One of my new go-to favorites with my nearly-11-month-olds is going out for lunch. We frequently need an outing around 11:30, and our house happens to be relatively close to a couple of office parks, so lunch-type places are close and plentiful. I’ve even stopped bringing food from home for the kids, and just get them a grilled cheese sandwich to share! We’ve become quiet the grilled cheese conniseurs. I’ve learned just what it is I’m looking for in a lunch outing for the under-one and not-a-lot-of-teeth set, and I really only go to places that have counter-then-sit service, so I can get my food quickly and have already paid, in case I need to make a hasty exit. And yes, I somehow always take a picture of them with my camera phone when they’re out for lunch. It’s a compulsion I have.
They get points for wireless internet, and the fact that you can get organic yogurt as one of the side-dish options on the kiddie meal. Sadly, they only have strawberry yogurt… but my kids will be a year old soon, so it’ll come in handy. The grilled cheese itself was on nice soft sandwich bread, but spent so little time in the panini press that the cheese never melted. Alas.
Au Bon Pain
Unfortunate bread options (does everything have to be “artisan”?), and not good options for side dishes (chips or carrots), and they were not able to just give me the sandwich without the rest of the “combo.” That said, we got it on whatever their soft white roll/loaf is, which was plenty soft for kids who don’t chew a lot, and the cheddar cheese was so well melted that I had to wait a bit for it to cool off enough to eat. It was a hit.
Bear Rock Cafe
If they have one of these near you, I highly recommend it. Similar to Panera and the like, but I found their sandwiches very tasty (if sometimes messy), and also good salads. The grilled cheese was just right, good bread, well-melted, and I don’t even think I was forced to get the combo. Plus, wireless internet access (which my iPhone does not seem to want to connect to, unfortunately).
A local burger joint here in Massachusetts, their food is very tasty and the people are accomodating. The grilled cheese on a sliced hamburger bun was my kids’ first, and they love it. And mommy gets the onion rings… mmm….
What about you? What are your favorite baby-friendly lunch spots? What’s your favorite place for grilled cheese?