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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
Davina U November 20, 2008, 12:52 PM

This is too cute! ;-)

Steph November 20, 2008, 12:58 PM

That’s awesome! I couldn’t stop laughing. Make sure to keep a copy for her when she grows up ;)

Karsten November 20, 2008, 1:27 PM

I am looking SO forward to a restaurant opening in my household, sometime in the next year :-)

Katy November 20, 2008, 2:21 PM

hahaha that is hilarious. I had to muffle my laughs since I read it at work, but it was really hard. I almost spit out laughs a couple times.

sk November 20, 2008, 3:40 PM

delightful… thank you for the smile.

ColdChef November 20, 2008, 4:11 PM

Why, I remember back in the day you could get a cup of soup, half a sandwich, and a whole POT of coffee for only two miles. This is an outrage!
(Linked from here.)

Simona November 20, 2008, 4:33 PM

Beautifully written by an obviously wonderful mom. And Lily is a cutie. My three year old’s restaurant is at the park - any park - and she serves whatever I ask for - no matter how ridiculous. “Yes, of course we have tree bark and french fries! That will be thirty fifty seven dollars please.” At home we are on a pirate ship and we either do the looting ourselves as the bad pirates, or we are busy defending ourselves and escaping the bad pirates. There’s always a treasure chest filled with food insted of gold and mommy is always asked to “drive” the pirate ship. “We’re going in the wrong direction mommy! Mommy, you’re going the wrong way! And look! There’s the bad pirate ship! Turn the wheel, turn turn!”

Steve November 20, 2008, 5:17 PM

Brilliant! The first thing today that has made me laugh out loud! And I’m a wizened, cynical old git ;)

Anonymous November 20, 2008, 5:33 PM

Superb. :)

Brock Lesnar November 20, 2008, 5:44 PM

HAW! Awesome read. You rule.

a doc dad November 20, 2008, 7:48 PM

I loveit! My 3 year old has one of these franchises. The ever changing menu and “NY soup guy” service are hilarious. Thanks for giving me a laugh after a 14 hour day :-)

-girl  November 20, 2008, 8:22 PM

Simply amazing

rinaz November 20, 2008, 8:39 PM

Hahaha! Too cute! :-)

HK November 20, 2008, 11:03 PM

I think I have a franchise of this restaurant in my own home. My 3 year old is the manager of this one.

MMM November 21, 2008, 12:56 AM

That was beautiful. I can’t wait until my soon to be 4 month old starts walking and then doing that stuff. Enjoy the fun.

Gerard Oakley November 21, 2008, 8:09 AM

I’m afraid to inform you that you are in direct competition from “The Restaurant”. The menu and serving styles seem identical, though. Perhaps we have a bit of infringement going on. “The Restaurant” however, makes you sit in undersized chairs that really hurt your back and legs. Great posting!

Robert November 21, 2008, 8:43 AM

I’ve been to a similar restaurant. What I learned is to never stand on the food in bare feet, it really hurts.

sarah November 21, 2008, 10:05 AM

loved this.

Susanna (A Modern Mother) November 21, 2008, 10:37 AM


Love it.

Do you think you can franchise it? ;-)

Lauri T November 21, 2008, 10:48 AM

Loved the article. Very very funny.

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