American Girl Bistro

As part of an elaborate birthday plan for my mom, my sister and I had been planning a girls’ trip to Chicago to visit the American Girl Store.  While researching, we discovered that a new store had opened in Orlando, where we happened to already have a trip planned.  So, we need to think of a new birthday present for my mom.  But, the trip to the store in Orlando definitely was an experience (go with a strict budget!  Once you are confronted with a doll school-desk with supplies for $98, it might all of a sudden seem like a necessity!), and our meal at the Bistro, a delight.  The food was reasonable and delicious, and Amelia loved that her Mia doll had her own seat at the table as well as her own cup and saucer.



Amelia loves Chili’s.  I’m not sure if that love started because she enjoys the food (chips and salsa for an appetizer and children’s grilled chicken platter with corn for an entree), or because it is one of our go-to spots when we meet friends with a daughter two years older than Amelia.  Either way, she now has many positive associations with the restaurant, made all the more positive with the addition of the Ziosk, a table-side device that allows you to order drinks and pay the bill.  Oh, and it has games on it, which is probably what Amelia likes about it. 🙂

Chipotle Mexican Grill

There are a few restaurants where it is a toss up for who loves it more, Amelia or her dad.  Chipotle is on that short list.  Sure, there are lots of places to get burritos and tacos, but Chipotle Mexican Grill is the only one that is a solid half hour away from home, and when Amelia makes a request for a taco kit, we find ourselves trekking down the road.  Fresh, organic ingredients,  simple yet personalized options, and just plain delicious.

Dave and Busters: Play and Eat

We have an annual custom of going to Dave and Busters for bowling and gift exchange with good friends of ours.  Custom may be too strong of a word, but we have done it two years in a row, so I’m declaring it a tradition.  It’s not a sit-by-the-fireplace and drink hot chocolate with Christmas carols playing sweetly in the background type of get together.  The experience is much more dynamic and the kids love it!  Bowling, games, dinner, games, prizes. And, remember, we also do a gift exchange.  What’s not to love for a couple of kids?! Amelia is already looking forward to this on-going tradition next winter break!

Five Guys® Burger and Fries

Five Guys®  Burger and Fries has five big draws for Amelia.  1.  Self-serve peanuts.  She loves them. She loves getting them herself, and she loves peeling them open.  2.  Self-serve drink machine.  I used to share a drink with her, but the drink concoctions she creates became so “interesting,” I had to bow out.  But, she drinks every last drop, telling me that it’s the most delicious thing that has ever quenched her thirst! 3.  The burgers.  She loves them.  She will eat an entire burger here, leaving her dad missing the usual scraps.  4.  The fries.  The fries drenched in vinegar.  If you’ve eaten at Five Guys, no more needs to be said here.  5.  The extra fries.  Not only do you get a big serving of fries, but after they put your cup of fries in the bag, they put an extra scoop on top, just for good measure.  No complaints here!

Panera and You Pick Two review

Amelia loves Panera Bread.  As would be reasonable, we started out getting her a children’s meal with macaroni and cheese and organic yogurt.  She fell in love with the chicken noodle soup, so she would still get a children’s meal, but then she would also steal most of our soup.  Parents can surely relate when I tell you that there are days when she won’t eat more than 27 servings of yogurt and perhaps some fishy crackers.  So, when she requested both macaroni and cheese and chicken noodle soup of her very own, what else were we to do?  Now that one of the side options is a dinner roll, she scoops out the center of the roll and pours the soup in, creating her very own bread bowl.  We imagine it’s just a matter of time before she is ordering her very own grown-up sized bread bowls.