Kindred (with Kids)

Birthday Cake at Kindred in Davidson, NC

If you ever view the stories on our Instagram account, you know that we (along with the rest of the masses) are big fans of Kindred in Davidson.

No one, especially not anyone in the Charlotte area, needs to be told that Kindred is good. It’s not a secret, or an unpopular opinion, and you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate their incredible cuisine, or the attention to detail present from the start of your meal, to the very end.

For all of these reasons, Kindred has been our go-to date night spot ever since we moved to Davidson. The moment someone offers to watch the kids, it’s immediately where my mind goes; I start fantasizing about sipping a Juicy Jay (from local brewer Legion Brewing Company), nibbling/enhaling some of Kindred’s iconic milk bread, and perusing the menu for the latest offerings. I look forward to the exquisitely decorated, yet unpretentious atmosphere, and top-notch treatment we always get from the servers (who are knowledgeable enough to correctly pronounce conchiglie, and kind enough not to judge when you cannot).

Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, NC
Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, NC

As our date night standby (and a place that I’ve never seen crawling with children), it hasn’t been a place I was dying to take my own brood. Our youngest is only two, and in our experience, years 1.5 – 3 are the least favorable for a family dinner out.

Anytime we take the kids to dinner, we always come armed with toys (and depending on the restaurant, a sippy cup of milk), but still choose the location carefully. It has to be a place that the kids can actually enjoy, and we won’t feel out-of-place.

Yesterday we took my mother-in-law out to celebrate her retirement. She had never been to Kindred, and of course always wants to see her grandchildren, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the kids their first Kindred experience too.

We opted for the patio for some reason (almost as if we’d never experienced August in North Carolina). I’m sure they thought we were crazy, but they found us a spot in the shade, which ended up being nice.

As we were seated, the kids were given kids menus and crayons. The menus included a word cross, and excellent entree choices for our extremely picky boys. Yesterday’s offerings included:

  • Salumi (country ham, salami)
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders (served with fries)
  • PB & J (peanut butter & seasonal jam, served with fries)
  • Kids Cheeseburger (served with fries)
  • Grilled Cheese (Ashe county cheddar, milk bread toast, served with fries)
  • Kids Pasta (your choice of tomato sauce, butter, or mac n’ cheese)
  • Ice Cream & Cookies (lemon poppy cookies with sweet cream ice cream)
  • Birthday Cake (sweet cream ice cream with sprinkles)

Soon after, the boys were served up purple play dough to keep them occupied, which was such a nice touch. The kids thought it was cool, and it made us all feel welcome.

Kids menu with crayons and play dough, at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Kids menu with crayons and play dough

With kids occupied, we happily ordered our usuals: Juicy Jay for my husband and I, and a Bloody Mary for the lady of the hour.

Bloody Mary at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Bloody Mary
Juicy Jay by Legion Brewing at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Juicy Jay(s) by Legion Brewing
Word search on the kids menu at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Word search on the kids menu

For our appetizers, we tried the Anson Mills Grits (which are actually a side item), and the Cheese Plate. The Cheese Plate included aged gouda, blu di bufala, and challerhocker (which we learned is actually a word for cheese that has been aged in a cellar). It was delicious, and another thing that the kids could enjoy with us.

Cheese Plate (aged gouda, blu di bufala, challerhocker), Anson Mills Grits, at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Cheese Plate (aged gouda, blu di bufala, challerhocker), Anson Mills Grits

Our entrees were all new items to us, since we had never been for lunch. We ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad, the Skillet Burger, and the Falafel. They were all delicious, but I think my favorite was my own order, the Chicken Salad. Their fried chicken is just bananas.

Falafel (yogurt cucumbers, garlic hummus, whole wheat nann) at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Falafel (yogurt cucumbers, garlic hummus, whole wheat nann)
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad (heirloom carrot, bacon, cucumber, radish) at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad (heirloom carrot, bacon, cucumber, radish)
Skillet Burger (grandfather's pickles, onion, cheddar cheese, aioli) at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Skillet Burger (grandfather’s pickles, onion, cheddar cheese, aioli)

The boys both opted for PB&Js. I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed that neither of them wanted to try the grilled cheese, which would have been on milk bread (and I therefore would have demanded they share with me).

I was a little bit worried about the seasonal jam, not knowing exactly what would be in it or what texture it would have, but whatever it was the kids loved it. In fact, they loved it so much that I couldn’t snap a picture before both sandwiches were nothing but bones.

Remains of kids' PB & J (peanut butter and seasonal jam, with fries) at Kindred restaurant in Davidson, NC
Remains of kids’ PB & J (peanut butter and seasonal jam, with fries)

Since we were celebrating my mother-in-law, and I wanted the kids to have a good experience (and since I always want dessert), we couldn’t say no to some Birthday Cake.

Birthday Cake (with sweet cream ice cream and sprinkles) at Kindred restaurant in Davidson NC
Birthday Cake (with sweet cream ice cream and sprinkles)

It was completely devoured by the table (the kids were especially generous with their own spoonfuls), and my oldest said it was “probably the best dessert he’s had in his life.”

We shouldn’t be surprised that our family was made to feel at home. The Kindreds have their own young children that I would think inspired the experience they’ve created for their littlest guests. Given that our boys enjoyed their entire meal, and we were so well accommodated, I will absolutely bring the kids back. Dinner at Kindred may remain our sacred, adult-only respite, but now I know that lunch is fair game for the whole fam (even if they’re all too cool to join me in the obligatory entrance pic).

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