For years, I have read the screeds on Chowhound and other sites about kids in restaurants (just do a Google search on "Kids in Restaurants"). I always thought the writers of these pieces were just old Scrooges who didn't remember what it was like to be young or have young children. How could anyone get so worked up, I thought, about kids in restaurants? Well, recently, I had an experience that made me sympathize.
About a week ago I was staying at one of the better hotels in Anaheim. I was shocked to find that nearly all of the hotel's restaurants (and nearly every restaurant within several miles) were just swarming with children. They were everywhere, often several to a table! And they were loud, gregarious, all of the things those people on-line complain about. I couldn't understand what kind of parents would bring these brats to a house of fine dining.
One of the restaurants we visited was very sophisticated and even featured some performance art. In what was undoubtedly a nod to Spanish surrealism, performers dressed as anthropomorphized rodents, fowl and dogs enacted a sort of wordless dance/mime as they moved from table to table. I was eager to see what sort of social commentary the artists were making, but children kept interrupting the performance with all sorts of inappropriate behavior, including actually hugging the performers. Instead of removing their offspring, parents actually encouraged the behavior by taking photographs.
This really is a sign of the death of fine, elegant dining. One ruined meal is enough! I will never again criticize those who are constantly complaining about children in restaurants; they are on a righteous mission to rid the world of unruly rugrats!
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802