We don't eat out often. With two small children, it's easier (and healthier and cheaper and more peaceful) to eat at home.
That said, I can see that changing as our kids grow older because our 3-year-old gets so excited about going to restaurants...and she is so easy to take too (no need to worry about nursing, potty-training, or meltdowns). I imagine it will get even easier as the years go by...
A few weeks ago, we went to Souper Salad in Chandler, AZ...and we had a very pleasant experience:
Souper Salad is a national franchise chain that operates restaurants in 13 states. It's an all-you-can eat soup and salad buffet "where bread is baked fresh, all day, every day; where all vegetables are cut by hand; where soup is always made from scratch."
For approximately $6/person (prices vary from state-to-state), you can enjoy an extensive salad bar, fresh fruit, homemade soups, breads and muffins, a baked potato bar, pizza, a taco bar, and desserts.
If you have special dietary needs, feel free to ask for a Gluten-Free Menu and/or a Vegetarian/Vegan Menu when you arrive.
Kids (ages 4-10) eat for $3.49, Monday-Saturday...and littler ones (ages 0-3) eat FREE all day, every day. Sundays are Kids Fun Day at all Souper Salad locations, meaning that kids eat for $2.49. Upon arrival, kids are greeted with a placemat to color (with nutrition tidbits and pics of fruits and vegetables), crayons, and their very own tray.
Menu offerings are incredibly versatile so every kid is bound to find menu items their happy with - everything from broccoli cheese soup and pepperoni pizza to fresh melons and chocolate pudding. Our 3-year-old was satisfied with her huge salad. As she munched and sipped her apple juice, she happily remarked, "I love vegetables!"
Of course, she was equally delighted by the free ice cream bar (with rainbow sprinkles!).
Babies are also welcome in this cheerful, colorful environment. It's clean and friendly...and, if your baby is just starting solid foods, you'll find a large selection of healthful "smashable" and finger food options to choose from (sweet potatoes, sliced peaches, beans, noodles, cantaloupe, etc.).
My Suggestion for Souper Salad
Souper Salad is SOUPAH DOUPAH for families! The menu offerings are versatile, healthy, fresh, and delicious. The atmosphere is clean and inviting and undeniably kid-friendly. And the price is right. We'll definitely be going back!
YOUR TURN: What is your favorite family-friendly restaurant? If you have been to Souper Salad in the past, what was your experience like?
WIN IT! One winner will receive lunch/dinner for four at Souper Salad (any US location). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Friday, February 19th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
* I received a complimentary meal for me and my family for review purposes.
*UPDATE* The winner is #8 Christine Jensen. Congratulations!