My Convertible Life

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Five: Restronks for the Fam

Like most people these days, we're trying to save money and eat out less. But every now and then, Junius begs us to go to a "restronk" and we agree. This probably dates back to the year I was pregnant with Pippi when we were in transition (new house, new jobs, new baby -- long story) and we ate out a lot.

Here are five of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants from when we lived in Greensboro (I've excluded Chick-Fil-A from the list, since you already know how I feel about CFA). Some are franchises, some are local, some are both -- but all are places the whole family can enjoy:
  1. Ham's on Friendly: The original Ham's restaurant, this location offers tasty food, great service (nice to parents and kids) and a train that runs back and forth in the rafters. The fried potato chips are super yummy (in a greasy kind of way) and the chicken tenders are surprisingly good. Kids eat for 99 cents on Tuesdays and the kid's meal includes ice cream. Can't speak for the other franchise locations, so I recommend you stick with the original.

  2. Smith Street Diner: Yummy down-home southern diner breakfast food. They serve lunch, too, but breakfast is available until they close at 3 p.m. on the weekends. Juni likes the great big pancake, but I prefer the diner classic of eggs, bacon, grits and a biscuit. If you're going to eat out for breakfast, you might as well do it right.

  3. Jason's Deli: Free self-serve soft-serve ice cream in a cone or a cup. Isn't that reason enough?

  4. Fincastles: A classic downtown burger diner (complete with jukebox and famous singing waiter) in a great, old renovated building. Sit at the counter and enjoy the swively stools while you sip your soda with crushed ice (the best kind) and munch on fries and a cheeseburger. Kids meal also comes with ice cream.

  5. Ghassan's: My disclaimer here is that my college roommate's family owns this restaurant, but I think the many years I spent eating there only makes my recommendation more credible. Truthfully, Juni likes any meal that comes with fries and I love the chicken on a pita platter. And the great fish tank at the Battleground location helps keep the little ones entertained.
So what are your favorite places to dine with the kiddos?

Photo from Fincastles.


  1. Oh great, now you just made me homesick! Seriously I could hurt someone for a Ghassan's meal right about now, yeah that's how I roll. I live in a very small town with NO good restaurants therefore we eat in 99% of the time. At least there are 2 CFA's but it took me a couple of months to figure out that they were CFA's since one is called Dwarf House and the other is Truitt's Grill.

  2. Sorry, DG -- at least you have something to look forward to ;) The fun thing for me was discovering so many new places when we were there that didn't exist (or at least I didn't know about) when I was growing up there.

  3. Oh what about Tex & Shirley's? I am surprised that didn't make the list. We went there just last Friday when we got back to G'boro from the beach. I love that place!

  4. Sadly my kids are teens, 14 and 16, so no more kids eat free with a paying adult. Awhile ago we did a little weekend getaway to Starved Rock with them and had the very expensive Saturday night buffet in our lodge's restaurant. The waitress was kind enough to charge us the kid's prices for them. I guess maybe they did that so we wouldn't go elsewhere for breakfast the next day. I don't know, but it was nice and we gave her a extra nice tip.

  5. I got really hungery reading the Smith Street Diner's breakfast menu.

  6. I feel compelled to add my 2 cents here in case there are travelers to the DC area this summer. This list is just the very tip of the iceberg but if you don't want to battle the lines at the Smithsonian eateries or have a questionable halfsmoke from a cart, try these kid friendly options:

    Luna Grill: Two locations, Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington, VA and Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC. Lots of pasta options

    Teasim: Several DC locations. The 8th Street NW restaurant has a koi pond on the lower level! Close to the Mall. Tempura chicken is almost like chicken fingers!

    Metro 29 Diner: no direct website that I could quickly find but here's a blurb, Diner food in the Lee Heights neighborhood of Arlington, VA. Junius ate here!

    Pizzeria Paradiso: In Georgetown and Dupont Circle. I recommend Georgetown for lunch or early dinner. Its easy to get a stroller in and out.

    Finally, if you want to eat food from a cart, I understand that there is more variety out there these days though I cannot endorse any vendors. Worth a web search though.


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