Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Family-friendly Dallas restaurants that have a full bar

I'm the kind of parent who won't frequent any establishment where liquor is not served. Let's just state that right up front.  After a hard day at the office, running my son around town and trying to help him with his homework - I'll admit it - I need a drink! There's no need to plan your family dinner around what restaurants have a jungle gym. There are many restaurants around town that have a full bar, delicious food, terrific ambiance and offer you and your children a night out that everyone can enjoy.

Here are my top 5 picks:

The Lot
7530 East Grand Avenue

The LOT is a locally-influenced restaurant and neighborhood beer garden in the heart of East Dallas. Located off the Santa Fe Trail and a stone’s throw from White Rock Lake and the Arboretum. They offer fresh, locally sourced food and a wide selection of wine, cocktails and beers on tap, served in a relaxed casual atmosphere. Come as you are, and bring your friends — dogs and kids included. They have transformed the former Backyard Beach Bar space into an inviting oasis featuring several common areas. You'll find a 180-seat dining room and bar featuring concrete and reclaimed wood accents, an open-air porch with wooden communal picnic tables, and a beer garden surrounded by a vine-covered trellis. For those looking to stay and relax awhile, there is a space dedicated to bar games such as washers, corn hole and foosball. In addition, local artisan John Wolf and Elizabeth Dry (Promise of Peace Garden) collaborated to create a children’s play area furnished with repurposed farm equipment and an herb garden.  Click here for more details from my previous review.

photo: Bread Winners

Bread Winners at NorthPark Center
8667 N. Central Exp.

Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery has been lauded by every publication in town for being the BEST place to grab brunch and having the yummiest desserts. I can also vouch that their craft cocktails are second to none. Try the Berry Basil Cooler - it's my favorite! Their new NorthPark Center location also offers families a respite from staying in your chair.  Located on CenterCourt, this location serves up a lush, green lawn for your little ones to run and play, all within your eagle-eye view from the spacious patio. Older kids will love the life-sized Connect 4 game, Cornhole boards and other games Bread Winners has available. This location also has amazing happy hour specials from 3-7pm. With 1/2-priced appetizers and flatbreads, $5 signature cocktails, skinny drinks and elixirs and $1 off wine and bottled beers, Bread Winners certainly gets my vote for affordable, family fun.  The patio is currently undergoing a renovation and will reopen just in time for our beautiful Fall weather.

Disclaimer: Bread Winners is a client of Gangway Advertising.  And while we are responsible for their social media presence and PR, I have to say... How awesome for me that I get to eat there and call it work!

photo: CultureMap

Chicken Scratch & The Foundry
2303 Pittman St.

A fried chicken joint located next to a trailer park? And it shares its property with a bar? What's not to love about that!? I agree with Pegasus News' rationalization that while that may not seem like an ideal location for children, Chicken Scratch is just that. With wide open space, a cobbled together playground, popsicles served out of a paletero cart, and live music, families flock to Chicken Scratch. The food appeals to parents and children alike – the mac and cheese may be made spicy for the grown-ups and mild for the kiddos, the fried chicken can be served as tenders or for more grown-up fair, as a fork and knife biscuit sandwich, a whole or half rotisserie bird, or tasty tacos. Really, the only problem you may have with Chicken Scratch? Your kids will not want to leave.

photo: Ozona

4615 Greenville Ave.

Their Chicken-Fried Steak has been featured on the Travel Channel, but I'm with D Magazine and also love the build-your-own breakfast taco and the glorious Bloody Mary bar during weekend brunch. The star of the show for families is the multi-level patio with wood burning fireplaces and huge live oak trees. Find a bench and plan to sit a spell. You'll feel like you are down in the Hill Country. Kids enjoy the open space and being able to move around. There are also multiple televisions and the bartenders are not opposed to lining kids up at the bar and letting them watch reruns of Brady Bunch or cartoons. It's a great place to catch a football game or just enjoy a leisurely meal.

photo: Pegasus News

Company Cafe
3136 Routh St

Pegasus News reports that on any given weekend morning, you will find lots of dogs, runners, walkers, and children running around. There is a large patio (right off the Katy Trail), where you will find children coloring with sidewalk chalk and playing all sorts of games. Another real perk, is the focus on “clean comfort food.” The healthy fare is appealing to children and adults alike. The menu has kid-friendly items — what kid doesn’t love pancakes or waffles? — and parents like that they can be made gluten or dairy free. Heading there for lunch or dinner? You will still find a plethora of kid-friendly healthy fare, such as chicken tenders fried in olive oil, which are pretty popular. And there's a full bar for those who require cocktails.  Bottom line? Children are having fun and eating healthy, while parents can take a few extra minutes to relax and enjoy their food, too. What’s not to like about that combination?