Since they started their food blog for kids three years ago, San Francisco's Stacie Dong and Simran Singh of A Little Yumminess have become experts not only in keeping their children's appetites stoked at home but also when they are eating out.
Generally, the moms don't order off kids menus. When they go to restaurants, they usually order an adult entree and share it with their kids or select an appetizer -- a few kofte at a Greek spot, for instance -- for each child. Tapas spots and dim sum restaurants are among their favorite kid-friendly restaurants.
"I've brought so many kids that were picky eaters to dim sum, and they end up trying everything," Dong says. "It's very visually appealing, and they can point to things that they think look good."
Here are nine of their favorite San Francisco restaurants for kids. Read more at http://alittleyum.com.
Kasa Indian Eatery
Singh took her 7-year-old, Ria, and her soccer team to Kasa after practice and watched kids who'd sworn off spicy food inhale kathi rolls, or Indian "burritos."
4001 18th St., www.kasaindian.com
Chile Lindo Empanadas
It's so rare to find healthful, savory snacks, but these Chilean pockets hit the spot every time after school, the bloggers say. Great as an alternative to pizza party birthdays.
2944 16th St.; http://chilelindo.com
The "granddaddy" of all S.F. dim sum for its noisy, family-friendly atmosphere. The bloggers recommend the goldfish-shaped dumplings and velvety smooth egg custard tarts.
101 Spear St. www.yanksing.com
Small, family run Korean spot with great barchan, or small complimentary dishes, such as kimchee and bean sprouts with sesame oil, that are perfect for kids. Ria loves the spicy fish cake dishes.
845 Irving St.
Shanghai Dumpling King
Just explaining to kids how the soup gets in the dumpling (they freeze the meat and soup in cubes and envelope it in the dumpling until heat from steaming melts the "ice cube") is an adventure. Even better are the "baseball-sized sugary egg puffs." 696 Monterey Blvd.
Little ones love the "Mandalay special noodles" smothered in a mild chicken or tofu curry sauce. Plus, the "gaudy and shiny" Christmas-style decorations are a hit with the kiddos, the bloggers say.
4348 California St. www.mandalaysf.com
Dong's boys take their falafel a la carte, "straight out of the bag, still warm and crispy from the fryer." Her 2-year-old, Matteo, will keep his hand thrust out and chant "more, more, more" until Dong can prove the bag is empty.
2115 Irving St. (also in Berkeley) www.sunrisedeli.net
Seasonally-driven Spanish small plates perfect for curious palates to nibble and share. Ria likes the churros and chocolate for dessert, natch.
1320 Castro St. www.contigosf.com
Vietnamese restaurant where kids make their own spring rolls and wraps. Try the five-spice chicken with rice.
1015 Irving St.