Miami area suggestions
My wife, daughter and I are heading to Miami (Aventura) in a few weeks, and I wanted to get opinions on some of the restaurants that I'm interested in but haven't been to. Here's my list:
Sara's Ten (on Biscayne Blvd.)
If anyone's been to these places and can make a recommendation that would be great. Also, any info about the suitability of these (or other) restaurants for bringing a toddler is appreciated.
Bissaleh is very good and popular, and you can bring a toddler there without problem. Sara's Tent the market that is in Waterways is excellent, fantastic choc chic mandel bread--and lots of to go stuff well prepared,,,but very good bakery items...never been to their restaurant though which is what you're referring to..go to the Waterways, a bit down on Biscayne past Aventura main area, and there are lots of Kosher options there now, including Prime Grill the kosher steakhouse from the city, as well as a very good French kosher spot, I think it's called Weber's which is quite good..it's a real hangout there for Israeli's now, and so there are lots of kosher options, and beautiful boutiques...etc....another very good place, not on your list, is Shalom Haifa, it's on 183rd street right past the railroad tracks tucked into the corner of a strip mall..technically in Ojus, but it's all called Aventura area now..and it's great..Moroccan style Israeli food...good kebabs, salads, eggplant, humus, etc..the usual suspects.............Try posting on the Florida board, and you should get a more helpful answer...
I have taken my 2 year old to most of the venues you've described. The biggest challenge I've had is the fact that some kosher restaurants have less than stellar service for your needs (my needs with a toddler are: feed me fast, get me the bill fast, bringing extras like a marascino cherry or an origami something get you a big tip). It makes us feel like commando guerillas who are demanding to be fed and leave when the kitchen is just getting around to reading the order.
It will be some of a challenge to get things the baby likes (i.e. we'd like veggies for her that are not in a salad dressing or she doesn't do well with crispy hot chicken nuggest because she has to look at them for 2 minutes while waiting to eat them)
I'll share as well the following best practices: For us, they key is preparation:
1.) Chosing a good time (i.e. not 7pm when we are all hungry, she's getting close to bedtie, and the restaurant is busy)
2.) Chosing a good location. When you go and it's not busy, you can sit anywhere (better table for a high chair or booster seat)
3.) Element of surprise. I've spent $30 at the $1 store in Target and stock up on goodies that are "new" to her and keep her busy. Crayons and Playdough are always with us.
4.) When in doubt, abandon ship, but only as a last resort: If I take Hannah for a walk at the beginning she expects to run around the restaurant the whole time (not cool with me or other guests!). If I wait until the last wiggly moment (we've finished and are waiting for the bill or both my husband and I had a few bites and one of us sacrifices and takes her for 2-5 mins while the other one eats and then switches).
Bissaleh was great.Lul is ok, but the service last two times was frustrating. Cine Citta was tasty and service was slow, but worth it for the food (and the little "main street" was good for Hannah when she fidgets).
Bissaleh is a wonderful establishment. if you go there at off hours you should be fine with a toddler. there is great outdoor seating that could be great for a stroller parking area or if you sit indoors at an off time, it should be good. I recommend doing an early dinner at about 5pm. the food is so good! enjoy!
I think you could bring a toddler to Sara's Tent (the restaurant, not the supermarket) with no problem. The owner's daughter's baby was in there last time I was there. The food is not bad either.
I don't really think Prime 18 in the waterways is a good place to bring a toddler (too much of a date place), but the sushi there is soooo good.
I just went to three major kosher grocery stores yesterday - they were all HUGE!
Amazing Savings and The Kosher World (a bigger and nicer branch of the grocery store by 41st St in Miami Beach) in North Miami Beach. In appearance alone, The Kosher World looks nicer. Price-wise, Amazing Savings was probably more affordable. But they both had long numerous aisles of food and were well-stocked. The Kosher World, however, is duly noted for having a bakery (off-site) and produce.
I also went to Sarah's Tent in Aventura and I must say that beated out the other two just barely, for two reasons 1) it was nicer and slightly bigger but also cheaper than The Kosher World and 2) their sofgania were the best I've had in South Florida as they were homemade and not shipped frozen from Israel (which seemed to be the popular variation). The shipped one from Israel tasted like donuts, but the baked ones from Sarah's Tents were even more heavenly - with better strawberry preserves and the dough reminiscent of a New Orleans style beignet. Very scrumptious and definitely foodie-worthy!
I'm wanting to visit one more Kosher grocery store that I saw in an advertisement... can anyone tell me how it is? The last one I want to visit is in Sunny Isles and it is called King David Kosher Market.
Grill Time was good/pricey. I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing a toddler there in the evening. But there is Dougie's there too.