Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
It’s a great time to be very young. If you’re a Brooklyn-dwelling one-year-old, you can take DJ classes. (Local DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is teaching kids to mix electronic music. “You can’t pick up a cello when you’re three months old but you can push play,” she said.) If you’re four, chances are there’s a yoga class and a sushi-making seminar just for you and right in your neighborhood.
But there are some things kids can’t do now, and one of them is to hang out with their parents at several restaurants around the country. Unless you have a fake ID that says you’re over 10, be prepared to be shut out of the following spots.
A dinner out turned into an experience of a lifetime for a North Carolina family thanks to one stranger's heartfelt gesture.
Ashley England and her family want to thank a customer who paid for their meal Friday night and left behind a touching note about their special needs son. A photo of the note has gone viral, shared with thousands of people on Facebook.
Don't mess with a military mom. A Lake Stevens, Washington, cafe owner learned that lesson the hard way this week after posting a photograph of the aftermath of a family's visit to the Rainy Days Caffé. According to CNN affiliate KCPQ, Rainy MacDuff asked two military wives and their children to leave her restaurant when one of the children had a screaming fit, then photographed the scone crumbs the group had left under a table.
Rainy MacDuff's Facebook post captioned, "I’d like to take this time to thank our customers with small children who don’t make messes,” was intended to draw sympathy to restaurant staff forced to clean up after their young patrons. Instead, it backfired, going viral and eliciting comments threatening boycotts of the business and bodily harm to MacDuff after one of the mothers, Kellea Poore, shared the post with friends and called for an apology.
Editor's note: April 2, 2014 is World Autism Awareness Day, and we're sharing this story to continue the conversation about autism in public spaces.
Things are not always as they appear to be. Our recent story "The waitress, the autistic girl and the broken hamburger" shared the experiences of Anna Kaye MacLean, a young woman who was deeply touched by the kindness of a Chili's server to her seven-year-old sister Arianna, who has autism.
While many people interpret Arianna's behavior - sometimes involving violent tantrums and grunting - as uncontrolled brattiness, her older sister will take the time to explain the condition if asked. Occasionally, fellow restaurant patrons will ask to be moved to other tables, give dirty looks, or criticize MacLean's handling of the situation. While the family has never been asked to leave a restaurant, they're keenly aware of other patrons' comfort and will leave of their own accord.
Scenes like this play out in public every day, as evidenced by the over 650 comments that poured in when we posted the story. In observance of National Autism Awareness Month and April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, we're sharing insight from some of our commenters who have experience weathering the minefield that is a restaurant meal.
Last Sunday was just an average morning for Anna Kaye MacLean. Her sister, 7-year-old Arianna, had slept over at her house the night before and seemed to have woken up in a good mood - which is not always a given for a child with autism.
After determining that Arianna’s mood was stable enough for a day of fun activities outside the home, MacLean and her husband decided to take Arianna out to lunch, with a bonus visit to the Easter Bunny afterward. They decided to eat lunch at the Chili’s Bar and Grill in Midvale, Utah, where a beautiful thing happened - and went viral.
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That was the question posed last week, and more than 21,000 readers weighed in saying that restaurants with stated policies about children's unruly behavior would actually entice them to spend money there.
While Firefly executive chef Danny Bortnick has taken steps to make his restaurant more kid-friendly, it is a two-way street - your kids need to act right.
And before you go off thinking Bortnick is some kind of booster seat hater, he is a father - and his restaurant is in the middle of Washington D.C.'s Dupont Circle: a densely populated urban neighborhood often busy with families and young kids.
Five Ways to Make Your Child More Restaurant-Friendly: Danny Bortnick
No one enjoys listening to crying children while they're dining out, and parents are no exception.
Mindful parents - and there are many of them - know the drill when it comes to eating out with children. They stick to family friendly restaurants, know the signs of an oncoming outburst and won’t hesitate to scoop up their children at first wail. That is if they decide to take the kids out in the first place.
Those parents wish restaurants didn’t need to publicly state policies for dealing with unruly children or even ban them outright. They shudder when the media shines a spotlight on establishments that go that route; the controversy gives parents a bad name.
Burger King and Chili’s are among the 19 restaurant chains that are voluntarily limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium in children's meals.
The National Restaurant Association kicked off its new "Kids LiveWell" campaign on Wednesday in 15,000 locations nationwide.
The other participating restaurants include: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Corner Bakery Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Friendly’s, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Silver Diner, Sizzler, T-Bones Great American Eatery and zpizza.
Those restaurants involved in the "Kids LiveWell" campaign must:
We recently shared the story of Olde Salty's - a restaurant in North Carolina with a policy banning screaming children from the premises. Comments are still raging, and we'll share stories from both of the high chair later today, but the video above raises an issue, and we'd like to hear your stance and stories.
Why? Because understanding starts with conversation - even if you've got a differing point of view. Consider this your virtual dinner table.
Read more at WECT