Chicago’s Joe’s Seafood treats kids like VIPs

Whenever we take our kids to an upscale restaurant, we opt for an early reservation at 5 or 5:30 p.m. Usually, the venue is pretty low key and not yet busy—but not so at Joe’s Seafood downtown where the place was already buzzing and lively with locals, tourists and an after-work cocktail crowd.

I was a bit nervous my children might interrupt the vibe—until the gracious and friendly host warmly greeted them and started quizzing them about their coloring skills. Then out came the Joe’s Kids Club packet containing pictures, word puzzles and jokes (How did the starfish pay for his burger? With a sand dollar!) that kept the girls laughing and happily occupied until the first courses arrived.

But my favorite thing (other than my gigantic wedge salad and petit filet) was the grown-up kids’ menu option for my first-graders who have just discovered the delicious joy that is steak. For .95 children can opt for a 6 oz. petit filet mignon with a choice of sides including mashed potatoes, French fries, broccolini and sliced apple. The meal also comes with a beverage and brownie sundae. For the same price, seafood-loving little ones can switch out the filet for the colossal lump crab cake. For .95 there are selections such as fried shrimp, grilled cheese and baked chicken tenders.

Since my 6-year-olds’ appetites are still growing, we asked if they could split the kids’ steak special. The server was completely gracious and accommodating, bringing out two plates with the meat and sides evenly divided.

And while we gals all devoured our steaks, the fish is not to be missed. My husband ordered the halibut special and was nice enough (read: forced) to share a few bites—divine!

Joe’s Seafood

  • 40 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
  • 40 East Grand Ave.

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