Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sitting Pretty

We went to Applebees the other night for dinner. I know- Applebees is a chain, no gourmet dining experience, etc. But Bergen County is pretty much shut down for any kind of shopping so we had to go to the Totowa area to do some errands. Applebees is in the parking lot of Toys R Us & Babies R Us. Very convenient. Anyway, we got a table rather quickly. There was a couple behind us with an infant in an infant seat/carrier. B and I both hated that infant carrier thing. It was bulky, heavy and there was never anywhere to put it. But, it's been a long time since I had to worry about that, so I hadn't noticed anything really the whole dinner. Except that the baby was at the perfect height for the mom to feed her and for E to get all up in her face. When the people were about to leave B asked me if I noticed the thing the baby was in....

It looked like a mesh hammock. Or one of those things they have to sit your luggage on in a hotel that folds up. I took a photo of it. I asked the people if it was theirs and they said it was from the restaurant. I've NEVER seen this in any other eatery. It was the coolest thing ever. You sit the carrier in there and the baby is secure and at table height as if they were in a high chair. Obviously you're not going to put a three month old baby in a wooden high chair with no support. Sure, you could sit in a booth but that carrier takes up a lot of room that way. But THIS was genius! The baby could also look around and see all the people and the atmosphere.

So, FYI- Applebees is really family/baby friendly. They also still have that Weight Watchers endorsed menu items thing. My mom and I did Weight Watchers together back in like 2002 or 2003 when they first started that. We would go to dinner there as something to do together but not have to ruin our diet. It's really nice to know you can enjoy going out to dinner but take the guesswork out of trying to make good choices that won't negatively affect your diet. They also have a new bunch of items that are 550 calories. The WW dishes are already converted to Weight Watchers points. Most of what I saw was between eight and twelve points. And while twelve seems like a lot, I'd rather know it's twelve than make a guess and eight isn't bad at all for dinner out, considering a lot of frozen entrees are six points.

Dinner was good. I had a steak and shrimp combo with bruschetta & sliced almonds on it, with potatoes and steamed veggies. I was really happy with it. B had an eight point WW dish and he really liked his too. E had two mini burgers with carrots and ranch dip. We were all happy and not overstuffed. I think the whole bill was $46 + tip so it was monetarily reasonable also.

Applebees 550 Calorie menu:

Applebees Weight Watchers menu:


  1. Red Lobster has those too now - just saw one for the first time on Saturday night!

  2. think this may be a first - but i am going to disagree with you. my Best friend has a 6 month old. and there was no way she was using that hammock thing. she was very uncomfortable putting him in it.
    She asked for a high-chair.... we flipped it upside down and snapped the carrier in. Baby was at perfect height and Very safe.

    as for the menu - WOW i was Shocked how awesome the food was. totally worth every cent.

  3. Lesley- What I want to know is how you got in to Red Lobster. We've tried going there three times and the wait was like an hour. When are you going there- middle of the night? (haha) Or are you using a celebrity name??

  4. Cathy E- I didn't actually use it- it just looked really cool. It seemed safe enough- didn't look like there was a way for it to fall out. The baby didn't move the whole time. I used six months just off the top of my head. But I don't really remember if a 6 month old sits up unassisted. I was thinking more that you wouldn't put a 6 month old out of the carrier and in the restaurant-style high chairs unassisted. I've never seen someone put a carrier on top of a high chair before. I definitely wouldn't have thought to flip it over. We used to sit in booths and just put him next to us.

    1. yeah - some carriers are made to snap into the bottom side of those wooden high-chairs.