Eating out with a hungry toddler and pre-schooler can be challenging but in the many mini-cities of south Orange County there are plenty of diners where a "terrible-two's" unpredictable behaviour raises no eyebrows. On this short trip I had occasion to try out two kid friendly places; Ruby's Diner, a regular favorite for the kids, and Deemer's American Grill, to which we had never previously been.
Rocking Horse Pub 2038 Sanders Road
Nanoose Bay Nanaimo District, BC
Ph: (250) 468-1735
As we drove up to the Rocking Horse Pub, I saw what looked like a large house standing amidst green fields. The exterior did not hint at the comfortable English pub ambience that we encountered when we entered. Six of us were seated at a nice sized table. I chose to sit on the "church pew" bench which meant the table was just at the right height for me.
Whet Kitchen.Bar.Patio 1517 Anderson Road, on Granville Island Vancouver
Ph: (604) 696-0739 or Reserve Online
As a very regular theatre reviewer of productions at the eight or so theatre venues on Granville Island, who also writes about my pre-show meals, I am always being asked for pre-show dining recommendations. So I keep a lookout for new places to eat on Granville island - especially those that I have not recently reviewed.
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Laguna Hills
24032 El Toro Rd.,
Laguna Hills, CA
Ph: 749 -848-3747
When you are heading out for an early supper with an infant and a pre-schooler, the key feature you look for is not eclectic contemporary cuisine but a family-friendly environment and a children's menu. Fortunately there seems to be no shortage of such style eateries in the several neighbouring communities of Orange County where my family lives.
One such chain is BJ's, that presently has about 95 restaurants scattered throughout the West, South and Mid-Western states. They began with a pizzeria in Santa Ana in 1978, began handcrafting beers in Brea in 1996 and are about to open several new restaurants to add to the present list.
East Fusion Food
1021 International Village
88 Pender Street, vancouver.
After a pleasant Sunday afternoon spent wandering around the neighbourhood of the new Simon Fraser University campus and the housing developments on the old Woodwards site, we decided to take in a movie at the Tinseltown cinema complex.
With an hour or so to while away before the film would begin, we dropped in at the tiny East cafe, tucked into a corner of the International Village complex. They were offering an excellent deal, appetizer, soup and a main course for under ten dollars
I put in my order not expecting much at that price but surprise ! surprise. What great value.
My hot and sour soup was satisfyingly hot in temperature, spicy but not overly hot in flavour, and quite delicious. For our appetisers one of my friends and I ordered one portion of spring rolls and one portion of shrimp wonton and then shared them. Again they were crisp, piping hot and delicious.