Let's face it, sometimes you just feel like going out to dinner...even if you have to take the kids and you know it might not be exactly enjoyable. If you get the urge to pack the kids up and head out for dinner, here are some places that I suggest (along with great "kids eat free" deals*):
-Any counter service establishment
You can order and get your meal in a timely fashion, leaving less time for the kids to get restless.
Some suggestions are Panera bread, Pure Bread, Moe's Southwest Grill, Jake's Burgers*
The staff is usually friendly, food is served quickly after being ordered, and the noise level is high enough on most occasions that noone will notice a tantrum or meltdown at your table...plus you can have a margarita or 2 to lighten the mood:)
I suggest El Tapatio, La Toteca, or La Tonalteca. Borders Cafe is also a great place because of their good food and extremely loud dining room.
-Ice Cream centered restaurants
Friendlies or Charcoal Pit are usually good options, solely because you can bribe your child with ice cream. Not that I recommend bribery, but sometimes anything goes.
Friendlies also has coupons in the Sunday paper about once every other month.
Here are some "Kids Eat Free" deals (always double check to make sure these deals are still available):
Jake's Hamburgers- Kids eat free on Saturday and Sunday. 1 free kids meal with purchase of adult meal.
Kid Shelleen's- Kids 10 and under eat free on Mondays
Klondike Kate's- Kids eat free ALL DAY, EVERYDAY all summer long (thanks for the heads up from my sister in law, Kristin)
Chick-Fil-A - Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30, free kids meal with purchase of adult meal
Arner's (in NewCastle)- Thursdays, 1 child entree with purchase of adult entree
Lone Star Steakhouse- Tuesdays, 2 child entrees with purchase of 1 adult entree
So those are some of my suggestions...but to be completely honest with you, if the kids are involved, 90% of the time I am going with TAKE OUT.
I will be adding to this list when I come across new deals. PLEASE feel free to comment if you have any suggestions or if you know of any other places where kids eat free!