When Dining Out Becomes a Workout

We often dine out one weekend night with the kids. With four of us, it’s difficult to find the one restaurant that makes all of us happy. You would think we would learn our lesson….

Where do y’all want to eat tonight?


How about Mexican?

Blah, I hate Mexican.

I don’t really want Mexican.

We just had pizza Wednesday.


We could go to Elizabeth’s.

No, we always eat there.

What about Mellow Mushroom?

I don’t like their pizza.

It’s pizza. What don’t you like about it?

It’s too saucy.

What about the deli?

No, Daddy won’t eat there.


We ate there last weekend.

Pastabilities? They have macaroni and cheese.

It’s too cheesy.

There’s no such thing.

Well, if we can’t agree on anything, let’s just eat at home.

Ugh, you are so picky! You ruin everything!

Fine! I’ll go to Mexican.

I don’t want a taco!

Well, neither of you wants Mexican. Don’t yell at her for being picky if you are being picky too.

Let’s just eat at home.

(Tears. Kids run away. Sigh.)


What do you want to do?

We could go someplace new.


I don’t know.


How about Mario’s Pizza? Everyone likes that.

We can see what the kids say.

If everyone agrees on Mario’s, we can go out.


(Everyone smiles and gets into the car.)



Filed under Everyday Life

37 responses to “When Dining Out Becomes a Workout

  1. Can I just tell you? The other night, I was so aggravated by this, that I pulled over, let my husband drive, and let them go wherever they wanted. I was DONE. (I guess it’s necessary to mention that my parents were in the car as well, which made it TEN TIMES WORSE.)

    • We do it every week! I don’t know why. Well, because I get tired of cooking. For one night it’s our treat. The grandparents have witnessed this as well. And contributed. 😉

  2. My kids are young enough that we just don’t give them a choice 🙂 I’m sure they’ll figure it out soon! We’ve always gone to Sushi. And they both really love it.

    • When they were younger, they didn’t have a choice. And we ate out less. My son loves sushi. My daughter is more picky so we really have to find restaurants that have something she’ll like. We’re not paying for her to push stuff around on her plate. We try to have fun. But getting there is sometimes a hassle.

  3. I’m rather glad now that I only had one kid – haha!

  4. Lol I remember this when I was a kid. My parents installed a system. We took turns choosing a restaurant, parents included, and we could choose whatever restaurant when it was our turn, but if we whined and complained about someone else’s choice, we would lose our next turn. It worked for us! Although I hated seafood and my dad almost always chose Long John Silver’s. I ate French fries and hush puppies. Lol

    • We do make them compromise and if one kid chose one weekend, the other kid gets to pick the next weekend. But sometimes they both agree to what we suggest and it’s just an easy night. We don’t really have a system for it. This post shows our worst nights.

  5. You’re so right. We’re lucky that they both like Sushi for now. That could all change next week! Eating out is so much easier, but we do it just once a week also. I would take the arguing over cooking at home 🙂

  6. Friday night’s are family fun nights for us too. We give the kids only two options, Islands or Ruby’s. Still not a major source of contention for us because the kids are so young. I imagine that will all change in a few years!

  7. K. Eley

    We also eat out once a week and go through the same battles. My daughter just orders chicken tenders. I try to tell her they are all the same.

  8. Ugh! I relate only too well! And I thought my 4 yo was only child who thinks some mac ‘n cheese it too cheesy!

  9. lisa

    We haven’t even gotten to the point where I want to go out with my kids for dinner. I’d much rather get take out and enjoy the silence as they eat their dinner and watch a movie.

  10. Hahaha – We rarely eat out as a family but usually a diner or a burger place makes everyone fairly happy. I would rather eat Mexican or Indian or Thai food but the kids won’t touch it. We save the ethnic food for date nights but then Husband and I are so giddy with the options we usually spend a stupid amount of time racked with indecision as the babysitter clock ticks.

    • When we have date nights, we won’t go near any of the restaurants the kids will go to. We get so tired of them. It’s always so nice to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve pizza or chicken fingers. Indian and Thai sound lovely.

  11. copycatmom

    This is so my family!

  12. We have the same issue in our home. We take turns once a week we rotate who gets to pick the resturant to eat out at. No complaining about the choice or you can can’t come with the family. Works well for us.

  13. There are only 3 of us, and the conversation is just as bad!

  14. Funny! That exchange could have been my house (this past summer). Now being vegan, there are only three choices for dining out, and we flip a coin in a tie (there are six votes counted). Seems a bit silly to read it (knowing how “difficult” being vegan would be for some people), but it really took the “crazy” out of it all.

    PS – How was Mario’s?

    • Really, pizza is just always good. And Mario’s is excellent. I make pizza at home, crust from scratch and all. My daughter hates it. It’s too saucy or the crust isn’t good. But she’ll eat pizza out. Breaks my heart. When you can actually accomplish something like homemade pizza crust, you want everyone to love it, ya know?

      • Well, I, for one, want to know about this homemade pizza crust! Breaks my heart too. Feel free to email me the specifics. We’re all about eating pizza at home these days. Bring it. 🙂

  15. funny how pizza tends to win when i was young

  16. It’sall coming back to me.

  17. I know. I know. It makes me want to put a bunch of eatery names in a jar, draw one out, and go. No griping or we stay home and eat Cheerios.

  18. Wow and I thought this was just us. But even now as the children are older, the complications continue: daughter and husband are vegetarian, daughter-in-law doesn’t do seafood, father-in-law can’t eat green veggies, three family members have diabetes. Out or in, dinner together is a complicated event. Thanks for the laugh.

    • And I thought it would get better as the kids got older! I guess I can’t chalk it up to one child being picky either (which is one reason I don’t hound her for it–isn’t everyone picky in some way!).

  19. Sounds like my clan!:)
    Thanks enjoyed it!

  20. All too familiar – yet we still do it! As long as the restaurant choice has good wine options all is good….
    Enjoyed your post!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s