Wow, apparently people get all up in arms when you go to a new place that turns out to be a bar, and then write a blog post about how you probably shouldn’t bring your baby there on a Saturday night… I honestly didn’t think my post about The Garage Bar & Sandwiches would strike such a nerve with some people. It’s not like I subjected the baby to a bar at 11pm on a Saturday, it was 5:30PM, and aside from a few people drinking at the bar and the high-tops, there wasn’t a large crowd. People need to calm down haha.

Anyways, in light of the previous post I figured I should probably write about a new place we tried a few weeks ago that is safe to bring your children to, no matter how old they are, and as long as it’s not too late, you can probably bring them at any time. That place is Holt’s in Park Ridge.

Holt’s – Park Ridge

Again, Holt’s was just a new place we found on Yelp within the vicinity of my buddy’s new house that we thought looked decent. We had no prior knowledge of it outside of what we could find listed on review sites, and thus it could have been another bar, but weren’t going to know that until we walked in the doors.

Thankfully it wasn’t just a bar and is, in fact, a very nice bar/restaurant that had many kids and families running around at 5:30pm on a Saturday. So many kids in fact, that our waitress had a difficult time finding us a high chair.

The restaurant itself is very new, opening in the fall of 2015, and while it looks and tastes upscale, it’s definitely reasonable for a night out with friends or family. There is a very nice bar that spans the whole length of the restaurant along one while, and a decent size dining room separated off into a few different sections using half walls. The tables along the large front-opening windows are long hightop bar height tables that would have been awesome to sit at if we didn’t need a high chair. On this particular day it was 70+ degrees and they also had the patio open, which I would love to go back and check out some time.

The restaurant itself looks and feels like a new restaurant. Everything is clean and in order and the staff is still trying to get used to how everything runs. Not that we had any issues with our service in general, it just took a little longer to settle up our bill since our waitress was a little overwhelmed. Not her fault, didn’t tip any less.

The Food – Pizza & Burgers

Holt’s, like may places, focuses on Pizza and Sandwiches, of which include burgers. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the food from our actual visit, but just know that everything was on point.

For our appetizer we got the cheese curds, which were outstanding. I’ve had quite a few cheese curds in my day and I will definitely say these are some of the best I’ve had in a while. So definitely check these out if you head in here.

As for our entrees, I had The Custom Burger with white American cheese and a fried egg, and it was solid all around. I’m usually a kraft singles type of American cheese guy, but I know I like the white American cheese from Subway so why wouldn’t I like it here. And how can you go wrong with a fried egg on your burger… there’s nothing better. Everything about my burger was amazing and I think Nick felt the same way about his “The House Burger”. The House Burger has marinated cremini mushrooms and cheddar cheese on a pretzel bun. Pretzel buns are another one of those amazing things that has happened to the burger, you just can’t go wrong.

While our daughter munched away on the kid’s sliders, my wife enjoyed the Meatball & Ricotta pizza. Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of ricotta cheese (although I’m starting to come around), so I did not give her pizza a try, but she definitely enjoyed everything about it. In fact, she was super pissed about having leftovers because she had to leave for a business trip the next morning and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the pizza. Fortunately for her I’m sure we’ll be back to Holt’s in the future, especially when it starts getting a little nicer out and we can sit outside.

So if you’re looking for a great restaurant in the Park Ridge area, that’s family friendly, has great food, a great beer selection, not to mention ample parking in the lot across the street, I highly recommend checking out Holt’s. They do take reservations through Open Table, so if you plan on going on a weekend night, I suggest making a reservation. We had an Open Table reservation and it still took about 15 minutes to seat us, even though the table we ended up sitting at cleared out as soon as we got there. But as I said before, it’s a newer restaurant and it’s going to have it’s kinks, so I totally get it.

Update 10/14/19 – I revisited my review of Holt’s after visiting the restaurant again this weekend, check out the new review.

[photo courtesy of Holt’s Facebook Page]

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