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Friday, December 12, 2008

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in W-S

By Katie M

I got the idea to blog about this from my mom friends at CharlotteSmartyPants, and like Jen P who wrote the original post, I too am providing a short list and that is only because we don’t get the opportunity to eat out much. Below are my top choices, but I know there are many more restaurants out there that are probably on your short list. These are restaurants I picked because they are kid-friendly, and not because of extensive childrens’ menus or low prices. So, when you reach the end of this blog, be sure to post your favorites – and your reviews – in the comments section!

Las Estrellas
Currently they have one location on Silas Creek Boulevard – but TriadSmartyPants recently learned that they are opening a second location in the building that used to be South by Southwest Restaurant– and that makes us muy alegro! First of all, when you go into Las Estrellas you are immediately immersed in its authentic Mexican atmosphere. The wait staff is super friendly (although not always that quick) and the atmosphere is pretty hectic and busy which is just perfect for dining with little ones. The menu offers endless choices at extremely low choices, but the best part of your meal is the chips and salsa they serve when you are seated – they are to die for. My daughter loves their hard shell tacos (I swear she could eat tacos every day of the week) and my 21-month-old son who is extremely finicky with food finishes his entire plate of refried beans and a cheese quesadilla. It’s a must go!

Mellow Mushroom
It’s always a treat to eat downtown and it’s an ever bigger treat to have pizza from Mello Mushroom. While this place usually crowds up pretty quickly, it’s never been a problem for us – but then again we dine with the early birds before 6 pm. You can sit in or eat out and either way there are a million things to look at, including zany murals and shiny objects on the walls, which always help keep the attention of kids of any age. They serve pizzas in all variety and every dish is a sure palate-pleaser for not only my husband and I but also our children. Plus (and I can’t stress enough the importance of this for our family) the restaurant is loud – always a good thing in our book.

Midtown Café and Dessertery
Love this place! While the prices can be a bit high for your usual breakfast, brunch or lunch (and now they serve dinner!), Midtown always gives me a good feeling when I go there. Their food is great (my favorite is their homemade chicken salad), and the presentation is creative for the kids. My two love ordering the Catepillar (which is available any time of day) and that’s a plate full of eight miniature pancakes shaped liked a caterpillar with chocolate chips eyes and a slice of bacon. Need I say more?

West End Café
I’m sure this is a favorite among a lot of Winston-Salem’ers. Located in the heart of the West End district, this is another place that gives you a good feeling as soon as you walk in. And the wait staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. Not only is my 21-month-old son finicky about his food, but he also doesn’t sit very well when we eat out. But West End has that covered. Once, when our table had just been served, I had to take my son outside to blow off some energy. But, while we were outside someone from the management staff brought me my meal so it wouldn’t get cold. Another time when we were short of table-top toys in my diaper bag, the waiter was quick to bring us a ready-to-use bucket of toys they keep in the back “just in case.” Brilliant. And just all ‘round good food!

Mayberry’s Ice Cream Restaurants
With three locations in Winston-Salem (Miller Ave near Five Points, on Country Club between PeaceHaven and Jonestown, and in Reynolda Village) it’s hard to avoid stopping in at a Mayberry’s. A great place (and super casual which is always my style) for a quick sandwich or burger, or hot dog and chicken nuggets for the kids. But the best by far is its ice cream bar and selection of sundaes.

And like Jen P, I can’t write about kid-friendly restaurants without mentioning Chick-fil-A. What’s great about the two locations in Winston-Salem is that if you have time to kill after your meal, you can let your kids run ragged in the indoor playground at the Hanes Mall Blvd location. Or, if you’re like me and have a million things to do –but can somehow squeeze in a trip to the Chick – the Knollwood location works great because the kids don’t have the playground option. I don’t need to tell you about the food – you know it’s all good.

I'd love to write the same blog - or run a guest blog - about kid-friendly restaurants in Greensboro, High Point, and other Triad locations. If you have suggestions - or want to contribute a blog - email me here!


Anonymous said...

There are many kid friendly retauants in High Point as well.
1. Barberitos on Eastchester- very similar to a Moe's or Qdoba. Kids night is on Tuesdays- kids eat free with each paying adult. They also have a cool coloring sheet you can hang on the wall. My kids love it and so do we.

2. Carter Brothers # locations:(on Main St, Hwy 68 and on S. Main in Archdale)- BBQ restaurant. Family night is on Wed. where kids eat for $1.00. Great selection and QUICK service! They also give you a kid's menu that has great activities to keep your little one busy while you wait.

3. Elizabeth's Pizza (on Westchester). Every night but Friday you can get a large 2 toping pizza for $10.49. My kids love it! They have a big screen TV on that often holds their attention.

Kristie said...

Those lists are great - have a few more to suggest that our family loves.

1.Fuddruckers on Hanes Mall Boulevard...even though they don't have servers, there is a lady there named Alice who always goes above and beyond to take care of us. Love it! (a little pricey, but it's great if you have several families wanting to dine out together)

2.Beef O'Brady's - this fairly new restaurant is on Robinhood Road next to TJ Maxx. Believe me, the husbands will like it too. It is a a 'family sports restaurant' and it caters to everyone. There's even a game room for the kids and you can watch them in there on a TV monitor while you are waiting for your food. Kids eat free with each paying adult on Tuesday nights...and they have a great kids' menu.

3 - If you like Mexican food and your kids do too...El Maguey on Yadkinville Road in the Food Lion shopping center has a good kid-friendly atmosphere.

Katie M said...

Awesome suggestions Smarty friends! That is what this site is meant for. And, Kristie, I am definitely going to check out your WS suggestion - particularly the Mexican restaurant - we love our tacos! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

The Loop is also very kid-friendly and you can even order a glass of wine :)

Anonymous said...

Does The Loop still have reduced meals for kids on Mondays and Tuesdays?

Lori said...

We like Kimono Japanese restaurant (we go to the one on Country Club beside Harris Teeter). They always bring my son's food first and they are always fast which is one of my biggest criteria when eating with a 2 year old!

And I second The Loop however it does appear that they have stopped the $1.99 kids meal on Mondays and Tuesdays. :( Still very kid friendly!!

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy, but we love Chili's. They have a terrific children's menu that my ten year old still likes. It is very kid-friendly and reasonably priced. Although we are not crazy about the long wait on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

Another kid-friendly place in WS is Bagel Station II, the one on Peace Haven Rd. The original one on Oakwood Dr is great, but small. The 2nd location is larger and has a kids play area. You can meet w/ friends and talk while the kids play. And it healthy! They have breakfast and lunch all day.

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