August 6th, 2009

Family Friendly? Prove It.


We eat out. Not every day, but at least once a week. If I could, I would go out every day. In my next life I want to be a restaurant critic and make a living at telling people that their use of white truffles was excessive. But, for now, a weekly trip to a family-approved eatery will do.

Eating out often has meant that hubby, Spicy Girl and I have experienced both the best and the bleah of service. By that, I mean that there are family-friendly eateries that really get it right. But there are others that, whoa Nellie, need a little coaching. It is for the latter that I now present “The Spicy Girl Top 5 Suggestions for So-Called Family-Friendly Restaurants”:

#1: BE Family Friendly. For example, when you approach the table, don’t look at us like you have to serve a family of rabid raccoons. Oh, and when the macaroni and cheese hits the table, don’t put it in front of the toddler and say, “Careful, it’s REALLY hot!” as you take off your Kevlar serving mitts.

#2: Think Before you Seat. If you have a family of 6—including twin toddlers, a nine-year old boy, and a grandmother with a walker—putting them in front of the kitchen door may not be the most optimal arrangement.

#3: Beverages Matter. What do you mean you don’t have milk or apple juice?

#4: Don’t go Missing in Action. Me finishing my meal should not be a signal for the wait staff to disappear into the Federal Witness Protection Program. If I have my credit card on the table (the universal sign for “check, please”) then get the obligatory “can I interest you in dessert?” question out of the way and get me the check before my kid starts break dancing on the table.

#5: Wipe Down the Damn High Chairs and Booster Seats. When the layer of goo on the seat of a chair is of such viscosity that fabric swatches from the previous kid’s bottom are still affixed to the chair, take it as a hint that it needs a quick wipe. Or sandblasting.

That’s all I’ve got. Just some “simple tips for better tips” when it comes to family-friendly dining. Thanks for listening.

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