My mom and I had lots of adventures when I was little. Come to think of it, I was her little buddy just like my son is my Little Buddy. As a child, our fun always seemed to be to be spontaneous. Looking back on it though, my mom has a very busy and successful career, so I’m sure that our adventures weren’t so much the result of extra free time, but rather the result of my mom’s ability to make every second count.
We’d go to the furniture section of the local department store and pretend that each furniture display was a room in our imaginary house. We’d make up stories and act of the parts of the characters that we thought would live in each style of décor. Sometimes she’d pick me up from school early and we’d go shopping or to the movies. One time we followed a fire truck to the scene of a fire – just because. But my favorite adventure always involved a picnic. My mom and I would go to this little café near our house and order chicken salad sandwiches on croissants and take them to a park. We’d eat our lunch and daydream together. In the spirit of this memory, I decided to take LB on a picnic of sorts.
Little Skillet was our destination. Located on a side street in South Beach, this little window churns out a delicious menu of soul food. “Chicken and Waffles” is the specialty, but the grits are pretty amazing as well. I didn’t know if LB would be into the fried chicken, as everything crunchy seems to inspire a look of disgust these days. So, I ordered grits and waffles for us.
My initial vision of our picnic was that we would enjoy our meal on the loading dock across the street. At lunchtime, the loading dock is jam-packed with diners enjoying their meal. LB has never hung out on the street before, so I thought he would think that was cool. But while we were waiting for our food, I realized that my 17-month-old son isn’t quite ready for that experience, so I decided to take our picnic to the nearby park. There are actually two close options for parks – South Park Playground and South Beach Playground.
When we arrived, I let him try the grits first. They were a huge hit. Normally when we arrive at the park, he leaps out of the stroller. But this time, he stayed put and ate about half of a pint of grits before realizing where we were. The waffle is served with true maple syrup goodness –not an overly sweet substitute – so I let LB dip his waffle bits into the little cup. He loved it, of course. (Who wouldn’t?) There was syrup all over both of us and the entire stroller tray, but I think it was worth it.
There is nothing about the Little Skillet experience that is child-friendly. Except the food. Fried Chicken, Waffles, buttery delicious grits. Doesn’t get more kid (or adult) friendly than that.