Our mom-and-son duo test out this "gastropub" on the north side of Dublin.


When everyone you know says, "OMG, you HAVE to try this new restaurant," then you know you have to. 101 Beer Kitchen, located in a strip mall on the north side of Dublin, is what's known as a "gastropub." That's a food-trendy term for very good bar food, but in a setting you can safely take kids to.

We've tried 101 Beer Kitchen twice now (capitalizing on its proximity to Plato's Closet where we replace my rapidly growing son's wardrobe every month). I really do like what they've got going on here, but after each visit, all I want to do is curl up in a ball and take a nap. In other words, the food - much as you'd expect at a pub - tends to be heavy on the carbs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we've visited each time for lunch because - and this is the other issue with the place - due to its extreme popularity, the waits are loooong for a table at dinner. They don't take reservations, but do offer call-ahead seating. However, all my trusted sources tell me you're still likely to have a 30-minute or longer wait. With small children, that could definitely be an issue.

All that said, I like that 101 Beer Kitchen has a truly thoughtful children's menu (the pretzel crusting on the chicken fingers and various adult chicken dishes is innovative and tasty), and the price for a kid's meal ($4.95) is very reasonable. And the food tastes great, whether it's the deservedly already famous Loaded Housemade Tater Tots (which only a kid who's used to eating some spice will appreciate), the Mac & Cheese (adult or kid versions) or the Beef Stew (rich and laden with veggies).

With "beer" in the restaurant title, it should also be noted that pairing the grown-up food with alcohol is certainly a good idea, though I've only gone for a low-alcohol cider for my lunchtime visits (I might want to take a nap after these meals, but I do my best to avoid actually falling asleep).

The service has been genuinely friendly and pleasant, and the women's bathroom especially earned kudos from my daughter and me for its high-quality supplies, and it does have a diaper-changing station.

-Jane Hawes


I was expecting the restaurant to be a lot smaller, bar-type place than it was. But it was very roomy with a lot of cool little things hanging on the walls. It looked very nice.

I ordered the shrimp and grits and a root beer float, and for an appetizer we had the tater tots. So the shrimp was amazing. I really liked the pork croutons added in. The grits tasted really amazing because they had a bit of spice in them. It didn't have too much spice to make it overwhelming for a kid, but it was enough for me because I have wimpy taste buds.

The tater tots, I don't think a kid would like them that much because of the sriracha sauce cream that goes with it. I found it too spicy if I didn't drink some water after I ate one. But if I drank some water, I didn't find it too spicy. To adults, though, they were probably good.

The root beer float was awesome, although the glass was a bit tall but thin so you kind of drink the root beer pretty fast, but the ice cream is pretty good that's left in it. And one of the workers was nice enough to notice that I was using a fork to eat the ice cream, so she gave me a spoon to use. She wasn't even our regular waitress.

The workers were very nice. Our regular waitress even asked me about the book I was reading and admitted she was a bit of a Percy Jackson nerd like me.

The bathroom only had one stall and one urinal, so it was a bit small, but it was very clean.

I would definitely go back.

-Colin Hawes