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Weekend lunch at Chestnut Hill?

Ugh, help please. We need to go to the Apple store (at the Mall at Chestnut Hill) and hoping to have lunch while we are there. Except that when I look at the mall's website, the options are limited - Daikanyama, Cheesecake Factory, Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse, and Forty Carrots?

The thing is, we will have our toddler in tow and our lives would be so much easier if we don't have to drive somewhere else for lunch (getting him into his car seat = meltdown). I am not eating at Cheesecake Factory! Are the other 3 options feasible/edible, and appropriate for a toddler (ambiance-wise)? Our son normally is very quiet, eats well, and stays in his high chair. We also cannot really go anywhere that requires a wait.

If there's nothing worth eating at the Mall, where would you recommend us to drive to that isn't too far, that isn't crazy busy (ie, no Shake Shack) and toddler-appropriate?

Starting to think that the better option would be to eat at home first before going to the mall... sigh.

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  1. I haven't been to the new Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse but the menu didn't seem all that enticing. Would your son be entertained by teppan yaki style cooking with food flying around on the grill? Because I think they do that.

    Otherwise you could try Brio or Seasons 52 across the street at the new "Chestnut Hill Square" mall. Neither have standout food but are large places that are OK for a toddler at lunch. Since the weather is going to be nice you could really walk there, it is literally across the street.

    Shake Shack, Del Frisco's Grille, The Cottage, Legal's and Met Bar are all a 2 minute drive away down Rte 9, but that seems like a lot of moving around just to avoid the Cheesecake Factory. I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but if I were you with a little one in tow I would just go there and get their kale salad, which I actually like!

    1. I've heard great things about Daikanyama, but haven't eaten there myself.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sallyt

        I'm a fan of the Daikanyama in Lexington and, assuming it's the same management, I have always found them to be very friendly to my young children. I haven't had anything I've disliked from the Lexington location, from an assortment of sushi and maki, but a recent order of hamachi kama was particularly good.

        Much as my soul recoils from going to Cheesecake Factory, they are extremely child friendly and the one at Chestnut Hill gives you pagers you can carry around the mall, so if you go get one when you get there, and do your mall business, your table will probably be ready around the same time you are.

      2. I've taken my kids - not toddlers - but 1st graders and quite fidgety and it has been lovely at forty carrots and at daikanyama. daikanyama was extremely friendly if your kiddo is sushi friendly. forty carrots is essentially a veggie-friendly diner for the bloomingdales set. no need for carseat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jalgavin

          Thanks for everyone's suggestion. We ended up going to Dakianyama and it worked out well! I must say I was a bit hesitant to walk in w/my toddler b/c the place looks upscale, but once inside we realized there were plenty of children and toddler. Staff was friendly. My son ate 1/2 of my duck udon noodle soup.

        2. Haven't been in ages if you are looking for Asian food Benard's is much better than typical mall food/chains.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lc02139

            Bernard's has moved out of that mall and is down the street where Legals is.

            1. re: catsmeow

              Worth the trip IMHO- the parking lots are tandem. The new space is roomier and the same great staff and lunch menu.

            2. re: lc02139

              Here's another vote for Bernard's (down the street), and that should be plenty kid friendly.

              FYI - Toyko Steakhouse has the same owner and menu as Bisuteki in Cambridge, but much worse service - they seem to not have enough Teppanyaki chefs.

            3. Daikanyama had lots of kids there when we had an early dinner one Saturday. I made my second ever visit to a Cheesecake Factory at the Mall a few weeks ago. The flatbread pizza was pretty tasty. That and a salad would be okay. Tokyo Steak House has a regular restaurant side in addition to the grill table side. The food was just okay, and I probably wouldn't go back, especially with Daikanyama being an option.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cwinboston

                I've had several meals at the Cheesecake Factory that I've enjoyed. I think I'm one of the few on this Board that likes it.