In Search of Restaurants for Tiny Diners
Canton offers a host of family and kid-friendly spots to eat.
On a recent family outing in Canton with my two little ones in tow, we were suddenly struck by hunger pangs that had us looking for an impromptu place to have lunch. There are lots of great family-friendly spots to dine at in the area but we figured we should try a new place for once.
A quick search had us set our sights on The Suffolk Grille on Rt 138. I had not been there since the days when it was the old Howard Johnson’s and figured it would be kid-friendly.
I was a bit surprised when we headed in the door with our crew to see this place was significantly more upscale than I was expecting for a lunch with two toddlers. Every table had a glass top and crisp white linen tablecloth. An oriental rug covered the floor beneath the tables. It was a far cry for the HoJo's in the 90s.
The mere thought of my children’s grubby ketchup stained hands upon real cloth napkins and food sprinkled on the nice carpet was almost enough to turn me around in the other direction. But we persevered.
The hostess assured me they were indeed kid-friendly and quickly seated us at a table in front of the fireplace. One half of the restaurant is set up with comfortable booths and tables with chairs in rich dark wood tones. The other half is an impressive bar with TV screens for the sports fans. My kids made themselves comfortable in two highchairs and were swaying and head-bopping to the music piped in through the ceiling speakers in no time.
The Suffolk Grille offers a children's menu consisting of the usual fare like hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese and pasta served with a beverage and a Hoodsie for $7 which is not bad for dinner but was pretty hefty for lunch.
We ordered up chicken fingers with fries for my daughter, the picky eater, and macaroni and cheese with a side of broccoli for my son right away so the adults could peruse the menu and hear the specials which offered a variety of choices from orange chicken salad and vegetarian paninis to pizza and pesto tortellini.
The kids’ meals arrived on real white china in generous portions and I watched in amazement as my 14 month-old Jack shoveled macaroni and cheese straight from the colossal bowl into his mouth for about an hour, pausing only to do his happy eating wiggle dance in his seat and steal some of his sister’s french fries. Lily, who eats like a bird, munched her chicken fingers and fries with relish and the adults were equally pleased with our selections of a stacker burger and a turkey melt.
The real bargains at Suffolk Grille are in their specials. Kids eat for free on Sundays, so for every child accompanied by an adult, you can get a free children’s meal when an adult entree is purchased. In addition, they also offer a complete dinner for $10.95 from their early bird menu which includes soup, a starch or vegetable side and dessert between 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. They also have a different rotating dinner special every day of the week for only $12.
For those prices, we’ll be back on a Sunday when half our party can eat for free, even if I feel the need to pick the dropped noodles and fries off the nice rug before we leave.
Some other family and kid-friendly favorites when dining in Canton include, but are not limited to:
- The Halfway Cafe in the Village Shoppes which has a casual family atmosphere and to my kids' delight, offers constant refills of fresh-popped popcorn while you wait for your meal.
- Center Field’s Bar and Grill on 643 Washington St. also offers special menu promotions just about every night of the week and also has an outdoor seating area for warmer months.
- Bertucci’s in the Village Shoppes is always a safe bet for families with kids with it’s rustic, comfortable atmosphere and the promise of play dough to occupy the little ones.
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries, also in the Village Shoppes offers take-out style seating, and tasty burgers just the way you like them. Although I think the roasted peanuts is what has my daughter requesting a visit at every chance she can get. (Not an option for those with peanut allergies.)