Bareburger: 149 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY
They opened their first place in Queens, NY six years ago....and now they are opening up locations in Tokyo and Frankfurt. Bareburger moves fast. If I'm being totally honest, it's the sort of place I normally don't like eating at. Why? It's just all a bit too perfect. Sort of that "you're in Disneyworld" feel and the founders have spent a lot of money on consumer psychology research. But like Disneyworld, you somehow find yourself BACK in Harry Potter land and swearing to yourself that you are going to go for New Year's Eve EVERY.SINGLE. YEAR because it is THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH. (true story on that New Year's front.) Bareburger sucks me in everytime...and each time I go there, I understand why people are obsessed. And if you have kids? Forget about it. For better or for worse, consider this your new version of that "cozy spot in the Village" you'd frequent each week.
What is the vibe?
Hipster playground. There will be lots of kids inside and lots of Brooklyn-looking staff. You will feel right at home with your brood and no one will give you side eye if one (or four) meltdowns occur. There is also a massive bar at the back...so should four meltdowns occur you can try and sneak a few shots of tequila on your way to and from the bathroom.
Can I bring a stroller into the restaurant?
No. They have a sign right on the door that says to keep the strollers outside. They do have an area on the side of the restaurant that you can park your stroller. No valet service though. If you nab a table outside on a nice day, you can keep your stroller open. Moms and dads of sleeping infants, this is your best bet.
Does the restaurant cater to kids in any way?
Massively. It's like they are mindreaders. We were horribly indecisive the day we went and originally sat outside before we realized Jenson thought he should start training for the 100- yard dash. When we asked to move inside, they said to give them a few minutes. What awaited us was a cup of crayons and activity sheets already laid out on the table. Very. Very. Good. Another bonus was when they serve you a water jug with glasses, they also give you little plastic cups for the kids. It's a small detail but it was nice to NOT have to ask. Oh....and the cartoons. Lets all leave our screentime judgments to ourselves and just relish in the fact that Olly and I were able to JOYFULLY SIP (not chug) a bloodymary and a beer because something (ahhemm...a certain flatscreen) had caught Jenson's eye. I thought that was genius. Take the screentime guilt out of the equation and just provide it for us parents! Oh, and the other thing I noticed was when we all ordered our food, they brought Jenson's out first..and fast. It was great. We got to feed him and that way when our food came, we had a happy and full toddler who was occupied with cartoons and crayons. What does that mean? We got to enjoy HOT food. Not cold food.
Does the restaurant have a changing table?
Is there a kid menu or will I need to pay full price for a burger my kid takes one bite out of?
They have "Cubby" fare. Get it. The portions are really big. So two little kids could easily share the cubby hotdog or burger. They do not have mini milkshakes though. Just saying. And you can pat yourself on the back because even though your kid will be (most likely) eating hotdogs and fries....they can be sweet potato and that pig doesn't have a damn hormone in that body of his/her and it had probably had a pretty sweet life on the farm. Oh, and apple slices are served with all the kid meals.
How early does the restaurant start serving dinner?
They open at 11AM every day and close at 10PM.
Are there food options for allergic kids?
Bareburger's website is pretty awesome. They list all of the ingredients for every food item on the menu. So you can plan a meal ahead of time for parents who have allergy sensitive kiddies.
Rating? 5 Bites
From a parent's perspective...they nailed it....and we WILL be coming back. See, it's the Disneyworld thing. Yes, you can't bring strollers inside, but they carved out an area outside, have a sign on the front door and will let you keep them open outside. So they really do accommodate and come on, noone wants to be ninjaing through a maze of strollers to get that tequila shot anyway. They really do seem to identify parent problems before they have a chance to manifest. Walking up to a table with crayons already there and plastic cups in the middle just makes the meal all the more relaxing for mom and dad. And I loved that Jenson's food came out fast and first. It is not the cheapest place around, but you are paying for premium ingredients. Bareburger is a First Bites WINNAH.