Monday, February 6, 2012

The "Eating out experiment"

Decided take young-uns out to dine. Our “Kids menu” days are thankfully behind us and during adolescent years - none of us prepared to appear in public together so eating out mostly avoided.
Have teens now, and want to introduce them to fine dining before they’ve utterly sold souls to fast food. So will take our snapback hat, skinny jean wearing, bickering while texting, teens to different dining establishment each month this year, to try different cuisines and such like, also interested how smart restaurants respond to teen diners.
 Had thought to play safe, somewhere with familiar offerings first off. Chose Prego as wood fired pizzas and posh looking puds were likely to please both young and old. Was v.wet Saturday night, so Rich turfed self and young-uns out at door before parking in first available space - in small northern town apparently.
Restaurant was packed, but kindly, (also quite attractive) Maitre d, said we could wait. Self was keen, would be approx 1 hr.
Young –uns utterly outraged at suggestion of waiting for table, being accustomed to establishments where meal is free if not prepared and served in under 2 minutes. Tried to explain waiting not actually insult, but was talking to self, as young-uns already on pavement.
 Rich arrived drenched, in time to lead us back to car. Next stop – Cantina in K’rd for repeat performance - kids incandescent with rage when waiting suggested, Rich parked arriving damply, just in time to leave.  
Final try – Elliot Stables, as has plenty of tables, and immediate seating now Priority One.
Described it to kids as food hall with candles and posh-er food. Rich now looking for parking space in outer reaches of civilised world.
Was 7.30ish on Saturday night, three of Elliot Stables eateries already closed and my eye has developed twitch. Boy declares himself faint with hunger. The teenage boy feeds roughly every 15 minutes and may become dangerous when hungry.
BBQ skewers from grill seemed safe option - meat is filling. Our girl wanted “healthy –ish” so chose bruschetta. Rich and I went for French. Soft drinks always eye wateringly pricey, but bit bullet and coughed up for drinks all round.
Boy’s skewers were minuscule, quail perhaps? Bruschetta was deemed OK but not v. exciting. Triumph of evening was bowl of fried chicken from tapas bar, topped with fresh Salsa Verde. Kids hoovered them up. Felt momentary eye twitch picturing noisy scene and accusations of poisoning and child abuse that would have occurred had I served Salsa Verde on chicken at home, reminded self that this is whole point of eating out experiment.
Kids thought evening great success, but then they didn’t have to park, or pay.  My advice if planning to take your young –uns to Elliot stables, is go early to ensure all eateries open, and give each diner cash to pay as we had 5 separate bills.  Next month will think ahead and definitely book somewhere, although eye is starting to twitch at thought.


  1. Entertaining review! I hope the twitching goes away as you know what to expect for future visits. Maybe give each teen a choice of fine dining establishment? And a budget?

  2. Very entertaining! Personally we have dined out with our kids since they were babies, adjusting venues and expectations with age (theirs AND ours!) and have found it very successful. I wish you luck and fun with your experiments. Hopefully within twelve months your children will have discovered new and favorite cuisines and learnt to love the whole experience L)