Eating out with my 2 year old is one of the most stressful situations for me as a parent. He has been known to throw cutlery across a restaurant, shout and scream, not sit still and generally be very hard work. It can be hard to find a place ideal for him when we're out at lunch times; the thought of him having a tantrum because he's hungry and fed up of waiting for his food makes me shy away from places I would eat at without him. And then there's the battle between good, nutritional food and convenience. I would often find myself heading for certain fast food restaurants simply for the ease and speed of service, but of course I don't want to be feeding my toddler fast food every time we're out...
I decided to start a new series on my blog, visiting different restaurants and reviewing how Toddler Friendly they are.
Last week, we headed for Bodega Cantina, a South American restaurant in the heart of Leicester City Centre. I first visited Bodega on their soft launch night and fell in love with their quirky decor and amazing quesadillas!
We were greeted by manager Benji who was super friendly towards Taylor, he got down on his level to speak to him and even welcomed him by signing hello Mr Tumble style.
We were able to choose our own table, with it being a nice quiet lunch time. I aptly chose a nice table with comfortable seats, in a corner so he couldn't escape, haha (believe me, this was a good move!)
Keeping Taylor amused is very difficult, he's not a child that will sit still for very long. So this is something that is so important to me when eating out; does the restaurant offer anything to keep young children amused while waiting for their food?
Taylor was given a 'Nino's Menu' which included puzzles aimed at older children but younger children could also mark make as they wished, along with a super cool colouring sheet of a mask and colouring pencils.
Whilst we were waiting for our food, manager Benji came over and demonstrated his balloon modelling skills, making Taylor a pirate sword! And a little later a dog, after he managed to pop the sword! Such a lovely touch, he loved it!
Many kids menus are quite standard. I'm looking for variety and nutritional options...
At Bodega, there are 4 options to choose from inc. pizzadilla and homemade meatballs -yum! and all come with juice and a healthy snack pot. We chose chicken and cheese tortillas with sweet potato fries. He loved it and I was very happy he was eating good, fresh, nutritional food. The snack pot was a great idea for him to snack on whilst waiting for his food. I had quesadillas which are pretty much the same thing. SO tasty!
For dessert we chose vanilla ice cream with toffee sauce, which he enjoyed pinching Mummy's tasty churros to dip in to!
Overall, we had a lovely lunch time at Bodega. I was very happy with the food options for Taylor, how quickly we received the food and how attentive the staff were. Taylor did get a little silly at times, jumping on the seats, shouting, etc, but it wasn't too stressful as we didn't have to wait long before something was bought over to keep him amused.
I most definitely would recommend Bodega as a Toddler Friendly Place to Eat, and will be happy to visit them with my little whirlwind again very soon.
Do you struggle to eat out with your toddler?
Many thanks to Benji and all at Bodega Cantina, Leicester.
We received complimentary meals in return for a full review.
As always, all words, opinions and amazing wit are my own.
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