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I beleive I have failed as a chowhound parent, and now I must suffer.

My son is not quite 10, going on 16 it seems for the past few years anyhow. He has a pretty daring palate for a kid his age, in fact he will try things that I won't even try.

But bottom line, I have failed to make him appreciate quality.

He got a straight A average for all courses this year in all periods, so we are going to go out to dinner tomorrow night. His first choice... *hangs head* Red Lobster.

Talked out of this by my wife (more for the lack of value than anything) , his second choice is a local Americanized Chinese food joint. The kind where most every entree has one of 4 or 5 different sauces, nothing authentic whatsoever, and no choices for anyone who doesn't want their food drowned in either a cloyingly sweet sauce, a muddled bland brownish sauce, or a watery bland off-white sauce .

Even though Richmond is not flush with great Chinese restaurants, I offered him some alternatives, like Peter Chang's (Great Szechuan) or Full Kee (decent Cantonese) but he would not be dissuaded. He likes the honey shrimp at this other joint.

It really gnaws at me that he would choose such an inferior place. And doubly sad because I tend to have my dinner leftovers for lunch - not going to happen here. So much for value.

Where did I go wrong? (No, it wasn't in letting him pick the place for dinner, that was not my doing. I remember celebration dinners as a kid were chosen by my parents...)

Yes, I am feeling sorry for myself lol. So be gentle.

***EDITED TO ADD*** I also have failed as a speller since I misspelled believe

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  1. He's 10, not 30.

    Don't expect a 10-year-old to make the same choices a 30-year-old does. I'm guessing he still plays Pokemon and acts like a little kid, too -- because he's not that far away from being a little kid.

    If he's still choosing Red Lobster when he's 30 (even if he's got enough money to buy the whole fishing fleet) then you can worry.

    But for now? Let him be a kid.

    17 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      No pokemon, but plenty of Iron Man, and lots and lots of matchbox cars. Fleets of them, it seems.

      Thanks for the reply. I guess it is more just an eye opener for me.

      I know he is just a kid, guess I just overestimated his palate and his good-natured experimentation at some of the better places that we go (especially compared to his brother)

      1. re: PenskeFan

        lol, i was thinking this too: he's only 10! eat before you go, so you don't have to suffer and let your son enjoy himself.

        congrats on the great grades! you're doing a good job, dad.

        1. re: PenskeFan

          give it a few more years....my teen, who ate anything and everything as a tiny kid, subsisted on air for about five years, then proceeded to "somewhat picky" for a few more years....has recently developed a raging appetite that has forced me to rejigger all of my cooking and shopping...

          ...and last night? Was helping clean up the kitchen and was struck by the idea to try putting Speculoos spread on the duck breast left over from dinner (I'd made a LOT, and there really wasn't much left!)

          ..utter quandary -- part of me wanting to go EWWWW!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY???!!!! and the other part (the part that won) saying -- shhhh....shut up -- experimenting with flavors is a sign of becoming a Hound. (and swears it was good....I'll just take the kid's word for it....)

          1. re: sunshine842

            speculoos? wtf is that? it sounds like something you get at the gynecologist.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              google it -- it's a spread intended to be put on toast, made from speculoos cookies.

              (it is occasionally also referred to in some circles as "crack in a jar" -- pretty awesome stuff!)

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                It's a spread made from spiced cookies... sort of like peanut butter in consistency.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculoos

                ETA: Sunshine beat me to it!

                1. re: Ditdah

                  from the google. LMAO!

                  ~~~~~

                  Lotus is unrivaled specialist spiced, this biscuit in North thanks to its unique taste and its candy cinnamon.

                  Speculoos are always appreciated to accompany morning coffee or all desserts.

                  In cooking, sweet or savory, this is a true wonder. Lotus had the great idea to create a spread in spiced.

                  This soft and creamy paste has exactly the same unique flavor cookies. It is ideal for your pastries, pancakes and toast in the morning.

                  Of pure greed!

              2. re: sunshine842

                Dorie's Greenspan has a recipe for chicken breasts cooked with cream fraiche and speculoos, so he wasn't that off base. :)

                1. re: Becca Porter

                  really? I may have to dig that up as a surprise!

                2. re: sunshine842

                  Dorie Greenspan makes a chicken dish with cream and speculoos (the cookie, not the spread) and its delicious!

                3. re: PenskeFan

                  Hey, at 30 I have a pretty adventurous palate, would consider myself fairly chowish, and have an appreciation for both serious Chinese and the occasional honey walnut shrimp. Not failed hounding, just a broad appreciation.

                  1. re: Savour

                    but what makes honey walnut shrimp not serious chinese. just because it was created in Hong Kong in the 1980's or 90's doesn't make it less less 'serious'. Numerous chefs around the world are noted for their ability to create seriously great 'fusion' dishes. As far as I'm concerned Honey Walnut Shrimp definitely qualifies, even if the inventor remains oddly obscure.

                4. re: sunshine842

                  I was just going to say the same thing....he's only 10? Cut him some slack!! At least he didn't ask for McDonalds, like most 10 year olds.

                  1. re: coll

                    Read a story the other day of a pediatrician who attended an art opening for her ten year old and his class and was horrified to discover that his art was a giant container of McDonalds fries. Red with golden arches and all.

                    I wouldn't be concerned. Hes only ten. It took me until I was 35 to realize what crap chef boyardee ravioli was. He has time to come around.

                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      Andy Warhol made a few bucks with an artwork of cream of tomato (?) soup -- why not a box of fries?

                      A statement of the popular consumer culture explored by the young, etc., etc., etc. -- I'm sure someone could write a ridiculously pretentious article declaring it the work of a genius.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    Totally agreed. I'd be psyched that he wasn't going for chicken nuggets....and a kid who is willing to eat fish that's not a fish stick? Big points there. No worries!

                    1. re: pinehurst

                      Same here. I'm impressed that a 10 year old wanted seafood, even if it's the generic Red Lobster variety. I know plenty of 10 year olds who only want Kraft mac and cheese or fast food chicken nuggets. You're doing well!

                  3. At 10, his palate is still pretty unrefined, and it's craving salt and fat. Coincidentally, Red Lobster and most Americanized Chinese places specialize in salt- and fat-flavored foods. Just keep on keepin' on, and he'll grow out of it. You can bet on it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ricepad

                      Thanks for the encouragement. He is still the only kid I know who says Brussels Sprouts are one of his top 10 favorites, I guess :)

                      1. re: ricepad

                        At 34 my palate is somewhat refined, and I still crave salt and fat. Just in slightly different forms! Roast pork? Seared foie gras? Butter poached anything? Salt+fat == taste.

                      2. Not to worry. He's choosing what he DOESN'T get at home. Trust me, with good role models his tastebuds will mature.
                        -the parent of a child who ate ONLY fast-food hamburgers and frozen pizzas for 4 long years.-

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mamachef

                          Great point about what he doesn't get at home :)

                          Yeah I have to admit he does a great job. He ate this chickpea-risotto combination with curry last week. I admit I wouldn't even try it, partly since I don't like chickpeas or curry, and I am not even a fan of risotto

                          His little brother is exact opposite of him - worse than only fast food burgers and pizzas. Only eats 4 or 5 foods and will actually go to point dangerously low blood sugar if we don't feed him something he likes. In the little one's defense, there are food allergies involved , and part of it he is scared of anything different since having an allergic reaction.

                          It is funny how different they are with food, considering how similar they are in other ways and how we have raised them the same.

                          1. re: PenskeFan

                            He likes chickpea-curry risotto and Brussels sprouts at 10yo? Yeah. I'm not a parent, but you're doing A-OK, PenskeFan.

                        2. Don't be too hard on yourself! As others have pointed out, he's 10, and his preferences and choices will change as he gets older. Do the choices you made at that age have any relationship to your choices and preferences today?
                          Hopefully, in a few years (maybe high school or college graduation?!) you'll all have a good chuckle remembering these dinner choices"! I have read studies about kids and sugar - that nothing is sweet enough for them until about puberty - so his craving for the sweet, cloying sauces does have some biological legitimacy.
                          (And maybe you can have a big lunch tomorrow, and have a light dinner)

                          1. If its any consolation, my son at 10, when given a choice on where to eat would choose complete crap - long John silver, taco bell, I hop etc. he's now a sous chef in a Michelin 2 star with a very refined palate (though he still prefers simpler food). I think someone else made the point that he's going for food he doesn't get at home is so true. Give him time.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: katnat

                              Heh, good to know. I actually love simple food, well prepared with high quality ingredients of course.

                            2. While I know (or hope!) that you're talking tongue-in-cheek here - give the kid a break.

                              He's STILL a kid, & grades like that should earn him even a trip to McD's if that's what he really wanted. Who the heck cares about "value" when it's supposed to be a treat for a job well done. I think your wife should tell him that you'll be on your way to "Red Lobster" instead of making him feel ashamed for the choice. Would you have preferred that he said he wanted a trip to NY to dine at "Le Bernadin"? There's an awful lot of time ahead for you to introduce him to the finer things in dining.

                              Sorry, but there's something about - "we're taking you out to the restaurant of your choice for dinner for doing so well at school, but it really has to be "our choice", that rubs me the wrong way.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                Largely tongue in cheek - he is a great kid, I am probably expecting too much from him at his age, just a blow to the ego.

                                But there is is nothing wrong with saying "we are taking you out to dinner at X" as a celebration. That is how my parents did it. Or giving a choice of a few places.

                                As far as Red Lobster, I guess she reminded him we are going to Virginia Beach this weekend so there will be a lot more seafood choices than Red Lobster and he changed his mind on his own ( But I still think she just didn't want to spend 100 bucks for Red Lobster ).

                                Now he is looking forward to his honey shrimp and so of course I won't deny that to him.

                                1. re: PenskeFan

                                  Let him ease into adult pleasures nice and slowly and at his own chosen speed - he's only a kid once. Too many exhaust their life's thrills too soon, enabled by well-meaning parents. Then what?

                                  1. re: PenskeFan

                                    Looking forward to his honey shrimp?

                                    Celebrate this. Your son is a true Chowhound because he has found a dish that he enjoys at a place that other scoff at.

                                    1. re: PenskeFan

                                      It's not a blow to your ego -- it's a statement made by a 10-year-old kid. You asked him where he wants to eat, and he told you.

                                      And don't eat ahead of time -- it's bizarre to take him so he can eat, but you skip the meal -- what kind of a message is that? Suck it up and eat dinner with your kid to celebrate his good grades.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        I agree. When you make an offer like that, it's only fair to accept the decision graciously and join in the celebration he chooses. It's only one meal, why wouldn't you?

                                      2. re: PenskeFan

                                        Oh come on, there is nothing wrong with the occasional deep fried, sugary sauce, American-style Chinese meal. General Gau's is probably one of the worst things you can put in your body, but it's damn tasty. Nothing to be gained from being such an uptight foodie that you can't enjoy the occasional garbage meal, in my humble opinion.

                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                          But given a choice of the same dish from "Gloppy Dynasty" or a wonderfully prepared version from Peter Chang's I had hoped he would choose the latter.

                                    2. He just wants to eat what he views as "normal" food - if you occasionally let him have the stuff that his friends usually eat, while serving exciting and fresh foods the rest of the time, he will be mildly disappointed in the crappy food and eventually make the right choices. Forbidding other foods will only make them more appealing - train his tastebuds to reject it without your help.

                                      1. I never tasted brie or any cheese other than American cheese until I went to college. I never had Thai food, or Korean food, or fish other than maybe frozen haddock until years after college. I'd never had fresh oysters, clams, a real Caesar salad. If you live in a town where great food can be found, it will happen. I was lucky enough to go to college in a fairly large city with a good food scene and now live in the DC area and we have a great food scene. I still have some personal barriers such as sweetbreads but I eat virtually all vegetables except kale (I've tried, I've tried...) and things I genuinely don't like (peanut butter). I mean a 10-year old eating curry? This kid's going places!

                                        1. I would say you have succeeded admirably as a chow parent. Your son has sampled what is out there and made up his own mind about what he likes. Nothing in the least wrong with that. Why would you want to be a chow Nazi?

                                          1. Yes, yes, kids like fat and salt. Adults do too...but they call it "junk food" and try not to like it so much.
                                            When he is a grown up- If he fails to figure out he is choosing junk food...then you have a problem. Otherwise- eat the junk food with him and enjoy it for the evening.

                                            1. My son and daughter (16 and 13) recently cashed a check from their grandmother, rode the subway into town, and promptly spent it on steak tartare and escargot.

                                              But they are not above wanting to go to chains or fast food or ordering delivery pizza that do not interest me at all.

                                              There's nothing wrong with wanting to go to Red Lobster, though I am glad I don't live near one.

                                              By the way, Cheddar Bay Biscuits have their own Facebook page.... it became a bit of a phenomenon when a stand-up comic did a routine about this, and now people go on to their Facebook page and 'like' them as a kind of over-the-top joke.....

                                              http://www.facebook.com/RedLobsterChe...

                                              1. at ten years old, food preferences are determined mostly by their peers.
                                                at ten years old, my daughter had pizza for lunch every day because that's what her peers thought was cool.

                                                blink your eye and he'll be eating chow-worthy food again. . . . .

                                                p.s. those great grades will stay with him forever, whereas what restaurants he chooses this year will fade into meaninglessness soon enough. . . .

                                                1. Asked our 15 year old where he wanted to go to celebrate last day of school. The Melting Pot! I HATE the Melting Pot but invited his friend and Mother to go (they LOVE it as does 15 year old). If he had said McD I would have taken him but I was hoping for upscale - he is adventurous and adores oysters on half shell, etc. He does, though, go through phases - I call them food jags as I have them as well.

                                                  1. 1. I think it is great that you gave him a choice of where to go.
                                                    2. I think it's amazing he didn't pick McD's or Pizza Hut or KFC
                                                    3. I think you are being awfully hard on yourself.

                                                    I can't say that Red Lobster is the be all and end all of good dining, but there are far worse choices. Clearly you have exposed him to more than hamburgers and fried chicken. Sounds like you have been doing a really good job. Kid's palates are much less sensitive to the nuances of food. At this rate by the time he is 15 he will be inviting you to places you might not have heard of. Good for you!

                                                    1. Maybe it is the power of advertising?

                                                      My son (6yo) rarely watches tv but when he does, he is absolutely enchanted by the commercials and successfully gets his grandparents to take him to the restaurants (including Red Lobster) that he sees advertised.

                                                      1. Kind of like parents who want/demand that their son be a doctor and all he wants to do is drive a truck. Leave him be.

                                                        1. Decades ago we introduced a 10-yr. old son of a dear friend to lobster at a surf & turf at our home. He LOVED it so he begged to his parents for Red Lobster for his birthday dinner. His dad (a chef) offered to prepare a New England lobster dinner at home, which was turned down -- amazing the impact of TV ads on young minds! Son was severely disappointed and swore off chain restaurants for a long period.

                                                          Fast forward to same son some 20 years later -- his contribution to a recent Thanksgiving weekend food orgy was an amazing cheese platter that he personally selected, saying it was a great excuse to taste his way through the cheese shop's offerings and solidify his standing with the shop owner! Gosh, I love him.

                                                          So a valuable lesson in analytical thinking was had.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                                            Great story, especially the part about being disappointed. I think my son was at least mildly disappointed in the food he got, he may have remembered it better than it was.

                                                          2. I think we need to distinguish between your child's attitudes towards food and his preferences for certain foods.

                                                            I would be concerned if his craving for Red Lobster or Americanized Chinese food is a reflection of the former. But if it's simply a temporary manifestation of the latter, then it's really just a phase we all go through. Heck, I love a good plate of Panda Express every once in a while myself.

                                                            1. You have not failed as a Chowhound parent! I remember at that age taking my kid to a sushi restaurant, watching another family with a daughter who was about three years old, scarfing down nigiri and maki like it was her last meal… my kid… asked if they had chicken and broccoli, the same kid mind you that went from using french fries as a vehicle to get ketchup into her mouth, was also eating lots of different ethnic foods, like Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese…so while I was a little envious of the family who had a toddler that enjoyed raw fish, right along side the parents, I figured that my kid was pretty well rounded anyway… so if she wants “chicken and broccoli” at a Japanese Restaurant, that has teppanyaki, why not let her have good “chicken and broccoli”, instead of forcing the issue with the sushi

                                                              Let your kid be a kid, don’t make an issue of food, or else it’ll come back and bite ya in the arse… if your kid wants “Chinese” (note the quotations) food, then take your kid for Chinese food, don’t make a fuss, and next time, try to ease into something more to your liking

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cgarner

                                                                Very true , there is a continuum of "chowness" and he is pretty advanced for his age. And despite being 5 years older than my youngest, he may be 12 years ahead of my youngest, palate wise. Though with his allergy issues he is going to be gunshy about trying new things for at least a few more years.

                                                              2. We have had family football pools for years, and at the end of the season, the winner gets the dinner of their choice. About 5 years ago, my younger son was about that age when he won. His selection: BURGER KING???!! Which is probably our LEAST favorite fast food choice on the planet! However, a promise is a promise and the family endured. We laugh about it all the time now, and while his palette is NOT adventurous at all, he has grown to enjoy the finer things in life (think prime aged beef and baked potato). Not sure which I prefer, LOL :)

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: shell22

                                                                  Every parent battles with their kids about food..particularly those of us who put a lot of thought & energy into what we feed ourselves & our families. My kids (13 & 14) love McDonald's, lunge toward any soda that is offered to them, and begged for lunchables when they went off to kindergarten, but just lately I have seen some glimmers of hope. A (begged-for) visit to Olive Garden left them both very disappointed with the lackluster food, my daughter has begun making a pitcher of iced tea every day, because she says that she likes the different varieties she can make, and that she can add as much or as little sugar as she feels like to each glass, and my son now tells his friends that the mac 'n cheese in the box tastes like plastic once you've made your own. They'll get there, I think. I don't know if they'll be 'hounds, but I hope to instill in them a taste for healthier, more varied foods than I experienced as a child. I am a member of the TV dinner generation, I was fourteen before I knew cheese came in any variety other than American slices...I know my kids are possessed of more sophisticated tastes than I was.,,,at least we're moving in the right direction.

                                                                  1. re: tonifi

                                                                    tonifi, when my #1 son was 3 and my darling daughter was about 6 months, we were driving one day and she started fussing from the back seat. I rhetorically asked, "awww, baby, what's wrong?" and her brother leaned over and said very quietly, "I think she wants taco bell."
                                                                    This, despite his never having been there. (Yet.)
                                                                    I think it comes down to this. Chowhound cred. is kinda what you make of it, innit? It's all a subjective thing. Granted, I have my prejudices and preferences, and they veer towards Not Fast Food. Or hardly ever, anyway. That's just me, though.
                                                                    A lot of it does come down to the power of advertising.Not to mention the subtle peer pressure (or even self-pressure) of wanting what they think everyone else is getting. Keeping the status quo, you know. Important when you're a kid. Important to some adults too!!
                                                                    And even though they both discovered the wonderfulness of don't-even-have-to-really-digest-it-Fast Food, they did both grow up to love and appreciate good food forevermore. For the most part.

                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      mamachef, you never fail to crack me up. I'm wondering if your son explained his sister's 14-year-old temper tantrums by explaining to you that 'she wants you to buy me a car.' And you are SO right about the advertising...the Olive Garden experience was entirely due to my kids' being charmed by the OG tv ads for 'all you can eat pasta bowls.' It was sad to see their faces fall when they got their bowls of damp, bland pasta, but hey, you can't pay for life-lessons this good. I had to endure one lousy meal, but they learned plenty about the the believability of television commercials and the quality of lowest-common-denominator restaurants. My daughter is right this minute swiping raw broccoli from the kitchen counter where I am prepping dinner and my son had a cheese and crackers snack earlier and spent a couple minutes rummaging in the cheese drawer for 'that good SHARP cheddar', so I"m pretty happy with them right now.

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        You know, my favorite kids/food/hounding story comes from a dear friend who is raising her kid on a determinedly healthy, multi-cultural, organic, locavore diet...he happily eats most of what they give him, and is pretty adventurous for a little guy, but one day when he was about two they drove by a Sonic and he screamed from the back seat, "MOM! STOP! WE NEED TOTS! WITH CHEESE!"
                                                                        They blame Grandma.

                                                                        1. re: tonifi

                                                                          LOL. I wouldn't mind those once.. except I would probably go to the local joint Hoghead Cafe and get the Loaded tots, with cheddar cheese and bacon and scallions. When I go bad, it better be dang good :)

                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                          I could see my son doing that lol. Very funny!

                                                                      2. re: shell22

                                                                        Yeah, I worry about my youngest. I will be lucky if he even tries a burger much less prime rib. Though he has assured me that "when I am big like my brother I think i will like hamburgers. dad"

                                                                        He has some allergies though so I am afraid he is going to be gunshy for quite a long time.

                                                                      3. You haven't failed. My kids' favorite restaurant is Joe's Crab Shack. It's a "nice" (their words) sit-down restaurant where they turn on the disco ball and the wait staff comes out to sing and dance. My kids, well the girls anyway, always join them. Then we always go for a walk on the greenbelt after.

                                                                        I have a feeling it's more the novelty factor than the food quality. :) They know mom & dad won't choose it, so they have to if they want to go. They also order a variety of seafood that we don't eat all at once at home. So we deal with it and are just happy they don't choose a place with a playland (also for the novelty factor)!

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: SAHCook

                                                                          I wouldn't mind Joes partly because I have never been. While I dont usually seek out chains, that is one that I would probably not mind trying out. :) And definitely yes glad it was not Chic Fil A. Or worse, the dreaded Chuck E Cheese..

                                                                          1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                            I cannot tell you how glad I am that we are past Chuck E Cheese.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              I am taking the kids there this afternoon since I decided to take the afternoon off, but not for food.
                                                                              Maybe I just haven't had a headache in awhile ;-)

                                                                              1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                I had a birthday party there for my oldest when he was in kindergarten. It was my 1st birthday party for a kid, and we invited the whole class. They did a great job, and I didn't have to do a thing except send out invites! Now I throw the parties myself, but I loved that first one a Chuck E Cheese.

                                                                                The key to reducing headaches is going when it opens - and be sure to go online first, there's a place you can print certificates for free tokens.

                                                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                I don't have kids, so I haven't been to a Chuck E Cheese since I was a young'un. In October I went to visit my brother and his family in Florida. One day he took my 4-year-old neice and I out, and she wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese. I thought it would be fun, being able to run around and play games with her.

                                                                                When we walked in, my brother said "get the salad bar. It's bad, but not as the pizza." I thought "it can't be THAT bad..." I was wrong. I knew it wouldn't be good pizza, but I wasn't expecting something truly inedible. I swear they used plastic for cheese and a kitchen sponge for the crust. It was just WRONG.

                                                                                Thankfully, when I returned in April, my neice said to me "I don't want to go to Chuck E Cheese. He's scary." I was perfectly fine with that.

                                                                                1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                  You don't have to eat at Chuck E Cheese to play the games. I've taken my kids to CEC countless times, yet we've never eaten there.

                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                    the sounds and lights are spasm-inducing....and I'm not sure that's an exaggeration.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      Heh, I know what you mean. But we managed to have a fun time watching the kids enjoy it. But we went to the pool the next afternoon - much more relaxing.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        I once honored my daughter's request for Chuck E Cheese, and I attended a nephew's birthday party at one. The place made me feel like civization was on the brink of collapse and anarchy was at the gates. I had a chicken sandwich which was unobjectionable, but all those kids running around screaming made me want to crawl into a soundproof cell. I'll take Red Lobster any day. Until I work up the nerve to buy live lobster and butcher them myself, it's an acceptable alternative.

                                                                                        1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                          Easy. Stick them in a pot of cold water and put them on the stove -- dump a bottle of white wine over them to anesthetize them further of you're worried.

                                                                                          Now turn on the heat....they are lulled to an eternal sleep and expire at (curiously) about 100F -- just over human body temperature.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            i misread the attribution and thought you were talking about the kids, not the lobsters.
                                                                                            I'm sure many a parent has wanted to pour wine over them until they are lulled to sleep... eternal or otherwise.

                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                              I just laughed so hard at this I cried.

                                                                            2. Well after what was supposed to be an early starting half day and turned out to be 11 hours at work , we had celebration dinner. He was very happy for all the praise and atta boys.

                                                                              Funny thing though, he said the food wasn't as good as he remembered. I just laughed.

                                                                              We also were kept waiting for the check when our waiter disappeared for more than 20 minutes after we finished eating That jogged my memory of the last time we had gone there. But the kids were well behaved despite the long boring wait

                                                                              All in all not a disaster and my expectations set more realistically, I was quite proud of my son. And since I worked extra hours today, I am going to force myself to go out to lunch tomorrow rather than eat leftovers at my desk.

                                                                              1. Hmm..I like Red Lobster (steamed whole lobster from the tank, caeser salad, chedder bay biscuits) and americanized Chinese food. I'd go in your place..".you buy..and I'll fly".
                                                                                My 5 year old's favorite food is "Chinese noodles" ( lo mein) and I don't bat an eye at it. I just don't get it for him whenever he asks. We'll see when he turns 10.

                                                                                1. When I was ten all of our special dinners out, usually a birthday, were at one of two supper clubs we had in our small town. Even as a ten year old I always ordered seafood and my brothers were eating hamburgers. These were white tablecloth, cloth napkin kind of places. My mother always used to say they brought us there so we could practice our table manners in public. Anyway, with our own kids, in the suburbs now, the choices are different. Now it seems to be Texas Roadhouse (love those fresh from the oven rolls and honey butter) or a local Mexican restaurant. At least I can say we never did the Chuck E. Cheese thing like my brother's kids always requested. (I never even had to talk the kids out of this choice so I have that to be proud of).

                                                                                  1. From ages 6 though 12, my special request meal was usually a hamburger. I liked them all, from Wendy's to the local diner. That was always my request. You laid the groundwork, give your young hound time to come around! Not to mention, I grew up in a home where my mother embraced all things packaged and boxed (Hamburger Helper and the like) and all vegetables were frozen or canned, rarely fresh, and I turned out OK in the end ;)

                                                                                    1. Do NOT feel badly at all! My daughter (15) will freely tell you that her favorite "restaurant" is Olive Garden! Other than that, all three kids seem to think that Famous Daves is absolutely great - fine dining at its best - LOL!

                                                                                      Funny thing...I took my youngest to McD's the other day on a whim for him to have a Big Mac (remembered ever so fondly from my youth). He promptly proceeded to stop at the condiment counter to grab some ketchup. Dude...you do NOT put ketchup on a Big Mac!!

                                                                                      1. And you think this is about you because...? Jeez, the kid is 10. Cut him some slack. Or you'll be treating him for ulcers in a year. It's your expectations that are out of line, not your child's choices. That's where you went wrong.
                                                                                        You asked.

                                                                                        1. If he had asked to go the the finest French resto, you would be paying big time. Its his choice. Let him be. He sounds like a fabulous kid. You'll live through the meal. Be upbeat for his sake, OK?

                                                                                          1. did i miss it? am i the only one wondering how the meal actually went?

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                              Clearly they all went into sugar shock from the gloppy sweet pseudo-Chinese sauces and wound up in diabetic comas. (Are diabetic comas the result of sugar shock? I don't even know what these terms mean, but it sounds good.)

                                                                                              More likely, they had a fun time and a celebratory meal and hopefully food snobbery was suspended at least for a little while :-)

                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                I actually did post it in this thread on May 31, but the abridged version - we celebrated, and treated myself to lunch the next day rather than my normal leftovers.

                                                                                                Also my son (unprompted) said that the food wasn't as good as he remembered it, and my wife remembered the reason she didn't like the place last time - the 20 minutes waiting to get the check when the waiter disappeared into the back. I never said a thing other than to congratulate him on his hard work and make plans to go to Chuck E Cheese after lunch the next day.

                                                                                              2. You know, you may pooh-pooh Red Lobster, but a dear friend worked his way through college as a software engineer as a RL waiter. I ate there enough to realize that they did tend ot bread it and add calories to it, but they alwqays cooked the seafood perfectly. At least at that RL. They're ubiquitous for a reason, and I don't like breaded fried bla bla bla seafood that much, but we could pay more there and get purer seafood, and it was always perfectly cooked. oKAY, THAT WAS 25 YEARS AGO, BUT THE CHAIN STILL STANDS.. Sorry about the caps lock, it was unintentional.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                  ... I crave RL's cheddar biscuits... it's a guilty pleasure of mine
                                                                                                  (oh and my kid Loves RL... they do fillet fish pretty well)

                                                                                                  If they did something like Olive Garden, with the biscuits and unlimted Salad or something I'd be there for lunch all the time (oh and I'd be as big as a house)

                                                                                                  I've tried making them and they just don't turn out the same
                                                                                                  (there's my confession for the day)

                                                                                                  1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                    You probably need a pizza oven with well worn, darkened baking sheets like RL to get that authentic crust.

                                                                                                2. He will probably grow out of it. A couple thoughts come to mind:

                                                                                                  1. The school year ending marks a transition - something familiar might be comforting even if the food isn't awesome - at least He knows what to expect.

                                                                                                  2. It could be that's what his friends like and talk about - so it has gained points by popularity regardless of the food.

                                                                                                  3. Children do actually have a stronger sense of taste compared to adults, so it may be that less complex food actually tastes better to him than it does to you.

                                                                                                  I'm sure when He approaches the college years He will start wanting to differentiate himself from the masses and will return to being a proper foodie. Good luck!