Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Tartan of Redlands


OK, this isn't going to be your usual restaurant experience, because this restaurant has a long history with me. And this chapter of the story is hilarious.
The Tartan, when I was young, was dark. You could still smoke in restaurants, and the restaurant was an adult-only institution I was banned from until I was grown... hence, I didn't go in it until I was 21.
And when I went, I felt so grown up and mature, transported in to a world where I was old-school cool.

The rules have changed since then, and now the dark adult-only restaurant is a little bit brighter inside, a little less smoky, and has a children's menu and high chairs.

My cousin came through town for a wedding last weekend, and mentioned she had never been, she herself having the same rules imposed on her I mentioned the injustice to my grandma, who set up a quick dinner there with we, my husband and parents, and of course Foodie Baby.

I checked the website online and was honestly surprised to see the kid's menu on there. Grilled cheese, chicken fingers, shrimp and hot dog, all with fries.

Considering the Tartan is a burger-and-steakhouse kind of joint (the word joint certainly applies in the description of the 40-year-old restaurant) I really hadn't expected more, and decided on the chicken strips and fries before we even went.

I called ahead and made sure there were high chairs, mentioned the 'injustice' I was served as a child for never getting to eat there, and warned the laughing waitress about my son's imminent arrival.
Because I was incredulous that they were actually prepared for a toddler.

Foodie Baby sat on the edge of a table in his high chair in the center of the Friday night crowd of middle-aged diners and one other family, both children much older.

Foodie Baby, being the jolly fellow he was, cheered, crowd and played with cars while waiting for his food. Much to other diners' consternation.
Yes, my son consernated other people.
When he squealed, several diners glared, much to my amusement. He often cheered for the baseball game which was on over the bar (I forget who was playing, but it never matters to him).
Several came and greeted my grandmother and other family (we're cool that way) and were noticed to have glared at my son while they walked up or away.
I figured that it must be the same as for a family to walk into a really nice, quiet restaurant and have the kids breaking up every one else's peaceful adult time.

Except this place wasn't quiet.

But we did break up the adult time.

The large cushioned wheeled chairs at the tables are hard to work around with a high chair right next to you, so picking up lost toys was a bit of an effort.
Foodie Baby loved his fries and chicken strips, which came with ranch sauce. We had a choice of orange juice, cranberry juice, or (I think) pineapple, so Foodie Baby got an adult glass of OJ (good thing I ALWAYS try to bring a sippy. Be prepared, people).
The waitress was awesome, the conversation hilarious ("Look see, she's glaring again," *giggle*) and my orange roughy delicious! (I went fancy, I also recommend the burgers.)

But, for kids this small, the Tartan is not quite a place to bring them. Leave the kids at home and enjoy a good burger and some old-school vibe at dinner (and the zucchini.)
Unless you want to piss of the regulars.

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