Taking my kids out for brunch isn’t something I do on a regular basis. Or at all. Perhaps it’s because past eating out experiences have ended in tears – usually mine – of embarrassment at my children’s inability to behave in public. Or frustration – at their refusing to order because there are no Chicken Nuggets on the menu.
So when the nice people at Columbus Coffee asked if we’d like to have brunch at their place to try their new kids menu, my usual response would have been to politely decline on the basis that it was unlikely to be a positive experience for anyone involved.
However this time I said ‘yes’. Why? Because I found out their café was inside the Mitre 10 Mega at Westgate, and after months of being stuck at home with a busted knee staring at the four walls that could do with a paint, the window fittings that are yet to be fitted and the summer vegetable garden that is still devoid of anything resembling a summer vegetable – I’d come up with quite a list of jobs that needed doing, and DIY supplies that needed buying.
With the kids fully briefed on the need to behave like human children by using cutlery, and the unlikelihood that there would be Chicken Nuggets on a breakfast menu – we arrived, sat down and braced ourselves for the inevitable sulking, whining and general unruliness that would ensue.
On this day it seemed we’d stepped into some kind of weird parallel universe. The kids each found something on the menu to their liking. Mr Chicken Nuggets himself ordered the free-range eggs on toast with a side of bacon. Miss 9’s fluffy hotcakes with berries & maple syrup disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived, while Masterchef-addicted Miss 11’s French toast tower scored a solid 9 out of 10 from the judges.
The grownups menu has also had a makeover. There are gluten free and paleo options – so I tried the gf version of Eggs Benny served on a potato rosti while husband tucked in to what he declared to be the best Chicken Burger ever (and believe me, that’s based on a large sample size).
As if the morning couldn’t get any better, the kids meals arrived with Christo activity packs – a little bag containing some colouring in sheets, stickers and a cool little pack of colouring pencils complete with a pencil sharpener that kept fiddly Mr 9 occupied for ages.
All-in-all it was one of the best eating out experiences we’ve had with our unruly mob. Great food, light and bright surroundings and plenty to keep the kids happy and entertained. But there’s always a downside. Expectations have been set, the bar has been raised to the point where ‘brunch’ may just be something we can add to the list of thing we do.
This experience was courtesy of Columbus Coffee who shouted us brunch. The decision to write about this experience, and the words and opinions in this blog post are mine and haven’t been paid for or influenced by Columbus in any way.