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Dec 19, 2007 06:28 PM

Hampden dinner with (well-behaved) 2 year old?

We'll be heading up from DC to Hampden on Saturday to check out the Miracle on 34th Street (I'm a Baltimore native and have never seen it!), and we'd like to find a nice spot for an early dinner with our 2 year old. Any recommendations? We want good food, not kid food -- he'll eat anything, and he's very well-behaved. I saw reference to Woodberry Kitchen -- would that be worth checking out?


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  1. Woodberry is very good, although I have no conception of how kid-friendly it is. Golden West Cafe is fabulously kid-friendly, with interesting (if inconsistent) food that tends to be very good. Rocket To Venus is a personal favorite, located right at the intersection of 34th and Chestnut (the end of the block with the lights) -- it's hipster bar ambience, but very enjoyable food.

    1. I would suggest Petit Louis on Roland Ave. It's pretty loud and bustling so definitely kid friendly. I just love the vibe there. French onion soup is soo good,the sweet potato soup (or was it butternut squash) was fantastic also. and dessert is very good too. I like Woodberry Kitchen too but it's very dark and I think less kid welcoming than Petit Louis.

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        1. Woodberry is kid-friendly, and they even have a decent specific kids' menu. Chef Spike is a dad to young children himself. Make an early reservation and let them know you're bringing a little one so maybe you can be near the open kitchen. The food is wonderful.

          Golden West makes no accommodations for anyone's needs, let alone a two year-old. I have had way too many negative experiences there.

          Rocket to Venus is also a decent choice; their menu is online. They're more casual. They don't do reservations.

          And while I like Petit Louis well enough, just because it's loud and bustling doesn't make it kid friendly. The times I've seen kids there were kids buttoned up in their Sunday best, looking uncomfortable.

          Brasserie Tatin is nicely decorated for the holidays, and they have a terrific fireplace. They were very welcoming to my six year-old daughter last week, so much so that she says she wants to go back there for her birthday.

          2 Replies
          1. re: PaulaG

            As far as Golden West, I was referring to the fact that they give out wiki stix and crayons and coloring pages to kids -- or do they not do that anymore?

            1. re: matt8313

              I think it's hit or miss. My daughter wasn't offered anything when we were there in October.

          2. holy frijoles is also on the avenue and very yummy and casual. i've never gone with kids, so i'm not sure how kid friendly it is...

            6 Replies
            1. re: pmody

              Unless you're going in January, avoid it - even the dining room is smoky and no child should be subjected to that!

                1. re: sweetpotater

                  R to V smoke free 6-9pm. Last time there (about 5 weeks ago) I found the food to be erratic- bordering on unsafe to eat.

                  1. re: maddogg280

                    I haven't been in a couple of months but I always enjoyed it. Can you elaborate, please?

                    1. re: PaulaG

                      Certainly. Husband and I actually made a reservation on a Saturday in early November. We were seated right away and service was just lame, waited on everything throughout the evening (not clear if that was waiter or kitchen). We ordered the grown-up mac & cheese appetizer which was fantastic. Hubby ordered special of the evening which was a southern shrimp creole dish- ettoufee thing- it came out lukewarm. I ordered a beef-centered dish (not memorable, as I have no recollection of it) but waited for the server to bring a replacement out to my husband before eating. By the time it came out, I was not hungry anymore and frankly was worried about food temps- food safety. We did not take any leftovers home- practically two hole plates of food left behind. We waited and waited for the check, then waited and waited to pay it. Eventually hubby got up and paid it at the bar. I suppose you could describe the situation as disorganized at best and sloppy/careless at worst. It's too bad, because I find their menu to be creative and unusual. If you do go, please post your experience. I hope the place cleans up its act!

                      1. re: maddogg280

                        I had a similiar experience at RTV in late October. Had a reservation & was stuck in a table against the wall crammed as close to the bar as possible. People were smoking, squeezing by to get to kitchen & bathroom & then dragging tables by us to set up for the DJ. Food was OK I guess - we had the steak & the shrimp & grits- not at all what I was hyped up for.