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Ordering off the Kids Menu...

Sometimes, I just want some chicken tenders, fries and a drink for under $5.
Lots of great stuff on the kids menu...tater tots, mac and cheese, hot fudge sundaes, chicken tenders..smaller portions too.
I'll heavy tip when ordering a kids item.

Have any of you ordered off the kids menu..any issues?

Are there laws that state you cannot order from the kids menu if you are not a kid...if you act like one..does that count?

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  1. I do it all the time. I ask first if it's OK but I've never had a problem with it. I do have a big smile when I ask if it's OK, and generally I will order an "adult" drink to go with it. I just like the smaller portion sizes, and, if it's at a bar type place, the chicken tenders are usually one of the most reliable things to order. Also I'm sure to tip a bit more than I normally would (assuming the service was good).

    1 Reply
    1. re: juliejulez

      I should say that I don't order off of it if I'm at a nicer sit down place. But anything with "bar & grill" in the name, or at large chains either sit down or fast food, I have no problems with it.

    2. Yep, especially at breakfast places! I don't need a giant stack of pancakes but a nice plate of silver dollar pancakes and a scrambled egg is just the right mount of food :)

      1. LOL, on the rare occasions we go to fast food places (hello, Papa Gino's), I order from the adult menu for my kid with the bottomless appetite and for me from the kids menu. Works great.

        1. Generally, I don't ever order from the kid's menu cuz none of the stuff really appeals to me.

          The only exception is ordering desserts from the kid's menu. I do it simply because I don't want a full-sized dessert.

          That said, one time I tried to order a kid's Sundae at Bob Evans and they charged me for a full priced Sundae ...

          1. I have not really tried ever since.. at the end of high school (a long time ago), at my graduation dinner, we went to a fancy restaurant. Well, in high school, I pretty much only ate chicken-fingers. So none of the fancy entrees appealed to me, and when the waitress got to me, I ordered the chicken fingers, and she said "No, you cannot order chicken fingers." And heavens, the first thing out of my mouth was--"But it's my graduation." (It was a knee-jerk reaction, normally I wouldn't talk-back to an 'adult.') She immediately stated that no one over 12 could order from the children's' menu. My parents flashed me a look, and I switched to shrimp, but I hardly ate any of it because sometimes you just want what you want. It really spoiled my dinner, but not my graduation because after-all it is only food (but I thought it was rude--especially given the occasion--even though I understand rules are rules).

            2 Replies
              1. re: GraceW

                There are rules of physics, biology, etc. Everything else is negotiable. It wouldn't have killed her to get you some chicken strips!

              2. I've tried to order off the kids menu at a restaurant in Logan Airport, but they wouldn't let me. I don't like to eat heavy before a flight so I just wanted some chicken fingers and fries. So instead I just ordered a water nibbled on my BF's fries while he ate and then bought a sandwich somewhere else.

                But other than that I've only ordered off a kids menu at fast food places when I want the toy or a small meal.

                1. My fave for ordering off the kids menu is room service!!

                  Wynn Las Vegas has a great kids menu and includes a hot fudge sundae and they put the warm chocolate on the side, until your ready to devour the bad boy.

                  Cheeseburger is on a brioche bun and slightly smaller than the off the menu and about $20 cheaper!

                  1. I order fast food kids meals on the rare occasion I stop for fast food. The smaller portion is just right, and I give the toys to my nephew. I also recently got a kids meal at Busch Gardens - the mac and cheese looked amazing, but was only available as part of the kids meal. The meal was also a better-for-me size. I've never asked to order a kids meal at a regular, sit down restaurant. They price those as loss leaders with the expectation that the adult(s) will order full meals, so I can understand why they don't want to sell/serve kids meals to adults.

                    1. I think it probably works better with a woman than a man, it's not the most masculine thing to order in a restaurant.

                      1. I would love to order off the kids' menu sometimes, but I think I've only had the guts to try it maybe twice. I have no desire for chicken fingers, but I do love a good grilled cheese sandwich. I would also be very happy to be served about 1/2 of the portion size that most restaurants give to adults.

                        I rarely go to restaurants or even hotels where there is a kids' menu, so it's not an option most of the time.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: travelmad478

                          The room service menu at the Mandarin Oriental has tater tots on the kids' menu. Adults get no such privilege ...

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Love love love the Mandarin Oriental hotel and their room service kids menu is fab!

                            tater tots...yummmm

                        2. There are some restaurants in my area (MA) that I've seen outright prohibiting it on menus...eg "For kids 12 and under only". That said, there are some that compensate by having "lighter portions" or "light fare" on the menu, ostensibly aimed at folks who want a small portion, or the elderly.

                          On the off times I've wanted something light and haven't been able to order from the kids' menu, I usually just order an appetizer.

                          1. It is not uncommon in my area (Philadelphia) for 'Kid's Menus' to be expressly for kids only.

                            For those that say they want smaller portions, do you ever try asking for smaller portions?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              It's nice though when a smaller portion comes with a smaller price tag. I've seen numerous instances of a "half-portion" being discounted by only a dollar or two. I realize that the food cost is only a portion of the meal cost and it's still work that needs doing, but...it's still annoying.

                            2. My biggest gripe is that the burgers on the regular menu are normally 8 oz. A half a pound of beef in a burger just seems ridiculous to me - particularly once you add "stuff" to it. Then, you look at the kids menu, and they have "burger & fries." Problem is that the kids plate doesn't end up being just a smaller version of the adult one (with similar choices of "stuff" to put on the burger, etc.). It ends up being kid-like.

                              1. If we're dining out with the kid, I order off the kids menu. One regular entree (husband)' one kids item, and a side dish is usually good for the three of us.

                                We were in a local quick service restaurant and I wanted grilled chicken fingers. The guy at the counter told me to order the kids meal instead of the side order- when I said I wanted grilled, not fried, he offered to switch it and sub a baked potato for the French fries.

                                1. I can't even remember the last time I was at a restaurant with a kids menu. I hated ordering off them as a child (why is it that children can only eat beige/fried food? The server always looked at me askance when I ordered something from the regular menu as a kid, which I always found rather rude), so I'm just not interested as an adult. If I wanted that sort of comfort food, I'd just go to a restaurant that does comfort food for grown-ups.

                                  1. I have a neighbor that's 87 years old, we'll go to the restaurant and she will order off the kiddy menu for me.