We try Mediterranean cuisine at Clintonville's Lavash Café, then stroll a block south for the ice cream at Vienna Ice Café...

THE MOM SAYS Critical parenting strategy: If you're going to ask a kid to try something new, then chase it with a quality dessert. That's what I did when I came up with the plan to have my son try the "Mediterranean" (really Middle Eastern/North African) cuisine at Clintonville's Lavash Café, then stroll a block south for the ice cream at Vienna Ice Café (the new dessert endeavor from the folks at Mozart's Bakery & Piano Cafe). It's not that he hasn't had most of the ingredients served at Lavash before - lamb, yogurt, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, even tahini sauce - but I wasn't sure he had ever had them all at once. Long story short, it was a very successful strategy: He really, really liked our lunch at Lavash, and even I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the food. I went with the chicken schwarma sandwich ($6.95) in a "Lavash" wrap (think pita bread, only much thinner). Loved the smooth spicing and the finishing grill on the wrap. The only mint in my mint iced tea ($1.75) was the garnish: I was expecting something more in the drink itself. I should have gone for a smoothie as my son did because his was great. We laid in a supply of baklava ($1.95 each) to try at home later. As I suspected, the honey-sticky phyllo dough and nuts were of zero interest to him, but the highly un-Mediterranean chocolate cupcake (a very pricey $3.50) was A-OK by him. You win some, you lose some. Our visit to Vienna Ice Café was also mostly successful. For my first course, I went with a cup of hazelnut gelato ($2.50) with the (first topping free) raspberry gel drizzled on it. Heavenly. Then, for sustenance on the way home, I got a Vienna Ice Coffee ($5) to go. Technically a sundae, this was a tall cup of iced coffee with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream (and it was fresh made: I can identify that stuff a mile away). It was a perfect chaser to an adventurous but unexpectedly great meal. The service at both places was friendly and super patient, and I checked out the bathroom at Vienna: It was highly utilitarian but very clean and there was even a diaper-changing station on the wall. -Jane Hawes THE KID SAYS At first I was a little cautious because I had never really experienced Mediterranean food before but I was excited about the ice cream place. That's definitely something I've had before. I was kind of going on my mom's judgment for what to get because I know her to be more adventurous with taste. But I definitely wanted to order the mango smoothie ($3.95) myself and it was really good.I liked the sweet taste and it wasn't too lumpy the way some smoothies can be. I also got the kefta sandwich with lamb and beef in a Lavash wrap ($6.95). I was expecting a sandwich not a burrito, but it was a burrito. It tasted really good. I mean I saw tomatoes in there and I thought I might not like this, but it was pretty good. The meat tasted divine. The sauce kind of poured out a little bit onto the plate, the table and me, so I wasn't too happy about that but I can't stay angry at that sandwich because it was gosh darn delicious. The bathroom was very nice. They had a station for changing babies in the men's room. After that, for dessert, we walked down to a fancy ice cream place or parlor. I had a sample of the cotton candy flavored ice cream, which I did like, but I decided to get the strawberry in a sugar cone ($2.50). They do not have cake cones, only sugar and waffle. I prefer cake cones. I told the lady at the counter that I also liked chocolate so I decided to be polite and say yes to the truffle chocolate torte sample of ice cream she gave me. It tasted OK, but I don't think chocolate cake should be put into ice cream. They had a chalkboard in there with a bucket of chalk for the kids. If anybody saw a Chinese dragon on there, that was my beautiful art. I would go back to both, as a matter of fact. -Colin Hawes