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Sunday, July 3, 2022

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Family Eats

As parents, often the last place we want to take our children is to a sophisticated sit-down restaurant. We worry about how they will behave, whether they will eat the food, and whether they will even be welcome. (We’ve all seen the reports of restaurants banning children.)  But when we don’t introduce our children to new places and new foods, we’re doing them and ourselves a disservice. You would be surprised at the foods children enjoy when they give them a chance. And having a fancy dinner every once in a while will also teach them how to behave in this setting as they grow. You may even end up with “picky” eaters who only choose good, healthy foods. No more chicken nuggets and hot dogs.

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Panera

Panera Bread

Devoted to providing guests with quality food in a warm, inviting environment, Panera Bread’s 29 bakery cafe locations are a hit amongst moms and kids. Select organic and all-natural ingredients that make up some of the restaurant’s signature artisan breads and meals highlight the cafes’ menu. As well as serving customers in each café, Panera Bread works closely with community organizations to donate bread & baked goods daily to bay area residents in need. www.panera-tampa.com

Our Favorites: Tomato & Mozzarella Panini, Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, Pesto Sacchettini, Breakfast Power Sandwich, and of course the cookies.

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Casita Taqueria

Casita Taqueria

Opened in 2010 after the owners’ trip out west, this fun eatery for the entire family is perfect for a school night or weekend. Focusing on traditional Mexican cuisine, delicious dishes are served in a comfortable atmosphere. Home to typical Mexican dishes as well as unique bites, everyone’s bound to have a great time at this Pinellas County gem. www.casitatacos.com

Our Favorites: Spicy Refried Bean Spread, Mexican Stone Soup, Mango Mahi Tacos

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Casita Taqueria

Sushi Alive 

Unlike any other fushion restaurant in the bay area, prepare your palate for the ultimate sushi experience. Hand-selected chefs use the freshest ingredients when creating thoughtful pairings of tastes and textures all while honoring traditional Japanese cooking techniques. Whether you’re sitting at the sushi bar or in the main restaurant, your love of sushi will be taken to the next level. www.sushialive.com

Our Favorites: Volcano Roll, Tempura JB Roll, Panko Crusted Crab cakes, Fried Cheese Cake

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Mise En Place

Mise En Place

Named #1 in the bay area by USA Today, Tampa’s premier restaurant for Modern American cuisine is an exciting and dynamic journey through flavors that reflect the Chef’s insatiable love of food as well as our region and our global community on the West Coast of Florida. The passion of independent proprietors is reflected in the spirit of the staff and the quality of the level of personal care in the dining experience. www.miseonline.com

Our Favorites: Truffle Horseradish Crusted Salmon, Parsnip Puree, Lobster Poutine, Grilled Summer Squash

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Pane Rustica

Pane Rustica

This local favorite is a Zagat-rated restaurant and artisan bakery featuring handcrafted baked goods, savory lunch items and enticing dinners. Lunchtime customers can choose from hearth-baked pizza, sandwiches and salads in a casual atmosphere. In the evening, the menu and service style elevate to fine dining, serving unique wood-fired entrees, appetizers and small plates. Also available for private events and parties, it’s a perfect place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. www.panerusticabakery.com

Our Favorites: Fennel Seared Red Snapper, Rustica Salad, Rosemary Roasted Mushroom Pizza

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 zgrille

Z Grille

Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, this fun and quirky eatery is just as eclectic as owner and Head Chef Zack. The menu’s focus on finger-type foods lets diners connect with their food in a palate-watering experience. At night, leave the kids at home and enjoy themed evenings that include special daily deals.
www.zgrille.net

Our Favorites: Seafood Nachos, WTF Fries, Brussels Sprouts, Root Vegetable Red Risotto

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 SONO

Sono Cafe

Located on the lower level of the art museum in downtown Tampa, Sono Café overlooks Curtis Hixon Park and is just across the Hillsborough River from the University of Tampa and it’s towering minarets. Serving lunch during the week and family dinner on Friday night, it’s a perfect spot to hang out with the kids, enjoy the park and even walk fiddo in the nearby dog park. Perfect for a scoop of after school gelato or a sit down dinner, it’s a perfect locale to enjoy great food and bask in all things downtown Tampa. www.miseonline.com/sonocafe

Our Favorites: Veggie Panini, Artichoke Dip, Grilled Cheese, Sono Cobb, Pickled Jalapeño

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