There are some restaurants, even with their obligatory kid’s menu, that are not suited for children. Their atmosphere isn’t kid friendly. The tables are tight. The lighting is dark. The music is too loud or the crowd is too loud.
I wouldn’t take my kids to Buffalo Wild Wings.
I don’t take them to restaurants if I couldn’t wear jeans to dinner.
I avoid Golden Corral.
For four years, I have avoided Ruby Tuesday.
I love Ruby Tuesday. I love the salad bar. I love those cheddar biscuits. Their steak melts. (I’m going to pretend the mashed potatoes are real)
We took Bubbagirl to Ruby’s once, shortly after we moved up here. The bigger girls were with Mr’s parents and we were going on a mini-date.
She wasn’t even a year old yet. I felt like the high chair was in everyone’s way and our table was so tiny it barely held our plates, much less her bottle and a small rattle.
I felt crowed and stared at so we decided only to return when we were child-free.
It would be three years before we went back. A few months ago, I went and had lunch with my Mr. at Ruby Tuesday.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the food and I immediately came home to search for copycat recipes for those biscuits.
Today was one of those days where Momma needed to be anywhere but home. If that meant eating out then so be it.
The plan was to meet up at our favorite Japanese place, Osaka’s. Unfortunately, they were “closed due to the vacation”.
Well, if I couldn’t have my yum yum sauce and ginger dressing, then I wanted cheddar biscuits and Ruby Tuesday would just have to deal with my big family.
I expected the Mr. to complain but he didn’t. It was 6:15pm, prime after work dinner time.
The hostess did a double take as we walked in the door. I scanned the room.
80% of the diners were elderly, the rest were upper-middle aged, and there was not one family there.
There I stood with my mismatched, bandana wearing, flip floppin’ brood, holding hands patiently waiting to be seated.
Everyone watched us be seated.
They walked us to the far corner, where the big table was located, surrounded by four tables full of ladies and gentlemen old enough to be my grandparents. The entire corner fell silent.
Now- we have had our fair share of crying, whining, meltdown, rotate between the table and the car, dinners with our children. We know why everyone held their breath, thinking their quiet grown-up dinner was about to be ruined.
We ordered. We rotated trips to the bathroom. We swapped out crayons and did our crossword puzzles. Mr. and I took turns at the salad bar. Everyone ate.
I was cutting up my last piece of steak, and I noticed a lady in pink inching closer to me, leaning over slightly.
I turned to see her beautifully made up face and perfectly coiffed hair, and her smile.
“I just wanted to tell you that you have the most beautifully behaved children. You should be very proud of them.”
I looked past her to her dinner companions and each of them were smiling and nodding and waving to our kids.
All I could say was thank you, and smile.
Then I thanked God for our peaceful outing.
Her kind words, her willingness to go up to a complete stranger and bless her with that compliment, turned my day around.
Thank you Lord for that sweet old lady. This momma, who feels like such a failure most days, needed those words today.
Dear Ruby Tuesday, I know they were good today, but have no fear, I don’t plan on pushing our luck. Your food was great, but it will be a while before we’re back. Because we like you.