Our Favorite Restaurants In Wisconsin Dells

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One of our favorite places to go on long weekends is Wisconsin Dells. During the summer it’s nice to be outside by the lake and playing in the outdoor water parks and during the colder months we can stay inside and splash around at all the indoor water parks. One thing we also enjoy doing is trying out new restaurants in the Dells so I wanted to share some of our favorite places to eat at when we are in Wisconsin Dells.

Ravina Bay

We discovered Ravina Bay on our last trip to the Dells when I was on the hunt for a waterfront restaurant that had a patio. Situated right on Lake Delton, it’s across the water from where the Tommy Bartlett show is performed. If you are dining during the season you can even catch the performers practicing which was pretty cool. As far as food is concerned, we all enjoyed our meals. I enjoyed the Deviled Egg on Crostini appetizer. I still think about this food- it was that good :)

Kaminski’s Chop House

Though on the pricier side, we loved Kaminski’s when we went a couple years ago. If you are looking for a nice place to celebrate a special occasion or just enjoy a great steak or seafood dinner out with friends and family this is the perfect spot to go. You’ll want to make a reservation beforehand as this is a popular place.

MACS Macaroni and Cheese Shop

Located right near Kalahari resort, Lucas was delighted to see a restaurant named after one of his favorite foods. Macs has a menu that is full of cheesy goodness and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The boys stuck with regular mac & cheese while Sinisa got the Buffalo Chicken Melt and I tried the Memphis Mac & Cheese. Everything was amazing and, though the portions looked small to the eye, they more than filled up our bellies with food leftover.

Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty

Paul Bunyan’s is a restaurant that I’ve been visiting for years and I still enjoy going at least once a year for their large lumberjack breakfasts. Their sugar doughnuts alone are worth the trip. I also love the atmosphere of the restaurant, from the family style dining to the log cabin feel.

Belgiis Waffle Bar

Another breakfast spot I liked was Belgiis Waffle Bar. These are not your typical waffles, but instead are more dough like waffle sandwiches. Though we enjoyed breakfast here, they also have a number of sweeter waffle sandwiches that would be perfect for a sweet afternoon or dessert treat. I had the Maple Bacon Egg Sandwich which was delicious. Do you have any Wisconsin Dells restaurants you’d recommend? Leave a comment below and let me know! We are always looking for new places to try.

California Pizza Kitchen’s New Menu

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My family loves going out to eat. Not only is it a time to relax together but it means no dishes to clean afterwards. We were hosted for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in Oakbrook, IL to check out their recently expanded menu and I wanted to share about it with all of you. Though our meal was complimentary, all thoughts are my own.

I hadn’t been to a California Pizza Kitchen in years because there aren’t any locations really close by but I discovered that it’s worth the short roadtrip to a nearby town to eat there. They’ve recently updated their menu to focus on high quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients, hand-crafted cocktails, and locally brewed beers. Don’t worry though! Their classics, like the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, salads and pastas, are still on the menu.

To start our meal we ordered a couple of their new drinks. I ordered their new Strawberry Lime Margarita, made with Casamigos Tequila Blanco, fresh strawberries, strawberry puree, fresh agave sour & lime. Sinisa chose to try the new Sangria flavors and got a flight of those. The featured fresh-made sangrias include Orchard Sangria, a refreshing blend of white wine, St. Germain Elderflower, Monin Stone Fruit, orange & cranberry juice, Red-Berry Sangria, with a rich blend of red wine, Rémy VSOP, Monin Blackberry, raspberry purée, cranberry juice and lemonade and the seasonal Harvest Sangria, made with a crisp, unique mix of Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Germain Elderflower and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay with muddled grapes, basil & fresh agave sour. We both really loved the Orchard Sangria the most (even though I’m not a wine drinker). It was sweet and refreshing and the perfect drink to enjoy as we head towards the end of the summer.

We got a couple of appetizers to share as well. We chose to get Crispy Mac ‘N’ Cheese and the spinach artichoke dip that was served hot with housemade blue & white corn tortilla chips. Bread was also brought to our table which is always great to have for hungry little stomachs to snack on while we wait.

For his main course, Sinisa chose to get one of their new menu items- the fire-grilled ribeye. This 12oz USDA choice ribeye is grilled with housemade Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter and served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad. It looked so delicious and Sinisa really enjoyed it.

Two of the other new entree options include Hearth-Roasted Halibut (wild caught from Alaska and roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro, grilled asparagus and baby kale) and Roasted Garlic Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables (a crispy-skin chicken breast in lemon-garlic sauce, with a medley of the season’s freshest vegetables.) While the chicken sounded delicious, as did some of their salads, I chose to stick with pizza. I love BBQ chicken pizza and feel that if I’m at a place that makes pizza well I have to try their pizza. Created at CPK in 1985, it’s a staple on the menu and features their legendary BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions and fresh cilantro. I chose to add bacon to mine at the suggestion of our waitress and I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect addition to an already great pizza!

The boys each had pizza from the kid’s menu. Jacob chose the Hawaiian and Lucas chose his typical cheese pizza. One extra thing the boys got to do after they were done eating was go into the kitchen and try to throw the dough like the pizza makers do. They had fun but discovered that it was harder than it looked!

We learned that California Pizza Kitchen offers a special program that allows kids to play chef and make their own pizza from the freshest ingredients, while getting creative and learning about food along the way. Perfect for birthday parties or scout trips, CPKids parties include a VIP-style behind-the-counter restaurant tour, a meal and dessert from the award-winning CPKids menu, souvenirs and a certificate for a free CPKids Meal for each child’s next visit.

Other things that are worth mentioning:

Special Dietary Needs

For those with specific dietary needs, CPK also has options that are under 650 calories, vegetarian and/or gluten-free. They also provide allergen information to those with food sensitivities. For the complete menu, visit http://www.cpk.com/menu.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

The new CPK menu encourages diners to seek unique and seasonal flavor combinations and offers a Menu Adventure Guarantee: If a guest tries a new dish and is not satisfied, it will be replaced with his or her favorite item from the CPK menu.

New Lunch Duos

For a quick and satisfying lunch, CPK at Arlington Town Square now offers Lunch Duos, where guests can pair lunch-sized versions of a favorite pizza or sandwich and a soup or salad. Lunch Duos give guests a great value, with more than 80 fresh, made-to-order options to mix, match and enjoy in the middle of their time-challenged days.

Have you been to California Pizza Kitchen before? If so, I’d love to hear about your favorite menu item!

Best Places To Eat In Springfield, Missouri

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My family had a great time visiting Springfield, Missouri last month. I’ve shared about where we stayed and the best things to do with your kids while you are there and today I wanted to share about the places to eat at. Below are six of our favorites that we went to while we were there.

Best Places For Lunch

Big Momma’s Coffee & Espresso Bar – We had lunch here one day and the food was delicious. Though a coffee shop, I thought they had an impressive menu for lunch. My mom chose to get a salad and slice of quiche while I enjoyed a sandwich with chips and an iced coffee drink.

Incredible Pizza Company - Incredible Pizza Company is a buffet restaurant located inside their large entertainment building. There is pizza (obviously) but also a great salad bar, other sides and entrees, and a variety of desserts. The kids both love buffets so they were in heaven and for the price I thought it was well worth it. With one of their packages, for $26.99, you got a $25 game card and an all you can eat buffet which basically makes the buffet only $1.99/person.

Best Places For Dinner

Andy B’s – We enjoyed eating dinner while we bowled at Andy B’s. They had a special deal where if you purchased an item off a special menu you would receive a $10 game card. If you are planning to play games in the arcade anyways it is worth it to take this deal.

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Jimm’s Steakhouse & Pub - This was by far the best meal I had while in Springfield. Not only was it delicious but it was very affordable considering I had steak and my mom had prime rib. We went during their early evening dinner which is offered Sunday 11-3 and Monday through Friday 3-6pm. Our meals came with a side, salad bar, warm honey wheat bread, dessert and a drink for only about $16. The kid’s meals, priced at $5.49 to $7.19, came with the salad bar, a drink and an ice cream sundae.

Best Places For A Snack Or Treat

Urban Cup – We stopped here for gourmet cupcakes and coffee. The shop was adorable and there were a variety of cupcakes to choose from. Lucas chose carrot cake and Jacob chose a chocolate one.

Pinneapple Whip – On a hot day there is nothing better than a cold treat. I noticed this trailer as I was driving and had to pull over to try it and I’m glad I did because their pineapple whips are delicious!

Do you have any favorite places to eat in Springfield? I’d love to know so I can add them to my list of places to check out on my next visit.

Best Places To Eat In Dubuque, Iowa

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I love finding unique places to eat while I travel, whether it’s a mom & pop restaurant or a place with a great view. Recently I was in Dubuque, Iowa and I wanted to share five places I enjoyed eating at and would recommend for visitors to try. Some of these restaurants offered us a free meal which I really appreciate.

Breakfast

 

Sunshine CafeWe ate at Sunshine Cafe our first morning in town and I thought it was an all around great place to eat. I was in the mood for french toast and bacon so that’s what I had. The food was good, the prices were cheap and the service was fast.

Lunch

Dubuque Marina & YardarmI was looking for a restaurant that offered outdoor dining by the water and came across this one. It had just reopened and had all new decor. I loved sitting by the river and the surf vibe the restaurant had. The food and drinks were good as well. I ordered a wrap which came with homemade chips.

Cremer’sWe were told this is a must try when visiting Dubuque. Cremer’s Turkey ‘N Dressing sandwiches are basically Thanksgiving in your mouth, with a mixture of stuffing and turkey on a bun. If you are looking for a quick lunch, this would be it. Located inside a small family owned grocery store (known for their butcher department), this specialty is sold in to-go containers found in refrigerated cases. They give directions for reheating it in the microwave and then it’s ready to eat. I wasn’t sure how I would like these sandwiches because I tend to be really picky about sandwiches but it was delicious and reminiscent of my leftover turkey sandwiches I enjoy around the holidays.

Dinner

Tony Roma’s- Located in our hotel, Tony Roma’s was the easy choice for dinner our first evening in town. They have a large dining room but also a patio so you can eat outside. There was a good variety of items to choose from on the menu and I wasn’t that hungry so I just got sweet potato fries (that had maple syrup on them) and a side Caesar salad. I had never had maple syrup on my sweet potato fries before but it was a unique flavor I enjoyed. The flatbread that one of the bloggers I was dining with looked delicious as well!

River Rock Kitchen & Tap - So. Much. Food. You’ll want to make sure your stomach has plenty of room in it when you eat here! Our table ordered a bunch of things to share because everything on the menu looked so good.

We tried the crab cakes and guacomole for appetizers. The guacamole is made fresh tableside and customized so you can let them know if you like it chunky or creamy.Before our meal came with tried the corn chowder which was delicious. For the meal we ordered steak and a pork chop along with four sides that we shared.

I couldn’t pass up dessert here. They had a selection of desserts that change daily and I chose the caramel apple tart along with Bailey’s Iced Coffee.

Know any other places in Dubuque that I should try? I’d love for you to leave a comment below so I know where to go next time!

Brunch At Grand Lux Cafe In Downtown Chicago

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When we aren’t at an early morning game there is nothing I love more than enjoying a good breakfast (well, okay, maybe sleeping in is more enjoyable but that doesn’t happen anymore with kids so a delicious breakfast- that I don’t have to clean up- is the next best thing). A couple weekends ago we spent a Sunday in the city and started it all with brunch at the Grand Lux Cafe. Thanks to the restaurant for hosting my family and I.

Perfectly situated on Michigan Avenue, this restaurant is lined with windows so diners can enjoy the views of the city while they eat. Inside, the views are just as nice, with high ceilings and ornate decor.

The perfect brunch in my mind starts with a morning cocktail. I remember my mom and dad always getting Mimosas at Sunday brunch. I was debating between a Mimosa, a Strawberry Bellini and a Bloody Mary but finally decided to try their Strawberry Bellini made with fresh strawberries. It was a wonderfully refreshing bubbly drink and perfect for the start of our day outside in the sunshine.

As a family we decided to try the breakfast beignets while we waited for our breakfasts. They came out warm and covered with powdered sugar along with four dipping sauces.

Sinisa ordered the Eggs Benedict with ham and hollandaise. He loved their take on this classic breakfast staple.

I waivered between the french toast and an omelet, my typical breakfast fare. I loved the variety of omelets they had and chose to order the Crab and Asparagus Omelette. Full of Lump Crab, Fresh Asparagus, Oven-Roasted Tomato and Fontina Cheese and topped with Hollandaise Sauce it was as delicious as it sounded.

The kids split an order of “Churro” French Toast. This Grand Lux Original is made with thick, crispy pieces of custardy french toast and smothered with cinnamon-sugar, chocolate and Dulce de Leche caramel sauce. My boys have huge sweet tooths!

Overall, we had a really great experience at the Grand Lux Cafe and look forward to brunching there again next time we are downtown! If you’d like to try their brunch, they offer it on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 2pm.

 

 

Family Guide To Visiting Bowling Green, Kentucky

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I recently had the chance to visit Bowling Green, Kentucky as a guest of the CVB and it was very different from what I was expecting. Instead of a small farming community I found a town very similar to my own Chicago suburb that had plenty of things to do for the whole family.

Bowling Green is an easy drive from Chicago and worth the short hour drive if you will be nearby in Nashville. You’ll want to be geared for fun when you visit!

National Corvette Museum

The first thing that comes to mind when many hear “Bowling Green” is the National Corvette Museum and it’s definitely a popular tourist stop. The 115,000 sq. ft. building houses more than 80 Corvette models and one-of-a-kind concept cars spanning the history of Corvette. Made even more famous by the Corvette sink-hole, they now have a special exhibit about that national phenomenon that caused millions of dollars in damage to a number of rare corvettes. I found it interesting to look at.

Kid’s Activity at the National Corvette Museum

Those with young kids will want to visit the car themed playroom at the museum. They also have a Corvette Cafe so you can have lunch in the retro diner while you are at the museum, too.

Drag racer at the Annual NMCA Bluegrass Nationals

Speaking of cars, Bowling Green is home to the Beech Bend Raceway Park. Check the schedule online to see if anything is going on while you are there. I was lucky enough to visit during the Annual NMCA Bluegrass Nationals and got to see all the drag racing cars up close and personal, along with having the chance to talk to some of the drag racers themselves. I never watched drag racing before but I found it fascinating to watch and enjoyed listening to how passionate the drivers are.

Kentucky Rumbler, Wooden Coaster at Beech Bend Amusement Park

Next to the race track are two must visits during the summer months- Beech Bend Amusement Park and Splash Lagoon Water Park. Though these parks look to be on the smaller side, there is plenty for families to do here for the whole day and I loved that it was cheaper than all of the other amusement parks I’ve been to and there were no long lines to stand in. There are over 30 rides, mini-golf, a petting farm, a pool, water slides and other water attractions. If you love coasters you’ll want to make sure to ride the Kentucky Rumbler (currently ranked in the Top 33 wooden roller coasters worldwide!)

Mammoth Cave National Park

Want to spend even more time outside? Mammoth Cave National Park is a free U.S. national park. You can walk or bike around the park but the most popular thing to do is take a cave tour. The park encompasses portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world at over 400 miles of cave that has been discovered. There are a variety of cave tours but I went on one called the “Frozen Niagara” that was one of the easier tours, prefect for families.

Trail at Lost River Cave

Another cave in Bowling Green is the Lost River Cave which offers a boat tour of their cave. It was fun to explore the cave by boat on their tour which lasted about 45 minutes. There are lots of other activities to do with kids here including walking along trails, playing bird bingo, cooling off at the natural spring, treasure mining, visiting the butterfly habitat and playing at their Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

Brisket Pizza at Lost River Pizza Co

Once you work up an appetite at Lost River Cave you’ll want to stop by the nearby restaurant, Lost River Pizza Cofor lunch. Though most well-known for their pizza, make sure to get an appetizer to go with it, like their spicy fried pickles, Brown Ale Shrooms, or wings. For kids there are plenty of affordable options.

Ice cream from Chaney’s Dairy Barn

Don’t forget dessert! Head on over to Chaney’s Dairy Barn for some homemade ice cream. Named #1 ice cream in Kentucky by USA Today, you will see why after just one taste! There are a variety of flavors from Bourbon Crunch to Mocha Moo. I tried their peanut butter fudge swirl in a waffle cone and it was delicious. During the summer they also host events like farm tours and outdoor “MOOvie” nights so be sure to check their calendar to see what’s going on during your visit. Have baseball fans in your home? Head out to a Hot Rods baseball game while you are in town. They also have a great kid’s play area, with a playground and carousel, for kids to play. They have theme nights and other fun events so again, check the calendar to see what’s happening. I went to a game on Star Wars night and it was fun to see so many in costumes. Within walking distance of the baseball stadium is the Railpark & Train Museum. The train museum is in a former station and has historical exhibits, a model railroad & vintage car tours. It was interesting to walk through the train cars and imagine what it would have been like to travel in them years ago. I also enjoyed checking out their downtown area. Fountain Square Park in the middle of their downtown is a beautiful place to sit and relax. They also had a number of storefronts, including Mary Jane’s Chocolates, for those of you who love chocolates. If you like to stop at Farmer’s Markets, it should be noted that Bowling Green has a large Farmer’s Market that’s open a couple times a week year-round.

Amazing firebread at Montana Grille

One other place I enjoyed eating while in Bowling Green was Montana Grille (not to be confused with the chain restaurant that has a similar name). They had lots to choose from on the menu and I loved the cabin-like atmosphere. Favorites include their Bourbon filet, Spike’s Mean Beans and Jalapeno Cornbread.

As you can see, there are tons of great places to play and eat in Bowling Green. You’ll need a place to sleep as well and I’d recommend staying at the Hilton Garden Inn. It’s a well-taken care of hotel with spacious guest rooms, nice outdoor patio areas and a delicious breakfast selection. The hotel also has an indoor pool as well which I know is always on my boys’ wish list when it comes to accommodations.

Bowling Green, Kentucky has plenty of fun for the whole family! What are you most looking forward to doing on your visit?

Hard Rock Cafe’s World Burger Tour

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One of our favorite restaurants to eat at in the Summer is the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago. I love the outdoor patio and the atmosphere of the restaurant and so does my family! I worked with them a couple years ago to share about a new kid’s program they had and I’m happy to be partnering with Hard Rock Cafe again this year to share about their new World Burger Tour.

This Summer, Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with their Hard Rock World Burger Tour, a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers. The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available through Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans.

Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño.

Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise.

ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise.

Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli.

Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice.

Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Portuguese sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole, pico de gallo, served with Furikake french fries.

This is the burger I’m most looking forward to trying:

Hard Rock Cafe has created cocktails that perfectly complement World Burger Tour offerings. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars, adult guests can order with the suggested pairing or mix it up with any other burger from the limited-time menu. New cocktails include:

All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry.

Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme.

MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry.

Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavor, this cocktail features a mix of Absolut Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper.

Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry.

This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle! For more information, you can visit www.worldburgertour.com

Feeling At Home With Endless Shrimp

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As a boy I loved going to the fish market. Looking at all the varieties of fish and thinking of the great ways to prepare it was almost more fun than eating the fish. No matter what the occasion, shrimp has always been a food I could not turn down. As I have my own kids now I love that I can introduce the world of shrimp and tasty flavors to them. I cherish family time and love going out to dinner so I choose Red Lobster to help me enjoy both tasty seafood and time with my kids trying to get them to fall in love with some of my favorite foods from the sea. Now is a great time to do so as Red Lobster is celebrating the return of endless shrimp.

Endless Shrimp is going on now for a limited time at Red Lobster! At Red Lobster, Endless Shrimp is the number one guest-requested event. Guests don’t have to choose just one sauce or flavor – they can enjoy as much shrimp as they like, any way they like, and can even mix-and-match different preparations. This year, guests can choose two out of five shrimp preparations for their initial order, including NEW! Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites, featuring a balance of sweet and spicy flavors, and guest favorite Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp. Knowing all this, I got the kids hyped up and issued a challenge (my boys love competition) to see who can taste more flavors. Ok, I win, but in the long term we are all winners at Red Lobster and my kids get a taste of awesome shrimp flavors.

I started my meal by ordering the Sweet Teriyaki grilled shrimp and Pineapple Habanero Coconut Bites. It was an amazing flavor meant for a spicy food lover. The sweet Teriyaki shrimp also comes with wild rice so that enriches the meal.

The next serving of endless shrimp was the Shrimp Linguini Alfredo. It was creamy and delicious and almost too big of a serving for this Dad.

As the night moved forward I ordered delicious Garlic Shrimp Scampi and Hand-Breaded Shrimp with cocktail sauce. So much flavor and even more shrimp. It was a never-ending celebration of shrimp on my plate.

The best way to make Endless Shrimp better is to have a great drink with the meal. Red Lobster serves all sorts of beverages, wines and cocktails. I am a big beer lover so I tend to stick to beer if I’m drinking. This time Red Lobster got my attention with their new beer based cocktails.

 

Red Lobster introduced two new beer-based cocktails that pair perfectly with Endless Shrimp dishes – the Seaside Shandy and Angry Lobster, available exclusively during Endless Shrimp. Crisp and refreshing, the Seaside Shandy features Shock Top Belgian White Ale, Cointreau and fresh citrus. Bold and spicy, the Angry Lobster features Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider, tropical fruit juices and a kick of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Both cocktails are served in a beer can-shaped commemorative glass with the Red Lobster logo that patrons can take home with them. Since I am a very busy Dad I took this opportunity to try them both and have a relaxing evening with my family. Both cocktails were good and enhanced my dinner.

As we wrapped dinner up the kids were left wondering what new flavors of shrimp they can order next time. My oldest especially, as he is starting to like some seafood. Red Lobster is always a great destination and it will make you feel like home away from home without taking a vacation. I can not wait to see what new flavors they will come up with next and what exciting new cocktails show up.

 

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Exploring Glenview, Illinois With Kids

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Thanks to Go Roma for sponsoring this post.

I love taking road trips and one of the best things about living in the Chicago area is the amount of fun things there are for families to do within just an hour or two of where we live. A few weeks ago we headed to a town I’d never been to before called Glenview which is about 14 miles North of the city.

The boys and I spent a whole day exploring the town and didn’t even get to do everything on my list. Here are the things I’d recommend doing on your next trip to Glenview.

Play: Little Bear Garden Park

My boys spent hours playing at Little Bear Garden Park. It was a wonderful area with something for everyone. There was a playground, splash pad, huge sand pit, and plenty of grassy area and seating. There was also a path that went around the park with storybook pages every so often which would be perfect for families with preschoolers to walk around and read a book as they went along the path. The park was busy but large enough that it did not feel overcrowded.

Eat: Go Roma

I enjoyed eating at Go Roma when I was pregnant with Jacob so I was excited to see that a new location opened in Glenview. Go Roma features quick and delicious Italian foods. Their pizza is my favorite. Go Roma was affordable which I appreciated when I was working retail and on a very tight budget and I still appreciate.

When we tried out their new location for lunch I got the BBQ Chicken Pizza which I really enjoyed. I loved that the chicken was very prevalent on the pizza instead of diced up really tiny and barely there like at some other places.

Jacob got the kid’s cheese pizza and Lucas got the kid’s macaroni and cheese. They were so excited to see that their kid’s meal came with a cookie and they happily gobbled up their entree to get to their dessert.

Shop: The Glen Town Center

If you love shopping you will enjoy spending time at The Glen Town Center. It’s a beautiful, outdoor shopping area with stores, restaurants, and even a movie theater. I found Fourth of July shirts for the boys at Carter’s and looked around a few other clothing stores. We stopped by The Book Market and then stepped out of the sun for a bit and spent time reading our books while I enjoyed a coffee. We checked out the local candy store, Rocket Fizz, and ended with a trip to GameStop so the boys could look at Skylanders.

Some other places located in Glenview that we didn’t get to visit are Wagner Farm, the Grove and Kohl Children’s Museum. There really is enough to keep families busy for a day or two and it’s so close to the city for those who want to visit Chicago but then escape the hustle and bustle (and parking fees) of the city!

Have you been to Glenview? What other fun places should we check out next time we visit?

 

Flavors Of Summer

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Thanks to IHOP for providing a gift card to sample their new Summer Stacks.

One of the things on our bucket list this summer was breakfast for dinner so we headed to our local IHOP restaurant to enjoy the special meal. While french toast and bacon are my ideal breakfast meal, Sinisa is all about crepes and the boys love their pancakes. IHOP has something for us all!

This summer, IHOP is inviting guests to savor the flavors of the season by offering three new signature pancakes. The three flavors are perfect for summertime- Blueberry Lemonade, Banana Pudding and Blackberry Peach Cobbler. Since we love to try new things our family ordered one of each.

Blueberry Lemonade: Blueberry pancakes topped with lemonade cream and fresh blueberries.

 

Banana Pudding: Buttermilk pancakes topped with silky banana pudding, sliced fresh bananas, whipped topping, powdered sugar and Nilla® wafers.

Blackberry Peach Cobbler: Buttermilk pancakes topped with juicy blackberries, sweet peaches, crunchy honey oat pecan crumbles and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The boys loved the Banana Pudding ones the most. My favorite flavor were the Blueberry Lemonade ones. They were the perfect amount of sweet and tangy. The Blackberry Peach Cobbler ones were good as well- I liked the crumble on them, my mom thought the peaches were delicious. and the ice cream on them was a hit with the kids.

Some restaurants offer short stacks of these special pancakes but others, like our local restaurant, serve them as part of a combination plate, with two eggs, hash browns and a choice of crispy bacon, pork sausage links or grilled ham slices.

Want to try one of these new flavors yourself? Hurry because Summer Stacks are available at participating IHOP restaurants only through July 26th.

A Special Family Dinner At Houlihan’s {Gift Card Giveaway}

houlihans giveaway

(Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Houlihan’s via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Houlihan’s or Momtrends.)

Going out to eat at a sit down restaurant is normally reserved for special occasions in my family but we decided to break the routine and go out to eat last night. We went to Houlihan’s which I hadn’t been to in years. After a short wait we were seated and I ordered one of the few adult drinks I like called a “Miami Vice”.

The boys checked out the kid’s menu and stuck with their typical corn dog and chicken tenders. I liked that there was a variety of foods for kids and the sides weren’t just the typical ones you’d expect to see. Lucas chose fresh strawberries for his side and Jacob chose tortilla chips and salsa. Along with the entree and side, kids get a drink, dessert (ice cream or flavored apple sauce) and an appetizer of carrot sticks with ranch dip. With all this included I was surprised to find the kid’s meals were only $5.95!

For our appetizer I ordered the Parmesan Frites not realizing that was just a fancy way of saying french fries. They came with three dipping sauces, my favorite of which was the garlic parmesan dipping sauce.

Sinisa chose the salmon dinner with asparagus and mashed potatoes as his sides. I wanted to save plenty of room for dessert so I ordered a pulled pork slider and side salad. I loved that the pulled pork was a chunk of meat and not little pieces. It also came with fried pickles on it which is a delicious combo.

Nobody could decide on dessert so we chose a few! I had to try one of the seasonal specials, the chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. It was absolutely amazing and was one of their light choices at only 410 calories. We also got a brownie sundae and doughnuts with a caramel apple dip. It was a delicious way to end our family day!

Houlihan’s had a great atmosphere. I like that they do their best to source the highest quality ingredients from partners committed to traditional farming practices and responsible stewardship of the land. Wherever possible, they choose smaller, artisan partners and make every effort to choose ingredients that are free of preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones. I also love their website design along with it is really creative sayings like “if you like it, put a pin on it“.

Giveaway:

One reader will win a $50 gift card to Houlihan’s

How to enter:

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win

Extra entry:

Share this giveaway on a social network and leave a comment below

Giveaway ends March 25, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident to enter.