I don't know about you, but do you ever walk into any of the various family restaurants and feel a bit like a kid again? Even just a little? I know I do. I'm not entirely sure why that is. It's not like they have an entire arcade like some family friendly establishments do or have silly mascots running around. No, I think it's all on me.
Family restaurants are great. What's not to like? They have a nice family friendly environment that anyone can enjoy. Many have bits and bobs hanging on the walls and in some cases, the rafters too. If not bits and bobs, then they have pictures and/or artwork. The ultimate, though, is when they have TVs adorning every corner so no matter where you get seated, there should be a TV or five that you can see. Everyone knows from their childhood that you shouldn't be watching TV when you're eating, but at these family restaurants, otherwise known as sports bars, you can do just that. I just wish they would change the channel to something else, like cartoons. Maybe someone should roll out a cartoon bar that serves lunch and dinner to the sweet, sweet toons (see what I did there? Well do you?) of the 90s Saturday morning lineup. Oh, and the bar would only serve sugary soft drinks and milkshakes. Talk about how their milkshakes bring all the boys (and girls) to the bar... Literally! That would rock like nothing else. Seriously, who doesn't like cartoons? Especially the early stuff before cartoons got weird and way too complex for young and impressionable minds of children.
Enough fantasy and back to reality for a bit. I feel like a kid looking through those huge menus. My mom never gave me that many choices when I was a kid. The funny thing is that I always pore over the menus at family restaurants only to order the same old thing that I order every time I go there. It seems kind of childish to sneer at change and trying new things, but hey, I like what I like. I've even browsed over the kid's menu just to see, but I guess at thirty three years old, my tastes have evolved just a wee bit.
Not to jump subjects, but am I the only one that is a bit jealous that only kids get the crayons and the coloring placemat at family restaurants? Just a bit ageist don't you think? I'm not offended. I understand that about 98% of adults would turn down the offer. However, the last time I went shopping, I saw an entire row of what was being advertised as coloring books for adults. Oh, don't worry, it was all family friendly content... nothing lewd or anything. So there is obviously a market for catering to the immaturity that we all carry with us into adulthood. Let it out every now and again.
Tim Hiller is a freelance writer that has an odd childish wonder at family restaurants. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com