Chicago’s RJ Grunts voted most kid-friendly restaurant

When OpenTable recently announced its 2012 Diner’s Choice Award winners for the 75 most kid-friendly restaurants in the United States, only one in the city of Chicago made the list: RJ Grunts in Lincoln Park.

If you go

RJ Grunts

With OpenTable’s endorsement in mind, we headed off to this Lettuce Entertain You venue with my twins in tow to judge for themselves.

Ron Forsman, RJ Grunts general manager, says diners find it kid-friendly “because we really like kids!” Parents also appreciate the “stroller valet” to lock up their Bugaboos.

With delicious hand-dipped strawberry malts in hand, my kids colored up a storm while my husband and I perused the menu in peace.

RJ Grunts is famed for its burgers and fresh, extensive salad bar featuring items like juicy pineapple and generous chunks of feta cheese, but we nonetheless chose the day’s specials-salmon for me and pot roast for him. Both were served perfectly tasty, as was the brownie sundae we all shared.

The crowd is as diverse as the menu: senior couples in for an early dinner, twentysomethings enjoying drinks and appetizers after work, and in keeping with the family-friendly award bestowed on the place, loads of families with young children.

One of the most child-friendly aspects of RJ Grunts? Its location. In walking proximity to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory, this is an easy place to relax after an active day with the family. Or, like we did, go for an after-dinner stroll in the expansive botanical gardens outside the conservatory.

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