Being away last week we were eating out quite a bit. You take for granted the whole eating 3 meals a day thing at home until you are eating out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks when you are on holidays. I realised a few things.
: Eating out costs money. Der
: Kids food when eating out is shit house
: The cost of what you pay for what you get is beyond warped
The first night we looked around for something open early as the girls (and us) were a little frazzed after a long trip and the only option was a pub. This suited us because it meant that Rob and I could legitimately down schnooers of Coopers at a rapid rate and fit right in. This pub’s menu was no different to a number of places we ate at over the course of the week. The same crap offered each and every time. Even the kids weren’t eating the stuff by the end it was: Fish and chips. Nuggets and chips. Chicken schnitzel and oh, chips and perhaps a pasta with tomato sauce. Depressing isn’t it? I’m all for the occasional Happy Meal or bowl of chips, heck, I have been known to feed my kids dinner from the vending machine at the pub (what? Burger rings are so a meal and you know it!) but when you attempt to feed your kids semi healthy meals every night, it’s so disconcerting to only have this sort of shit on offer. Sure, it’s pretty rare that you are eating out all the time, but if you were – then it’s not pretty and it wouldn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. And if you think it sounded like shit on the menu, just wait till you see it when the plate hits the table. A few dried up bits of something with some chips.
A few months ago I saw my mate Ruth from Gourmet Girlfriend sharing a kids menu from a local place. I was amazed and jealous at the delicious, simple food. It’s the sort of stuff that kids would devour: chicken wings, rice paper rolls, ribs – all done with some care and nutritional insight and hey! Even some herbs! Sure, the stuff looks great on screen, but I bet it would taste a bit better than some fried nuggets even if it looked half as good as these shots.
Why is it that the food offered is so nasty? If it’s the cost, then surely cutting some carrot & celery sticks and chucking some hummus into a bowl wouldn’t cost more than that? Is it the cost of the labour involved? Throwing something straight from the freezer into the fryer is easier than marinating ribs I suppose. Why do kids meals exist? Why don’t they just offer the one menu and you have to adapt from there? We went to one place for lunch that did just that and we ended up getting the kids a cheese platter. They turned their noses up at the blue, but gave the olives, and figs and other crackers & cheeses a red hot go and with more enthusiasm than the other crap too.
What sort of stuff would you put on a kids menu? I think I would throw on ribs & rice, marinated chicken wings, stirfries, cutlets and on the side of everything I would throw on cherry tomatoes, cucumber/carrot/celery sticks/avocado/cheese and it would be eaten. I know there is the notion of “treats” when eating out but do you guys find this kind of thing depressing? And expensive? Would you eat out more if you had better food on offer? Can I ask any more questions? I’m trying to be a blogger that starts conversations. Can you tell?
The photo at the top is of Daisy (a little younger than Harper is now) when we were in Paris. If you are in Paris chips are Pomme Frites and that’s OK don’t you know? Snort.