Monday, August 3, 2009

You mean I'm supposed to chew food?

I don't know how many times I've spent a morning dreaming of a day when Starbucks will add a train table if not an entire play area to their coffee shops. I mean, it could just be open for the mid-morning and late afternoon hours when caffeine-addicted moms need a place to get a hit while still entertaining and socializing their kids. Wouldn't it be great?

I know, I know, McDonald's now has McCafe's and Barnes & Noble even has Starbucks and train tables, but I hate McDonald's and Barnes & Nobles has shelves and shelves of books just taunting my toddler to destroy. I'm talking a gated play area where a coffee bar is within sight distance. Wouldn't it be loverly?

What I don't understand is why more places don't follow the lead of one of my favorite local restaurants, Blue Corn Cafe. This place has a separate rooms for patrons with kids and patrons without. It's so nice to not have to worry about your toddler throwing a tantrum because he wants his own bowl of guacamole to dip in because there's another one loudly demanding his quesadilla at the next table.

As if separate but equal dining spaces weren't enough, the with-kids dining room has a play area stocked with toys, a chalkboard covered wall, a play mat, and a full library of VHS kids tapes. While you are getting sat down and offered a menu, your preschooler is digging out a fire truck from the toy basket. I can't even remember another restaurant where I've been able to actually read the menu rather than just randomly selecting an entree.

Now I understand the importance of teaching your child to sit politely at the table, but there are just some nights I would like to sit and sip a really yummy Mojito without slurping it down between reiterations of "Sit down. Be patient." We work on manners at home and at other restaurants, but at Blue Corn, I prefer to sit back, munch on tasty fried plantain chips, and watch as my son lies on someone else's floor rolling cars back and forth.

If you're like me and could sometimes use the "dining out" option that really is a bit of a break, or if you just like really good Latin-American food, then Blue Corn Cafe on Durham's Ninth Street is the place for you.

Who knows? We might just see you there.

Crossposted at Abby's personal blog My Sweet Babboo where she doesn't just write about food. Although come to think of it, she does write about food a lot there too.

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