Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ladies who lunch

As a stay at home mom you have to be creative in thinking of ways to fill your days. I call my daily outings with M "adventures," whether it be to our weekly class, a museum, a friends house or even to our old standby Costco. About 3 times a week we have luncheon adventures...most of the time it is with other SAHMs and their kids but lately it has been just the two of us. We have become "ladies who lunch." And I love it!

We have some favorite places that we like to go that I wanted to share with you:

1. 40 Carrots @ Bloomingdales. This little luncheon spot is in the cosmetic section of the Chestnut Hill Bloomingdales (and most other Bloomies). It has a fabulous lunch menu filled with fancy salads and sandwiches as well as hot entree items. It is also a frozen yogurt spot, so dessert is a must have. While they do have a great, healthy children's menu, I am not a big fan children's menus in general so I tend to order M something off the regular menu, or have her just share what I am having. The last time we were there I had the chicken salad sandwich (to die for), which she shared with me, and I ordered her a smoothie to go along with it. It is generally pretty crowded (there is only seating for like 40-ish) on the weekends, so we go early at like 11 on weekdays and basically have the place to ourselves.

That's right, I am a Lady Who Lunches!
2. Cheesecake Factory. This is a fabulous place to take kids of all ages. They bring you, free of charge, a plate full of sliced bananas and bread for the kids to munch on right away. A great touch! And now that they have the wonderful "small plates" menu, there is no need to even look twice at the children's menu. Last week we got two small plates to split (hummus and pita (again, to die for) and crab cakes) and it was plenty of food. As you probably know it is a loud restaurant during crowded periods, so it is a good place to bring your kids if you think they too are going to be loud.

3. Le Bistro @ Nordstroms. Although I am not a huge fan of Nordstroms the store, I am in love with the restaurant housed within it's walls. Le Bistro (or The Bistro - I can't remember which and Le just sounded fancier :) has a menu similar to 40 Carrots, with fancy salads and sandwiches, which I end up sharing with M instead of ordering off the children's menu. They do have a great menu for children, but I try to stay away from her having fried food or mac n cheese every time we go out. They have been extremely accommodating when we have large parties of Mamas and babies as well. I highly recommend them for a lunch adventure!

4. The Yard House. I think the Yard House has the best traditional bar/pub food around. I know it is known for it's extensive beer collection, but we go there for the food. Since we live down the street from it, we are there once a week probably. They are super friendly to kids, and again there is a ton of stuff on the regular menu for a toddler to enjoy, but they do have your typical kids menu if you choose.

Other places we like to go in Boston area with M:
- Beehive (in the South End - best jazz brunch if you ask me! Great entertainment for the kiddies)
- Legal Seafoods (great kids menu)
- Rox Diner, West Roxbury (very small dining area, fabulous brunch)
- Met Bar (Legacy Place)
- West on Centre, West Roxbury (not the best food, but decent, and very accommodating to kids)
- Smokey Bones (fabulous BBQ in Davis Square)

What are your favorite kid-friendly spots?