I didn’t notice until I was paying for my order. On the credit card receipt, between the lines to add the tip and total the amount, there was a third line for a childcare tip. Childcare?
“We offer childcare service!” said the woman behind the counter, brightly.
I was standing inside the entrance of Landon’s Gourmet Kitchen, which recently opened at the Old California Restaurant Row complex in San Marcos. The couple behind the restaurant are Landon’s parents, who envisioned a place young parents could make last-minute dinner plans without the hassle of relying on a babysitter.
They advertise farm-to-table sourcing, with several items tagged organic on the menu. Showing up for a light lunch, I perused the menu at the counter, placed the order, and took a numbered table flag in search of an open table.
The spacious, wood-trimmed eatery feels more breezy than casual with pale stucco walls, skylights, and thick wood-beam ceilings propped up by the occasional tree trunk. I’d never have noticed the playroom, which is tucked at the end of a wide sunporch dining area, where babysitters were supervising children with provided games, toys, and iPads. (There’s a healthier-than-usual kids menu.)
Though the house burger, fried chicken sandwich, and steak frites are what I normally gravitate toward, something called a stuffed avocado caught my eye. Served with house-made potato chips, this dish consists of an avocado half (or two) which acts as a vessel for chicken, egg, or salmon salad. The idea is, with each bite of chicken salad, for example, you scoop out a bit of avocado to go with it. It’s $9 for a single half, $15 for a whole avocado — though you may opt for chicken salad on one half, salmon on the other, etc.
1020 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos
I went for the organic chicken salad on a half, just to try it. The chicken breast was of good grade, and I enjoyed it — moreso when I added a potato chip to give each bite a little crunch. I’d rather have just eaten a chicken salad sandwich with avocado.
Then again, I’m probably not the target demo for this item. As a childless bachelor, I might not even be the target audience for this restaurant. As I looked around, I noticed a lot of young parents eating salads and discussing school board activities and Little League sports. But I did enjoy the healthy feel and the tastefully assembled atmosphere, and if Landon’s doesn’t mind that I left the childcare tip line blank, then we’re good.