Hard to please

. October 16, 2012.

One person is picky. One will try anything but still has definite likes and dislikes. One is vegetarian, one is not. That’s our family. And all four have to find a place with something on the menu for each of us.

Usually ethnic cuisine – or anything that pushes the boundaries of the typical burger/pasta place – is not our first choice. We want our kids to try new things, but we also want them to eat.

We approached our lunch at Cedar Valley Café not knowing if it would be a family thumbs up or thumbs down. The café  serves Lebanese and American cuisine.  We were delighted, however, to find that the restaurant has something for everyone – even a challenging family like ours.

Addictive and enjoyable

Upon entering, we were seated at our table, which had a complimentary basket of fried pita chips and soft pita triangles- which were more addictive than most restaurants’ bread baskets! We enjoyed hearing the Middle Eastern-style music while perusing the menu, which is extensive.

The choices spanned the culinary globe from Lebanon to America. Alongside the kabobs, hummus, grape leaves and falafels were chicken, burgers and beef. The kids menu featured macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, chicken nuggets and grilled cheese.

High praises

Our children ordered two chicken nugget platters ($3.99 each), which the youngest deemed better than both the school’s and McDonalds – high praise indeed. My husband ordered a side salad ($3.59) to go with his barbequed chicken ($3.59). I had a blast choosing from the many vegetarian options. Finally deciding to be adventurous, I ordered a combination plate which included stuffed grape leaves and falafel ($8.88).

The verdict? Everyone tried new things, and came away happy and satisfied.

New found favorites

My girls tried some things off my plate and found they liked hummus, a thick spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. The portions, even for the children’s menu, were huge. “If you come here you need to be really hungry,” my youngest said.  We also ordered dessert – strawberry cake,  a homemade special that pleased our discerning dessert palates. We walked out the door with leftovers and wishes to return.

If you are a blended family like ours – part picky, part adventurous – the Cedar Valley Café is just the place to please everyone.