I USED to pick a restaurant based on the number of accolades it managed to rack up and if you could book a table for 9pm.
One baby later and my tactics have changed. Now whether or not an eatery offers a handful of crayons on arrival and provides a family bathroom both factor heavily on deciding where the hubby and I choose to eat.
We knew we’d arrived at the right place when we spotted a line of toddlers weaving out of Union Square’s Spur Steak & Grill in Aberdeen.
A quick scan of the menu showed a hefty variety of options.
Usually when you choose a food stop based on family needs you can end up sacrificing flavour for practicality. But Spur’s menu featured a healthy dose of ribs, fillet and salmon.
The hubby and I are still testing the whole bring-baby-to-dinner operation so we settled on easy finger food, ordering a portion of nachos to start.
In previous outings with the little one, we’ve found ourselves busily presenting him with a parade of toys in an attempt to avoid disturbing the other diners. But this city centre stop offers a small soft play area for youngsters to pass the time until the food arrives.
It was a nice change of pace to wander around the restaurant with my toddling tyke and not feel like we were getting in anyone’s way. In fact, the welcoming staff offered him small waves and smiles as we made our way round.
The nachos had arrived by the time we found our way back. Gobs of guacamole, heaps of sour cream, handfuls of melted sharp-cheddar cheese and swirls of spicy salsa all featured on the generous portion. A sprinkling of jalapenos topped the starter.
The cheese was still bubbling as we dug in, making for a deliciously gooey start to the meal. Our wee one’s order of macaroni and cheese soon followed. It came with a side of chips, which his dad kindly gobbled as encore to the starter.
I decided on a throw-back to my favourite dish at home in the States, ordering the Hawaiian burger. The giant plate also came with a side of chips and coleslaw. The sweet, grilled piece of pineapple topped the flame-grilled burger, which had been marinated in Spur’s top-secret barbecue sauce.
Juice from the fruit drizzled over the meat, soaking the soft sesame bun.
The portions were massive and I could barely make it through half of my seasoned straight-cut fries and peppery coleslaw.
The hubby opted for a BLT burger. A thick piece of bacon crowned the hunk of beef, while the heaps of salad tucked in the bun made it difficult for him to attack the burger in a single bite. He decided on a double dose of carbs for his sides, choosing a baked potato and onion rings. The crispy, shoestring onion rings were definitely the star of the meal. Next time I think it will be double onion rings all around.
The meal was topped off with two orders of bottomless Cokes at £2.25 each. There was even a dedicated refill station, so you didn’t have to wait for your server to notice the empty glasses.
Our left-over food was packed away in a doggie bag for us to tuck into later. Spur was definitely a “does what it says on the box” kind of place.
We were able to enjoy time out together as family, eat delicious food and not worry about whether wee one’s love of repeating his new favourite word a hundred times in a row would disrupt anyone else’s meal.