Dear Skyline Chili,
My family and I just moved to Columbus from a Washington, D.C., suburb in Maryland, and you, Skyline, have changed our lives for the better. Your checkered facade is our checkered flag, our first place finish after so many defeats. Let me explain.
Back in Maryland, my wife and I always got carry-out, even for birthdays and celebrations. No meal at a restaurant was worth the quick countdown to the inevitable tantrum from our kids. No “Kids Eat Free” notice was worth heading to dinner at 4:30pm (to avoid annoying others, of course) only to find that our kids had unanimously decided that they were now protesting food. When you’ve tried to strike fear in your kids by saying, “You can’t have ice cream unless you eat your pizza,” you know that eating out just isn’t for your family.
Until now. Our new home in Columbus has given us the “cheese and cracker place,” a restaurant that doesn’t waste time with crayons or hats or little cardboard model cars. You have your ever-so-lightly salted crackers in little bowls ready before we’ve even strapped our one-year-old into a high chair. We don’t even need a menu when we visit, such is the guaranteed success of your meal. Our kids would cram fistful after fistful of your savory shredded cheddar cheese every day if we let them. (Can children thrive on a diet of cheese and crackers? I’m beginning to think that ours can.)
Do my wife and I wish we could sometimes enjoy a thick filet mignon with a craft beer and leisurely service? Do we wish we could sometimes admire the beauty of our food instead of the expanding cheese halo surrounding our one-year-old’s high chair? Do we disappoint ourselves at times knowing that without carbs our children might starve? Of course.
But there’s nothing like feeding a family of four for under ten dollars. (Yeah, we can all just share a large 5-way. Don’t judge.) And there’s nothing like quick, predictable food with always-happy servers who are ready to vacuum up our mess, give us extra crackers, and even prepare a Diet Dr. Pepper to go at the end of the meal.
Most importantly, there’s nothing like a meal out (with wait staff!) that begins and ends with our kids smiling.
Thank you, Skyline Chili. The Taylors no longer have to choose between being trapped at home for every meal or shoveling our food in preparation for our children’s inescapable meltdowns. Skyline, you have given us a little bit of sanity, a touch of our life back. We will be forever grateful for the “cheese and cracker place.”
Aaron and his family