The Majestic Grille
145 South Main Street
On Saturday, my entire family (Team Oster plus my mom, my two sisters, one brother-in-law, and their three collective monkeys) went to the Majestic Grille's inaugural "Brunch with Santa." We were promised kids' movies on the big screen, a la carte brunch, kids' specials, and a visit from the jolly old elf himself.
Our party of eleven arrived at 11:30am as scheduled, which in itself was a feat. Most of the staff was dressed in green (an homage to Santa's elves, I think) and greeted us warmly upon entering. The restaurant was decorated most festively with lights and stars, and as promised, there was a kids' movie showing on the big screen.
We announced ourselves and waited a few minutes. Some of the monkeys (who shall remain nameless) took this opportunity to fill their pockets with peppermints. We were then shown to our table, which was in the front, off to the side, and easily could have seated twenty. Ordinarily, I would have liked this spot, especially with five monkeys of varying ages in tow, but as we selected chairs the grumbling began.
"But we can't see the movie."
"But we can't even see each other!"
As Santa later put it, we felt like we were at the "naughty table," cut off from the fun. I asked the hostess if we could move. She looked doubtful, but agreed to check. In the meantime we did some shuffling, which involved moving my mom from the last place on the side, to the head of the table. The hostess informed us they were booked solid and that we had to stay put. Two seconds later, Deni, one of the owners, came over and said we could most certainly move, but by then, we'd settled in and stopped grumbling.
The kids could see Santa making the rounds and were clearly excited. Our youngest monkey, Scarlett (age 2), was especially excited. I think Brunch w/Santa was her first "real" restaurant experience.
The kids' menu had three options: French Toast Sticks (and bacon), Green Eggs & Ham, and Pancake Pops (pancakes wrapped around sausage links). I asked Jiro what he wanted and he said, "French toast, green eggs, and pancakes." It took a minute, but I was eventually able to get him to accept that he would have to choose between the three. He went for the French toast, as did Scarlett. Satchel and his 8 year-old cousin, Sutton, went for the green eggs & ham. Branch, age 12 and our oldest monkey, ordered a burger off of the regular lunch menu. Each kids' special included hot chocolate and a cookie. (The price: $9.)
Most of the adults opted for one of the special adult brunch items. I had the steak & eggs, my twin sister had the salmon hash, and my mom had the eggs Benedict w/artichoke. Warren ordered a pork panini and clam chowder from the regular menu. My older sister refused to eat on principal and her husband was sitting too far away for me to actually see what he ordered.
My twin sister and I, being smart, each ordered a drink. I had a Mimosa and she had a Bloody Mary. As a result, I'm sure we had the best time.
The kids all got their hot chocolate straight away and were thrilled. Next we had a round of fruit (ordered a la carte). There was lots of lively conversation, picture taking, and musical chairs. The kids were behaving surprisingly well and we had a fine time.
Our food came out nice & fast and we all dug in. Well, most of us. Satchel & Sutton sort of stared at their eggs for awhile. The "green" part came from pesto, which they both like, but which looked too vegetable-y for them, I think. (At least two vegetable-y for breakfast.) They both insisted that they liked them, but neither ate them. (A possible side effect of slurping an entire cup of hot chocolate, eating unknown quantities of peppermints, and snacking on fruit prior to having their food delivered.)
Jiro ate his bacon straight away, maybe even sharing a piece with Satchel, then took a few bites of his French toast before saying he didn't like the "white stuff on top." I said, "Dude, that's sugar," but it didn't sway him. I think his refusal to eat may have been a result of Satchel's & Sutton's.
Warren was sad to discover that his panini didn't come with French fries ("You get soup OR salad," I told him), so I donated half of my breakfast potatoes to him. My mom liked her eggs Benedict, but declared them a little spicy. (She's a wuss.) Having eaten half of my steak and realizing I ordered my eggs over easy rather than over hard, I offered to swap plates with her. I've never had eggs Benedict and I'm only a lukewarm fan of artichokes, but I liked hers a lot. My steak, which was ordered rare, was a little too rare for her, but she ate it anyway. My twin sister, who was clearly benefiting from her drink choice, declared her selection of the salmon hash a hit. Warren, now feeling thoroughly downtrodden about his boring sandwich, was offered the remains of my steak, Jiro's French toast, and Gigi's eggs Benedict.
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Somewhere during our meal, Santa came over to visit. Santa was very jolly and talkative, which was...interesting. He honed right in on Satchel and started a conversation about how he looked like Steve from Blue's Clues. (He was wearing a green striped jacket.) Here's an excerpt:
Santa: "Is your name Steve?"
Satchel: (giggling) "No."
Santa: "Well you stole Steve's jacket! What's your name?"
Santa: "Satchel? Your parents named you after a purse?"
Satchel: (being a very good sport and laughing) "No, a satchel is a bag."
Santa: "That's a very unusual name. Were your parents mad at you when you came out? Is that why they gave you that name?"
Santa was beginning to remind me of a Commercial Appeal commenter, so I stepped in. "Ok, Santa, ease up on the name," I said.
He laughed and tried to cover his gaffe by saying nice things. Then Warren reminded me that Satchel was nothing compared to the rest of the monkeys' names at our table (Sutton, Scarlett, Branch, Jiro...). Santa, who had asked Jiro a yes or no question earlier, mistook his "yes" for "My name is Zoe." (Don't ask me how, but regardless I got Jiro's hair cut later that day.) When I corrected Santa and said that Jiro had said "yes," he again misunderstood and started referring to Jiro as "Seth." It was funny and a bit bizarre.
From there Santa set his sights on Sutton, and her brother Branch, making them hold up their hands and swear not to fight until after Christmas. Scarlett, who was clearly willing to do anything Santa (or anyone asked) as long as she got to hang with this awesome group, raised her hand too.
Santa posed for a bunch of pictures and then left us to enjoy what was left of our food. Once everyone was done, we started a series of bathroom trips (they have a gorgeous bathroom), stealth peppermint operations, and the choosing of cookies from one of the elf's baskets. All in all, I'd say it was fun--mostly because we were all together and doing something we don't often get to do. The Majestic staff and food were both great, and I appreciate the fact that they went out of their way to plan a family friendly event.
But, next year, I'll specify that we want to sit where the action is. And I'll make the kids save their hot chocolate for dessert. (Now that I think about it, the hot chocolate was probably meant for dessert, but Sutton started a cacophony of "I want hot chocolate" as soon as she read the menu.)
Regardless, I'd say that Majestic is a safe bet for dining with kids. It's big enough that their outside voices won't startle anyone, and their regular menu features staples like burgers and pizza (a.k.a. flatbreads). Plus it's on the trolley line.