A couple months ago, as we sat down to our eleventy billionth dinner of either noodles and veggies, chicken and veggies, or noodles and chicken and veggies, I decided it was time to introduce my child to the beauty of worldly cuisine.
Living in Chicagoland, I have no excuse when it comes to expanding our cultural culinary horizons. Affordable global restaurants abound, from Thai to Mexican and beyond. And just because we order takeout from a sushi restaurant doesn’t mean I’ll force my finicky eater to pop some eel. Aside from the kids menu, many places offer pared-down dishes that celebrate the basics in a kid-friendly way.
Here are five of my North Shore favorites that even my little one was thrilled to try.
1320 Shermer Road, Northbrook
Give it a go: Tatsuta Age (deep-fried chicken nuggets), Pork Belly Steam Buns (I know, but just don’t let them hear you order “Pork Belly” and you’ll be fine––these delights are sweet and fluffy), the A.A.C. Roll (avocado, asparagus and cucumber).
1849 2nd St., Highland Park
Give it a go: Kao Pad Suparod (pineapple-fried rice with beef, chicken, pork and shrimp), Kaoman Somtum Kaiyang (coconut milk-infused steamed rice with chicken or tofu and papaya salad), Mango with Coconut Sweet Sticky Rice.
431 Temple Ave. and 2014 1st St., Highland Park
Give it a go: Cheese Quesadilla, Kid’s Chicken or Beef Taco, Nachos, Baked Apple Cinnamon Pancake.
2784 Dundee Road, Northbrook
Give it a go: Homemade Hummus, Pita Press (a sandwich with fries in the sandwich – I mean, if that’s not kid-friendly…), Pastichio (baked pasta with ground beef; topped with bechamel).
1650 Waukegan Road, Glenview
Give it a go: Butterfly Shrimp, Chicken Fried Noodles, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Diced Chicken with Almonds.