May 31, 2011

Mom's Menu Review: Three Squares Restaurant and Freight House Restaurant

Over Memorial Day weekend we ate at two restaurants with our daughter. The first was Three Squares Restaurant in Maple Grove, MN.

There are various options available on the kid menu, most of which include a side with a vegetable (carrot sticks, buttered corn), or even a choice of applesauce. The only meals that do not include a vegetable are breakfast meals, such as french toast, pancakes, or waffles.

There are twelve menu options in all, that range from grilled cheese and chicken tenders, to fish and chips, to spaghetti, to the breakfast stuff. I was pleased with the main course options, and pleased with the side options. It was possible to order a meal that would include various food groups rather than mostly meat and foods high in carbohydrates.

The meal also included a cookie, which was homemade from a non-profit group called The Cookie Cart. According to their website, they "train and support North Minneapolis youth in their first paid job experience."I like that the restaurant has an organization that they support.

The second place was the Freight House in Stillwater, MN. We chose to sit out on the back deck. A live musician played music on the deck while we ate. We did have to specifically request a seat as far away from the speakers as possible (it didn't seem to occur to the host that we may not want our daughter to be close to loud music).

The menu options were more limited at this restaurant. They included chicken fingers, a grilled cheese sandwich, burger, mac and cheese, pizza, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All meals included a pickle spear, fries, and a package of two Oreo cookies.

We ordered the chicken fingers for our daughter. The breading was quite thick and a bit tough, making them hard to chew. After a few bites our daughter became quite disinterested in the chicken, and I ended up sharing a bowl of soup with her. (The soup included wild rice and chicken, and it was delicious.) Our daughter was also disinterested in the pickle.

When we ordered our daughter's meal, we asked for a fruit cup on the side. The waiter asked if we would like the fruit cup as well as the fries, or if we would prefer to substitute it for the fries. I was pleased that it was easy to substitute out the fries and provide a healthier option for our daughter.

Overall, both dining experiences were pleasant. While the meals still aren't as healthy as I think they probably could be, I would choose to eat at either of these places with my daughter again.

St. Croix Scenic Byway

We took a drive along the St. Croix Scenic Byway on Sunday. We stopped in a town called Pine City, where we ate lunch and I was able to stretch my legs.

We ended our day in Stillwater, MN

I got to splash in the river a little bit.

The water was really high, and it covered a road that runs next to the river. Good thing these people have an amphibious vehicle. (The road that runs next to the river goes under the bridge, where the car/boat is driving.)

Mill City Farmers Market

The farmers market.

Me, waiting for the kids from the American Indian Magnet School to perform. 

"This music and dancing is fun!"

Mississippi and gigantic lock

Me, passed out with my hand in my snack cup and Cheerios everywhere. Sometimes sleep overtakes me before I even know it.

My first skinned knee.

Views from the Stone Arch Bridge.

View of the Stone Arch Bridge.

"How do you make Mom and Dad really nervous?"

"Do this..."

"By this..."

Last Cold Day

"Mom, please promise me there won't be anymore cold days at the playground. I enjoy playing, but I'm ready for some sunshine and shorts."

May 26, 2011

Another Day, Another Park

"Mom, put the camera down and get me out of my crib already..." 


"Ooh, new swing. I wonder how this one works. Mom! Push me!"

"Maybe I'll stick with the regular swings at the playground. That other one spun around too much and made me a little dizzy."

"Look! Birdies! Quack! Quack!" 

"I want a closer look. Why are they hissing?"

"Duck face!"


"Oh, I guess it doesn't go as fast as I thought it would."

"Still fun, though."

"Fun enough even to go down over and over and over and over..."


"Does this bike make me look tough?"

"Or does it make me look silly?"