café one, there is usually a coupon included. Second, see if your hotel, if you are staying at a hotel, has a discount agreement with the restaurant. When we were staying at Great Wolf Lodge, we got a discount off our meal based on that agreement. Third, there is a discount club to join through Landry Restaurants. This is a good discount if you eat at Landry restaurants frequently. You can ask about joining the club while at T-Rex Café and take advantage of the discount--Landry Rewards. Fourth, ask about Diner’s Club or AAA discounts. You may be surprised. This husband used to be embarrassed when I would ask about discounts. Now, the larger the savings the broader his smile!

 
For another fun dining experience in Kansas City--check out Fritz's Railroad Restaurant--click here to read more!

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