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(Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)

Best novel kids' menus

Julia Beizer | Washington Post Staff Writer  |  Updated 09/22/2011

Is your non-picky eater tired of chicken fingers? At these places, kids can order items such as pint-size meze platters or starter sushi rolls.


Chef Geoff's

+ Multiple Locations

The building blocks for the children's items come from the main menu. At the New Mexico Avenue restaurant, carnitas fill a kid-friendly quesadilla. Mushroom ravioli is heavenly; a rich butter sauce dresses the subtly flavored pillows of pasta. (The downtown location has a slightly more limited kids menu, because children make up only a small part of the clientele, says corporate chef Wil Going.)


Evening Star Cafe

Alexandria, VA

Executive Chef Will Artley unveiled a new children's menu this spring, and the focus is on healthful foods. That means a baked fish sandwich stands in for fried fish sticks and the creamy sauce for mac and cheese contains stealth pureed cauliflower. Children with more mature palates (or at least those who don't mind when foods touch) will enjoy the veggie-packed, whole-wheat lasagna.



Washington, DC

It makes sense that chef Daniel Bortnick's chicken matzoh ball soup calls up memories of home; the kids' menu offering was inspired by his mother's recipe. A hamburger, BLT and wedge salad are among the other items available. The restaurant offers each child an unbaked cookie at the beginning of the meal that can be decorated and sent back to the kitchen to be baked into dessert.


Lebanese Taverna

+ Multiple Locations

Give children a taste of the Middle East with this local chain's offerings. Kids can dive into a mini sampler plate, featuring nibbles such as kibbe and hummus, or order tiny kafta burgers that are a combination of lamb and beef. The restaurants also make pita pizzas topped with chicken or beef shawarma, mozzarella cheese and veggies.



Reston, VA

In keeping with its seafood theme, the restaurant offers "beach buckets" full of fries and fried proteins such as shrimp, fish or chicken. One of the most popular items on the menu is the "beginner" sushi roll, a mild combo made up of steamed lump crab meat, cucumber and avocado. It gives kids the chance to eat sushi just like Mom and Dad.


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