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Lantern Tap House

Team SpoCOOL might not know if a restaurant is kid friendly or not, but Sarah does. Here is another one of her musings. .

It’s rare that I try out a new place multiple times in its first couple of months, but that is what’s happened with the Lantern Tap House. It’s in our neighborhood, so my husband, daughter, and I have been there three times recently and have had great experiences all around.

Once the teeniest of tiny bars, the expanded Lantern now serves food and is able to accommodate larger groups and—at last—kids. (How many times have we joked about coming down for a drink and just putting the stroller on the other side of the fence while we had a beer on the patio?)

The kids’ menu is fairly limited, but solid. Choices are mac and cheese, cheeseburger, or fish and chips ($5 each) and all come with a drink. Jane, my two-year-old, is a diehard mac and cheese fan so she’s chosen that each time. It’s a good portion, reasonably priced, tasty, and not greasy. The best part, in my opinion, is that the mac and cheese is made with cauliflower somewhat sneakily interspersed among the noodles. I’m not sure if it’s a wise move not to mention this on the menu since other parents/kids might be more particular about what comes in their dinner, but Jane and I were both fans, and didn’t mind the addition of more texture and nutrients. Jane also usually shares, quite liberally, from the order of fries we order for the table. They’re not a kids’ item, but worth mentioning—the Lantern’s fries are really, really good.

Other good things about the Lantern for the parent/kid set: it’s super casual, the staff is friendly and accommodating, and a small nook has been converted into a space for children with a play kitchen, books, a magnet/chalkboard wall, and other toys to keep small people entertained. I’m sure things will evolve as the Lantern continues to settle into the food side of things, but already it’s on the right track.

We also have an "adult" review of the Lantern.