When your a parent to a toddler, waiting 30 minutes+ for food is no longer an option. Fast food and kid-friendly establishments are a necessity. My family lives off of chain restaurants and fast meals, even on-the-go. Luckily for us, we live in a city that always has fast food options in every corner (pretty much, anyway).
I’ve been planning to write this blog post because 1) photos have been sitting in my phone album for a long time and I need to make room for new ones ; 2) going to give a shout out to our favorite restaurants because they’ve nourished us and saved us from toddler hangry-tantrums – keeping us full and satisfied for the long haul (am I right, parents?!)
I’ve probably repeated myself on several posts but just a reminder, I’m not a professional writer and I don’t use the best grammar around here – so, forgive me if you see any writing errors – I’m just trying to share my spectacular culinary experiences with you, and especially to the parents who need new food inspiration for their picky toddler(s).
Today I’m sharing where the Massana’s go for lunch or dinner. These are the places we go when we are limited on time or patience (OR BOTH). Here’s a list of restaurants my family loves wholeheartedly:
We’re a sucker for their 12 piece Bonafide meal, even if my husband insists we only need 9 pieces… my daughter and I’s eyes are always hungrier than our stomachs. We prefer their mild fried chicken with their biscuits and seasoned fries. When my husband orders, he ALWAYS asks for their sweet heat sauce which I don’t mind either. We usually order at the drive-thru and take our food home to enjoy in the comfort of our own dining room. I’m so grateful for their drive-thru, but my daughter hates having to smell the food in the car and wait to get home to eat it all. It’s worth the wait though!
Long story short, I won a social media giveaway in 2017 from Unforked. What did I win? I didn’t win just any ordinary gift card… I won a 1 year supply of Unforked meals for Ricky, Mia and I!!! You got it right – once a month I got to treat my family to lunch OR dinner at Unforked for FREE. We went more than once a month, of course, because their food selections are so so so so good!!! I wish I had saved all the photos I had taken at their restaurant within Crown Center but sadly I lost some from my phone upgrade. Thankfully I found one I can share on here today. We’ve tried all of their quesadilla, tacos, burgers, and fries selections. I can’t say we have tried anything that we didn’t like. . Not only because it was for free, but because they really were quite delicious. My husband also loves their salads, and that says a lot considering he rarely eats salads as it is. I even tried their vegan burger and it wasn’t bad at all. Anytime we are at Crown Center we make time and eat here. I’ve also eaten at their Overland Park location and I’m jealous of their drive-thru. I think we need one like this closer in the Northland! I like how kid-friendly the place is and love their customer service. Can’t wait to be back again for more!
Also another crowd favorite. Although this one we order to-go and enjoy at home because it’s always packed, as per usual. I don’t like burritos and always go straight for the bowl options instead. I pack my bowls tight which means it lasts me up to 2-3 meals. My husband loves their burritos. Mia and I usually share the bowls. The last few times we’ve added their chips and guac which was a delicious addition to our meals. Who doesn’t love Chipotle?!
What my go-to freestyle bowl includes:
Base (white sushi rice OR forbidden rice); Protein (spicy ahi tuna); Mix-ins (avocado, cilantro & shallot); Marinade (freestyle shoyu) ; Top it (seaweed salad, crispy garlic & crispy shallot OR kimchi); sauce (togarashi yuzu mayo).
I can’t stress enough how much we love their customer service. Both mine and my husband’s first time at Freestyle Poke, they were very helpful in giving us recommendations. If you’ve been there, you know how packed the lines usually are, and so we feel bad when we move turtle slow, but their help means a lot to us and made for a great first impression!
We’ve only ever gone with their drive-thru but it’s easier that way when we are on-the-go. We’ve ordered their burgers, chicken tenders, fries and milkshakes. My personal favorite is their cheese curds! I don’t have any photos of the other food because they get eaten very quickly, they’re just so delicious! I did, however, save a photo of my cheese curds because cheese is life.
You probably noticed I mentioned quite a lot of fast food chains with not so healthy choices, but when you have a toddler and are limited on time for whatever reason, being 100% health conscious isn’t on the radar. We don’t go every week because I do meal prep weekly, but when we run out of the food I cook, that is when we use one of these places because it is easier that way. And when your toddler is happy, it means you are safe from any tantrum that might come. I felt this duty as a parent to share our favorites because somewhere out there parents need this type of life line, and I’m here for it too.