Review: Kid-friendly Restaurants and Dishes in the Plymouth Area

by | Aug 2012

Mu Shu Shredded Duck

Kids can’t get enough of wrapping Tea House’s Mu Shu shredded duck in rice pancakes.

Good food for picky eaters and budding foodies alike.

Kids are picky eaters; this is not big news. Have you ever acquiesced to eat a meal at your less-than-favorite eatery in order to please discerning young taste buds? Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but unfortunately the entreaty to “try just one bite” is not a universally successful tactic. In this foodie culture, how can we teach our kids to appreciate interesting, new or different cuisine? And if that’s too much to ask, where can we dine out to satisfy both adult and junior palates? We’ve scoped out nine local options well worth a visit—for the whole family.


Thai Table

This restaurant has a unique and endearing menu feature called “my grandkids’ favorites.” Lauryn, Katie, Matthew and Brady have all contributed a selection, including chicken pad Thai, sweet and sour chicken, cream cheese puff wontons and the ever-popular chicken satay—skewered strips of grilled chicken breast that are fun to nibble and even more fun to dip in one of the kid-friendly sauces, rich peanut or an orange-hued sweet and sour. $5.49. 10100 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.591.6085


Axel’s Bonfire

Empower your youngsters by getting them involved in the production of dinner, that way they’re responsible for choosing the flavors that they like, and maybe they’ll even be inspired to experiment. At Axel’s, kids can build their own pizzas and sundaes from a range of toppings. The build-your-own pizza and sundae option is free with the purchase of an adult entrée every day; everything else on the kid’s menu is a mere $5. 3000 Harbor Ln.; 763.398.7408


Cowboy Jack’s

There is no separate kids menu, rather a “mini menu” with smaller portions, and kids are bound to love the cowboy-themed atmosphere complete with wagon wheels, barrel tables and steer horns. The menu is supremely kid-friendly, filled with homey favorites like a mini tater tot hotdish ($7) and walleye fingers ($9). This fish dish is lightly breaded, sweet and mild—an ideal vehicle for dipping into ketchup or a zesty chipotle tartar sauce. More adventurous tykes might opt for the build-your-own cowboy burger ($8.50). Perhaps best of all: Donuts for dessert ($6)! 4120 Birkshire Ln. N.; 763.559.0257


Uchu Peru

Friendly head waitress (and co-owner) Amber Sarmiento knows what kids like: The Lomo Saltado sounds exotic, but it’s really just a familiar combination of sautéed tenderloin strips with soy sauce and french fries. Seize the opportunity to impart a little learning—the history of the sun-worshipping ancient Aztecs is fascinating to any curious mind. Maybe the youngsters will be so enthralled they’ll request a bite of your delicious cebiche. $14. 4130 Berkshire Ln. N.; 763.577.3477


Old Chicago

Old Chicago’s “mighty menu” for kids is adorably illustrated with flying onion and tomato superheroes spouting encouragements such as “Remember: Always be yourself every day!” The list of choices includes the beloved Kraft mac’n’cheese and spaghetti and meatballs. Some more unusual items also figure in: “Archrival alfredo” pasta, “cheesy chicken sandwich” and our favorite, “mega shrimp.” In the latter, four fat breaded and crispy shrimp come with a zingy, not-too-spicy chipotle-lime dipping sauce and a choice of fries, veggies or applesauce. Add a sundae for dessert for 99 cents. All meals are $4.59 for kids 10 and younger (soft drink or milk included). 3505 Vicksburg Ln.; 763.744.1221


Noodles & Company

Kids and noodles are the best of friends, so you won’t need to twist any little arms to get them to chow down at Noodles & Company. There are many dishes with obvious kid appeal on this menu, spaghetti with oven-baked meatballs and simple buttered wavy egg noodles among them. But the standard Wisconsin mac ’n’ cheese reigns supreme. You, in the meantime, can enjoy an interesting noodle dish of the Asian or Mediterranean persuasion. Kids entrees each $4.25. 3425 Vicksburg Ln. N.; 763.559.4336


Famous Dave’s

Lil’ Wilbur meals are for kids 10 and younger—and we loved the rib dinner, a smaller portion of the grown-up version doused in sweet barbecue sauce. Gnawing each bone clean is part of the fun, but not to worry: There are plenty of wet wipes on hand to take care of those sticky little mitts. Each Lil’ Wilbur dinner includes a choice of any side, including the perennial kid favorite, mac ’n’ cheese. The price of the meal also comes with Oreo cookies for dessert, and milk or a fountain drink. $5.49. 11308 Hwy. 55; 763.525.0500


Tea House

Playing with your dinner is strictly verboten, unless you’re eating Mu Shu shredded duck at a Chinese restaurant ($15.95). Kids can take an active part wrapping up their own neat little packages of duck, sautéed vegetables and plum sauce in thin rice pancakes. The duck and vegetable mix is mild and crunchy and the plum sauce appealingly sweet. It’s so much fun to assemble, the kids won’t even suspect the healthy factor innate in this protein-packed entrée. Make it even more memorable with chopstick-wielding lessons. 88 Nathan Ln.; 763.544.3422 


Kobe Restaurant

Kids generally like chicken, shrimp and steak, as long as it’s simply prepared. Kobe has all of these, though the real draw for young’uns is the amazing hibachi chef show. Gather around a heated grill for amazing feats of dexterity and pyrotechnics that will get the whole brood googly-eyed and salivating. For kids younger than 10, there is a junior version of all of these that comes with miso soup, a fried shrimp appetizer, simple steamed white rice and the daily vegetable (starts at $10.50). Tempura ice cream makes for an equally exciting dessert for $4 extra. 15555 34th Ave. N.; 763.559.9999



Kudos to Crave for designing a “kids’ sushi” selection! Youngsters love mild, clean flavors, and sushi makes for excellent finger food. Crave’s delightful sushi cone ($1.95) combines cooked snow crab with sticky sushi rice and a sweet soy reduction. The shrimp guppies ($4.75) are another ingenious kid-pleaser. Or get the festive kid sushi boat—quite a thrill to behold—with a colorful range of cooked fish and veggie rolls ($9.95). 1603 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.933.6500


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