Going out to eat with a baby or toddler is. . . interesting.

Having worked at restaurants in the past, I never wanted to be *that* parent.

You know. The one who lets their child run wild around customers. Or leaves a terrible splay of food on the ground and tips like shit. When I worked at the doughnut shop in St. Louis, one parent gleefully told me they loved to come there because we’d clean up their mess.

As new parents we’re learning as we go. After spending one lunch at Red Lobster desperately picking-up grains of rice under the chair, we remembered to bring pocket bibs. And after desperately trying to entertain her at Grand Catch with a straw and my cell phone (on silent of course) we bring toys.

And after this patio experience where she slid two plates to the ground, we keep them far, far away.

Sometimes I get to dine out with just adults.

Earlier this spring/eternal winter, I met friends at the new Creekside Supper Club in south Minneapolis.

I tried to make  a Saturday night reservation earlier but they were booked out for over a month. We snagged this on a weeknight.

When I think of Midwestern supper clubs, I think of small towns, wood panels, relish platters, cracker packets, old people, the warm banter between regulars and veteran servers, steak and walleye meals that come with sides, and old fashionds.

The mythical Wisconsin supper club is something I’ve heard of but never experienced. I’ve always wanted to.

Post-pandemic, supper clubs are sprouting up in the Twin Cities.

Many of us isolated and ate a lot of takeout in our homes for the past two winters. I remember how luxurious that first plate of french fries fresh tasted at a bar this winter.

People are craving comfort. People are craving community. People are craving nostalgia and things that made us feel better before the pandemic. That’s gotta be why supper clubs are so popular right now.

Meals start with a small relish plate. Raw veggie sticks and a little cup of ranch – I never get excited about crudite, but somehow there’s something awe-inspiring when you call it a “relish plate.”

Very few places serve popovers with honey butter anymore, but now Creekside does. I hope they bury me in a giant one when I die.

If you order an entree from the Seafood or Steak & Chops sections, they come with a half piece of rye bread toast, soup or salad, and choice of side, most of which are potatoes.

The salad’s a typical side salad, but the greens were very fresh and will hit the spot, especially if you live for the french and blue cheese side salad like me.

And the choices of potato are extra instead of ordinary – sure, you can choose fries, but you can also choose a twice baked potato, little skillet of potato au gratin, or a big baked potato.

A friendly, warm environment, lovely service, well-made, comforting food at a decent value. I couldn’t partake in the cocktails but they looked fun and retro-inspired. Everyone seemed to enjoy theirs. The only thing I wish is that they listed a few N/A cocktails on the menu. Our server kindly mixed up a sparking cranberry juice for me.

Revolutionary? No, but also yes because of what we’ve all been through and need right now.