Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I know I already posted some of our fun pictures from Our Walk on the Wild Side at the Rainforest Cafe, but I couldn’t resist going in depth a bit more.
We aren’t a family that eats out on a regular basis other than fast food but every now and then it's a welcome treat, like our trip to The Varsity in Atlanta.
When I told the kids what I had in mind this past weekend they told me they’d rather eat at McDonald’s. They just didn’t see the point “spending a lot of money just to eat”, but I really wanted to go to the Rainforest Café! So, we compromised…instead of having a full meal, we’d have a ‘snack’ consisting of an appetizer or two and desert. I already knew I wanted the erupting Volcano Cake! After twisting their arms and much begging on my part…they relented. Okay, maybe it didn’t take that much work, but they weren’t incredibly thrilled until we pulled into the parking lot and they realized that the restaurant is located in the Opry Mills mall AND there just happens to be a Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World nearby. That’s all it took, the boys couldn’t exit the car fast enough!
The restaurant was easy to find and there was a bit of a line, but after checking in and obtaining a ‘passport’, we found out that we only had a 10 minute wait. We spent a few minutes browsing through the gift shop, which you have to walk through to enter the restaurant,brilliant marketing strategy. I couldn’t resist smashing a few pennies for my collection while passing time.
We didn’t wait the full ten minutes before hearing our name called over the loud speaker and entered the enchanting rainforest by passing through huge aquarium tanks filled with tropical fish. There were huge trees planted throughout the seating area that produce a canopy of cover overhead. It’s lush and green with flowers, vines, butterflies and as you saw in the previous post, snakes. To our delight we were seated under an opening in the branches that displayed a night sky, complete with stars near a cascading waterfall.
Our server promptly greeted us and took our order. Keeping my part of the deal, we ordered four waters, one Onion Stack and the featured Awesome Appetizer Adventure which consisted of four each, cheese sticks, chicken fingers, chimi-cha-cha’s and a yummy spinach-artichoke cheese dip and tortilla chips. After browsing the menu, I was a bit relieved that we had agreed prior to our visit that we would only have appetizers. I did think the prices were a bit high, but then I saw the servers walk by with the plates of food and saw that the portion sizes seemed to be pretty hefty.
Our food had just arrived when we experienced our first thunderstorm! The sky above us began to rumble and flash with lightening and if we thought it was loud before…well…let’s just say we didn’t talk much for a few minutes. We did take advantage of each lightening strike by snapping a few pictures so our flash didn’t annoy the other diners.
It was during the thunderstorm that the animals on the side began to jump, stomp and dance around. Clearly, the Rainforest Café is designed for younger children. They would simply be amazed and probably wouldn’t eat because they’d have so much to distract them!
We finished our meal by ordering the legendary erupting Volcano cake that was easily large enough for the four of us to split (unless you wanted a really big piece all to yourself), but would probably be ideal for three. Although the kids wanted to give it a try, they didn’t want to order the cake because the servers bring it out with a sparkly thing on the top yelling “Volcano, volcano” so everyone stares and it’s quite the spectacle. I did ask our server to refrain from the chorus, but of course, she couldn’t promise anything and so guess what? Secretly, I think my kids were pleased anyway.
So, that about sums up our trip. Our total bill came to $40.39 for our appetizers and desert and since I used to be a waitress myself, I left a 20% tip since ours did a good job. Even though she sang the Volcano song, she did give us good service so I didn’t hold it against her. Our grand total then came to just under $50.
It was fun, certainly something different since you don’t find a Rainforest Café on every corner but probably not someplace that I would visit on a weekly or monthly basis. To me I’d consider it more of a ‘been there, done that’ type thing. However, if you’re ever in the area, I’d certainly suggest that you give it a try, even if it’s just for the appetizers or desert. It really is quite an experience and if you visit the Opry Mills location, the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Store is pretty neat too!
So, if you stayed with me this long, let me ask you a question. Do you prefer the short non-descriptive post or something a bit more detailed when it comes to mentioning places we’ve been? I’d love to hear what you have to say so please share your thoughts below.