One of our favorite restaurants to dine out as a family is King's Street Food Counter on Central. Restaurants in and around the Edge District on Central Ave tend to be good choices for families with kids, because they are more casual than the Beach Drive options and offer great people watching without being so busy that it's hard to keep up with a wandering toddler. King's is an especially nice choice, because their outside patio is closed in on three sides, mostly shaded, has a steady breeze from several high-powered fans, and has a turf floor and a ping pong table.
Upon arriving at King's, we seated ourselves at a high top outside by the ping pong table and waited for our server while our son made friends with some of the other kids. As is sometimes the case with outside dining, service was slow at first, but it picked up once a server was assigned to our table and was consistent for the rest of the evening. One of my favorite things about King's is the $3 sparkling rose, so I ordered that while my husband got a Cycle Brewing Cream and Sugar. King's always offers a great local draft selection and has a very limited but reasonably priced wine list, including three $3 sparkling options, so it's a win-win for us!
King's doesn't have a kids menu per se, but they can easily pare down some of their existing menu options to make them kid friendly, including more basic quesadillas, hot dogs, or grilled cheeses. We ordered a cheese quesadilla for our toddler, I got the Jose Conseco (the September "Flava of the Month" - a "juiced-up Cuban"), and my husband got the Chicken Motown Philly. The food came out pretty fast and piping hot, and I ate every bite of my Cuban.
As someone new to Florida, I'm definitely not a Cuban connoisseur, but I thought the Jose Conseco was fantastic and very well-balanced. The Coca-Cola carnitas and sliced honey ham married perfectly with the Swiss cheese and mustard, and the pickles and pressed hoagie roll added just the right amount of crunch. The Blue Cheese Macaroni Salad that came with my sandwich was the ideal accompaniment, something chilled to balance out the heat of the sandwich and the evening with enough tang to make it interesting. Per my husband, his Philly had a nice flavor but was a little heavy on the bread and light on the filling, so he'll probably try something else on our next visit. The cheese quesadilla was a home-run with our extremely picky son, so overall the evening was a success. My only regret is that we didn't have the stamina or the appetite to try one of the very tempting $5 milkshakes for dessert. Maybe next time!
This concept by Hunger & Thirst, Restaurant Group owner Stephen Schrutt – Kings brings to life a new approach to cuisine that marries flavors of Street Food with the classic vibe of a diner.
Street food is accessed easily and beloved by locals, “we like to call it a food truck without wheels!” – said Schrutt, whose new concept was named after his English Bulldog. The interior of the diner has a fun atmosphere with tufted black leather banquets and custom hand painted signage describing the menu’s items all over the walls. The outdoor beer garden, complete with a customized shipping container bar is artificially turfed and features a view of a mural by local street artists, Vitale Brothers. Classically bottled sodas, hand spun shakes, wine and 12 local beers on tap, Kings has you covered.