Thursday, September 29, 2011

Child Friendly Wood Fired Pizza - That's Amore'

Brisbane City Soccer Club
Hidden at the end of Mark Street

Child Friendly Snapshot:

Pram access? Yes
Kids' menu? Not specific, but not needed
Play area? Rumoured to be possibly building one...which would be fab!
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Heaps!!!
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes
Prices? Excellent prices

I cannot believe that I have lived in this area for almost 11 years and I never knew this place was only down the road from me!!  I knew there was a Soccer Club as I see the kids training on the ovals.  But I didn't know there was such a good venue for child friendly dining hidden at the end of Mark Street in Newmarket. 
This place is not fancy in any way - they don't even provide china plates.  But the wood fired pizzas, especially with the new bases that they have started using, remind me of my Italian godmother's homemade pizzas from many years ago.  I would not recommend the pizzas that are served from the hot box, but instead order your wood fired pizza at the counter and go outside to watch the Italian men put the pizza in the outdoor oven using the big pizza paddle.  They sing as they go, which makes it all the more entertaining and they fuss over the children.  The kids love it....and they love the pizzas!!
By the time the kids have eaten, there is generally a soccer match on, which the boys love watching.  But there is enough room that a group of children can play on the grass or go and sit in the stadium and you can watch them the whole time....just make sure you get a table outside.  We have found this to be a fun place to catch up with a group of families.  Casual enough, and the kids can all run around together or watch the match, and the parents can have a catch up whilst still keeping an eye on all the littlies.  Just as long as anyone you ask to come along is aware that it is casual and easy going, and not to expect a fine dining experience.
I think this is only available on Friday nights, so skip cooking at the end of the week and treat yourselves to a relaxing, no fuss night out that the whole family will enjoy.

Say Hola to Child Friendly Pepe's Restaurant

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant
184 Enoggera Road
T: 3856 0966

Child Friendly Snapshot:

Pram access? Yes, for most of the restaurant.
Kids' menu? Yes
Play area? No
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Not really
Child friendly atmosphere? YesPrices? Reasonable.

The owners of Pepe's Newmarket, were the orginal Pepe's owners - they opened the first Pepe's restaurant located at Milton in 1972 (now a Thai restaurant).  The food at Pepe's Newmarket is quite heavy but what Mexican food isn't.  The kids love their mini nachos, served in a cute little bowl with a mild salsa and cheese. The seafood burrito is very popular with the adults with a mix of seafood including prawns and scallops.  My favourite is the Mexican punch (non-alcoholic), and the children love it!!  So refreshing in this warmer weather.  We always have to order several jugs of it.

The staff are very welcoming of families, and make a fuss over the kids.  The service is quick so you don't need to amuse the children for ages waiting for your meal.  There is no playground or kids activity, so we generally eat and leave soon after, so it depends on what type of evening you are looking for.  But we always love our dinners there and the kids really look forward to it.  Casual family dining that everyone can enjoy.

The Jetty ~ Child friendly and Parent friendly....

The Jetty
1b Oxford St
Bulimba (down near the Citycat Terminal)
T: 3899 6113

Child Friendly Snapshot:

Pram access? Perhaps for outside seating.  Might be too squishy inside
Kids' menu? Yes

Play area? No
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Not really
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes, to an extent
Prices? Reasonable.
Okay, reading the snapshot above does not give it a great wrap, but this is not the type of child friendly restaurant where you let you kids run off to a playground.  It is a gorgeous location overlooking the Brisbane River, with great casual food, lovely atmosphere, good service and an excellent kids' menu.  It is a restaurant where you would want your children to sit up at the table, have a chat and enjoy.  It is a noisy location and very busy, so a bit of kids' noise will go unnoticed and not upset anyone.  But with the busy atmosphere and tight seating, don't take your kids there if they are overtired and won't be fun for anyone, especially yourself!!
I loved that the kids' menu serves more than just chicken nuggets, and the serving sizes are huge.  You can sit up at the window seat in a bar style layout and take in the view, or at a table with seating inside and out.  The only drawback is that they don't take bookings for less than 4 people, so if you have a small group then you have to 'wing it' and hope you can get a table.  We don't have that problem obviously, being a family of 6, and the day we were there for lunch, people were being turned away as it was so busy.

I can highly recommend the beer battered fish for both kids and adults.  Not greasy and was delish.  The steak looked good too and I am told it was excellent.  Desserts were a treat and defintely worth saving room for.  Beautifully presented and very yummy!!!  A great child friendly spot for a family Sunday brekky or lunch, or perhaps even a child-free date night.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Martha Stewart for child friendly home cooked meals.....

My blogs are becoming few and far between lately. Life just gets so busy. I have a lot of child friendly retaurants and cafes to update you on....but I have to spend some time sorting some photos on my phone. In the meantime, although we are always looking for child friendly dining, I am also always looking for child friendly home cooked meals, that are quick and easy and that the whole family can eat. I often get inspiration from the wonderful Martha Stewart...who is inspirational in many ways. But I love this link to her website that gives you 50 quick and easy child friendly dinners -all in one spot that you can scroll through at ease.

I have tried several on our brood, and each time we have had success. The lighter beef tacos were a fave with my kids....but a bit messy.

Good luck and enjoy!