Hi Friends! So, I'm itching to get out of the house every single day right now. This weather is really cramping my style!!! The only places we go are our educational locations and sometime to get food... But, here's the deal. It's not super enjoyable to go out to dinner with Hank & Lou anymore. (GASP!) Here is what our typical restaurant experience looks like, I feel like we have it down now...
Hankie coloring and snacking at The Suburban in Excelsior!
We get to the restaurant before 5pm. I immediately scan the kids menu and get two meals ordered for the boys. Sean and I order our drinks at that time too. We inform the waitress that she can't bring their milk out in the cups with straws because we'll have a temper tantrum when I try to take them from the boys to pour into their sippy cups (have you ever watched a toddler drink from a cup with a straw????). Hank and Louie get goldfish or cheerios to munch on while we wait for their food. Also in the diaper bag: books, playdoh, matchbox cars, crayons, nuks, dogs and an emergency granola bar. We browse the menu quickly and order our meals when she brings our drinks. The boys food comes out, we rip it all apart so it can cool down quickly. Meanwhile, we are basically chugging our drinks so that we can focus on our food when it arrives. Within 10 minutes our food comes (because it's LITERALLY 5:05pm and no restaurant is busy at that time). Before we even take a bite, we ask for the check and to go boxes. We inhale half of our meal and then the remaining food gets put into the to go box, we'll eat it after the boys get to bed. WHOA. It's only 5:25pm and we are out the door of the restaurant? That's a good restaurant and it's exactly what we need for minimal meltdowns and crazy screaming.
Louie playing with his car and sucking on limes to kill time at Cov.
Since it's a cluster F*$@ going out to eat, I was thinking we should really try to minimize the amount we spend when we go. Because we aren't going to really enjoy the ambience - we are headed there for less cleanup at home and probably because there is nothing in our fridge. I have compiled a list of places in the West Metro (Lake Minnetonka area) that have free kids meals throughout the week! (Most require an adult entree to be purchased!)
Scotty B's in Mound: Wednesday 5p - close, with paid adult entree
D'Amico & Sons in Wayzata: Sundays all day with 1 entree
Famous Dave's in Minnetonka: all day Tuesday, free with adult entree
People's Organic in Minnetonka: Sunday nights with adult entree
6Smith in Wayzata: Free brunch for 3 and under on Sundays with paid adult
Joey Nova's in Tonka Bay: 4p - close, free with adult entree
This was last year around this time... SO LITTLE still!
If you have any tips on eating out with toddlers or have restaurants to add to these lists, please let me know!!!