When David and I were dating we used to enjoy going out to eat. As a matter of fact my favorite dates consisted of eating out somewhat early (I like eating peacefully) and then spending time at Barnes and Noble just checking out some books and maybe even splurging on some Starbucks. Ahhh, the days.
Needless to say our days of eating out have changed a bit. We now abide by a few tips that we have picked up from years of dinning with children.
1. Go to a family friendly restaurant, crayons and coloring pages = at least a few minutes of time occupied. A restaurant that offers free appetizers, even better (chips and salsa, bread, etc.). And a must is a place that is known for it’s speediness (no I do not need time between courses, yes bring out my food when it’s ready and if my children’s food is ready first, please bring it first).
2. Eat early, before 4:30 on a weekend and before 5:30 on a weeknight.
3. Know what you want preferably before you get there. This way you can order your food with your drinks, this saves waiting for you server to make it back to your table to take your order.
4. To save money forget ordering plates of food for everyone. Order enough food for everyone to share. David and I usually order a meal and we may order one kids meal or one more adult meal. We always order extra plates and just divide the food among everyone. This is cost effective because kids meals are so expensive and they usually come with a drink and most of the time we make the kids drink water when eating out anyway.
5. Ask for the check before everyone gets done eating, and have your credit/debit card ready so that you can just hand it to the server when they bring the check. (Service tends to get slow once everyone has their food.)
Of course even when following these five tips we still have occasions when dinning out goes array, but at least we try. When all else fails we remove any “problem” child from the table. I do not like to hear screaming children while eating and I assume the people around me do not either.
Now with all that said, we really don’t eat out too much for a few different reasons. First of all the shear price of eating out is ridiculous. Secondly, I feel like we are in a timed race when eating out and if we linger too long my children will turn into monsters and all will be unhappy, especially me. And lastly I hate sharing dessert. Yep, I said it. Share my burger – fine, share my fries – fine, share my chicken, salad, vegetables – fine, share my dessert – argh!
I truly adore the molten chocolate cake at Chilies. It’s not just a dessert for me, it’s more of an experience. Something like this:
1. Let the ice cream begin to melt on the cake.
2. Get on your spoon at one time, cake, chocolate fudge sauce, hard shell and ice cream. This is very important to get all of the flavors at one time.
3. Savor each bite, because this dessert deserves that!
My children do not abide by my strict chocolate molten cake eating rules. This weekend during this scenario it ended badly with me telling everyone to put their spoons down and me being left with only the cake on the bottom. It was a sad day for the molten cake, and I felt very unsatisfied.
Eating out with young kids can be a bearable experience. But, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the eating out of my dating years. And just so you know honey, you owe me a date to Chilies for my own molten chocolate cake without our little ice cream hogging blessings.
Totally off topic here’s a little photo contest for you all. I’ve cropped something out of this picture, the person with the closest answer wins….bragging rights. So, what’s got B1 looking like he’s ready to climb inside daddy’s shirt? Lets here your guesses, we’ll post the answer tomorrow.