Like most families, we have a tendency to get in a rut when eating out. I realized recently that unless we are eating Italian, one of my kids at least is having some version of a chicken nugget. If it is available, another child is having pasta of some sort. While there isn’t anything wrong with that every once in a while, I felt like it would be good for my family to explore other options.
Our solution: the Entertainment Passbook. Everyone has seen these, they are at Walgreens and school organizations sell them for fundraisers. You can even order them online. We have been getting them for years, (you are welcome, school choir group!) because there are always a few coupons for favorite restaurants that make it worth the price. We have never used them all, although many visiting friends and family have also benefited from the tourist attractions.
The idea is to start trying new places that are off our beaten eating path. This month, we found ourselves in Plano, pulled out the book and chose Taste of the Islands, which promised great Caribbean food. It is truly a hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurant, with the very front dedicated to a small store and the menu posted on the wall. The kids ordered Coconut Shrimp and Fried Tilapia from the kids menu (after mom refused to get the chicken strips). The parents asked for recommendations and ended up with a Jerked Chicken plate and a Chicken Curry plate. Both came with veggies and rice, and were very tasty–but believe them when they tell you the Jerked Chicken is spicy! Our kids were even persuaded to try our food, although the green tint of the curry required some convincing.
So, to rate the experience, I would call it a success! There was a certain amount of whining from the kids until they got their food, but that stopped when they realized how good everything tasted. Our goal is to try a new place at least once a month, and I’m hoping this positive dining experience will make the next adventure something to look forward to!