Friday, October 20, 2006


The unedited "day three" of Do French Fries Make You Strong?

2060 Union Avenue

Kids eat free all day Wednesday (1 Kid per Adult)

Jiro (age 2)--Chicken Strips $0 (Normally $4.49)
Satchel (age 4)--Funny Face Pancake $0 (Normally $3.39)
Me--Migas $6.29
Gigi--Chicken Breast Dinner $8.49
Total: $16.11 + $3.00 tip = $19.11

I had informed Satchel upon waking that we were having breakfast for dinner. He excitedly said, "Does that mean we get dinner for breakfast?" (In anticipation of a less than nutritious dinner, I packed the kids a lunch full of protein and fresh fruit and vegetables.)

When we pulled into an empty parking lot at 5:45pm, I was a little shocked. The only other times I'd been to IHOP (Sunday morning or the wee hours of the weekend), it was packed. It actually made me a little giddy as my main concern with coming to IHOP was having to wait a long time. There were several large signs with happy face pankcakes declaring "Kids Eat Free All Day Wednesday" on the windows.

Inside I saw that there were about three other tables scattered about the restaurant. All three tables had at least one kid. Our server (and his trainee) was a bit slow coming over, but greeted us warmly and seated us in a booth. He immediately took our drink orders and gave us menus. The kids' menu was a paper placemat with pictures of each item, things to color and activities to do. I asked the monkeys to point to what they wanted. Jiro immediately pointed to the chicken strips and Satchel pointed to the chocolate chip happy face pancake. I couldn't believe Jiro didn't want the same, so I double checked and then tripled checked. Finally, I said, "No one wants eggs or bacon or waffles?" No and no. (Other kid's meal items included the Rooty Jr., Silver Five, French Toast, Pigs in Blankets, Grilled Cheese, Hamburger, and Cheese Omelet.)

I really didn't want to eat since I was planning to attend the Flyer's Best of Memphis party later in the evening, but I had to in order to get the freebie meal for one monkey. (In retrospect I realize that the cost of my meal was more than the cost of actually paying for the two kids' meals.) Since my mom was also dining with us, the other monkey was entitled to a free meal. However, the waiter informed her that she could not order off the senior menu and get a free kid's meal since the senior meals were already discounted. Then she was informed that her second choice, the herbed chicken, was out of stock. Reluctantly she got the chicken breast dinner with roasted potatoes, broccoli, and salad. I figured I should stick with breakfast and ordered the Migas (eggs, tomatoes, cheese, jalepenos, and tortilla strips).

The monkeys busied themselves with the crayons and the menu activities. Jiro quickly grew bored and attempted to swing from the low hanging light fixture above our table. When informed that this was not appropriate, he let out several shrill protests that made me happy that there very few people around. I remembered the stash of stickers I found in my purse a while back and quickly pulled them out. Thankfully, they caught Jiro's interest and kept him occupied.

My mom was brought out a salad with brown iceberg lettuce. She did not complain (except to me). The monkeys each had about ten croutons as an appetizer.

Of course we had to do a potty run before our food arrived. The restrooms were among the nastiest I have ever seen. A thorough handwashing and careful opening of doors while protected with paper towels was necessary to exit.

Next the monkeys' food came out. Jiro took one look at Satchel's happy face pancake and lunged across the table. Satchel blocked him and more shrieking ensued. We were able to convince Satchel to share and he cut off an entire eye and half the forehead for his brother. Jiro enthusiastically ate the cherry eyeball and then started in on his chicken strips.

A few minutes later I got my Migas and Gigi got her chicken breast. Satchel immediately stuck his chocolate covered hand in my hashbrowns and went to town. When he was done there, he hit Gigi up for some of her potatoes. My migas was okay. The tortilla strips were a bit stiff, but the jalepenos gave it a much needed kick. Gigi said her broccoli was inedible which was unfortunate. I had really hoped to get some of it in Satchel.

Once everyone was done and we had a second trip to the nasty bathrooms, I said, "Ok, now that we had breakfast for dinner, let's have broccoli and apples for dessert at home!"

I'm starting to think that with this kids eat free business, you really do get what you pay for.

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