Every time we asked him about a party or what he wanted to do for a birthday Johnny would always say "I want to go to a restaurant called Johnny's."
Parent fail. That never happened.
I searched for restaurants called Johnny's but every one was a complete dive or too far away.
We settled on The Choo Choo Restaurant in Des Plaines. We've been there a few times before and it's perfect for kids. It's a 50s-style diner. The food isn't what draws people to the place. It's the adorable electric train that delivers food to your table on a track that winds around the restaurant.
Johnny loves this place, but he was actually a tad pissed when we pulled up to the restaurant and it wasn't named "Johnny's." He quickly got over it when he saw his daddy sitting at the table right by the train track.
The best part was the entire restaurant singing to Johnny as the train zoomed over to bring him a birthday cupcake.
He was shocked and looked at me almost horrified, nuzzled his little face in my neck and said "I want to go home."
Then he saw the cupcake had a train whistle on top. He licked the frosting-covered whistle clean and delighted in blowing it non-stop.
If you're looking for sophisticated fare, The Choo Choo isn't your place. It is literally a 50s diner. Egg salad, grilled cheese, burgers, hot dogs and chicken noodle soup are what you order. I did, however, find a veggie burger on the menu which was pretty darn good. The food is good--kind of what you would expect of the American diner classics.
The real reason you go to The Choo Choo is for the experience. Kids obviously love the train element of the little restaurant, but adults also love the novelty.
Our next mission is Choo Choo Johnny's in Naperville. That's a tad far so it didn't work for his birthday, but it's on the list.
|Johnny and I met up with Scott at The Choo Choo