Eating out with kids can be messy business. On the one hand, eating at a restaurant as a family can be a time to enjoy one another's company without having to deal with cooking and clean up. On the other hand, eating out at restaurants with kids can be stressful and cause you to question what in the world you could have been thinking in the first place (I am talking about spilled drinks, food all over the floor and failure to use "inside voices").
My family was recently invited to come and check out the new healthier children's menu at Nookies in Edgewater. Back before we had kids, my husband and I indulged in our share of hangover burgers and omelets at the Nookies in Old Town so I was curious to see how the Edgewater location compared. This place is no diner - when we arrived, I was surprised to see the modern, minimalist decor. The restaurant is decorated nicely and has a more upscale vibe. However, the menu has something for everyone. You can get eggs a million different ways, but there is also a huge selection of sandwiches, salads and main courses.
We were there to check out their recently revamped children's menu. I loved that the children's menu offered healthy options and went beyond the typical grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. Kids can actually order smaller size portions of regular menu items, including a take on a pork loin dish.
My five year-old ordered up whole wheat pasta in a "zesty" pasta sauce with chicken and vegetables and he devoured the entire bowl. My less adventurous 7 year-old had a grilled cheese sandwich on a whole grain bread with sweet potato fries. And my little guy had chicken tenders with a huge potions of fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower) and fresh fruit (grapes and melon). They were all happy customers.
I ordered a smoked chicken salad (Maplewood smoked chicken breast, grapes, spiced pecans, red peppers and goat cheese tossed with baby greens in balsamic vinaigrette for $10.45). My husband couldn't leave work in time to join us but we brought him home pot roast served with mashed potatoes and carrots (and that was delicious too -- I had a bite or two as a put it into the fridge for him).
The whole meal was enjoyable from start to finish. The chef came out of the kitchen and talked to me to accommodate my son's food allergies. The service staff was friendly and fast.
I love the idea that a family could come here for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the menu has something for everyone tastes. I also really appreciate the thought put into the healthier children's offerings. We will definitely be back for more family meals.
Disclosure: Nookie was kind enough to pick up the tab for our meal, even though I wasn't expecting it. The meals was worth every penny.