Eating out with kids AND a Giveaway

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You must know by now that I have two small children.  I know, I probably go on about them in my blog, but this one is especially for them.  Hubby and I love eating out. I especially love it when we go out as a family. Taking our children out for a meal is a great way for them to learn about different cuisines. It gives the kids a chance to experience different food and they can make up their own minds on what they like and don’t like.

As a family, we were given the opportunity to try out a couple of kid-friendly places in the inner north suburbs.  We don’t live there but like to venture out to cafes and restaurants.  In the past we have enjoyed meals at various places and we love to return over and over again.

To celebrate all things inner north, a Facebook page has been set up where you can click “like” to keep up to date with events and festivals.  Head on over to their page for your chance to win the Ultimate Northside Experience valued at $4000!  Check it out for more details.

One place that was a must try was breakfast at the Auction Rooms in North Mellbourne.  This place has a great breakfast menu for both adults and children.  The staff are friendly and the food is tasty and beautifully presented.

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 Hubby really enjoyed the crumbed black pudding with tomatillo salsa and pickled pine mushrooms whilst I ate the tasty gammon ham steaks, spinach pancakes and poached eggs.

 The kids enjoyed poached eggs on sourdough and a bruleed french toast.  The french toast was to die for and was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.  The servings were quite big for the children but mummy and daddy didn’t mind helping them out at all ;)

Another go-to place for children in the inner north is Shocolate.  All kids love chocolate.  This cafe is located on the corner of Johnston & Brunswick streets, Fitzroy.  Their glass display of éclairs and macarons looked gorgeous and they have a great kids menu.  The cafe is intimate making it very family friendly and the service was happy and cheerful.

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Look at the smiles on their chocolate covered faces.Shocolate5

 We “inhaled” their fantastic iced chocolate, the kids ate crispy and crunchy dessert (chocolate ice cream with crisp pearls – cereal balls in chocolate) and the shocolate éclair.

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My tips on eating out with small children:

  • I like to check out the menu before heading out to the restaurant to make sure it’s kid friendly.  Also, if you have picky children or children with allergies, this will also aide on deciding if the cafe/restaurant menu is suitable for your family.
  • I like to have wet wipes every time we go out to eat.  Little hands tend to get very sticky, very quickly.
  • Keep the kids occupied while waiting for their meals.  I like to bring along pencils and paper or digital devices to keep them busy before their meals come.  There’s nothing worse than having hungry AND bored children.
  • If you need high chairs, I suggest you give the cafe a quick call before heading out there as not all supply them.  Some are also not pram friendly so keep that in mind if you need to have the pram with you.
  • Try visiting places you may not usually go. This will help expand your kid’s palettes.

I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog to win a $50 voucher for 400 Gradi,  an Italian Pizzeria located in East Brunswick featuring wood fired pizzas and a Neapolitan menu.  To enter, leave a comment below telling me which cafe or restaurant in the inner north you frequent and why.  Get on it now!!

This giveaway ends Midnight 27th April and is only open to readers who are able to dine in at the restaurant in East Brunswick.  Please share by tweeting or facebooking.  Good Luck! 

My family dined at Shocolate and Auction rooms courtesy of Keep Left PR, Hockingstuart and Live North.

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

 

Lots of Pizza eating during the Melbourne Pizza Festival 2013

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Melbourne Pizza Festival is on right now.  For more information, read about it here.

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I was fortunate enough to have been invited to attend a couple of events.  I was also honoured to have met the Pizza Festival Director, Matteo Rubbettino.  Matteo created this festival because he wanted Australians to experience the variations of pizzas from different regions and to showcase the pizza makers that create their pizzas with passion and skill.

I attended my first event at Feldman’s in Fitzroy where Chef Andrea Caroli, works his magic on creating delectable pizzas.  Along with Jason Pitt looking after us, my pizza experience at Feldman’s was a memorable one.

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Hubby and I enjoyed 2 pizza’s  at Feldman’s.  One was the Bocconcini,  gorgonzola, semi dried figs, prosciutto.  This pizza is one of their more popular ones.  The sweetness of the figs counteracts the saltiness of the prosciutto and gorgonzola.  It was fantastic.

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Also tried the Tomato, fior di latte, italian sausage, mushroom, smoked scarmoza.  I’ve never had fior di latte (mozzarella made from cow) or scarmoza cheese before, so I had to try this one.  It, too was tasty.  I’m glad we made the right choices.

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Our second Pizza festival event was at Za-Za’s in Richmond.  Za-Za’s is a trattoria in true casalinga style: warm and welcoming, expressive and passionate, with plentiful food and excellent coffee.  The service is friendly and personal.  Morena Miceli likes to make sure her customers are well fed and happy when they leave.  This time hubby and I decided to take the kiddies along as they too, love pizza and we knew they would enjoy the true taste of pizza served at Za-Za’s.  And, of course, they did.

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We tried The Bufalina Pizza, which  has Italian tomato salsa, local buffalo mozzarella by Giorgio Linguanti of That’s Amore Cheese, basil & E.V.O Oil  It was light and fresh.  There was plenty of sauce and cheese.

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We also tried the Pucinella Pizza, which was amazing.  It is half Margherita & half Calzone filled with leg ham &  Fior di Latte.  The ham in the calzone was amazing and full of flavour.

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I’m glad we attended events of the Pizza Festival.  It gave us the opportunity to try authentic pizzas at amazing restaurants.

If you want to attend events, you still have time.  The festival will come to a close this Sunday 30th June 2013 where a closing event will be held.  You can purchase tickets to attend.  It’s $25 for all-you-can-eat pizza.  Now that’s a deal!  Check out their website here to find out how to get your hands on these tickets.

I attended the 2 events courtesy of Kathryn from Keepleft PR and Matteo of Pizza Festival.

Buon Appetito,

Cherrie

Eco Burger from Lord of the Fries

All Melbournians have heard of Lord of the fries. And all have an opinion of them. Like it them or not, they have become a Melbourne icon. Lord of the Fries are a Melbourne based chain that pride themselves on providing fast food made with locally sourced ingredients. All of the menu is vegetarian and there are also, gluten free, vegan, halal and kosher options.

I was invited to try their new burger called the Eco burger. It is the classic 100% vegetarian faux meat LOTF pattie with Beetroot Darwin sauce and Mozerella cheese. To be honest, I've never been one to go out of my way to eat a vegetarian burger but I found this burger really tasty and worthy of the drive to their Chapel street store. As a meat lover, there's no fooling me that the patty is not meat but none the less, it was perfect as a vegetarian option. So a vegetarian or not, I think people need to try out this new burger because it's that good.

Of course, no trip to Lord of the fries is complete without an order of their chips. We ordered the Large box ($6.95) with the African sauce (extra $2) which is their Belgian mayo plus ketchup plus onions. Super tasty and they were very crispy.

I tried the new Eco burgers courtesy of Keep Left PR Agency and Lord of the Fries.

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

 

Bendigo Street Milk Bar, Richmond

When I hear the word “milk bar”, it congers up images of a small corner store filled with the essential grocery items and display windows filled with lollies and candy. As a child I would buy a 20cent bag of mixed lollies and it would last me all day. But this milk bar is different.

I was happy to hear that the Bendigo street milk bar was still alive and operating. Many years ago, my mum and auntie used to work a couple of streets down and used to frequent it for lunch. During school holidays, my brother used to work with my mum for a few weeks. My auntie will call their lunch orders ahead and would send my brother down to pick it up. He has fond memories of his regular egg and bacon rolls :)

I had the opportunity to head down with my Little Man for brunch. I was met with friendly staff who were more than happy to help me with the menu.

I started off with a latte and my Little man had a babycino complete with marshmallows.

Since the Little man already had breakfast, he really wanted the brownie that was on display. It was dense and fudgy. So good.

I had the warm breakfast salad. It had salad leaves, bacon, tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, avocado and a poached egg with a lemon and olive oil dressing. It was tasty, fresh and something I can eat over and over again.

They have an outside courtyard, which is accessible through a small hall way to the back door of the cafe. A family were happily eating and chatting away.

I will definitely like to return and try their lunch menu. Their display case of different sandwiches and their specials board menu sounded amazing. The staff were super friendly and the place felt comfortable where you can just sit and have a cup of coffee as the world skipped by.

The Little man and I enjoyed our complimentary meal courtesy of 360 Immerse Agency and Bendigo Street Milk Bar.

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Bon Appetite,

Cherrie