Saranac Public House


A “Dining with Kids” review by Sarah Hauge

Though it’s primarily the parent’s responsibility to make sure their kid has a pleasant restaurant experience (I’m a big proponent of bringing snacks or coloring books or whatever it takes to not be a bother for other diners) restaurants that realize and appreciate that some of their patrons will be children deserve recognition. And so, over the next few months, I’ll be writing a series of reviews on where you should (or should not) eat out with kids.

First up: The Saranac

People without children have been surprised when I’ve mentioned that this is a great spot to eat with kids. I get it—it’s a pub, it’s kind of loud, and the service, which is good but often harried, is not exactly outstanding.

What IS outstanding is their children’s menu, which includes scaled-down and simplified versions of the adult options as well as more traditional kid food. All of it is house-made from real ingredients (no overpriced frozen mini pizzas or boxed mac and cheese!).

What sets the Saranac apart for kids is both the quality and the price. Everything costs a reasonable $4 or $5 and is portioned for ONE child, maybe two (none of those depressing, enormous platters of soon-wasted chicken fingers and French fries so common on other kids menus). Plus, it’s all decently balanced, not packed with junk, and still kid-friendly. They’ve got vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

My daughter loves the noodle bowl ($5): yakisoba noodles in ginger sauce topped with scallions and your choice of chicken or tofu. My niece and nephew, not exactly adventurous eaters, have been happy with the cheese flatbread ($4), which I tried and liked. The PB&J ($4) and the grilled cheese ($5) are served with your choice of white or wheat bread and side options of house-made potato chips or apple slices. There is also a quesadilla ($4; comes with sour cream and house-made salsa), mac ‘n’ cheese ($5), and a rice bowl ($5). I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more fruits and veggies on the menu, but overall there’s not much to complain about—I tend to steal as many bites of whatever my daughter is having as I can get away with.

To sum up: at the Saranac, you can order a reasonably nutritious house-made meal your child will actually like, and you won’t have to spend a zillion dollars to do so. Success.

We also have an “adult” review of Saranac.