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Good chow with a 7-month-old

I'm looking for restaurants with good eats where it would be appropriate to bring a well-behaved baby. I should note that if we go out with her we usually have to go around 5 or 5:30 and eat with the early birds. We live in Arlington, so generally we're interested in places that are in the nearby suburbs, Cambridge, or easily T-accessible (red line). I know about Full Moon, which always comes up in these types of discussions, but I think we're really at least a year away from that. She doesn't need a place to run and play (she doesn't even crawl) and we don't need a kids menu. We just need a place that is welcoming (no dirty looks or white tablecloths) and has highchairs. I've been eating way too much takeout and I'm desperate. Some places we've been successful already are Sweet Chili, Pho Yan, Something Savory, Legal (ugh), NYAJ (double ugh). We like any and all kinds of food, as long as it's good. People always say they take their kids to ECG - what time do they start getting crowded? She's very well-behaved in the highchair but may start getting cranky if there's a wait. Also if anyone has suggestions on a breakfast place that would be great too. Thanks for your help!

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  1. No personal experience, but as you've noticed, small "ethnic" places are baby-friendly. Qingdao, Wang's, Shangri-la, Zoe's, Chilli Garden, East Asia (pretty sure I've seen high chairs at all of these, but don't quote me). Any of the Portuguese places in E. Cambridge/Somerville. Did not notice chairs at Jasmine in Watertown (Persian) but I'd think they'd have them. Just off the top of my head. Now I'm going to start noticing high chairs!

    1. I definitely agree with the theory that ethnic places are usually more welcoming to kids. Here are a few places we see kids and have taken kids, and that we like:
      Arlington - Thai Moon, Za, Kathmandu Spice, Toraya, Mr. Sushi, Bombay (around the corner from Punjab, with doting waiters).Alas, Cafe Levonya is gone - they were very nice!
      Cambridge - Qingdao, Cambridge Common, Jose's
      Watertown - New Ginza. If you go very early, Casa de Pedro is OK, but fancier than its old locale
      Waltham: New Mother India, Beijing Star
      Somerville - Rudy's, Johnny D's, Rosebud, Namaskar, East Asia
      If chains don't make you itch, Bertucci's are great to take kids - especially once they are at the age they can play with the raw dough and don't try to eat it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bluebell

        Thanks Aromatherapy for reminding me of the Portuguese places - hadn't thought of that. And Bluebell good to know on Toraya - I had wondered about this place but worried that it was too small (as in, sometimes places with mostly counter seating can't accomodate).

        If anyone else has any other recs, please chime in!

      2. I too have a 7-month old, well-behaved, and we've had very good experiences at even nicer restaurants (e.g., Blue Room) as long as we go early, around 5 pm or 5:30 pm. She's happiest on either one of our laps, so we take turns holding her - more successful than a high chair, at least at this point. But I do sometimes fantasize about the days when she would sleep through an entire meal and it was a lot easier... ahhh the memories!

        How about Centre St. Cafe in JP for brunch? They are very family-friendly

        1. Dim sum is usually very baby friendly for a weekend bfast.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bee

            agreed. even a crying baby can go utterly unnoticed in the general din of hei la moon or chau chau city on a weekend morning, if that's an option.

          2. Last time I was at the Classic Cafe in Arlington Heights (a couple years ago), the Saturday breakfast hours were filled with people with wee ones (including our own). So there might be a wait, but it's definitely kid-friendly.

            1. Last week we went to Anise in Kendall Sq with a number of friends, and our party included a 2 yr old. The staff was incredibly accomadating to the 2yr old and her needs. Though a lot of their menu is spicy, they happily provided an off-the-menu item of spinach noodles and soft tofu, which the 2yr old loved. After dinner they brought out some green tea and chocolate ice cream, which ws instantly devoured. They even had a selection of crayons available for coloring. Everyone there was so welcoming, so I expect that a 7 month old would be similarly welcome.

              1. Seven-Twelve months is a golden time for going out since they are old enough to behave and be (relatively) quiet but not old enough to get bored and restless. Almost any place which isn't white tablecloth fancy is good, as long as you're there outside prime time (5-5:30 definitely counts). There were LOTS of babies at Mr. Crêpe in Davis last night...

                See also:

                Have fun!

                1. Definitely agree with the recommendation for a small, ethnic restaurant. Also consider any restaurant where you were a regular before the baby was born. If you've not been around in awhile, they will be happy to see you and very attentive. When our son turned 6 mos. and we were ready to eat out again, we went to our regular Thai place, which we'd not been to since his birth. The host was so happy to see us, he walked the baby around the room while we ate.

                  1. Thanks everyone for the ideas. We would like to get down to Chinatown one of these weekends to do dim sum. I especially appreciate the rec for Classic Cafe, as we've been dying to go out for breakfast but the couple times we've tried to go other places they've been too small and not baby-friendly (don't even ask about the time we tried to go to Uncommon Grounds). We were actually going to go to Classic Cafe this morning and then the little one got sick, so hopefully next weekend!

                    For sallyt, our girl preferred our laps to the highchair too, until we got one of those "Cart Safari" things that you can velcro onto the highchair that has toys attached to it. Now she entertains herself while we eat, and she can't throw any of the toys on the floor! Just in case you hadn't tried one. Great for Target trips too, and good for germaphobic moms like me.