Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Family Dining at the DoubleTree by Hilton's TradeWinds Restaurant

During our staycation at the Coco Key Water Park in Boston's North Shore, we had the pleasure of dining at the TradeWinds Restaurant, located inside the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, a total of 3 times.  Our Ultimate Water Park Package not only included our accommodations, water park passes, and arcade credits, but it also included breakfast at the in-house restaurant.  While enjoying the breakfast buffet with my family the first morning around 10am, I could clearly see that the restaurant was popular for businessmen and women.  If there had not been a few other families having breakfast at the same time, I would have felt very out of place.

I could not help but wonder how TradeWinds would fare as a family-friendly restaurant when we dined there that evening.  I should point out that on the second morning, we went to breakfast around 8:30am and found the atmosphere in the restaurant to be much different.  It was actually swarming with families.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how kid-friendly this elegant restaurant turned out to be at dinner.  They even had a children's menu, crayons and activity placements, and covered straw cups.  Our waiter (James) was very polite, but personable, even to the children.

How was the food?

The warm dinner rolls were crusty on the outside and pillowy on the inside, just as freshly baked rolls should be.  You can see how popular they were with my family, since they snatched them all up before I could even take a photo of the full basket.

As an appetizer for the children, we ordered these nachos loaded up with vegetables, cheese, and ground beef.  They dug right into it, but carefully removed anything they found to be suspicious . . . like the black olives.  Our 3 children, with a little help from my husband, finished about 2/3 of this generously-sized appetizer.

My husband ordered the "Chili No. 7" to precede his entree.  He found it to be fresh with high quality ingredients.  He thought the taste was very good, especially for a restaurant that did not specialize in Southwestern cuisine.

I chose the baked French onion soup for myself.  Since I am the only crazed onion fan in my family, this was a treat for me.  I enjoyed the soup very much and wished I had more time to finish it.  It was only available in a crock and not the smaller cup serving, so it was too much for me to finish before I had to turn my attention to my entree.

From the children's menu, our 9 year old son ordered a cheeseburger with french fries.  Even though he had stuffed himself with dinner rolls and nachos, he was able to finish most of it, which indicates that it was a good and tasty meal.  If it was not, he would have left more than half of it on his plate.

Our nearly 6 year old son ordered the cheese pizza from the children's menu.  It was perfectly sized for a child his age, if he had not eaten a dinner roll and too many nachos.  We had to take more than half of the pizza back to our hotel room with us.  Luckily, we are all fans of cold pizza!

Our nearly 6 year old daughter chose the grilled cheese sandwich with french fries.  The bread was thick and it looked like a panini-style sandwich.  I was tempted to steal a piece from her.

I ordered the seasoned steak tips for my entree, which came with french fries and cole slaw.  They were seasoned and cooked perfectly . . . medium, just as I had requested.  I have to say that the french fries were also excellent.  My husband enjoyed my cole slaw since he is the cole slaw fanatic in the family and thought it was very good.

My husband ordered the ribeye steak topped with blue cheese butter with mashed potatoes.  He substituted the asparagus that would have come with his meal with onion rings.  He had ordered his steak medium-rare.  The steak was very high quality and was as amazing as it looked until he got past the edges.  The center of the steak was very rare.  He had even told the waiter that the steak was cooked to his liking when he checked on us because he had only taken a few bites.  My husband actually likes his steak between medium-rare and rare, and he was not able to eat this steak.  He ended up taking it back to our room and cooked it slightly in the microwave.  After that, he thought it was perfect!

Each of the children's meals came with an ice cream sundae.  Although the ice cream topped with hot fudge and whipped cream was very good, they were all too full to finish their desserts.

My husband and I shared the molten chocolate cake, which was served warm and was very rich and decadent.  I definitely would not have been able to finish it on my own after eating my soup and entree.

Overall, our dining experience as a family at TradeWinds was very positive.  As a restaurant with elegant decor and dim lighting, it turned out to be very family-friendly.  I would estimate the prices to be approximately 25% higher than a family restaurant, such as the Olive Garden, which is perfectly fine, especially when you are staying at a hotel on vacation.

You can read about Day #1 of our staycation here, about Day #2 here, and see all the photos from our weekend here.

Thank you to the Coco Key Water Park and the DoubleTree by Hilton for providing us with complimentary accommodations, meals, arcade credits, and water park passes for us to base this review upon. All opinions are my own.