If you know anything about me, you know I love to cook. You also know that I am careful about what we eat, and I care about where my food comes from. While that doesn't preclude me from eating out, it's something I think about and don't do nearly as often as many I know. Not all restaurants make it onto the list of those I feel good about, but 2Toots Train Whistle Grill in Bartlett (with an original location in Glen Ellyn) definitely fits the bill.
First, 2Toots is a fun restaurant.with every seat in the restaurant next to the train track that delivers the food. Though the wee ones have grown out of their train obsession where everything from toys to books to Halloween costumes revolved around trains, they still love thematic restaurants like this.
In fact, Mister Man has declared that this is his new favorite restaurant. He thinks the food tastes much better than other restaurants, and I cheered him on as he said that. Why? 2Toots is a little different. They use only Tallgrass Beef that is grassfed on pastures that doesn't use herbicides or pesticides. Yes, he can taste the difference, and he loves it.
2Toots is a 50s style diner, with the music and decor to suit it. As one would expect with a diner, the menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs, along with other favorites like BLTs and tuna salad. There is chili and hot chocolate in the winter to keep you warm, and of course there are the requisite milk shakes served in the huge tins.
Mister Man barely needed to look at the menu to choose his order. He knew he wanted a cheeseburger, although I had to remind him that he got to choose a side. He went for the fruit cup - and I appreciate the 2Toots offers this option front and center on the menu. The drinks also include milk, and I noticed that the milk was the Horizon organic milk. It took some doing to convince Mister Man to try the chocolate milk, since he doesn't like the overly sweetened chocolate milk at most restaurants. Once I convinced him to try it, he looked at me in disgust, asking why I hadn't ordered it for him earlier. He loved it, and kudos to a fast casual restaurant for providing organic milk.
When Mister Man's food arrived, he gave me one small look of panic. The burger was topped with pickles, tomato, and lettuce. I thought that was a somewhat odd choice for a kids' menu. While I am all in favor of encouraging veggie consumption, and Little Miss would happily eat the tomato and lettuce, most children avoid them like the plague. I would have appreciated knowing they were coming or - even better - the option to have them served or not.
On the plus side, the lettuce was on the bottom and kept all the "icky" (his words, not mine) juices off the burger. Personally, I loved that my cheeseburger came with the veggies, so I simply added his veggies to my burger, and everyone was happy. The only other oddity about our meal is that Mister Man was not provided with a fork to eat his fruit cup. The grapes can easily be finger foods, but mandarin oranges are messy. Fortunately, Mister Man is a quick study and took the spoon from our shake to eat the fruit. And within five minutes, this is all that was left.
That included eating some of my fries, because I'll be honest that there was too much food for me to eat, although I know my husband would have disagreed with me - and obviously Mister Man did, too. We also shared a strawberry shake that was delicious. It's one that can truly be called a milk shake, made with delicious ice cream, and oh so thick in the tin.
We also took home a decent portion of the milkshake. The staff conveniently provided us with a to go cup. As delicious as it was, it's rich. That's part of what I love about eating real food. It fills you up faster and better, so you don't need to eat as much of it - my personal experience, anyway.
We enjoyed our meal, and Mister Man can't wait to go back, especially with Little Miss. And I'm pretty sure we will, not the least of which is that there are added benefits of eating there. But I'll save that for another post.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a gift card from 2Toots for participating in this campaign. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.