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Review of My Toddler's Pretend Restaurant

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The service and food are terrible, but I love it anyway.


Momlogic's Momstrosity: Since I've become a mother, I don't get as many chances to try out the latest hot restaurant getting all the buzz. Yet, there's one restaurant I've been to almost everyday for the last month -- sometimes more than once a day. My two-and-a-half year old, Lily, has opened what she calls "The Cafe Restaurant" and although the service is terrible, the food inedible and you have to sit on the living room floor, it has become one of my favorite eating destinations of all time. What makes a visit to The Cafe Restaurant so special is you never, ever know what you're going to get.

Here's an example of a typical ordering experience:

Lily:  Order something, please.
Mom: OK, do you have coffee?
Lily: No. No coffee at the Cafe Restaurant. Only water and tea.
Mom: OK, tea please.
Lily: No tea. Only water.
Mom: OK, water.
Lily: Do you want coffee?
Mom: Well ... actually, yes.
Lily (Handing me a toy tomato) Here.

Hey, the restaurant business is hard. Most of them fail in the first year. She's probably just working the kinks out. Here is my review of her establishment -- if you ever stop by my house when it's open from 6:30 AM til bedtime.

Signature Dish: This is what I got when I ordered the spinach quiche and salad with a side of cottage cheese. Beautiful presentation but, alas, indigestible:

You can wait for your food for hours -- sometimes until after nap time. Depending on her mood, the customer sitting next to you (dad) might get served while you're ignored. Be prepared to get your hands dirty -- at her whim she can ask YOU to run the restaurant while she orders instead.

The Menu:
Varies from day to day and minute to minute. Sometimes all you get is cake. There's no alcohol served. Lily will not have a liquor license for roughly 18 years.

I've seen the chef sneeze directly on the food and serve it to me. She often doesn't wear shoes and has even served me food items tucked between her toes. Cracker crumbs cover the floor. Sometimes she pees her pants. If a Health Inspector stopped by, I'm pretty sure he'd shut her down.

It's not cheap. Currently she says everything costs "20 miles." But no worries. Sometimes she dips into her little cash register and pays YOU instead of taking payment. 


Still, despite the poor service and the plastic tasting food I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant. But you better hurry. Even as I write this, I think the restaurant might be shutting down. We got her a little doctor's bag this weekend, complete with a stethoscope -- already the restaurant counter has been serving as a hospital triage. The toddler doctor is in.

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139 comments so far | Post a comment now
Trina November 18, 2008, 8:06 AM

thanks :) this is too cute and i really enjoyed reading it :)

NJ November 18, 2008, 12:23 PM

I agree… a nice break from all the seriousness of every day life. Thank you for sharing this story with us. :)

Susan November 18, 2008, 3:00 PM

Hysterical. It sounds like my kind of establishment.

NB November 18, 2008, 6:11 PM

I absolutely love this post. It sounds like you have an adorable little girl. Thanks for sharing! :-)

M.L. November 18, 2008, 7:24 PM

This is so funny and cute! My daughter still does it at 8, I love playing restraunt with her.

Chase November 18, 2008, 7:50 PM

Excellent! We have a branch of that cafe at our house as well. It’s so fun to watch them mirror what they see us do and hilarious to experience the dialogue that goes through their minds as they share the experience. My daughters cafe does serve coffee and red bull, apparently, and the specialty of the house is Bananas. Thanks for sharing this story. It made me smile.

Jordi November 18, 2008, 8:02 PM

This is beautiful! Thank you so much for posting. What a lucky gal to have a Mom like you!

June November 19, 2008, 5:12 PM

Very very funny. What an imagination and what a cute age.

Save me a seat for lunch!

Bastiaan November 20, 2008, 6:55 AM

I have a daughter (age 3) who does a similar thing. She even throws the food at you and dribbles on it. Haha. Fun to read, give her a big cuddle.

Tenthletter November 20, 2008, 7:47 AM

That was GREAT!! Thank you for making me laugh this morning…

Anonymous November 20, 2008, 7:52 AM


kk November 20, 2008, 7:55 AM

Reminds me of a restaurant in North Korea actually, where I got sick.

lizzie November 20, 2008, 8:14 AM

A moment of light heartedness in my otherwise quite rubbish day, thank you. Lily is beautiful.

AA November 20, 2008, 8:21 AM

I don’t have any kids…and won’t have any for a long time (I hope). But I imagine it would have moments such as these ^^. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Justin WWhite November 20, 2008, 8:32 AM

Wow, she is a cutie! And a good cook too :)


Shepy November 20, 2008, 8:35 AM

Such an excellent post. A very entertaining read. You should make this up into a mock newspaper article and have it printed and saved for when she is older.


gary November 20, 2008, 8:37 AM

Awesome. More people should write blog posts about their kids that are actually funny and interesting!

Philip Arthur Moore November 20, 2008, 8:42 AM

What a cute story! You sound like a great mom and your daughter sounds delightful.

J November 20, 2008, 8:45 AM

great post. had me laughing

michael November 20, 2008, 8:49 AM

absolutely wonderful.

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