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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rustic Couch (Duluth)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Plenty of kid/toddler customers.  Open, spacious dining area.  Warm, homey décor that makes parents and kids feel comfortable.  Tasty, Asian-inspired small plates.  A variety of caffeinated (coffee/milk tea) drinks for sleep-deprived mommies and daddies + fruit smoothies for kids that don't taste overly sugary.  And.... a dinosaur in the parking lot. 

:( = Rustic Couch has a true café setup, where you order food at the counter, then sit at a table.  Servers bring your drinks and food to your table, but you have to get water, utensils, and plates from a designated service area toward the back of the restaurant.  TIP:  If you are dining alone with small children, you should aim to sit toward the back of the restaurant, beside this service station; or in the back room.  This will allow you to get items you need while keeping an eye on your little ones.  No changing table in the women's restroom.  Portions are medium-sized, so parents should not come here starving and expecting a feast.

Notes:  Not open on Sundays.

All day today we heard, "Mommy and Daddy NEEEEEEEED coffeeeeeee!"

We're not sure what coffee is, but we hear Mommy and Daddy talk about it a lot - and they're usually saying that they need it.  In fact, Mommy was talking about how much she needed it around the same time we eat lunch, so at lunchtime we found ourselves pulling into the large parking lot of a new coffee shop/café in Duluth called Rustic Couch

The first thing we noticed, before even getting out of the car, was the life-sized dinosaur in the parking lot.  Yes, a dinosaur.  We assume the dinosaur is not affiliated with Rustic Couch in any way; but, boy oh boy, were we excited to see it!!!  After seeing that dinosaur, there was no way we would not enjoy our meal.

One view of the dining area.
Photo borrowed from

The inside of the café made us feel right at home.  There were couches and soft chairs and lots of friendly messages written on chalkboards.  The noise level wasn't too low (which is great when you haven't mastered the art of using your inside voice), and there were even other kid customers.   

Mommy and Daddy ordered food and drinks at the counter while carrying us on their hips, most likely to prevent us from running and jumping onto one of the rustic couches.  They ordered:  Rustic Java Milk Tea with coffee jelly (for Mommy), iced latte (for Daddy), strawberry lychee smoothie (for us), crispy banh bao (fried version of the Vietnamese steamed bun filled with a savory pork and hard boiled egg mixture), spicy crawfish & spinach dip, and banh mi burger (a medium-sized hamburger that pays homage to the popular Vietnamese sandwich, served with tater tots).  

We chose a table toward the back of the café, right next to the area where Mommy and Daddy got us water, plates, tiny forks, and napkins.  (It's a good thing they chose that table because we ended up needing a few extra napkins to clean up the strawberry lychee smoothie we spilled down our shirts.) 

The food arrived quickly.  The portions were perfect for little people like us.  Our favorite items were the strawberry lychee smoothie, crispy banh bao, and tater tots.  The smoothie tasted naturally sweet, not at all like the QuikTrip strawberry slushy Daddy bought us once while Mommy was out of town.  We shared one medium sized smoothie and finished every single drop.

Overall, we enjoyed our visit to this cute little café and hope Mommy and Daddy will bring us back.  We really, really, really NEEEEEEEED to see that dinosaur again!



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