I heard that Raymond's Bakery in Cazadero on a Friday night is quite the happenin' thang for families with young children: They serve various types of pizza & various beverages, including beer &amp;amp; wine; & they have a small play area & box of toys for the kids.
So we decided to go there & also invite our friends (whose daughter plays with our daughter) for a fun night on the town. Alas, the evening turned out to be an utter disaster, through no fault of Raymond's or anyone in particular.
There was a huge party of folks (without children) whose long table was in the middle of the room & took up almost all of the space. Meanwhile, several of us families with kids had to squeeze ourselves into various smaller tables around the room, & felt self-conscious & stressed-out about controlling our kids. But it was hard because some of the parents had to sit at tables that weren't near the toy box, so the kids were all running back & forth. I think it would have been more pleasant for everyone if the families with kids could be seated near the toy box & the larger party away from it (& the kids).
I even found myself feeling somewhat angry at the large group even though I know this isn't fair. But some of them were giving the kids dirty looks & I felt like it wasn't the children's or parents' faults. Like many parents, we try to avoid taking our daughter to places where it would be hard for her to behave appropriately due to boredom, restlessness, etc.
I mean, jeeze-louise, I mean, there are tons of good restaurants around here for child-free adults, but very few places with good food that are child-friendly with toys & other kids to play with so the grown-ups can have a real conversation or eat their food. In the context of a weekly happening that I thought was targeted to families, it was disappointing that things worked out this way.
Then, I thought about the large group's situation & felt kind of sorry for the child-free folks because they had probably planned for a nice evening with pizza & wine & had no idea of why all these seemingly unruly, obnoxious kids were running back & forth. Oh, and by the way, I use the term "child-free" because the term "childless" sounds rather brutal (especially when hubby & I were "child-free" & trying to become pregnant) & doesn't adequately reflect the fact that some people do choose not to have children.
but ANYway ... the waitress -- who gave me the impression that she was fairly new to this establishment -- did an awesome job. The place was crazy-crowded, & yet she served our drinks & pizzas a tad late, but with confident, courteous, & competent aplomb. The pizza was quite tasty, with a light & crispy crust, a generous sprinkling of cheese, & fresh toppings. Alas, the tomato sauce could have benefited from a lighter & more subtly-flavored touch, but that's just my opinion.
Overall, we had a good time once things settled down & I definitely want to check this scene out again. The food was good & reasonably-priced & we enjoyed the general atmosphere. It's probably even better in the summer when folks can sit outside.