Guest Best: Stewart Woodman
When a family dines out as a team, simplicity is essential. Here are foolproof instructions for feeding your clan by the most direct route possible. First, go to Quang. Order a strawberry bubble tea for each child, a pho (number 506 is preferred) to split, no onions or "green stuff," with small bowls for each child and a glass of water. When your food arrives, which will be in about 40 seconds (speed is a key element to dining with children), plop a couple of ice cubes into each small bowl and add some noodles, meatballs, and broth. It is sweet, cinnamony goodness, and your child will love it. Next, consume whatever tasty treat you have ordered for yourself as if you are being held hostage on a lifeboat in the Indian Sea. Then turn your attention to the unfinished food on the table and scavenge (it is a right of parenthood to eat whatever has not been consumed; furthermore, it's a valuable lesson in survival for your children). A household of four will usually get out the door for around $25, and you'll have a family that has a nice food buzz on.
Stewart Woodman is the chef and owner of Heidi's in Minneapolis, which was recently named one the 50 best new U.S. restaurants by Travel and Leisure magazine and is City Pages' Best Restaurant in Minneapolis this year). He is the founder of the food blog Shefzilla.com and is a father of two.