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Where to Take Boys 10 & 13 years old?


Pontormo
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I have a friend visiting from California who I have not seen since her wedding.

(Her sons were conceived after the happy event.)

She lived here right after college and is taking advantage of Spring Break to introduce D.C. to her children.

Is there any way for us to catch up over dinner without having the boys rolling their eyes the whole time? Can you think of a place they might enjoy and find distracting enough?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Any of the Jose Andres restaurants...Jaleo and Zaytinya especially have fun food, fun service and lots of interesting people to watch. Or go to Cafe Atlantico and order tableside guacamole.

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My daughter likes Bistro du Coin. My son hates everywhere. The only thing they agree on is that they like Ethiopian food, but that's a real throw of the dice.

BdC, at busy but non-peak hours, has an energy that seems to rub off on the kids, and they serve French Fries.

We also hung at Cafe La Ruche in Georgetown, not great food but worth a stop if you're in the 'hood and it's warm enough to do the patio. Trios is cheap and tolerant. 2 Amy's obvious but so crowded nobody goes there any more.

And, my first thought, like Heather's, was Old Ebbitt.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I hate to say it, because the food is overpriced and it sucks, but when my 10-year-old nephew visits, or my friends from college with an 11-year-old daughter, it's Dave and Busters! Sometimes it's worth eating a crappy hamburger just to have some peace.

I have a friend visiting from California who I have not seen since her wedding.

(Her sons were conceived after the happy event.)

She lived here right after college and is taking advantage of Spring Break to introduce D.C. to her children.

Is there any way for us to catch up over dinner without having the boys rolling their eyes the whole time?  Can you think of a place they might enjoy and find distracting enough?

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Along the same lines as the above post, there is also a Hard Rock Cafe here in DC:

http://hardrockcafe.com/locations/cafes/Cafes.aspx?Lc=WASH

It's centrally located.

What do others think about Les Halles? Especially the patio.

http://www.leshalles.net/washington.php

Thoughts?

It's a fabulous location with a bit of the out of doors Washington DC with reasonably priced food that even kids might love!

Edited by monavano (log)
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I'm not in Washington and dislike kids, but I would have thought McD maybe at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum food court.

Better yet, the suprisingly good Mitsitam Cafe at the Museum of the American Indian:

"Mitsitam" means "Let’s eat!" in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. The museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Café enhances the museum experience by providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy the indigenous cuisines of the Americas and to explore the history of Native foods. The café features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America, and the Great Plains. Each food station depicts regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. While seated in the café, visitors can look out a wall of windows to view the Native habitat and water features of the museum's landscaping.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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When my brother first move here with his family, Clyde's in Georgetown was the most "kid friendly" place we could think of. Now, there is a NEW Clyde's on Seventh Street, just above the MCI (Verizon?) Center. Go there. An amazing transformation of what used to be a very moribund part of town. Lots of excitement and action.

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Thank you for all the helpful suggestions.

As for jackal10, I am sorry, but the maternal grandfather is a cardiologist, and both parents are native Californians who fit many of the demographic patterns that some of us admire and some of us don't. No McDonald's.

I do know a visit to the Museum of Native American Art (one of the greatest architectural catastrophies in recent years) is planned, so that's a good idea too, especially since I have been meaning to try it. However, we've been talking about dinner. Lori's the one lunching.

My preference would be 2 Amys, but it's kind of out of the way. Their hotel's downtown.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I do know a visit to the Museum of Native American Art (one of the greatest architectural catastrophies in recent years) is planned, so that's a good idea too, especially since I have been meaning to try it.  However, we've been talking about dinner.  Lori's the one lunching.

Then I would still recommend the Old Ebbitt Grill. Maybe a trip to the Hotel Washington for a drink and dessert?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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This recommendation is definitely not for the quality of the cuisine, but go to the ESPN Zone, give each kid a $20 or $40 game card and you and your friend can dine and talk, and make the boys happy at the same time. Having a teen and a preteen, with whom we eat out a lot, there really is no restaurant that will hold a kid's attention for much longer than the meal itself.

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This recommendation is definitely not for the quality of the cuisine, but go to the ESPN Zone, give each kid a $20 or $40 game card and you and your friend can dine and talk, and make the boys happy at the same time.  Having a teen and a preteen, with whom we eat out a lot, there really is no restaurant that will hold a kid's attention for much longer than the meal itself.

Lotta lettuce just to keep the kids happy, and still find yourself in an establishment that I personally find hellish -- and I'm a boy. My son will let them play with his X-Box for three hours for half that, and throw in tips, as well. :laugh:

And the food...

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Maybe I'm incorrect, because I have an only child, and a girl, at that, but when she was a preteen/early teen, if I took my daughter to ESPN Zone for a meal, she'd play for a little while, and then come to me and say "We're in Washington D.C.! Where are we eating? I want a grown up dinner!". She would happily eat a sandwich in a diner, if it was well prepared and had some fun thing as an accompaniment, but she's be mad at me if I fed her somewhere 'corporate'. She always found that less of an adventure, and she adores adventure! Kids are people, just like us, and they're as varied as we are. What does your friend have to say about her boys? That's the key to your plans. Although, I find that boys of that age always eat calamari, it tastes 'good' and there's the gross out factor, too.

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Maybe I'm incorrect, because I have an only child, and a girl, at that, but when she was a preteen/early teen, if I took my daughter to ESPN Zone for a meal, she'd play for a little while, and then come to me and say "We're in Washington D.C.! Where are we eating? I want a grown up dinner!". She would happily eat a sandwich in a diner, if it was well prepared and had some fun thing as an accompaniment, but she's be mad at me if I fed her somewhere 'corporate'. She always found that less of an adventure, and she adores adventure! Kids are people, just like us, and they're as varied as we are. What does your friend have to say about her boys? That's the key to your plans. Although, I find that boys of that age always eat calamari, it tastes 'good' and there's the gross out factor, too.

I don't disagree with you - my girls love a well prepared, top quality meal- in the past few weeks, they have been to Firefly, Ray's, Bistro Francais, Les Halles, Two Amy's, and Perry's, to name only a few. My husband is in the restaurant business, so the girls have grown up eating out several times a week and being treated to great food. But, they still do not want to sit for hours after they have eaten while the adults talk around them. Further, the poster seemed to be looking for a true diversion for the boys and have it be downtown, so she can spend chatting with her friend - sometimes that comes at a steep price both for the entertainment and the quality of the food.

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It suddenly occurs to me :wink: that my kids, who are not exactly enamored of the exotic, quite enjoyed Ethiopian food, which can be spicy or not so much, depending on what you order, and can be vegetarian, as well. My wife's favorite is kitfo, raw, spicy beef and homemade cheese (tell them you want it raw, dammit (ok, please), or they're liable to cook it because you're American). The kids like tikil gomen (also goes by other names), which is cabbage, carrots onions stewed together. I like the red lentils, which are spicy but not too spicy. We all like to eat with our fingers.

Note also that, while 10 and 13 is pushing the envelope, bringing smaller children into an Ethiopian place virtually guarantees doting service.

A little guidance here.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I'll give you a report after the date, Rebecca, including whether the guys will be coaxed to eat frites at the Bistro (though not the pate :wink: ), try Ethiopian, or....

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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You know, I always want to know the ending when threads like this are posted.

So, I'll just say the mother (California by way of Israel, educated at one of those East Coast schools) tried Ethopian food three times long ago when she worked for a senator. Doesn't care for it. Too much the doctor's daughter/slim CA to do frites, so Bistro du Coin was out. Really liked the idea of Jaleo, but since we couldn't stick the boys unattended at the ESPN place, especially at late hours, we did Old Ebbit's.

It was fine, though I will say the flexibility of the staff to friend's & children's preferences was very impressive. There were a number of really good things about the service really---only complaint was about temperature of the food. Salads and vegetables were wonderful; overdressed version of one was replaced swiftly and with grace. The very Touristy (versus Visitor/Traveler) atmosphere during Cherry Blossom week was alarming, but kind of interesting and fun for me since I usually don't see much of that sort of thing and the place was extremely convenient for us to walk back to their hotel.

The crab cakes and bread pudding are/were much better at 1789 than OBG's. We managed to finish both. The boys were quite content and happy and I am glad to have gone there once. Judging from the things they said when deciding what to order, I suspect they would have found tapas a bit too unfamiliar at Jaleo, but would have liked their food at the Bistro even more.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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