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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
Arwen February 4, 2009, 5:14 AM

Are you sure this isn’t a chain… I seem to have one on my living room floor as well!

kenya April 3, 2009, 1:36 AM

I am not easily amused but this was so adorable and funny. I can’t wait until my son opens his first cafe, he is one.

David July 10, 2009, 2:09 PM

Mmmm … plastic food. Do I need a reservation or are walk-ins welcome?

David July 10, 2009, 2:10 PM

Mmmm … plastic food. Are reservations required or are walk-ins welcome?

Family Matters March 16, 2010, 9:52 PM

This was absolutely fabulous! Took me back to many a tea party…

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