I’ve been to T-Rex Cafe a few times since its opening a few years ago. My experiences have been fine, with the exception of a chicken bone on a Footprints Flatbread I had a few years back. I hadn’t visited in a while, so Matt and I decided to stop in.
The restaurant wasn’t very busy, but there was still a bit of a line, so we opted to sit at the bar.
I had told Matt that they make a pretty good Bloody Mary for a chain, so he decided to give one a try. The Firestarter ($13.99) is 21oz., and its description tells you to “Spark your flints and start a fire with Demitri’s Bloody Mary mix, Finlandia Vodka, and Jurassic spices, served with a celery stalk to munch on.”
As you can see, it’s also served in a souvenir glass. The Demitri’s mix is fairly basic, but they add an additional hot sauce (we were shown the bottle, but the name escapes me) which they doctor up with additional seasonings.
The glass is also rimmed with seasonings. I witnessed several of these concoctions being made up for guests seated at tables.
I chose to keep it “light” and ordered a Yuengling ($7.25 for 21oz.). I love the frosty chalices beers are served in! Later on, Matt ordered a Bud Light ($6.25 for 21oz.).
We looked over the menu, and decided the Supersauras Sampler ($18.99) would be a good option to try several items off the appetizer menu. It’s “For an appetite as big as T-REX!” and comes with Chili con Queso Dip with tri-color tortilla chips, Brachiosaurus Bruschetta, T-REXadillas, and Onion Rings. It’s also advertised as being enough for four. The presentation was fun, and once we removed the plates, the bartender removed the stand to give us more room.
Matt and I were both looking forward to the bruschetta, served on the top tier of this sampler. This item can be ordered alone as the Brachiosaurus Bruschetta (full appetizer portion: $9.59). It consists of grilled eggplant, bruschetta tomatoes, herbed cheese and toasted Focaccia bread drizzled with a balsamic glaze.”
This was some darn good bruschetta. The bread had just enough crispness, and the balsamic glaze had a nice balance of savory and sweet. There were ample tomatoes and sizable pieces of soft, eggplant tucked away under the cheese, which provided an additional mild flavor and creamy texture (though I didn’t notice any herbs as mentioned in the description).
The middle tier housed two items. The first was the onion rings, also found on the menu as the Artifact Stack (full appetizer portion: $8.99). “Dig into these fried onion rings, piled high and served with our BBQ Ranch and Buttermilk Ranch dressings for dipping.” The sampler doesn’t come with any dipping sauces by default, but we were asked if we’d like some and told a list of options. I chose Ranch, and Matt asked for ketchup.
The onion rings aren’t anything out of the ordinary. They have a breaded crust as opposed to a beer batter, the latter of which I prefer. They were crispy and did the trick, though, and if you are in the mood for onion rings, they are worth ordering.
Next to the onion rings were the T-REXadillas (full appetizer portion: $10.59) These grilled flour tortillas come filled with chicken, roasted red bell peppers, and Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. They are topped with green onions, pico de gallo, and T-REX avocado cream sauce.
I thought these were a bit more of a stand out than the onion rings. While the chicken within the tortillas was rather bland, it was moist. I would have liked to have seen more roasted red peppers, but there was an okay ratio of cheese to filling (but hey, I would have been happy if it was absolutely smothered in cheese!). For the quesadilla to work flavor-wise, you needed to get a bite of a little bit of everything.
Finally there was the Chili con Queso. It can be found served alongside Shrimp & Artichoke Dip in Dexter’s Dual Dip (full appetizer portion: $9.99).
There wasn’t much in terms of “chili” in this queso, with virtually no peppers or residual flavor or heat from their inclusion. To me, it was just melted, processed cheese with some pico de gallo placed on top. I knew they would be served with tri-color tortilla chips, but for the record, I’m not a fan.
Matt and I both had a clear winner from the Supersauras Sampler, and that was the bruschetta. We’d go back and gladly order the Brachiosaurus Bruschetta alone as an appetizer. We each had a tie for our second place choices. The on item we agreed on for middle of the road was the onion rings. Although relatively basic, they hit the spot, so the Artifact Stack could easily make its way to our table on a future visit.
This is where we start to differ. Matt’s tie with the onion rings for second was the Chili con Queso. I had two or three chips to give it an honest try, but I just couldn’t get into it. Matt, on the other hand, thought it was good, so I let him finish the plate. The queso was my last place item.
My tie for second was the T-REXadillas. After eating a full one to get an idea of its overall flavor, I was happy to eat the filling along with the toppings to cut back on some of my carb intake. These were Matt’s last place item. At least we were able to trade off our least favorites to one another! 😉
So that’s our take on several of the appetizers you can find at T-Rex Cafe. This was more than enough food for the two of us to be satiated without being stuffed. If serving four, each person would get to sample one of each item (approximately 4 tortilla chips per person for the queso), so it would definitely be more of an appetizer in that scenario. While the prices here run a bit on the higher side for table service (especially since it’s thought of as a “kid’s” restaurant), take into consideration the entertainment value of dining here. It’s not fine dining, but it is a fun diversion.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences on T-Rex Cafe: the good, the bad, and the ugly!