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Calling All High Chairs

Flatbread hits all the right notes when it's family time.When you've got kids in tow, eating out is a luxury. But sometimes it's also a


Flatbread hits all the right notes when it's family time.When you've got kids in tow, eating out is a luxury. But sometimes it's also a necessity, or maybe it just feels that way. Either way, for those times when you don't want to, or can't, get a sitter, your dining options quickly narrow. Some restaurants are downright intolerant of children while others are dismissive at best. But some, thankfully, cater to families and children with specialized menus (God bless chicken strips), crayons and paper napkins for coloring, and other diversion like balloons. Here's a list of some highlights around town from a parent's perspective.

While it doesn't have a long list of kid-specific features The Deschutes Brewery and Public House (1044 Bond St.) is a sure-fire bet when dining with the entire clan. You'd be hard pressed to find a wait staff that is more attentive and tolerant of children than the folks at the pub. They are quick with a high chair and coloring books and happy to whip up a glass of chocolate milk if that's your poison. If you need to keep the kids a little more occupied, Flatbread Community Oven Pizzeria (375 SW Powerhouse Dr.) in the Shops at the Old Mill offers one of the more creative options. At Flatbread the staff invites kids to create their own mini pizzas on a sheet of freshly rolled dough, which means you're free to order those anchovies you wanted. Just down the way is another good option at Red Robin (625 SW Powerhouse Dr), which in addition to dozens of giant hamburgers and onion ring pyramids offers a free balloon to every kid who walks through the door. And if you think that's not entertainment, then you don't have a three-year-old. For older kids there are video games and other diversions that will let you focus on that 32 oz. beer. Outside the city limits the historic Tumalo Feed Company (64619 W. Hwy 20) is a great bet when you need more than just food to keep the family entertained. Children under 5 eat free and all kids under 12 eat for $6.95. Kids who polish off their meals get to choose a prize from the saddlebag. Yeeha! The staff encourages patrons to let them know if there's a birthday, which will get a young buckaroo a birthday serenade. Combine family-style dining, a relaxed Western atmosphere, and a reputation for some of the best steaks in Central Oregon and you've got the makings of a can't-go-wrong option. - Eric Flowers

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