12 Restaurants You’ll Actually Enjoy Dining at With Your Kids

Going out to eat with the entire family can be tough. High chairs, crayons, mac-and-cheese–these seem to be the hallmarks of what most people look for when they’re searching for a place to bring the rugrats. Loud, brightly-colored rooms that cater to young eaters by creating an experience where tears, tantrums and spills can go almost completely unnoticed.

And look, there are plenty of those kinds of places out there. Most diners, a lot of suburban restaurants, pizza joints, every fast-casual operation ever invented — all perfect. Iron Hill? That place is ideal because it’s planted squarely at the intersection of kids menus and beer lists. It’s a bar that you can bring your kids to without being, you know, the parents who bring their kids to the bar…

But sometimes you’re looking for something a little different. Sometimes you want to sit at an actual table and eat something that’s not chicken fingers. You want to take a chance and push the family-dining envelope a little.

That’s where we come in.

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Hawthorne’s Biercafé Block Party Is Back on July 1st

Photo courtesy of Hawthorne’s Biercafé

Hawthorne’s Biercafé’s annual IPA block party — which was rained out back in May and rescheduled — is back for real this time, with the festivities set to take over 11th Street between Fitzwater and Catherine on Saturday, July 1st.

And to reflect additions to the store’s selection after regulatory changes, they’ve expanded the hop-centric festival into a celebration of rosé, sparkling wine, and champagne, too.

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I Love My Job: McDonald’s Owner Tanya Holliday

Tanya Holliday. Courtesy photo.

Whether you eat at McDonald’s or feel sick at the idea, franchise owner and operator Tanya Holliday wants to dispel some misconceptions about the classic American brand, namely that working there doesn’t count as a “real job.” She’s been with the global company for 38 years now, starting out as a part-time crew member and eventually working her way up through 13 different positions during 27 years on the corporate side. Read more »

Eat This Now: The Greatest Fried Potatoes You Will Ever Eat

Fried potato cake from Surfside West in Wildwood (before)

The best things you find often come from the last place you expect them. They come from restaurants you’ve been going to for years — surprise flashes of genius from kitchens you thought you knew, fresh infusions of inspiration from new cooks on the job. Or from menus you don’t give any thought to until some waitress — some hero — points out the one dish you never noticed.

I was at Surfside West last week — my favorite of the weird little old school diners down the shore. And I’ve been there a dozen times, almost always order the same thing (challah French toast), rarely even glance at the menu anymore. But this last time, for no reason I can figure (other than fate, other than she was a messenger sent by the Junk Food Angel to speed me on my way), my waitress looked down at me and asked if I’d ever tried the fried potato cake.

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Machine Shop Boulangerie Pops Up on East Passyunk

Machine Shop Boulangerie/Facebook

The women of Machine Shop Boulangerie have made flaky pastries exciting again with their flavorful, perfecltly crafted viennoiserie, available at select cafes around the city.

But bakers Katie Lynch and Emily Riddell have just begun dipping their toes in retail this week.

This past Sunday, they held a flash sale at Bok Bar, on the roof of the building where they bake. And this weekend, they’re popping up on East Passyunk with breads and pastries.

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