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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