More than Mac and Cheese: Restaurants for Your Mini Meat Eater

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Are big bowls of mac and cheese and (child-sized) personal pizzas not cutting it for your mini carnivore anymore? Save for the occasional burger or hot dog, kids menus rarely offer up anything to satisfy a good protein craving among the younger set. And with good reason, of course. Many kids eat their chicken fingers and fries quite happily. But if your little ones are looking for something a bit beefier, we’ve found five places to take them for a great steak, fantastic barbecue, or, if nothing else, something wrapped in bacon.

13239363_1072157022842916_1269394554677547235_nPhoto: The Pig

The Pig
The name says it all. The Pig is a casual restaurant in Logan Circle that serves up pretty much what the name suggests. You’ll find a long charcuterie menu plus sausages, pork, and bacon (bacon wrapped peaches is a current offering on the Firsts menu). While there are no kid-specific dishes, the menu is crafted seasonally  using local ingredients that should keep your meat lover happy.

1320 14th St. NW (Logan Circle)

Rays the Steaks
Arlingtonians have raved about Rays the Steaks for years (and the whole Rays brand got a boost when President Obama visited Rays Hell Burger, also owned by Michael Landrum). The menu at this classic steak house is pretty much just that—steak. Meals are served family style making this a great place to gather around a table.

2300 Wilson Blvd. (Arlington, Va)

Rural Society
How about meat with a little international flair? Rural Society is an Argentinian steak house in the Lowest Madison Hotel downtown. The menu includes a variety of Argentinian specialties including sausages and many different cuts of beef. While the setting (and, perhaps, prices) might be a bit upscale for the tiniest meat eaters, Rural Society would be a great place to celebrate a special occasion with older kids.

1177 15th St., NW (Downtown)

Self-described as ‘authentic Australian cuisine,’ Oz serves up some Australian meat-centric favorites (and, yes, that includes a variety of meat pies). If your carnivore is particularly adventurous, take a look at the less typical menu options (kangaroo or emu anyone?). There is no kids menu but the place is friendly to kids and with the koala at the entrance and the vines hanging in one of the dining rooms, the décor is sure to delight.

2950 Clarendon Blvd. (Arlington, Va)

What meat lover’s list would be complete without barbeque? Rocklands is a casual, wood-only barbeque restaurant where you can eat in or take out on your way to a picnic. The menu covers your basic BBQ fare: ribs, brisket, pulled pork and pulled chicken and they even have a food truck you might catch on your travels. If not, with locations in Alexandria, Arlington, Rockville, and D.C., you’re sure to find one nearby.

Alexandria, Arlington, Rockville, D.C.

It’s probably no surprise that most meat-serving hot spots lean more upscale and less specifically kid-friendly. A good steak, after all, tends to be an acquired taste that we work into as we grow. It is also probably no surprise that, beyond this list, the city is littered with dozens of great and well-reviewed places to get a great steak, bacon-wrapped delight or plate of barbeque. So if you’re mini-meat eater can sit through an entire meal without a crayon, here are just a few more places to check out.

Kangaroo Boxing Club

Smoke and Barrel


Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant

Does your meat eater have a favorite restaurant? Tell us about it in the comments section below. 

–Tricia Mirchandani