Suddenly this morning it’s like the green flag dropped on the Daytona 500. Yep, school started—and I won’t slow down now til winter break in December.
I am the working mother of two school-age kids, and between homework and carpools and soccer games and ballet practice, my family is slammed. Many nights require me to be driving when I should be getting dinner on the table.
For nights like that I need a restaurant that’s affordable, quick, and casual. And healthy. And child-friendly. With easy parking. And no dress code. Any suggestions?
Signed, Stress Momster
Dear Stress Momster,
How about three restaurants in eight locations, so no matter where the soccer field is, you’re covered?
Centrally located with okay street parking is St. Clouds, Madrona’s folksy home-away-from-home where the kids will love the Home for Dinner section of the menu (chicken burger with fries), their parents the global Out for Dinner stuff (coconut-lime grilled free-range chicken breast), and everyone the come-as-you-are casual of the place.
A similarly child-friendly choice on the Eastside is Pogacha, where the pillowy flatbreads of Croatia are topped like pizzas or stuffed like sandwiches. This is no-brainer kid-pleaser food, but done to a level of consistency that will please the ’rents. In one Issaquah and two downtown Bellevue locations.
Finally, the big family dining duh: Tutta Bella, now in Wallingford, Issaquah, and South Lake Union in addition to the brick-walled original in Columbia City. (Where buck-a-visit parking can be had just up Ferdinand a half-block from Rainier Ave.)
It’s busy, it’s fun, it’s delish (my kid loves the Queen Margherita pie with basil and mozzarella), it’s healthy (the salads are big fun), and it’s not going to break your bank.
I mean, any more than all that soccer and ballet will.