A few Halloween restaurant deals

boorito

Here are a few Halloween restaurant deals for you and the kiddos, all good 10/31 only:

Know of any more? Please comment here!

Reminder — Chicago Restaurant Coupons Database

chicago-restaurant-coupons

I just wanted to remind you guys that I’ve been keeping an ongoing alphabetical list of the Chicago Restaurant Coupons found in each Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. Each Saturday, I remove outdated listings and add the new coupons in my early Sunday edition of the new week’s Chicago Trib. You can access the Restaurant Coupons here, or always find it under the “newspaper coupons” menu at the top of the page.

C U Latte Cafe Review

This review has been sponsored by Restaurant.com as part of its Review Crew program. I am a Restaurant.com sponsored blogger. All opinions in this post, however, are my own.

culatte

Trish and I recently stopped by the C U Latte Cafe in Villa Park, to check it out with a handy Restaurant.com gift certificate, have some coffee, and catch up — without actually going shopping for a change. :)

unattended

You have to like a cafe with a sense of humor, right?!

Minor quibble

culattecert

Oddly, the only available Restaurant.com certificate denomination for C U Latte Cafe was $10.00 with a minimum required purchase of $15, while some of the family restaurants we’ve been to (where you’d likely be spending more) only have $5 options. They were very pleasant about redeeming the certificate and suggesting options to get up to $15, but I’d really like to see a $5 certificate option for a coffee shop, especially one with a somewhat limited menu — it was hard for two of us to hit the $15 minimum spend, so we each ended up with muffins to take home to the kids for later.

The decor (and location!)

local-art

Located right off the Prairie Path in Villa Park, you could tell that C U Latte has put some real effort into becoming a community hub. Their walls featured art by local artists and a full-up community bulletin board, while they’ve recently added ice cream to the menu to attract Prairie Path walkers with kids, and had chips and other handy snacks to grab up by the register.

sign-the-door

The barista offered us markers to sign their fun art door, too!

The food (and drinks!)

trish-has-coffee

To hit that $15 minimum, Trish and I both ordered large coffee drinks. To accompany these, we were also each going to order the breakfast sandwiches listed on the C U Latte menu… but they didn’t “have them today,” nor did they have several other menu items we tried for.

culattefood

So, Trish ended up with the very last bagel in the place at 9:30 on a weekday morning (over-toasted and slightly doughy), I ordered a couple of oatmeal raisin cookies (fairly stale — I think they’d been sitting in the open case for a day or two), and we each got a banana nut muffin to bring home (all right, in a generic grocery store bakery rather than cafe type of way). I really, really wanted to enjoy their food more than I did, because I very much like the idea of C U Latte Cafe, as well as their location and their ambiance. I do hope that they step it up in that area.

mocha

Their coffee on the other hand was quite good! I enjoyed my very large cafe mocha, while Trish had an Americano. C U Latte uses I Have a Bean coffee from the Second Chance Coffee Company in Wheaton, IL, which is pleasantly robust without being bitter. Next time I’ll pick up a regular coffee so that I can savor the taste of their quality beans even more, and I highly recommend their coffee drinks.

The service (and ambiance!)

reading-area

A sign in the C U Latte window boasted free wi-fi. One table had a chess game set up, while a cozy reading nook sported comfy couches, reading material, and a little fake fireplace (turned off now because spring has finally sprung here).

chess

The games and books offer an excuse to linger, while the service was both pleasant and prompt. Overall, C U Latte was a pleasant place to pop in for a drink — but I’d like to see the food quality dialed up a notch, and the music volume dialed down.

About Restaurant.com

The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal. Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go. Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends! And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill. Bon Appétit!

Seven Dwarfs Restaurant Review

This review has been sponsored by Restaurant.com as part of its Review Crew program. I am a Restaurant.com sponsored blogger. All opinions in this post, however, are my own.

seven-dwarfs-sign

We must have driven by the Seven Dwarfs restaurant in Wheaton, IL a million times, but never before stopped in. (Yes, the sign has been this way as long as I can remember — I think it’s part of their deliberate dive diner charm!) Last week during Spring Break, though, we finally decided to stop by and check it out on our way to a family bowling outing.

Minor quibble

certificate

The only available Restaurant.com certificate denomination for Seven Dwarfs was $5.00, which is pretty minimal when you’re feeding a family. We had no problems purchasing or redeeming, but I’d really like to see $25 certificates to make it more worth going through Restaurant.com and encourage us to go back.

They take their theme seriously

long-mural

I mean, very seriously. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a full length wall featuring a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mural, which was so long I couldn’t even fit it all in one photo.

dwarfs-art

And, wherever you’re seated, your kids will never run out of artwork to admire — this is just a small sampling of what you’ll find in an entire restaurant full of Seven Dwarfs kitsch.

But what about the food?

gyros-skillet

We’re talking typical Greek-ish diner food here, heavy on breakfast specials, burgers, and sandwiches. I’m a firm believer in going with a restaurant’s apparent strengths, which in this case looked like breakfast and Greek specials. As a fascinating mashup of both, let me present: The Athenian Skillet.

gyros-under

In an interesting twist on the traditional breakfast skillet, this featured hash browns, onions, tomatoes, gyro meat, and feta, topped with two eggs cooked to order and served with a side of tzatziki sauce. Well: Yum, what a good idea! The gyro meat itself was darn tasty, so I might go with the gyros plate next time.

italian-omelet

MashupDad also went the breakfast-for-lunch route, and was quite pleased with his Italian omelet, which was filled with sausage, onions, and mozzarella and topped with meat sauce. It was fun to see some more unusual options like these on the breakfast menu.

kids-meals

The kids, of course, went with their favorite restaurant standbys: Mickey Mouse pancakes for Mr. 7, and bunless burger with fries for Junior High Guy. They enjoyed, although Mr. 7 picked off those suspicious looking peaches (I don’t blame him!) and then sugar crashed right after bowling, lol.

The service

… was, honestly, pretty slow, although our waitress was quite pleasant. The place wasn’t particularly busy — but we still had to flag someone down every time we wanted a coffee refill. Not a place to go if you’re in a hurry, but a fun restaurant to visit with the kids. Try the Athenian skillet, if you do!

About Restaurant.com

The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal. Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go. Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends! And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill. Bon Appétit!

Halloween Restaurant freebies and deals

jacko

Here are some Halloween restaurant freebies and deals for today, courtesy of Surviving the Stores!

2013 Halloween Restaurant Freebies

Applebees – Free Chips & Salsa When You Wear Costume Starting 10/31 (exp: 11/1/2013)
Baja Fresh – Free Kids Meal With Adult Entree Purchase on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Beef O Bradys – Kids in Costume Eat Free WYB 1 Adult Entree on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Carrabbas – $5 3-Topping Pizzas on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Chevys – Kids in Costume Eat Free WYB Adult Entree (exp: 10/31/2013)
Chipotle – $3 Burrito, Bowl, Salad or Tacos When You Come Dressed in Costume on 10/31 (exp: 10/31/2013)
IHOP – FREE Scary Face Pancake for Kids 12 and Under on 10/31 from 7AM – 10PM (exp: 10/31/2013)
Jamba Juice – FREE Kids Smoothies from 2-7PM on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Krispy Kreme – FREE Doughnut When You Wear Costume on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Lone Star Steakhouse – Kids Eat Free WYB Adult Entree on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
OCharleys – 20% Off Any Food Purchase Valid 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Olive Garden – Free Kids Meal with Adult Entree Purchase (exp: 10/31/2013)
On The Border – Free Kids Meal WYB 1 Adult Entree (exp: 10/31/2013)
Os American Kitchen – Kids in Costume Eat Free with $5 Purchase (exp: 10/31/2013)
Outback Steakhouse – Kids Eat Free WYB Adult Entree on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Souper Salad – Kids in Costume Eat for Free WYB Adult Buffet (exp: 10/31/2013)
Stevi Bs – 99¢ Buffet for Kids in Costume on 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)
Tumbleweed – Free Kids Meal for Kids in Costume WYB 1 Adult Entree (exp: 10/31/2013)
Which Wich – Free Kidswich WYB Any Wich Valid 10/31 Only (exp: 10/31/2013)

Kids LiveWell restaurant program — a review!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the National Restaurant Association. I attended a live event and received a gift bag and promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

kidslivewell-11
With celebrity chef Marc Murphy!

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Kids LiveWell event at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago. This is a very cool program that focuses on offering more healthy options in restaurant meals for kids. You know how you go to a restaurant and tend to always see the standard choices on the kid’s menu: Pizza, fries, chicken fingers, hot dogs, and more fries. Well, why not offer a larger variety of options — that kids will actually eat?

Enter Kids LiveWell

livewelllogo

The National Restaurant Association launched the award-winning Kids LiveWell program to help families make healthy choices while eating out. Check out all the Kids LiveWell participating restaurants here, and click on any to see their Kids LiveWell menu choices and nutrition information. These options emphasize lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, and must meet certain nutrition criteria, such as:

  • 600 calories or less
  • Two sources of either fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, or low-fat dairy
  • Less than .5 grams of artificial trans fat.
  • … and more

You can see all of the nutrition criteria here. We got to try a few of the items at the Kids LiveWell event, and they were quite tasty, too!

chickenbarbie

Here, for instance, I clicked on Outback Steakhouse, because it’s one place we occasionally visit (separate gluten free menu, accommodating of allergies). They gave me a list of children’s meals to choose from, and when I clicked “dig in for nutrition info” on one, it popped up the whole list. So, when considering where to eat out and what your kids will choose, you can investigate at home before picking a restaurant. I like seeing more variety on kid’s menus for a number of reasons — and the move away from fried foods here could also be useful in another way for eating around allergies, don’t you think?

kidslivewell-9

Some of the kid’s menus at participating locations now also include calorie info right on the menu. This is a snippet of Corner Bakery’s — wow, did you you have any idea how many calories could pack into a PB&J? Although you have to look deeper for the full nutrition info, this can help you see calorie counts at a glance for a quick guide.

appleicon

When dining out, you can also easily scan for qualifying Kids LiveWell menu items at participating restaurants: Just look for their logo or for the above apple icon next to qualifying options.

kidslivewell-13

My gift bag included a child-sized Kids LiveWell apron — do you see celebrity chef in his future?! I’m thinking maybe yes. :)

The Kids LiveWell app

kidslivewellapp

You can also download a free Kids LiveWell app — just search Kids LiveWell in your app store or marketplace. While this is a fantastic idea, it needs some work. You have to, for instance, scroll through the entire list of ZIP codes as shown above rather than just entering a ZIP. And, although it lets you scroll through a list of available meal options for each participating restaurant, these are cut off in that view so you have to click on each to see what is actually included, which can be time consuming.

However, it’s nice in that it shows the complete nutrition information for each meal, side, and drink combination, so that you can see exactly what your kids will be consuming.

Overall

Kids LiveWell now partners with over 120 brands and options are available in over 33,000 locations across the US, and continues to expand. Read more about the program and participating restaurants here. You can also check them out on both Facebook and twitter.

Mother’s Day restaurant deals for 2013

Here is a list of some Mother’s Day restaurant deals for 2013, courtesy of Ann’s Entitled Life. If you know of any others, please comment here!

Bonefish Grill
• For each $50 purchased receive a $10 Bonus Card, for qualified purchases between 4/1/13 -6/16/13.
• Bonus card valid 5/13/13-7/15/13, valid for single purchases in restaurant or online. • Bonus cards not valid the day of purchase. See FAQs for full Bonus Card Terms.
• Free Shipping offer valid 4/1/13 – 6/16/13, six cards or less, U.S Postal Service, a $1.95 value.

Brio Tuscan Grille
• For every $50 in BRIO Gift Cards you purchase, receive a $10 Bonus Offer for You! Offer expires 6/16/13.
• $10 bonus gift valid 6/24/13-8/25/13.
• $10 Bonus ONLY available at your local BRIO restaurant or on BRIO website purchases.
• Not applicable on third party distributors or e-gifts purchases.

Carrabbas
• When you buy $50 in Carrabbas gift cards bwteen 4/1 – 6/16/13, you’ll receive a $10 bonus card.
• Bonus card valid 5/13 – 7/15/13
• Bonus cards not valid on day of purchase

Champps Americana
• For every $50 Gift Card Purchased at Champps, Receive a $10 Reward loaded to your MVP card

Chili’s Mother’s Day 2013 Restaurant Offers:
• Any Chili’s Gift Card purchase made from April 17th, 2013 through May 13th, 2013 will qualify the purchaser for a $10 FTD Promo eCard, redeemable on FTD products, exceptions apply**, see below.
• The $10 FTD Promo eCode and 15% discount referenced above can be used in conjunction.
• After successful Gift Card purchase, the purchaser will receive their $10 FTD Promo eCard via email, which will also include the discounted FTD website referenced above.
• This offer is available through May 13th, 2013.

Dell Mother’s Day Offer – the computer place, not a restaurant
• For every $300 worth of Dell eGift Card(s), the purchaser receives a $50 Dell Promotional eGift Card.
• Dell eGift Cards can be purchased in any denomination from $10 – $500.
• To consolidate Dell purchased eGift Cards visit www.dell.com/giftcards.
• Promotional eGift Card expires 90 days from date issued and cannot be consolidated with any other card.
• Offer eligible from April 29th to May 14th, 2013.
• eGift Card purchase total is limited to $500 per single transaction.

Elephant Bar
• Purchase a $25 gift card, receive $5 off your next purchase promotional dining card
Offer ends 6/30/13

Firstwatch The Daytime Cafe
• Purchase $100 worth of Firstwatch gift card between April 22- June 16, 2013, receive $20 in bonus bucks for yourself
• Bonus Buck cards are valid 6/17/13 – 7/31/13. Bonus Buck cards are not gift cards and as such are valid for one-time use only.

Flemings Steak House
• Make this Mother’s Day even more memorable with a special brunch for a special woman. Our chefs are preparing a three-course menu every mom will love for $36.95* per guest. Our regular and children’s menus will also be available all day and evening. Please join us on Sunday, May 12, from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
• Plus, all moms will receive a $25 Dining Card for a future visit

Joe’s Crab Shack
• For every $25 purchased in Joe’s gift cards from May 1 until June 16, guests will receive $5 Bonus Bucks in return to use toward food, non-alcoholic beverages and retail merchandise.
• Bonus Bucks will be redeemable from June 17, 2013 until July 23, 2013.
• Gift cards can be purchased at all Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants nationwide and online

Levy Restaurants
• For every 100.00 gift card purchased receive a 25.00 bonus card valid July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013.

Longhorn Steakhouse Mother’s Day 2013 Restaurant Offers:
• Purchase a $25 gift card, receive $5 off your next visit bonus card
• Bonus card only available with in-restaurant gift card purchase

Macaroni Grill
• For every $25 purchased in Macaroni Grill gift cards from May 1 until June 16, guests will receive a $5 Grazie Gift that can be used on food, non-alcoholic beverages and retail merchandise.
• Grazie Gifts will be redeemable from June 17, 2013 until July 23, 2013.
• Gift cards can be purchased at all Macaroni Grill restaurants nationwide and online

Maggianos Little Italy
• Any Maggiano’s Gift Card purchase made from April 26th, 2013 through May 13th, 2013 will qualify the purchaser for a $10 FTD Promo eCard, redeemable on FTD products, exceptions apply
• This offer is available through May 13th, 2013.

Morton’s Steakhouse
• Add a $250 gift card at this link and a $50 bonus gift card will appear in your cart
• Valid 6/1 – 9/1/13, not valid on Father’s Day

Not Your Average Joe’s
• Spend $50 on a gift card to give and get a free $10 appreciation card to keep.
• Appreciation cards expire 90 days from date of issue.
• Valid on your next visit.
• Offer expires 6/16/13.
• Appreciation cards will be sent to the billing address for any order that qualifies.

Outback Steakhouse
• For every $50 in gift cards purchased online between April 1 and June 16, 2013, you (the purchaser) will receive one $10 Bonus Coupon FREE.
• A bonus card is a $10 value to use between May 13, 2013 and July 15, 2013
• Bonus cards not valid on day of purchase.

Ruby Tuesday
• For every $50 in gift cards purchased online between April 23 and June 16, 2013, you (the purchaser) will receive one $15 Bonus Coupon FREE. (We are sorry, but bulk orders do not qualify for the bonus coupon offer and this offer is not available in restaurant).
• A bonus card is a $15 value to use between May 13, 2013 and July 15, 2013 at any Ruby Tuesday location in the continental United States.

Starbucks Offer
• Frappuccino Happy Hour 1/2 off from 3-5pm
• Ends 5/12/13

TCBY Mother’s Day 2013 Restaurant Offer:
• Free 6oz TCBY yogurt
• See store for details

TGIF
• For every $25 worth of eGift Cards purchased, the purchaser receives $5 in Bonus Bites Card.
• Bonus Bites Cards come in $5 denominations; the purchaser will receive a combination of cards based on the total purchase.
• BONUS BITES VALID 7/1/2013-8/31/2013
• Offer ends June 30, 2013 at 11:55pm EST

Tony Roma’s
Mom’s receive a free entree coupon (value to $15) valid on next visit. (participating locations only)
• For every $50 in gift cards purchased online between April 23 and June 16, 2013, you (the purchaser) will receive $15 in Romabucks.
• Romabucks expires September 1, 2013

Uno’s
• Buy $25 in eGift Cards, get a $5 Bonus Voucher
• Bonus Voucher redemption valid 5/13/2013 – 6/16/2013