When it comes to eating out, kids can be a chef’s toughest critics. Picky eaters abound in that 10-and-under category, so we decided to round up some of the best of the kids’ menu items in the White Bear Lake area for you and your mini gourmet. So pack up the kiddos and bring them on down to these family-friendly eateries.
Baked Cheese Ravioli
The Italians sure know what they’re doing when it comes to pasta. And at family-owned Panino’s, everything is made fresh daily so you know you’re giving the little one the good stuff. If they’ve had one too many orders of mac and cheese or mini pizzas, try the baked cheese ravioli with garlic bread. It has all their favorite things—cheese, pasta, bread—in a new form, mixing up the regular routine. You might even want to steal a bite in between bites of your Panino sandwich. And if your under-10 kid is into veggies, they even offer a kids’ garden salad with chicken and a breadstick. All kids’ menu items $4.95.
For many kids, pasta is a favorite. But at an Italian restaurant like Donatelli’s, you know the pasta will be a giant step up from the stuff out of a box. The layered dish of pasta, meat and Italian cheeses is a classic, and it’s served with a side of garlic toast. This dish will make the kids feel a bit like the grown-ups, since it’s the same lasagna found on the main menu, albeit a bit smaller. But if the kids just want to be kids (or don’t like their food touching), the chicken strips will save the day. $6.99.
Pancakes and French Toast
If options—and breakfast—are what you’re looking for, Cobblestone Café has you covered. Pick from a variety of combinations, including one pancake with blueberries or chocolate chips, one pancake with strawberries and whipped cream, or one slice of French toast, and all with two strips of bacon or sausage links. It’s Cobblestone, so you know the meals are tasty; and treating the kiddos to a meal involving chocolate or whipped cream means you’ll be their favorite adult for at least 24 hours. If lunch is the destination, the options here abound as well. All kids’ menu items $5.95.
Macaroni and Cheese
Mad Jack’s Sports Café
Sometimes, kids just want some good old-fashioned mac and cheese, and at Mad Jack’s they can get just that. Here they make it with white American cheese and condensed milk, giving it that creamy consistency of a warm-your-gullet and put-a-smile-on-your-face mac and cheese. The adults in the group will approve as well, since Mad Jack’s boasts that its kids’ menu has no preservatives and is all-natural. And it won’t break the bank to eat out with the youngest family members. $5.
Crust-Free Grilled Cheese
Washington Square Bar and Grill
Grilled cheese is the comfort food even adults enjoy occasionally to feel like a kid again. At Washington Square, they one-up you by doing what Mom and Dad would rarely—if ever—do: They cut off the crust. While some argue the crust is what holds in the good stuff, these guys know it just gets in the way. Made on rich sourdough bread with traditional gooey American cheese and served with a side of seasoned fries, this will satisfy the pickiest of mini gourmets. All the kids’ meals here come with one refill of milk or juice or one fountain soda. $6.50.
Kid’s Ice Cream Sundae
Jimmy’s Food and Drink
At Jimmy’s, options are the name of the game. The main kids’ menu features every traditional item you can think of (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, mini corn dogs, chicken fingers, etc.), served with fries, tater tots, applesauce, Jell-O or fresh fruit cup, all for $7. Then there’s every kid’s dream—an ice cream sundae. Chocolate sauce and sprinkles will top off the great day out and about; and if it’s Monday, kids eat for 99 cents, making the meal a sweet treat for adults, too. $3.