First look at new T-REX restaurant

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From one of the Guide’s researchers who dined at the new T-REX restaurant this week:

OMG!! Talk about sensory overload!! You thought this place would be LOUD – that doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was so loud that you couldn’t carry on a conversation and the servers had to lean in close to you to even speak to you about the menu options.

BUT – the food was fabulous! My hisband had the Triceratop Filet ($29.99) and I had the Jurassic Shrimp Skewers ($20.99). The filet was melt in your mouth and the shrimp was grilled to perfection and had a delicious lemon/butter dipping sauce. The side dishes were also very tasty. We both cleaned our plates! I was actually brought the wrong shrimp dish and our waitress noticed right away. She took it away and went to put in the order again. A few minutes later a floor person came over and apologized and said my dish would be coming shortly. A manager-type actually came out with my dish and apologized again. We thought they would perhaps offer a free dessert for my wait but they did not. Anyway, the manager-type asked how we liked the place and we did say it was rather noisy for our taste but still an interesting restaurant. She agreed that it was very noisy and said that even she was becoming hoarse trying to speak over the noise. (I can’t imagine working there on a daily basis. You’d either be deaf or hoarse!)

We did not have high expectations since they had just opened on Tuesday but they seemed to have worked out their kinks ahead of time. There was a HUGE staff. 120 per shift per our server. I’m sure they wanted to be able to deal with whatever crowds they had.

The kid’s menu ranges from $6.99 to $7.99 with desserts at $2.99. I do feel that the adult menu was quite expensive for a place like that. Obviously most parents would be there because of their kids so I would expect a bit more reasonable pricing. I guess they know they’ve “gotcha” once you’re in the door. If we had also ordered appetizers and desserts, it probably would have been $100.00 for two to eat with dinosaurs.

They are NOT taking reservations until January. We arrived around 6pm I believe and had to wait in line about 10 minutes just to put our name on the list. We were told it would be a 60 minute wait. It was 45. No one told us at the sign in that we could walk right in if we wanted to sit at the bar and eat (if there were seats). I didn’t find that out until we were done with dinner. I asked our waitress if they were going to be accepting discounts with a Disney Annual Pass. She thought that they would but no discounts (not even employee) were being allowed until January.

Our seating was not real great – kind of right in the pathway at a small table for two. We do prefer booths but those appeared to be for larger parties. There are several different areas of the restaurant and next time I would definitely ask to be seated somewhere other than the very front with all the noisy dinosaurs and meteor showers and noise from the gift shop and Build-A-Dino right near by. There is an ice cave area that was a bit quieter (but dimly lit – although the walls and ceiling frequently change color which was kind of neat), another dinosaur area that was quieter and then a sort of underwater area that was a bit quieter as well – and had a large aquarium with beautiful tropical fish.

There was a very pleasant woman who was the greeter/information person in the front entrance to the restaurant so I chatted with her a bit. It sounds like lunch time might be better to try the place and then there also might be a chance to ask for a specific area to eat in. At dinner time (right now anyway), you’re just glad to get a seat.

It is definitely a Rainforest Cafe type restaurant but 10 times louder. We will probably go back since our grandson likes dinosaurs but it will be for lunch and we will get there right at 11 when they open. We don’t know if the prices are the same for lunch or if they offer a simpler fare.

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Posted on October 16, 2008
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