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dining with children in DFW

Can anyone help a single dad who goes out for a father-daughter date every Friday night? We've been stuck in a Macaroni Grill rut as her default meal is Fettucinne Alfredo. I on the other hand would prefer to dine somewhere that doesn't have a "franchise" atmosphere. In other words.....a restaurant that welcomes but doesn't necessarily cater to (well-behaved) children, yet at the same time offers me a nice place to unwind and enjoy a decent meal as a reward to long week at work. I know there are other single parents facing similar predicaments, any suggestions?

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  1. Let us know what area of Dallas you are interested in (I can help with East Dallas but would be clueless in Plano) and an age range for your child. That will help with suggestions. Places that would be great for an 8-yr-old wouldn't necessarily work for a 4-yr-old.

    Also, what kinds of food do you like?

    Price range?

    (FYI, if you search this board, there are a number of previous threads on dining with children.)

    1 Reply
    1. Depending on how old your child is and what part of town you're looking for, I would look into the newly opened Blue Canyon in Rockwall. It's more upscale that Macaroni Grill and the kid's menu includes options like lobster mac n' cheese, petite sirloin, mini kobe beef burger. That's a lot better than most kid's menu options. As the father, Blue Canyon does some great upscale comfort food with lots of seafood and steak options.

      2 Replies
      1. re: donnaaries

        My daughter is almost nine and we live in north Dallas. Actually north, north Dallas, i.e. north of LBJ. I don't mind driving a bit as we just recently moved here and I'm looking forward to seeing and experiencing more of the metroplex. The suggestions of Blue Canyon and Patrizio's sound perfect. I should mention that we're not necessarily married to Italian food. When she's feeling adventurous, I'm able to coax her into Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. We've driven over to Richardson, Arc en Ceil? I believe, for Sunday dim sum and had a fabulous time.

        1. re: ttsandbeer

          first chinese bbq always has families and some of the best down home chinese food in town.

      2. Babes Chicken House in Carrollton is a fantastic place to bring kids.

        http://www.babeschicken.com/

        1. my daughter loves to go to either Nicola's or Samui at the shops of Legacy in Plano. After dinner we always walk around and sometimes we go get a piece of chocolate at the chocolate shop or an ice cream. It is a really fun place to take kids.

          1. Bavarian Grill.

            I haven't been, but I'd try Mister Shabu Shabu.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hobbes404

              Mr Shabu Shabu is quiet nice and very clean on the inside. Very well run and the servers are attentive. Only drawback is if you don't have any familiarity with Shabu Shabu style of (Chinese??) cooking than I would read up on it. The next time I go I would order the spicy noodle soup with beef the regular beef shabu shabu with noodles was rather bland (waitress suggested the spicy for the next time). I would also order the house tofu dish (if you like tofu) I had on my first visit which comes with excellent Chinese black and enoki mushrooms as well as snow peas, carrots and ginger. Great tofu dish and very cozy place. There were very well mannered kids there when we ate there this past Saturday. There will be very little patrons especially on a week night most of them of an asian decent. Most of the business is done on the weekends. I would recommend Shabu Shabu if you are in the Plano area.

              1. re: soulslinger

                I'm pretty sure it's Japanese. I think the teenagers are friends of the owners son or something and they're always there, gives the place kinda an old fashioned feeling.

                1. re: luniz

                  I'll have to move it up on my list of places to try. I just threw it out there because as kids my sister and I loved fondue night and I thought it would be cheaper/more kid friendly than The Melting Pot.