Brown-bagging it


Kids are notoriously picky eaters, but when a professional chef is in control of the brown bags every day, all sorts of miracles happen —vegetables are eaten and nothing gets swapped for a bag of Cheetos.

Ivy Inn’s Angelo Vangelopoulos whips up something delicious for his son, Alex.

Until last year when his youngest graduated, Aromas Café owner Hassan Kaisoum sent his kids to school with cold soups like gazpacho and brown rice topped with grilled veggies, marinated chicken skewers and a dressing made with Greek yogurt, lemon and parsley.

Clifton Inn’s Executive Chef, Tucker Yoder, now home schools his four children, but when he did pack their lunches, they were the envy of all, with a charcuterie platter full of Feast! salami, a soft non-goats’ cheese (even chefs’ kids have their preferences), baguette and fresh fruit.

The Ivy Inn’s chef and owner, Angelo Vangelopoulos, feels like one lucky parent because his son eats whatever he’s given, but we think his son is the lucky one with his choice of hummus, cucumbers and pita chips; chicken Caesar salad; or a turkey, havarti and spinach tortilla wrap with fruit and honey-topped Greek yogurt as dessert.

Petit Pois Executive Chef Brian Jones sends his two girls to school with an almond butter and honey tortilla wrap, sliced bell peppers or baby carrots, squeezable applesauce or yogurt, grapes and bottled water.

Speaking of kids in the kitchen…
“Did you ever hear of Mickey, how he heard a racket in the night and shouted ‘Quiet down there!’ and fell through the dark, out of his clothes, past the moon and his mama and papa sleeping tight?”—In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (1970)

Tavola’s chef and owner, Michael Keaveny, keeps it simple for his two children with a sandwich of roasted Applegate turkey on Vermont Home bread, strawberries or watermelon and a Clif Kids Z Bar. Water or a Horizon milk box is their beverage of choice.

Kids eat free!

At Ragazzis, kids 10 and under eat free all day on Sundays. Purchase an adult meal and get one kid’s meal under $3.99 free.

At Topeka’s Steakhouse, kids 12 and under eat for 99 cents all day Sunday-Thursday. An adult purchase is required. Dine-in only, and the deal excludes steak on a stick. (Bummer!)

At East Garden Asian Buffet, kids 3 and under eat for free every day.

At Rhett’s River Grill and Raw Bar on Sunday nights, kids eat free with an adult purchase.