It's been months since Nicolas has been out to eat or has dined in a restaurant. He misses it and I miss it too. I might be able to find some gluten-free and casein-free items on a few menus, but - now that we are yeast-free too AND avoiding all forms of MSG, I have no hope and I don't think it's worth my time. I am learning to be more protective of my time. It's worth it and it helps to reduce stress! Imagine that!
I had Nick with me one fine day, and of course, he was hungry. He is always hungry when he is not full. No in between with him. Our destination was Trader Joe's, and we did eventually get there, but - not before going to a new little cafe' that I had been wanting to check out for a very long time.
We went. We ate. I experimented with 2 new foods. We had a reaction to one of them, however, I don't know which one it was. Here's the details, taken by my camera phone... I wasn't planning on stopping or I would have taken my camera.
Here we are - at Bean Sprouts Cafe'. Cool, stroller parking outside! Very nice for all those who would want to walk here.
Oh good, easy-to-read doors. I have been known to walk into establishments/places and think I had entered another... ((sigh))
What's this? Hugh? A door for little people? Oops, excuse me - "Little Sprouts" ... I am likin' it already and we aren't even inside yet!
Parking is at a premium here - very nice. Can't get much better than free, clean and cute.
This place is obviously THE COOL PLACE for kids. See the wooden step stool at the counter where you place your order? Great for kids who want to ask for a GF-CF-YF entree'.
Nick got a sticker after he ordered and then we waited... wondering if the food would indeed be tasty, fresh and appealing to a 7 year old. As you can see - it was! The Boy ordered soup called "Hi Dahl" (in the orange petal bowl) with an octopus banana, at the suggestion of their very helpful, polite and friendly employee. (She knew exactly which items we could have, which wasn't much...) It came with hummus and some type of bread, which had yeast in it, so - they offered to substitute some edamame. Soybeans. We just got off a 3 month soy-free diet. Our dr. seems to think soy is ok for Nicolas... so - we gave it a try.
I ordered the Turkey, Avocado and Tomato Wrap. Whoa - I had quite the nice surprise. Sad to say that this little cafe' totally blew away the Cool Beans Turkey wrap in the healthy category. The tortilla was the freshest whole wheat tortilla I have ever had. Ever. And, it wasn't just a smushy avocado in there either. I don't know if it has some fresh cilantro (my guess), but - it was good, for being healthy. And filling. Mine came with a side of roasted sweet potatoes, which I think maybe Nick reacted to. Oh, I don't know though... maybe it was the soy beans? By the way, the edamame are served fresh and cold. Not hot. And, they were good too. (Did I admit that?)
The food was very good. It tasted really good actually; fresh and healthy, not flavorless at all! And, not like the salty, processed meats at other eateries. (Yuck - it's hard to even eat some of the meats at sub shops anymore... oh the BHS, BHT, MSG and nitrites at those other places... ew.)
Bean Sprouts Cafe offers three different sizes for your meals as well. A kid size, adult size and a big daddy size - with appropriate portions/quantities of food.
Another nice feature that they offer is that they have take out meals. Their menu boasts: "call us from the curb, we'll bring it out to the car for you!"
And, if you should have a baby, they offer organic baby food too. I know, it's an odd concept to wrap your head around... I am there too.
They offer the softest booster seats, which Nicolas wanted to use.. and he did. There's a small retail area and a bakery case with treats. I steered clear of it! I did see smoothies, soy milk and organic fair trade coffee on the menu as well. The decor is bright and clean with child-approriate toys out to play with, which was great while we were waiting. Nick chose Connect Four to play while we waited for our food.
Apparently, on Tuesdays, they offer something called "Tea for Two-sday" for $8/person, which is tea and three course of tiny treats. Sounds adorable! We weren't there on a Tuesday, thank goodness. It's still hard for the boy.
Obviously, I do recommend this adorable restaurant. I have nothing negative to say whatsoever. The next time I go, I will call ahead and chat a bit about our "allergies". Maybe a little notice would give us more menu options? We'll see. All in all, I was pleased and Nicolas was thrilled to go to a sit down restaurant for a meal.