Today's post is brought to you by Noodles. Penny loves them. They make a bit of a mess, but they keep her occupied long enough to get through a meal at a restaurant.
I order them without butter or cheese, which sounds awful, but she still gobbles them up. Too bad she doesn't like tomato sauce yet.
I always feel bad when we leave a mess at a restaurant, so I try to clean up after the Messy One. I'm not sure what the etiquette is. I don't think servers and bussers make enough to have to clean up after my child. We try to tip well, considering by then we have subjected other diners to our rambunctious, noisy, messy toddler. If we are eating outside, I figure we can leave some treats for the birds. But otherwise, I make an effort to tidy up as much as possible.
Sometimes, if our server sees me trying to police up the mess, he or she will tell me not to worry about it. In fact, at our favorite Indian restaurant, our server got after me for picking stuff off the floor, as if he were embarrassed for me. In retrospect, I probably did look silly crawling under the table to pick up the muck under Penny's chair.
So what is the best thing to do? Keep the mess to a minimum? Or just leave it and tip well?
That reminds me: Has anyone else noticed an increase in the number of babies at restaurants? Maybe it's just me, because now I pay more attention to which places are "baby friendly" and which aren't. Or maybe it's because there are lots of other moms and dads like us who like to eat out on a regular basis and going out with our offspring is part of our lifestyle.
We've yet to go to a place in town that didn't have a high chair, in fact, the other day, we were out for a late breakfast and there were at least 3 other babies there. Hmm, I guess it could be because we live in Utah and there are more babies per capita than anywhere else in the country!