Hello, remember me? I have this blog that I never write on anymore. Sorry about that. BUT. I was inspired to write again. I hope it will last but cannot promise you. All I can promise is that I DO plan to keep it up over the course of years. It may be in fits and starts, but there will at least be those.
Anyway, I was thinking about eating out with my kiddo. She and I spend many evenings alone together since The Mister works evening shift. While I love to cook, I also work full time and find it hard to get motivated to cook for just the two of us. I often leave crock pot meals or casseroles for The Mister and The Nugget to eat at lunch time and then she and I will go out occasionally. Of course, we also go out as a family sometimes. And some places just do kids so much better than others. Most everyone these days will do some crayons, but some do so much more. So here is my list of places that are the best to eat with my kid.
5. Red Robin
Yum! (You know you just sang that) It has something for everyone with the wide variety of food choices. There are lots of exciting thing for The Nugget to look at while we eat. They offer plenty of healthy side items and your child gets a free balloon each time you go. Also, their kids cups are sturdy enough to re-use.
4. Ruby Tuesday
Yet again, they will bring some treats pre-meal, like a small plate of biscuits. I would prefer something a bit healthier, but, again, it staves off the tantrum that comes from letting your child get over-hungry. Plus, bonus points for having an awesome salad bar with tons of healthy options for my litte one!
3. The Cheesecake Factory
I know it's a bit pricey and the portions are way too enormous, but I calculate that into eating there and bring home enough for 1-2 additonal meals. What I love about them is that they bring a little plate of bananas and bread to your child while you wait on your food. AWESOME. This helps out mom and dad when lack of planning has left us all starving and the littlest among us unable to cope.
2. Tequila Sunrise
Okay, this one will only specifically relate to a small percentage of you. This is our favorite local Mexican restaurant. Our whole family loves Mexican food. It's never too crowded and (the key here) it's local. So we know most of the people who work there. One of the waiters is good buddies with our daughter and it helps her work on her Spanish.
This one almost deserves it's own category. It is as close to paradise for eating with children that I have ever encountered. First, even though it is fast food, the servers will carry your food to the table for you. When struggling to wrangle children, that is HUGE. Second, every location has a play area that is glassed in so that you can easily see your child playing inside while you avoid the noise out at a table. Third, your child can choose a toy or trade in the toy for an ice cream at the end of the meal. Third, they have tons of healthy options even though it is fast food. Fourth, while you watch your child play, the servers come around and refill your drinks if you like. And when you thank them? They answer, "MY PLEASURE." Other fast food places I count myself lucky if they even talk to me enough to ask me what I want rather than just staring me down. Fifth, local restaurants offer family nights once a week where there is a craft activity and then some other special activity (at ours it is sometimes a magician or a person making balloon animals). It makes spending four bucks on dinner seems like a really big, special deal for the kiddo. And, finally, once a month they offer a deal where you get a coupon in the amount of whatever you buy to spend again later that month. You get the same amount of food FOR FREE. I don't know how they do it, but they are head and shoulders above anyone else in the fast food business. Oh oh oh...AND they have these lovely plastic mats that stick to the table for littler ones and make the mess so much easier to clean up and keeps their food as hygenic as possible.
So, those are my thoughts. Any places I am missing out on? Where do YOU love to take your kids to eat?