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Another Miss at Rosetta’s

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Gosh, it makes me so sad, but I have a feeling Rosetta’s is going to become a distant memory for me.  I have been loyal to Rosetta’s since she opened and the food was good, cheap, and fast.  Then the prices slowly crept up.  Okay, okay…fine.  But then the food became pretty hit or miss, increasingly becoming misses.  When I was pregnant, we went there about once a week and almost had the pattern down (Tuesdays were a dependably good night!)

I pretty much always get the family favorite which is kale, mashed potatoes/gravy, and peanut butter tofu.  Sometimes the kale has been so good I have groaned with delight.  When the tofu is right it is sooooo right, but it tends to be the dish responsible for the most “misses”.  Sometimes it is wet and a little mushy, other times it is so dried out you can barely swallow it.

Well, we went to Rosetta’s Saturday night with our 15-month-old and although I knew they didn’t offer a kid’s menu, I was hoping they could offer smaller portions or make adjustments.  The guy behind the counter was nice and helpful, offering the sides as choices for kids.  They are $2.50 a cup though, OUCH!  I asked if he could put two sides in one cup, and thankfully he was happy to do it.  So we opted for Mac n Cheese and Pinto Beans.  My partner ordered the tacos and I ordered…. of course……the Family Favorite.

When we received our food I realized immediately this was going to be a “miss” night.  The tofu was bone dry and crumbly.  I had trouble splitting a piece with a fork, it was so rubbery and dry.  The kale was okay, but a little bland.  There is no use in sending the food back – I know enough about kitchen staff to not be willing to risk spit in my food.  This dish is not made-to-order, but it should be refreshed when it becomes this dried out.  I noticed the prices have gone up (now $8.25 for the Family Favorite) so the standards should not go down.

To add to disappointment, my daughter would not eat the Mac n Cheese.  The noodles were completely mushy.  I’ve never ordered it before so I don’t know if on a good night the noodles are more firm, but this was pretty bad.  The flavor was interesting though.  On the upside, my partner’s Tacos were very good and the Cowboy Cookie was perfect.

I’ve had really good luck lately with restaurants having clean high chairs, but boy I got paid back this time.  I tried to wipe it down with a wet towel and crusted food fell away from every side of it.  It was sticky and grimy, just like the tables.  The utensils felt gritty.   I am not a frilly girl, but I don’t like an overall sense of sloppy cleaning when I eat either, especially when my baby is involved.

Rosetta's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tupelo Honey South Just Might Be My Fave!

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Friday night we went out to Tupelo Honey with a family member who was in town for a visit.  We LOVE Tupelo Honey South and have taken Mira with us since she was a month old.  But it’s getting interesting as she gets older and eats more from the menu.  Up until now she has eaten from my plate, usually veggie sides or the veggie bowl.   But this time I decided she was a big girl and ready to order from the kid’s menu!

But first things first, we didn’t even have her in the high chair (which was refreshingly clean, btw) before her uncle declared, “She smells a little stinky.”  Usually this would make me groan, but Tupelo Honey South has the bomb bathroom, so I whisked her off to our private changing table in the ladies room, with the trashcan and sink in the handicap stall right there……ahh my sense of luxury these days!

When I came back the guys were looking over the menu, and I had to ask our server for the kid’s menu.  I found that a little odd, but maybe she just forgot.  I was happy to see a full spread of menu items for Mira.  She’s still mostly a soft-foods toddler, so not everything was appropriate for her, but I settled on the breakfast plate: scrambled eggs, soysage, and I subbed sweet potato fries (which she loves) for the home fries.  Or ordered the veggie plate with smashed cauliflower, kale, and fried okra.

When the food came Mira’s dinner was on a ceramic plate, which made me a little nervous because she is still in the plate-tossing stage.  But we’re usually safe until it gets mostly empty, then you really have to watch her.  She gobbled on the eggs and soysage immediately.  She ate about half the fries (it’s a lot of food for a 15-month-old), some of my cauliflower and a couple of pieces of fried okra.  It makes me SO happy to see her eat a full meal and she was so into her food (and the other diners, and the ceiling fans, and the wall art…..) that the adults got to enjoy each other’s company.  So many times I feel like most of my attention is on her, helping her with her food, spooning, etc.  It was nice that this meal she could eat all on her own.  And it was a healthy, balanced meal, which is so important to me.

Tupelo Honey South is on my “Best” list on Baby-Takeout.  They have a kid’s menu, high chairs, and diaper changing tables in the men’s and women’s restroom.  Go to Baby-Takeout to see a list of kid-friendly Asheville restaurants listed A-Z and Best to Worst.  Also, join our forum to find kids eat free specials, breastfeeding locations, and other useful info.
Tupelo Honey Cafe South on Urbanspoon

Salmonella Outbreak Got You a Little Antsy?

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Asheville is in the midst of a salmonella outbreak and I must admit it makes me a little hesitant to go out to eat.  I realize the offending food (tempeh!  only in Asheville!) has been removed and everyone involved is doing their best to correct the situation, but I’m still a little spooked.  This reminded me of a little nugget of information I ran across years ago:  you can look up all the dirty details of the Buncombe County Health Department Inspections on the web!  All you have to do is register and you have access to restaurants, daycares, school lunchrooms, and supermarkets.

You can search by zip code, first letter, name, etc.  You can even search for critical violations in your zipcode.  If you don’t want to repeatedly check the website you can opt for email alerts on your preferred establishments or create a favorites list in your profile.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but sometimes ignorance is a belly ache!  Check out Bumcombe County Health Dept to get informed.

Below is a sample of some of the dirty details you can find on the Health Dept website:

 

Small Bites: Just in time for Mother’s Day | Mountain Xpress | Asheville, NC

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Small Bites: Just in time for Mother's Day | Mountain Xpress | Asheville, NC.

Date Night at Lime Leaf

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When you are a stay-at-home-mom the days kind of blend together, no?  Wednesday is like Friday is like Monday.  We had a Groupon to Lime Leaf that needed to be used up, so on a spur we decided to head down to Hendersonville for dinner.  I didn’t really think about it being Saturday night.  We take Mira everywhere we go;  she is really well-behaved and as a family it just feels right to do things together.  But I have to admit it did feel a little odd to walk into the dim, sultry interior of Lime Leaf with a toddler.  It’s like you can feel the other diners give out an inaudible groan when you pass their table.  But whatever.

Not familiar with the menu, I brought our trusty food bag with items for Mira if she could not/would not eat the food.  I ordered the Pad See-Ew so I could share the eggs, tofu, and broccoli with her.  Sean ordered the Green Curry (three pepper alert!) so he was definitely not sharing with her.  She refused to even try anything but the sticky rice.  She used to eat tofu, but the last few attempts have been fails.  The eggs were so saturated in sauce they were brown instead of yellow, and she would not eat them.  And the broccoli was too crunchy for her.  But she happily ate the puffs and Plum packet (sensing a new pattern here!!)  and my orange garnish, so we really enjoyed ourselves.  As we were leaving, an older couple at the table next to us complimented us on what an angel she was and said she was just like a little doll, they almost weren’t sure if she was real.  They gushed and gushed and wow!  that was a great feeling.  We walked up and down the main street a couple of times enjoying the evening air and then headed home.  What a great date night!

Despite the romantic and low-lit atmosphere Lime Leaf is very kid-friendly.  I didn’t see a kid’s menu, but the server offered up rice and was ready with suggestions for Mira.  The high chair was clean and the women’s restroom had a very clean diaper changing station in it.    We don’t always have to go to loud, boisterous restaurants just because we are dining with babies.  Mira loved looking around at the candles and the quiet, dim setting seemed to keep her calm and quiet too.  There are tables on the sidewalk, so if it looks like it’s going to be “one of those nights” you have that option as well.

Lime Leaf on Urbanspoon

Salsa’s With a Fickle, Fickle Baby

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This past Wednesday we were set to meet some friends at Doc Chey’s to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  The only place I could find to park was up on Market Street, and the stroller was in the other car (which Sean was driving and meeting us there from work) so I had to carry my 14-month-old, diaper bag, food bag, presents, and a cake.  Ohhhhhhh my gahhhhhhsh…….but I did it.

So who knew?  Doc Chey’s is closed on Wednesdays.  Thankfully Sean and a friend were waiting to tell me the party had been moved to Salsa’s.  I unloaded all items on the guys, shook my arms out, and we headed up the street.  I was a little anxious because I knew Salsa’s could be packed tight, and I do not like the high chair to be in the aisle where it can get bumped or knocked over.  But I was relieved to find the restaurant was only about a third full and our waitress put a long and a short table together so the high chair could go in the space that made up the difference.  We were in a corner so we were all tucked in nicely, but not cramped.

I ordered the sweet potato empanada because my girl loves sweet potatoes and usually will eat tofu, so I thought she would have enough of that with some rice and beans to make a good little meal for her.   Nope, every attempt to share resulted in the food being thrown to the floor or I got “the hand”.  I always bring along some puffed rice/grains (to tide her over until food arrives) and a Plum Organics packet and those wound up being the only things she would accept.  Now come on, just two days before we ate at Mamacita’s and she gobbled up the rice, beans, and sweet potatoes, so I was pretty dumbfounded that she refused everything that came her way.  She even refused avocado, which is her favorite.  Ohhhhh fickle baby.

Even though the space it tight and can be packed on a busy night, Salsa’s is doable if you are dining with children.  They offer a kid’s menu and there is a diaper changing table in the women’s restroom.  There is not a changing table in the men’s room, but the women’s restroom is a single with a locking door, so it would be fine for a guy to use it if he needed to change a diaper.

Want to know which Asheville restaurants are kid-friendly?  Check out Baby-Takeout to see which restaurants have KID’S MENUS, HIGH CHAIRS, and DIAPER CHANGING TABLES.  Join the forum to share tips and read restaurant reviews from a parent’s point of view.

Salsa Mexican Caribbean Food on Urbanspoon

DIY Suction Bowl

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Here we are dining at Mamacita’s.  Do you notice anything strange about the picture above?  There’s a bowl, a toddler, a tortilla chip….wait!  How is that bowl on the table and not on the floor, or mid-air, or in your lap?  I looked online for suction bowls, and rather than pay $8 for a bowl with bad reviews, I decided to try and make my own.  And guess what?  It works!

I bought a generic pack of suction cups and removed the metal hook that came on them.  The cups I used are made from cornstarch, so they have a little bit of a matte texture to them.  I tried using a bowl that had a very slick surface and the glue did not hold.  So if your only option is a slick plastic bowl I would suggest sanding the spot where the glue will go to rough it up.  The glue I used was E6000 Craft Adhesive, but I bet a good hot glue would work well too.

That’s it!  My daughter has pulled and tugged on it to no avail.  It is also really handy now that she is learning to use a spoon because the bowl stays put as she tries to pick up food.

CAUTION:  I only use this cup in restaurants and sometimes at home when I am right there.  NEVER leave your child unattended with this bowl because if the suction cup came off it would be a choking hazard.

Check out  Baby-Takeout for a list of kid-friendly Asheville restaurants so you can take this bowl out and put it to work!

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