Our friends Jen and Brad called yesterday and asked if we’d like to meet up with the kids for an early dinner. The first place that came to mind was Waterloo Ice House — we’re all pretty far north and they have a location at Avery Ranch, with a playscape in the back for the kids to play. It’s not too expensive and hey – BEER – so it seemed like a no-brainer.
We met up around 5:30 SPT (Standard Parent Time) and asked to be seated on the outside back patio. The playscape’s right there so we were able to hang out at the table with our friends while still keeping an eye on the little ones. And — Did I mention? — BEER.
As far as the kids playing, here are the “cons”: The playscape is pretty dinky, honestly, and it would be nice if the area was fenced in or otherwise enclosed somehow. I do LOVE a good “baby jail,” where I knew my kid’s trapped and don’t feel like I have to have an eyeball on him every second. But then again, Sam’s old enough now that he understands me when I say “Stay where I can see you,” and it IS pretty well isolated, far from the parking lot, etc. Besides, what the playscape lacks in size and fun, the large grassy area around it seems to make up for in both. The kids really spent more time running around and chasing each other than anything else, and they were perfectly happy with that.
Which brings me to the best “pro” of all: By the time we left that place, my kid might have been thoroughly sweaty and gross –but he was also completely worn out, and when you have an almost-four-year-old who’s 30 minutes out from bedtime? That is a GOOD THING.
The food at Waterloo is pretty much your typical Austin restaurant/bar food — none of it made us jump out of our seats to cheer, but then, we didn’t expect it to. The beer was cold and flowed freely, the service was great and the check didn’t make us cry. The kids were entertained and we had a fun evening with friends, so I’m absolutely certain we’ll be back.
Woo hoo, Waterloo!