On Saturday night, we went to Just Jakes on Craig Street for dinner with the kids — and no one cried. Not the kids, not me or the Mister, and not the service staff.
We were downtown shopping and it was getting to be That Hour when peace and harmony, who are always on fragile ground, threatened to make a run for the hills if we didn’t feed the kids immediately. A lovely waitress sat us in the middle of the restaurant — a risky location when dining with children. If the kids behave, center stage is a great place for people watching; if the kids misbehave, center stage is a great place for people watching us. Luckily for everyone, the kids behaved.
And because the kids behaved, it was one of the few times while eating out that I tasted my food. The mister ordered the tuna — his favourite restaurant food — and I ordered the ribeye. For the kids, we ordered Chicken Tenders from the appetizer menu (bigger portion than the $5 (cheap!) kids’ menu) and the Bacon Butternut Squash soup. My steak was cooked perfectly and paired with garlic mash potatoes and fresh vegetables — real comfort food for a crisp evening. I didn’t hear much from the mister and before I knew it his tuna and rice pilaf had disappeared. A good sign.
The real delights of the night were the other two diners at our table. The two-year-old sought, found, and nibbled every last crumb of her two large chicken tenders. And the four-year-old, having already polished off her two tenders, worked her way through the adult-sized bowl of soup. The mister and I looked at each other but said nothing for fear of calling attention thus causing her to stop eating what might be the only vegetable to pass her lips in three months.
While the two littles focused on food, the mister and I had an uninterrupted conversation about the warm, jazzy vibe in the full restaurant. It didn’t feel like a family restaurant, even though children are openly welcome.
I’m not sure if it was the atmosphere or the flavourful food, but something in Just Jakes inspired my children to behave. — and eat. With great pride, the four-year-old propped up her empty soup bowl and said, “All finished Mummy.”
Know any other great restaurants to take kids in the Valley? Please share!
How to get there