At IHOP Kids Eat Free Every Day (thru 9/25)

It’s IHOP for an easy meal where kids eat free until September 25.
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Sure I could’ve made this for him at home for 99 cents. But he won’t eat it there.

We’re lucky enough to have plenty of places to go out to eat in and around Agoura Hills. But while many families will bring their kids to any restaurant (I once saw a family with multiple children at The Charthouse), there are a few places that are more obviously suited to children. One of those is IHOP.

Our International House of Pancakes is on Kanan, south of the 101, all the way around the back of the plaza but facing the freeway. It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt to find it while significant construction is happening in that area, seemingly forever. But if you make it there, IHOP is a great place to take your kids for a cheap and satisfying, if not very quick meal.

Back to School Convenience

For a limited time, kids eat free. This is a great time for it, actually, with people running around getting the kids ready to go back to school. There’s soccer practice, doctor appointments, back-to-school shopping, and if you’re like me, lots of purging and reorganizing our stuff. My kids grow 2 inches a year on average, so I like to wait until the last minute to buy them new clothes for the school year. This means we’re doing that while everyone else is out getting school supplies and new clothes too. It can be pretty hectic.

The last thing I want to do after all that is make and serve dinner. My husband is a great cook, so he’ll do dinner, too, but he’s easily talked into going out when there’s an opportunity.

kids eat free funny face

Photo evidence that my husband was there too. My boys make nice family photos hard to get!

As guests of IHOP, we visited the Agoura Hills location to check out the new menu offerings and test the kids eat free promotion. As we’ve experienced before, dinner during the week isn’t the most popular shift. One very nice manager served us, and he seemed to be the only wait staff on the floor, so when several other families came in, service slowed down quite a bit.

kids eat free chicken sandwich

And while I wanted to try the new chicken ranch avocado club, he ordered and brought me the spicy chicken ranch sandwich instead, so I accidentally indulged in a cheesy, fried sandwich vs. a vegetable-heavy, grilled one. Since the wrong sandwich was still delicious, I ate it anyway. I mention this though because getting a dish or drink we didn’t order is another thing that seems to happen at this IHOP every time we go.

Kids Eat Free

The kids eat free promotion lasts through September 25. You get one free kid’s entree (ordered off the kids’ menu, drinks not included) with each adult entree ordered from the regular menu, from 4pm to 10pm every day. Dessert not included either.  For kids 12 and under.

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In the end, it was still a $40 meal. Since soft drinks were about $3 for adults and $2 for the kids’ lemonade, it added up quickly.

Still, I would recommend IHOP during this busy time, especially if you like breakfast, because even with the slow service and the potential for getting the wrong order, it’s a great place to get a plate of pancakes in the evening without messing up your kitchen or lifting a finger.

IHOP
5031 Kanan Rd,
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
IHOP.com

Cronies Restaurant: It’s Not Just For Beer

It’s a family restaurant! Read to the end for the $50 gift card giveaway.

cronies review giveaway pinterest

A few weeks ago, my family went to Cronies for dinner – it was the night the restaurant was donating 20% back to the kids’ school if you presented a special flyer. My younger son had had a baseball game, and I walked up and down the bleachers handing out flyers, hopefully inspiring people to visit this family restaurant/sports “grill.”

When we got there, we saw at least a dozen other families from our school. Their kids had had baseball games and softball games, or they were just hungry and they wanted to support the school and have someone else make dinner. Win-win.

The truth is, Cronies looks like a sports bar from the outside. The word “Cronies” and the many neon beer signs will steer you to that impression. But what Cronies’ management wants you to know is that the restaurant is actually a family place, where you can gather, find something on the menu that will delight everyone, let the kids goof around and be kind of loud, and also, you can drink a beer. A very, very cold beer.

just some taps

Come on, Agoura Hills. Don’t we need that kind of place around here?

What used to be Angel Cafe, full of booths and Italian food, is now Cronies, anchoring the CVS/Vons plaza at Kanan Ave. and Thousand Oaks Blvd. There is plenty of parking, and a Goodwill book store nearby.

Cronies family restaurant and sports grillThe wings are delicious

Cronies is open from breakfast through late night, and you can always find a friendly face there. Manager Wayne Smith will greet you with a handshake and his bearded smile, and if you engage him in conversation he will point up to a photograph on the wall taken in the (I’m guessing) early 80’s: that’s me, he’ll say, the child in the owner’s arms.

Because Cronies goes way back. Its original location is in Ventura, and the owners branched out to Agoura because let’s face it. We needed them as much as they need us.

Since its opening several months ago, Cronies has supported neighborhood schools, the Great Race, and a family that lost its mother in a tragic car crash. The bartenders have served up countless drafts, they have hosted Superbowl parties and March Madness happy hours, and opened its doors for breakfast and lunch. Cronies wants us to become like them – cronies in the best definition of the word: lifelong friends.

Yeah, yeah, it’s great for blowing off steam after work or a baseball game. “But how’s the food, Kim?” you ask. And I’m glad you did.

The first time I went to Cronies it was for lunch. The place was nearly deserted. “Bingo!” I thought. “A great place for meeting a friend, or conducting business over a meal.” I’m thinking PTA meetings. (Amirite, ladies and gents?)

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The food didn’t disappoint. Beyond the basic bar food of burgers and fries – which are solid, dependable choices – Cronies has a great list of salads to choose from, my favorite being the “protein salad” which has tuna salad, sprouts, and nuts over a bed of greens. Our family also tried the chicken wings, both the hot wings and the barbecue sauce version. I could eat them all by myself if necessary. And my husband had a pulled pork sandwich which he generously shared – it was sweet and savory and delicious.

frozen beers

Cronies serves beer in giant ice cream bowls – I believe they are referred to as “schooners” but I can totally imagine eating an ice cream sundae out of one – and the beer is super ice cold. They don’t have a full bar and even though I like wine (hey it’s me you’re talking to here…) I prefer to drink something closer to beer so I usually choose a Mike’s hard lemonade or cranberry which they will serve over ice, mimicking a cocktail. Good enough!

The bottom line is: go to Cronies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere where you can watch the game, pawn your kids off on the quarter-hungry machines, and be kind of loud. It’s perfect for team parties, or lunch with your friends where you can hear each other talk, and then run into the grocery store to pick up a few things before getting back to work or picking up the kids. Happy hour is from 2-6 – that is a LONG happy hour, designed to “beat any crowd,” and there’s always a promo running, so check them out.

Cronies
5687 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 889-0889

Giveaway: Cronies has offered a $50 gift card to a lucky Agoura Hills Mom reader. Just leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite Cronies drink or dish is, or what you’d like to try. One comment entry per person. Make sure your email address is entered (will not be published). For an extra entry, follow @agourahillsmom on Instagram and leave your handle in your comment. Winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries received by 11:59 PM, Friday April 24.

Breakfast For Kids at the Hard Rock Cafe Saturday April 26

Rock 'N Roll Kids Breakfast 4.26.14