Rachel Roland is a mom on a mission - exploring beautiful Arizona (and beyond!) with her two little companions, Jeremiah and Sarah, in search of the best restaurants, attractions, and products for you and your children. See what she has in store for your family today!
As you can imagine, we go out to local restaurants quite often with our children, and I've become increasingly aware of a huge divide in offerings for children at most restaurants. You either have very healthy, fresh options that are similar to the rest of the restaurant's menu, or, you have things that are 'typical kid food.' I really wanted to highlight some restaurants around the valley that really try to step it up with their kids meals.
First, pictured above, is Indulge Burger (Scottsdale) and their macaroni and cheese. I love when a restaurant makes real macaroni and cheese for children - it's probably Jeremiah and Sarah's favorite meal to get when we go out. Going out to eat is such a novelty for children, and picking out what they want to eat is part of the experience - so I always let them choose what they want. However, I do get a little discouraged when the macaroni and cheese that comes to the table is bright orange and clearly store-bought. If parents are paying $5-$8 for a kids meal, I think it's important to serve something that's at least up to par with the rest of the menu. (Another fab place for mac & cheese - Christopher's at the Biltmore in Phoenix. It has HAM in it! )
I actually asked friends about their favorite places to take their children, and Phoenix restaurant St. Francis was mentioned multiple times. (I also wrote a whole article about our experience there last year!) The kid's menu at St. Francis is pretty standard kid-friendly are: a burger, cheese pizza, a veggie tray with dip, and the turkey sandwich pictured above. All the children's food is made with the same care and attention paid to the rest of the fantastic food featured at St. Francis. I asked Chef Aaron Chamberlin about their kid-friendly menu (and attitude - all kids under 10 eat free...all the time) - and this was his response: "We love to be part of the community, we love families and we love to nourish kids. "
Another restaurant that came up a lot with my friends was Postino Wine Cafe. Now, typically you would think this would be the place where you definitely wouldn't take your kids, but I can assure you - we've dined here for lunch with Jeremiah and Sarah and it's a great place to eat. Their kids menu is straightforward - PBJ Bruschetta, Grilled Cheese, and the "Mix & Match" which comes with turkey, cheese, fruit and chips. “We started by creating a cool, healthy kids menu and then made a few parent-friendly tweaks,” says Michael Miller, Manager of Postino Arcadia.
Photo courtesy Red Phoenix Photography