Out of the ordinary eating establishments that our judges rate extraordinary.
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
33009 S. Dixie Highway, Florida City, 305-246-1004
Doral: 9815 NW 41st St., Miami, 305-716-4942
Cutler Ridge: 20405 S. Dixie Highway, Miami, 786-293-9406
Additional locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
New locations opening this summer at 5377 W. Atlantic Blvd., Margate; 6670 Dykes Road, Southwest Ranches; and 6005 N. University Drive, Tamarac
The kids' menu here seems pretty traditional, with mac-and-cheese, pizza, burgers and pasta. But Applebee's also has a variety of side-dish offerings, such as apple sauce, broccoli and mixed veggies, so your kids do not have to eat only fries. The kid-friendly, fun atmosphere, plus the promise of an Oreo cookie shake or Garbage Can sundae will keep kids eager to stay at the table until you're ready to leave. All kids' meals were also reduced to $3.99 last year. From the Weight Watchers menu to the Take Two combination platters, where you choose your own combo, the menu selection for adults is just as much fun as it is for kids.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
California Pizza Kitchen
The Gardens, 3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561-625-4682
The Mall at Wellington Green
10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, 561-793-1601
Additional locations in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and at the Miami International Airport.
Pizza may be its middle name, but there's so much more to CPK. (Although who can resist the original barbecue chicken pizza -- or the mushroom, pepperoni, sausage or the traditional, for that matter.) The special kids' menu choices include a salad topped with -- get this -- cheddar Goldfish, or kids can choose fusilli pasta with meat, tomato, alfredo or butter sauce, grilled chicken (as in "not fried") or curly mac-and-cheese, with a choice of brownie, sundae or fruit, and a drink. The kid-friendliness continues with restaurant tours to give kids the opportunity to look behind the scenes and make their own pizzas, and free meal passes through sports programs and local schools for children 10 and under.
Town Center Mall, 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton
12801 W. Sunrise Blvd. Sunrise
Already a winner in the "Fun Place for Dinner" category, This perennial Kids Crown favorite also takes the prize for its kid-friendly food. Traditional children's cuisine is presented with a twist: mini hamburgers, chicken tenders and popcorn shrimp combo and the Gorilla Grilled Cheese Delight -- a grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast. The Lava Mud Dessert is sure to intrigue, with chocolate pudding topped with Oreo pieces and gummy worms. Every Wednesday is family night, 5 p.m.9:30 p.m., when kids eat for $1.99 with the purchase of an adult entree.
California Pizza Kitchen
11401 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-432-1498
2301 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-1196
3485 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale