Whether your Sabbath involves pulpits and preachers or pigskin and Pearl, here are some ideas to maximize the family time, faith notwithstanding.
The Black Labrador Take your baby to a pub...? Why the heck not, when the cheese soup at the Black Lab is absolutely the truth, the light, and the way? Stop in for a pint and a lovely English breakfast of potatoes and eggs. Or if you like your food with white gloves and an accent, they've also got bubble and squeak, beef Wellington, and bangers and mash. Junior can feast on a supper of golden fish 'n chips while playing on the massive outdoor chess set. Room to run? Check. Just be sure he doesn't crash through the holey hedges surrounding the course.
Lucky Strike We know nothing gives you greater pleasure after a morning of devotionals than whoopin' your child in a cut-throat bowling death match, but your winning days may be numbered. New to the Discovery Green area, the Lucky Strike bowling alley features the latest technology in lanes: electronic bumpers. These bad boys automatically rise from the depths of the hardwoods when Junior steps up to the line, and go back from whence they came when it's your turn to play. When the kids aren't raking the spares, they'll enjoy a menu that's decidedly advanced for a bowling alley: coconut shrimp, Asian chicken skewers, and mac-n-cheese bites.
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Andy's This tiny spot on 11th Street in the Heights offers Mexican food, mock-diner style -- and while Andy's may stay open 24 hours a day, the best time to go is Sunday brunch (we shalt not lie!). The menu offers the standard Mexican fair -- migas, chorizo con huevos, and huevos rancheros -- but your kiddos might prefer the cinnamon-laden pancakes. The servers are happily family-friendly, and there are plenty of gumball machines churning out cheap treasures for your offspring. Best of all? Nothing on the breakfast menu costs more than $5. Cha-ching.
Istanbul Grill and Deli We love that Istanbul touts itself as "an adventure in Turkish cuisine." So who knows what your afternoon has in store? The meze plate offers a smattering of the Turkish classics- hummus, tabuli, sarma, and more. Those with the Wisdom of Solomon might grab their gyros to go (don't forget the baklava) and park themselves at The Ginger Man next door. The kid-safe outdoor areas are filled with picnic tables, fans, greenery, and natural light: a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon, crossword puzzle and the patience of Job not included.
Ruggles Café Bakery Ruggles Café Bakery offers a nice selection of salads and sandwiches (we like the chicken salad croissant) in a light-filled, serene spot in Rice Village. If your family's not into French fries with your sandwiches, no big deal -- just substitute in the massive pile of forbidden fruit. After lunch, the rug rats can each grab a plain sugar cookie and various squirt bottles of icing to create their own Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoats. And though they'll decorate their cookies right into a kaleidoscope-colored, runny mess, their proud smiles make it worth the impending sugar high.