Grammy and Grampy love their grandkids so much, it clouds their judgement. Take, for example, going out to eat with our kids.
Grammy thinks Farley and Mooch are not only geniuses (they are), but also great dinner companions. So, she invites us out to dinner. She picks places she knows I’d like – yummy! – but these places aren’t, shall we say, on par with Chuck E. Cheese in the kid entertainment department.
I present you a list of restaurants in Omaha that are worth checking out – without your kids. I speak from experience. No one sneered at us when we walked in,
but it was not a comfortable experience for me. I knew going in each and every time that it was not a good idea bringing two balls of energy to a restaurant right around bed time, but Grammy insisted.
España – This one’s the freshest in my memory. It was a last-minute invite, and it had been years since I’d had the yummy tapas and sangria here. No babysitter could be secured so I went against my gut instinct and brought the kids. If you haven’t been here, España is a small restaurant in Benson offering Spanish cuisine (ie., food my kids won’t eat). It’s a date place, somewhere you linger and swirl your wine and talk about grown up things. It’s not a place to nurse your screaming child. It’s not a place you’d expect a 2 ½ year old to sit still for two hours, either.
Sage Bistro – We walked in and I saw two couple with kids acting nicely so I felt maybe this wasn’t too bad of an idea (OK, they were infants and they were asleep). It was. It was a bad idea. Sage Bistro is upscale dining at ridiculously low prices, and it’s an awesome place to bring friends to impress them. Located on the Fort Omaha Metro Community College campus, students train to be chefs here. The front of the house is also a training ground, so everyone is very proper and precise and know they’re being graded (diners fill out comment cards). The food’s incredible, and in season (be sure to check the menus in advance to find the best time to make a reservation). However, fine dining experience means the pace is slow and I could not throw enough crusty bread and toys at the kids to keep them occupied. We had to let Mooch run the hall outside the restaurant or she’d start knocking over tables.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar – The name scream’s “Leave the kids home!” Maybe it just does to me. We had dinner here once because Grammy and Grampy had been out of town, and they really wanted to see the grandkids – and as a bonus there was a good deal on prime steak, so Fleming’s was picked. To be fair, the waiter was very patient with us. And it was this place where we learned Farley eats salads. But, overall, it’s definitely not a kid restaurant. Once again, I found myself nursing a screaming baby and Mr. Wonderful found himself chasing a toddler around a wine bar. And how unfair is it to go to a wine bar and not be able to indulge? Am I right?
Charlie’s On The Lake – This was an ill-fated excursion I had forgotten about, but Mr. Wonderful reminded me. Farley was just a little scamp back then. He has grown to like fish and he sits still on command (well, not “still,” he vibrates with energy), but back in the day, a trip to this nice fish house in West Omaha was a mess. This place is more kid-friendly than the others (it even has a kids menu), but bring a toddler at your discretion.
I’ll likely forget about these past experiences and let my stomach make the decisions … when’s the dinner reservation, Mom?
So, have you brought your kids to a nice restaurant and had a good experience? Keep that to yourself – I want you to share stories about the bad experiences!