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Dining with kids at the Elgin Street Diner

by Brie Once upon a time I was a food snob. I loved good food. I liked to eat in nice restaurants, you know, with tablecloths. I hated to pay for bad food. Then I had kids. Now I am a food snob of a different kind.

We don't go out often to eat with the kids. When we do, given the frantic nature of the meal, there are certain things that we look for in a restaurant. Luckily we can find everything we are looking for at the Elgin Street Dinner.

Here are my top 5 reasons that the Elgin Street Diner is a great restaurant for kids.

1. The food comes fast Diners are the perfect choice for kids because the food is fast to come out from the kitchen. In fact I sometimes feel like I am waiting longer for the food to cool enough for the kids to eat it then I am for it to be brought to the table.

2. Distractions are plentiful The crayons and place mats for colouring that are handed out to all the kids when they arrive help to pass the time while you wait for the food. We usually bring some books with us too. If neither of those interest your kids you can probably keep them entertained for awhile watching all the people coming and going. A diner is perfect for people watching.

3. The servers are used to kids I am always thankful that the servers are used to kids. They know to bring extra napkins. They understand when we ask for the bill half way through the meal. They don't even look surprised when a glass of milk gets spilled. I am pretty sure they have seen it all at the Elgin Street Diner and that dinner with my two kids isn't the worst of it.

4. There is something on the menu your kids will eat Elgin Street Diner has an extensive menu, and with all day breakfast you can't really go wrong, but our kids are always happy to order off the kids' menu. In fact they always order the same thing. My 4 year old daughter gets the grilled cheese sandwich and my 2 year old son gets the macaroni and cheese. Once they totally threw me for a loop by switching their orders. Thankfully once the dishes arrived they decided to switch again and the order of the universe was restored. Phew, they had me going for awhile there.

5. It's loud. My kids are loud. They aren't even trying to be, they just are. I really, really appreciate being able to take them to eat somewhere where the noises from the kitchen and other patrons are as loud as they are. It means that instead of spending the whole meal being the mom that says "shhh" I get to actually eat my food.

The Elgin Street Diner is definitely an Ottawa institution.If you haven't been there since a 4am trip for poutine after a late night at the bars, I think it is time you stopped by. With the kids.

Brie is the mom of a 4 year old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.