Many people flock to the “family friendly” dining options that plague the city. Establishments such as Joe’s American Bar and Grill or Uno’s do offer spacious seating, plenty of high chairs, a staff (and cliental) prepared to handle fussy children and loud noises, as well as potties prepped with changing tables. However, these types of restaurants leave little to the imagination.
There are times when this kind of convenience and known brand or product are needed when venturing out to eat as a family. However, it is important to remember that one of the many benefits of living in the city is the surplus of fine dining, ethnic restaurants, diversity and culture that you can enjoy and expose your children to.
In an effort to highlight some of the smaller, less likely termed “family friendly” options, Boston Babies will share a few favorite restaurants that are much more family friendly than you would imagine and are hidden jewels within the city. These menus will tempt your taste buds and offer a memorable culinary experience for you and your little one.
The first of many restaurants to explore is Tantric, offering a selection of Indian food and located conveniently on 123 Stuart Street, in Boston’s Downtown Theatre District. See below for some top tips on what to order and continue to check back with Boston Babies (Category: “Diversify Your Dining”) for upcoming restaurants to try out in the city.
Tantric offers a daily lunch buffet for $10.95, and features an array of Indian dishes from a delious (and vegan) tomato coconut soup, salad, naan bread, chicken and vegetarian options, as well as a traditional Indian dessert (often times kheer badami, Indian rice pudding) to end your meal. In addition, all buffet lunches are served with complimentary masala dosa (crepe stuffed with seasoned potatoes and onions) which is not only scrumptious, but a toddler favorite since it is also fun to eat.
The staff and servers (such as Sarita, Jebin and Lelin) at Tantric could not be nicer and continually show interest in the children, working to accommodate any needs from dietary restrictions to requests for high chairs. While sadly, there is no changing table in the bathroom, the atmosphere, service and quality of food is “family friendly” and worth the experience.
Crisp stuffed turnovers (vegetarian option contains spiced potatoes and green peas; meat option contains spicy minced lamb and green peas)
Served with tamarind and mint chutneys
- Paneer Pakoras
Fresh homemade cheese stuffed with chutney dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried
- Vegetable Pakoras
Fresh julienne of vegetables, onion and potato dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried
- Gobi Manchurian
Indo-Chinese style cauliflower florets sautéed with onions and green pepper, in a sweet and sour chili paste
- Chicken Malai Kebabs
Tandoor-grilled chicken marinated with mild cheese, sour cream, ginger, garlic and herbs
- Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken breast cubed and marinated in ginger, garlic and yogurt, cooked in our tandoor and sautéed in a piquant tomato sauce flavored with methi leaves
- Masala Dosa
Dakshin specialities from Southern India, Crepe stuffed with seasoned potatoes and onions
- Daal Makhani
Black lentils simmered with fresh cream, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cilantro and caramelized onions
- Paneer Makhani
*Paneer (cheese–see above under appetizer for full description) sautéed in a creamy tomato sauce
Bread cooked in tandoor (clay) oven (flat bread) and can come plan, or with other seasonings such as garlic naan, etc.
Note: Only restaurant that offers New England goat cheese and rosemary naan
- Basmati Rice Steamed
- Sweet Mango Chutney
- Kheer Badami
Creamy rice pudding with cashews, almonds and raising
- Mango Lassi
Sweet, yogurt drink with mango