Since we're eating out a lot nowadays, we're trying to make the best of it by going to places we've been wondering about but were too cheap to try out (when you're cheap you tend to play it safe). So we tried out the Italian Market in the Arlington Highlands. Let me just get to it: thumbs up all the way around. I would recommend this place to a family with young kids.
So let me tell you how it works so you know when you go. You walk in, get a menu, decide what you want, and order at the counter. Now this is the only un-kid-friendly part because when you're standing around deciding what you want, there is a half-wall full of wine racks beckoning for toddlers to come and create a disaster. So decide quickly or check out the menu online before you get there. Then you pay, they give you a number, and you go find a table and put your number on it. You also have to get your own drinks and silverware.
When deciding what to order, keep in mind that the kids' pizzas are this size. We ordered two and took an entire one plus a couple of slices of the other home.
I ordered the Italian club, and it was delish! If you love Greek olives, feta, and goat cheese, then this will be a hit with you. The only problem was that it was huge. I was filled up on half of it. Michael ordered the lasagna, as he always does when we get Italian, and it was great, too.
I love it when a restaurant caters to families because there are not many out there that don't have tubes and slides. This one, however, has kids' tables nestled in the middle of the grown-up tables, so they can dine in the company of their siblings while Mom and Dad have a clean table to themselves. What a GREAT idea!! My kids loved it. And Samuel was quite occupied with coloring the butcher paper while he waited for his food. They both sat like big boys while they ate, too, which is a change from the norm where Levi is usually climbing in my lap asking for my food OR running all over the place.
The yummiest part was the gelato after dinner, although I forgot to photograph it. Everything was excellent, but when we come back on our own dime, we will order half of the food and drink water instead of the Thomas Kemper Root Beer in a bottle priced at $2.25/each. We spent $49 on 2 kids' pizzas and drinks, my sandwich, Michael's lasagna, 3 bottled sodas, and 3 small gelatos. But, like I said, we had a lot of leftovers.
The service is really great, too, as there are people coming by the table often asking if you need anything. All in all it was the best dining experience we've had with the kids at a restaurant that doesn't have a play area. We're definitely coming back.