Going to hell in a breadbasket

Who doesn’t love to eat out?

The joy of someone else having to decide what to cook and clearing up the mess at the end of the meal. The perfect chance to order something you wouldn’t have a clue how to cook, with ingredients you’d certainly never recognise in the supermarket. Eating out is a valid reason to eat off a table instead of a tray. It’s the opportunity to actually hold a conversation, instead of woofing down your food in front of the TV.

Yes, going out to eat is the perfect time to relax and enjoy your food. Unless, that is, you have children. Then it’s really only one small step removed from hell.

It has to be said that, whichever way you look at it, there’s absolutely nothing relaxing about walking through the doors of any restaurant and wheeling an overloaded pram through the very tiny space. Or ordering off the menu when you suspect your children will refuse to eat a thing. Or clearing up spilt drinks and bread rolls that cover every inch of the table. Or needing 6 books, 3 colouring pads and a pack of crayons just to get through the starter. Or having to take them for a poo the exact moment your main meal arrives. Or having to consume your own cold and congealed meal in 60 seconds because everyone else has finished and the waiters are eyeing you up, your bill and coats in hand.

By the end of such a meal out, both you and the people seated around you, are inevitably wishing you’d just saved the money and avoided the stress by staying at home. There at least you can scream at a decibel of your choice and stop your children leaving the table until something has made it past their lips.

We were at Sizzlers a while back, having one of those impromptu meals out that always seem to be such a great idea when you drive past a restaurant starving. Sizzlers is a one of those restaurants that offers various slabs of meat and fish on a plate, as well as a ‘eat as much you can’ salad and desert bar. These always seem like such a great idea on the way in, but the food generally ends up looking and tasting the same – something along the lines of ‘fridge’.

With some serious training in the food eating and table manners department under their belt, my kids, for the most part, aren’t too bad when it comes to eating out. There have of course been those moments when I’ve wanted to curl up and die, but compared to some restaurant monsters I’ve seen, mine are an absolute delight in comparison.

We were at Sizzlers a while back, having one of those impromptu meals out that always seem to be such a great idea when you drive past a restaurant starving. Sizzlers are one of those restaurants that offers various slabs of meat and fish on a plate, as well as a ‘eat as much you can’ salad and desert bar. These always seem like such a great idea on the way in, but the food generally ends up looking and tasting the same – something along the lines of ‘fridge’.

Upon arrival you have to queue up, choose your meal from a picture on the wall and pay for it as you go in.  So if and when it arrives looking nothing like the picture on the wall and tastes like shit, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Except perhaps throw up.

Anyway, disappointing food aside, it’s the clientele at Sizzlers that can really turn your stomach.

Sat next to us was a family who had more food on the floor around them than they did on their table. The chief culprit was a small child standing up in her high chair and throwing platefuls of whatever she could reach onto the floor. The mother, who was sat only feet away, was either oblivious or brain-dead – between you and me; I’d say she was both.

To make matters worse, the other little feral children at the table were busy scurrying backwards and forwards to the food bars and bringing the majority of the contents back with them. Not to eat mind you, just to stack up, squash and leave as ammunition for Baby Feral in the high chair.

Seated on the other side of us were a mother and daughter combo – an unstoppable eating machine if ever I’ve seen one. In the space of time that it took for us to get our garlic bread, they had consumed half a cow and chips each, trawled the salad bar several times and been up the desert station 3 times. Just when we thought there was nothing else but the furniture and fittings left for them to eat, the daughter winched her sizeable frame out of the chair and nipped (I’m being kind here, there was nothing nippy about her) back to get one last bowl of ice cream. With all the toppings.

Between our 2 neighbouring tables, it’s surprising there was anything left for the rest of the room to eat.

So there you go. The perfect example of badly behaved children and people eating to excess all rolled into one depressing restaurant. Needless to say we haven’t been back since.

There is one nearby restaurant however that has perhaps come up with the perfect solution for parents who want to eat in peace. If I rated the food, I might have been tempted to take them up on their offer. Unfortunately I find the food here pretty dire, though considering what might be tucked away in their kitchen, I’m not really that surprised.

I can’t even image what the conditions of this offer might be. Perhaps the children have to be washed beforehand, or have any buttons or sharp jewelery removed?

o-]

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On the downside, the restaurant also has this sign on the door, so perhaps they aren’t quite so parent friendly after all..

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;;;

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