Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Great Kids Menu: Brio Tuscan Grille

Posted August 31, 2010

My husband and I went on a quick lunch date the other week and found ourselves at Brio Tuscan Grille at Crabtree Valley Mall.

The upscale chain restaurant has locations across the country and is part of that newish restaurant row that includes Flemmings and McCormick & Schmick's on the Belk side of the Raleigh mall.

I was there without my kids, but was curious about the kids menu. I'm always on the lookout for kids menus that don't include the standard nuggets and fries or (my favorite) macaroni and cheese and fries. In my perfect world, a kids menu would just be a scaled down version of the adult one.

I loved the story in The New York Times the other day about Children's Day at the Four Seasons in New York where children eat for free at the posh hotel's Pool Room. There was no kids menu here. Instead the kids noshed on selections that ranged from sweet corn ravioli with prawns in summer truffle bouillon or beef tartare, according to the story. One girl complained nothing is ever good on kids menus, just "chicken nuggets and stuff."

I'm lucky enough to have a five-year-old who would agree with her.

You won't find beef tartare on the kids menu at Brio. And, sure, you'll still find chicken fingers and fries or buttered noodles (though both are on the menu).The kids menu offers other kid favorites too - pizza (with veggie toppings as an option); macaroni and cheese; grilled cheese; and burgers.

But unlike other kids menus, Brio doesn't stop there.

There's grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and veggie of the day. Or grilled chicken with the same sides. The Sides & Salads portion of the kids menu actually includes an "Insalata Bambino," a child-sized portion of chopped greens and tomatoes and a Junior Caesar Salad. Or you can just order the fresh veggie of the day and a side of mashed potatoes. Drink options include milk.

Unfortunately, those healthier options will set you back a bit more than the standard fare. Chicken fingers with fries (or mashed potatoes) is $4.95. But grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables is $7.95 from the kids menu. (That Insalata Bambino and the other sides are between $1.50 and $1.95).

Still, I'm just happy to see it on the menu.


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  • 4Cats Sep 2, 2010

    The way most restaurants today serve such astronomically large portions, it seems that sharing at any restaurant with your child would be an option. Or order a regular adult meal and then everyone has left overs for the next night. No reason for special kids menus at all, really.

  • shall6 Sep 2, 2010

    Thanks careykeever! We've actually been meaning to get over there. Maybe we'll have to do it this weekend.


  • careykeever Sep 2, 2010

    Check out the kids menu at The Market. Such great options for kids. My daughter loves the grilled chicken taco with veggies and ranch on the side.

  • fencergrrl Sep 1, 2010

    I'm glad there's a place with a kids menu that isn't just the standard-issue fried "meat" in dinosaur shapes. We don't eat out often in part because the choices for kids are so limited!
    BTW--I think it's important to remember that we've all been kids in restaurants, we've all been *annoyed* by kids in restaurants and, someday, many of us will have to deal with our own kids in restaurants. People who eat out with their kids do not do it expressly to annoy others. Anyway, would the first choice for a peaceful meal really be in a restaurant attached to the mall?

  • genie2u Sep 1, 2010

    I agree, I have two kids but do not think they belong in upscale restaurants where other paretns have gotten sitters for their own children to enjoy a night out

  • Mugu Sep 1, 2010

    No Brio for me, I am not a fan of baby satans in an upscale restaurant.

  • fromRaleigh Sep 1, 2010

    Well we know of one patron that our well behaved children will not have to apologize to for just existing!

  • Lickad Aug 31, 2010

    Well, I know of one restaurant I will cross of my list for a peaceful meal.