(In the interest of helping Dublin, Ohio visitors find great deals on kids meals and family friendly eateries, we are featuring a guest post by Dawn Scheurle, creator of the popular site: www.kidseatout.com— “restaurant reviews from a mom’s point of view.”)

Going out to eat.  What a wonderful treat to be served, relax, enjoy great food, maybe have a glass of wine to unwind, and take a moment to reconnect with a friend or spouse.  Going out to eat with your kids.  Now that’s a little different………  

I’m not saying it can’t be great.  It just offers a few more challenges.

My name is Dawn and I am a Dublin resident, stay-at-home mom of 3 kids, and owner of a Web site called KidsEatOut.com: Restaurant reviews from a mom’s point of view.

So, a couple of years ago, I realized I had a problem.  My problem was this.  I like to eat out, I have 3 kids, and as much as I love Max & Erma’s for family dining, I needed someplace else to go! 

Living in Dublin, Ohio gives you a lot of choices, but I needed direction. I researched restaurant review sites online and found a lot of stuff, but nothing that pertained to the specific needs of families, let alone families in and around Dublin, Ohio.

I scoured the Internet for the kind of information I need as a mom, and just couldn’t find it.  I could find restaurant reviews, but they were mainly about the food (go figure!).  I could find a magazine article about the top 10 healthiest restaurants to take your kids, but only one on the list was in Ohio.  There were blogs listing kids eat free nights, but they weren’t located in Dublin, or even Columbus.  I just couldn’t find relevant, up to date information out there.  I began to think that if I was looking for this information, maybe other moms were, too. 

That’s how KidsEatOut.com was born. We do the research and visitors to the site can browse restaurants in the Columbus area, select one, and see just how ‘Kid Friendly’ the restaurant is.  Do they welcome families, have changing tables, kids deal days, booster seats, and kids menus?  Crayons?  

Something else I found in my research was the coveted, somewhat elusive, Holy Grail of eating out with kids.  Restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free days.  You’ve seen the sign in a window or heard about it from a friend, but remembering when and where?  That’s totally different.  So to help those out that don’t have a photographic memory (me), KidsEatOut.com has compiled a large list of over 50 local restaurants, sorted by days of the week, that offer discounts and free kids meals.  Everyone is cutting back in these tough economic times, so it’s a nice resource to have when you want to treat yourself and the family to a meal out.

Below are a few of the Dublin restaurants that offer kids deals. (Note:  Each restaurant has restrictions [age, time of day, purchase requirements, etc.])

  • Buffalo Wild Wings –  Kids meals are only $1.99 all day.  Balloon artist in the evening
  • Rise and Dine – Sawmill  –  Kids meals are $1.99, all day, every day
  • Max & Erma’s  –  Kids eat free on Tuesdays
  • Applebee’s  –  Kids eat free on Wednesdays
  • Hoggys  –  Kids eat free on Wednesdays
  • El Vaquero  –  Half price kids meals on Wednesdays
  • Baja Sol  –  Kids eat free Thursdays & Sundays

Dublin has some great kids menus too.  A few of KidsEatOut.com’s favorites are:

  • Jason’s Deli  –  Healthier and cheaper than fast food!  Plus free low-fat frozen yogurt for that little something sweet to finish off your meal!
  • Max & Erma’s  –  Still, and will always be, a family favorite.
  • Olive Garden  –  Unlimited family salad for sharing and good Italian food.
  • OutBack Steakhouse  –  Basic kid offerings PLUS grilled chicken, ribs, and steak
  • Bravo – Regular kids menu plus a ‘Grande kids’ menu for slightly older kids with more ‘sophisticated’ palates.
  • Panera  –  Each kids meal comes with an organic squeezable yogurt.
  • Bonefish Grill  –  Believe it or not!  (They even have changing tables!)
  • Matt the Millers – Fresh fruit is served with every kids meal.

Come visit www.kidseatout.com, and let us help you figure out where you’re going to go to dinner tonight!

-Guest Post by Dawn Scheurle