Just Because I Have Kids Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Dine Out
By: Rachel Handel
I’ll admit it. Before I had kids, I liked to think of myself as a culinary hipster. Now, I still enjoy trying new and different foods—I simply don’t have the opportunity to go out as much as I used to. When I do, I like to mix it up. And I like my kids to experience new food with me.
We’re not talking going to the LeMont. More like small restaurants that specialize in serving healthy, locally grown food. The exact types of food that can get kids on the path to eating well for a lifetime.
Surprisingly, these types of establishments are often the most difficult to take kids into. Perhaps it’s the “young, hip” persona of Pittsburgh’s “eat local” scene, but it’s pretty obvious that children are not welcome.
In a recent visit to the Quiet Storm on Penn Avenue—previously one of my favorite restaurants—our mostly-unavailable waitress treated my children as inconvenient afterthoughts.
We weren’t splitting meals and the kids behaved well (for the most part). The bill came to a reasonably high $24 for one adult and two kids under four years of age. And after I paid that bill, a woman who appeared to hold a high level position in the restaurant approached us. She informed me that our table had been loud during our dining experience, adding that she’d been subjected to “the sound of children shrieking.”
I’ve left restaurants many times before when I felt my kids were behaving inappropriately.
They were not behaving inappropriately.
This was clearly a case of a restaurant that’s too cool for kids. We weren’t there during a busy time and 75% of the available tables were empty. Her tone made it clear that our return businesses was not needed or wanted.
It’s one thing to create an environment where kids are not allowed. Put a sign on the door and let me know from the start. But remember that the young, hip people these restaurants covet do grow up. They do have kids of their own. And they still like to eat out.
Just because I have kids doesn’t mean that I can’t dine out. But it does mean that I can drive past your restaurant and choose one that respects my family and me.
Thanks for the pic Chubby Vegan!