Mamatoga Review: Wheatfields and Circus Cafe

Just the other day, MamatogaJulie and I took our entire brood of little ones downtown to sample what Wheatfields has to offer for ourselves and our kids. Between all of us we cover a bunch of different requirements when it comes to what we want to eat, I for one am actually mostly vegan nowadays, except for the occasional pregnancy craving for goat cheese or chocolate, which I happily indulge (sometimes at the same time, seriously), and the kids' likes and dislikes can change literally by the minute, sometimes after we've already ordered. We arrived at Wheatfields right around prime lunch time, and while the sidewalk dining part was totally full and there was a fair amount of diners inside as well we didn't have to wait long for a table. What I like about Wheatfields is that in addition to their regular menu, which is fantastic, they also offer a vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free menu, including gluten-free pasta. I'm not on a gluten-free diet but I know that can sometimes be something difficult to find in a restaurant and their gluten-free menu items sounded fantastic. Julie had the fettuccini piselli, with parmesan, cream, pancetta and peas, which she said was delicious with a very rich sauce. I got the bruschetta, which they were happy to make without cheese for me, and a simple salad, both portions of which were substantial and which were both very tasty. The kids chose from their children's menu, which has all the familiar dishes like buttered noodles, pizza and macaroni and cheese along with chicken parmesan. I like that they also offer the pizza without red sauce in case you don't feel like ruining a kids shirt due to sauce spillage. Their kids menu has a nice feature to, some of the regular menu dishes can be made into a child's portion for half the price plus $1, so if your child has a more refined palate and wants to branch out into something else they will happily accommodate. The children's menu is priced from $3.50 to $9 and kids drinks are not included, but they do have special plastic kids cups with straws and lids, which is always nice. They have high chairs and booster seats to offer, as well as a paper kids menu and crayons to keep them busy while they wait (as well as a paper table covering which is always great for drawing). We ordered the kids lunches right away and they brought them out quickly, even coming over to offer Finn hand grated cheese for his pasta which he was thrilled about. Keep in mind that the kids dishes are also good sized portions, and the pizza on the children's menu is fairly large and can feed at least two toddlers. Julie and I happily sampled the kids leftovers and the pizza and macaroni and cheese were very good and I would definitely have either as leftovers for my own dinner (and would have if I didn't finish Levy's macaroni and cheese at the table before we even left). The macaroni was definitely a more grown up version, which everyone at our table loved, with a blend of cheeses and breadcrumbs, a step up from the usual kids mac and cheese. We passed up the desserts at Wheatfields, which looked amazing, to try the huge plate of homemade cotton candy at Circus Cafe that we have heard so much about. With all of us packed around the table we weren't sure what to expect, and when our super friendly waitress brought out our one order we couldn't believe how enormous it was. The kids were overjoyed and dug right in, happily grabbing handfuls off of the tower of blue sugary goodness in front of us. Obviously this isn't something to have every day, but as a special treat this can't be beat, based on the wow factor of having a giant plate of cotton candy delivered to your table that can feed plenty of kids and all for FOUR DOLLARS. Yes, this dessert had my kids more excited than I can remember, and it was only four bucks for all of them to have more than enough. The stickiness factor is reduced by the restaurant thoughtfully providing the table with a dozen or so wet wipes, and the whole experience was a fun one, just like the atmosphere in the restaurant. I also want to say again how great our service was, we all know that waiting on a table full of little kids isn't the easiest job in the world but our waitress that day was awesome. So I urge you to check out Wheatfields, both as a kid friendly option and as a nice date night or night out with friends place, their menu has something for everyone and lots more that I personally want to try as well. Circus Cafe will be reviewed more extensively in the future here, but it is definitely a great stop for desserts! [slideshow]