Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dining with Kids, The Restaurant Chronicles Part II

If the number of utensils and the drool are any indication, this kid likes to eat too.
If my mind isn't occupied with houses and real estate, it's distracted with menus and restaurants and chef recommendations. With a toddling little boy in tow, my passion for epicurean endeavors is rarely fulfilled these days. Recent attempts have left Rocky and I tag-teaming the little monster in the parking lot, or leaving Ms. Mimi to chase the kid around bustboys and waitstaff while we shove our holes with piping hot entrees. The screams and the fights weren't worth tasting plates or even a night away from dirty dishes.
Nothing to do with this post, just a pretty face.
Yet, my tastebuds seemed to be pulling be back to give it one more try. And then, we had not one, but two uneventful meals in a restaurant. I don't want to say we're turning a corner or have found the answer to my appetite's prayers. But I think we may have found a few tips that may help other parents that face similar culinary conundrums.
1. Open kitchen. We like places that we can sit at a stool and watch the chef (or pizza flipper) work their magic. It keeps antsy little boys entertained for longer than 2.3 seconds, unlike crayons, straws, matchbox cars or iPhones.

2. Establishments where you place your order and then take a seat. This cuts down on wait time both for drinks, tables, and that pesky preparation time.

3. Dining at 4:30. Perhaps the most obvious, but we have failed at this in the past. The boy's not hungry and if he gets up and walks around or sprays patrons with barbecue sauce, he's only bothering other parents of tender sweet young things.

So, while our options may be more limited than they once were. We seem to be able to get out of the house once in a while and enjoy each other's company, and sometimes even the food!

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