Monday, March 30, 2009

Want To Submit A Review?

Here’s how it works:

1. Write a review including as many details as you can (local or semi-local businesses, restaurants and events are all game!). Here are some ideas:
Did the staff do anything special to help make your day as a parent a little easier?
How was the cleanliness/safety of the establishment?
Any kid-specific things like step stools, activities, play areas, snacks, etc.?
What did your child enjoy or dislike during your visit?
Do they hold special events geared towards kids?
Do they have a website?
Make sure to include menu prices or entry fees.
Please take pictures!

2. Submit your review and pictures to Kid Friendly Salem reserves the right to choose what entries make the grade, edit or modify any entries submitted in any way deemed necessary. Upon submitting any reviews or pictures, you give permission for them to be used at the discretion of the mama blogger. Oh, and please be nice but honest!

3. When you submit your review, please include what name you would like for me to publish in the entry to give you credit. You can use your real name and a 1-2 sentence description of yourself if you’d like or you can also use a screen name (but please also tell me what your real name is too!)

Other Businesses and Locations

Here are the other businesses and locations we have reviewed so far:
Salem Public Library
Salem Splash Fountains


Here are the events we have reviewed so far:
Ag Fest
Movies In The Park
Regal Free Family Film Festival
Salem Public Library
Salem Saturday Market
Tulip Festival


Click on the links below for the category you would like

Other businesses and locations

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sweet Tomatoes

We had family visit this weekend so this morning we decided to drive up to have brunch at Sweet Tomatoes in Tigard. Sweet Tomatoes has been a favorite of ours for years. It is an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar restaurant that always has fresh ingredients, tons of variety with soups, baked potatoes, muffins, breads, pasta, fruit and lots more. It’s a great place to take kids to because they have so many different options to choose from and if one item gets vetoed it’s easy to find something else that they will like. This is another restaurant that I’m an e-club member of. I almost always have a "buy 1 meal + beverage get 1 meal for free" coupon.

There are so many things to love besides the food – easy access from I-5, these little ingenius roller carts that you can place your baby in while you’re dishing up so that you can be hands free, the friendly staff who will offer to carry your tray to your table if you have your arms full of toddler, a super clean restaurant, their labeling of potential food allergens and whether an item is vegetarian or not. I personally have a sensitivity to MSG and sulfites, which are very rarely labeled. I can't remember ever seeing another restaurant labeling sulfites so they instantly go to the top of my list simply because of this.

Today was the first time that we’ve ever had brunch there. When we arrived with our guests I realized that one of the coupons I’d printed was the wrong one, but the manager allowed us to use our "buy 1 meal + beverage get 1 meal for free" coupon twice, which saved us $16.00! In addition to their soup and salads, they also had fixings for breakfast burritos, potatoes O’Brien, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon chip biscuits, breakfast focaccia and all kinds of other things.

When we found a booth, we started to search for a high chair and to our surprise an employee was already heading our direction with one. I usually run my hands over the chair first (if I forget to bring my high chair cover) to see if I might need to wash it, but I honestly could not find a speck of grime or stickness.

Bug ate salad, kidney beans, chicken noodle soup and scrambled eggs with ham and potatoes plus a little bit of Jell-O all for free since she is still under 3 years old. Their pricing for 3-5 year olds is $2.99 and for 6-12 year olds it is $4.69.

Once completely stuffed, we rolled ourselves back out to the car and dd took a nice nap on our way home to enjoy the rest of our lazy Sunday.


Here is a directory of restaurants that we have reviewed so far:
Coffee House Cafe
India Palace
Marie Callender's
Olive Garden
The Original Roadhouse Grill
Sweet Tomatoes in Tigard
Word of Mouth Bistro
La Hacienda Real

All Fixed

We made it past our first snag - comments should be working now. Sorry about the hang up.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Marie Callender's

Due to the economy, my husband has been laid off the better part of the last 6 months. Going out to eat is a rare treat so when we do got out we need to find the best deals possible for all of us.

Joining e-clubs that are available at some restaurants is great because they offer coupons and birthday deals. Marie Callender’s offers some of the best deals that we’ve found so far. I often get coupons for buy 1 get 1 lunch for free from them. An everyday deal though is that with the purchase of 1 adult entrée and drink, kids eat for free.

A few weeks ago we decided to take advantage of this while we were out running errands at that end of town (we do a lot of our shopping at Morrow and Sons on Silverton Road because of fantastic prices!).

Trying to stick to a budget, we ordered water with our meals. Our helpful waiter reminded us that if at least 1 of us purchased a drink that Bug’s meal would be free so we happily obliged. Their menu offers the typical kids’ menu options. Bug asked for “noodles,” so we decided to try the “Curly Noodles with Alfredo Sauce,” which comes with a slice of bread and desert options of a sundae, a slice of apple or chocolate cream pie. I would have liked to have seen maybe some steamed veggies or some fruit to go along with the meal though.

We usually add their all you can eat soup and salad bar, fill up and take our meals home. This also allowed us to get some things for Bug to crunch on while we waited for our orders. Bug snacked away at salad and slurped on soup while coloring a paper that could be entered for a chance to win a bike.

I was very pleased when Bug’s food arrived and the waiter informed us that it was warm and not hot – this is the first restaurant that we have been to that made a point of keeping the temperature of her food safe – this won huge points with me. The noodles got a big thumbs up from Bug.

To top off our nice lunch experience, the waiter brought Bug a balloon, which always makes her happy as can be.

Family Bathrooms

Family bathrooms have to be one of my favorite inventions. Anyone who has ever tried to share a bathroom stall with a crawling baby determined to escape just as you sit down to pee or a curious toddler who wants to see who is attached to the shoes next door will understand why this is a great concept.

I first came across a family bathroom while visiting California about 10 years ago and I couldn’t wait to see one in our local area.

They range in size – some small, some huge – and amenities – from just the basics to some with couches, extra diapers, wipes (though for some reason I have yet to see one with free chocolate and a neck massage for moms).

I’ve only come across 2 so far in the Salem area that were specifically labeled as family bathrooms (though any place that has a locking door and only 1 toilet could be considered a family bathroom as well). The 2 that we’ve come across were at Target at Keizer Station and Wal-Mart on Turner Road (all the way in the back of the store near the shoes). Both were very basic and have changing areas available, but neither had step stools for the sink area the last time I checked. The one at Target has been consistently clean and not surprisingly the one at Wal-Mart isn’t very clean.

The biggest downside to both of these are how often employees use them as their own private restroom while we wait patiently outside. The last time we were wanting to use the Wal-Mart one we could hear one of their employees inside throwing up – eww!

Do you know of other family bathrooms in the area? Let us know what you think of them!
ETA 03/30/09 A reader emailed this to me: "Wanted to tell you there's a great family bathroom at Kohl's at the downtown mall. We always use that bathroom no matter where we are in the mall (or sometimes downtown!). It has a big toilet, a little toddler toilet, and a buckle chair for the baby."

Contact Us

Suggestions, feedback, questions?

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Open For Business

After becoming new parents, we realized how important it is to have local businesses that are kid friendly and make our errands easier.

From disgusting bathrooms and broken high chairs to convenient step stools and quiet places to sit down and nurse, we're going to review it all.
Know of a restaurant, business or event that is kid friendly or want us to review a place you're wondering about? Post a comment and we'll add it to our growing list!

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