Back in early 2014, Cera Dudas and Caitlin Siegel Hartzler were nosing around Pleasant Ridge with the exact same goal—to open a place where kids could burn off steam and moms could get some much needed adult conversation. It took time, and a little help from the Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation, but by June 2015, the doors to Red Balloon Café + Play were officially open.
Kitchen manager Chelsea Milligan rounded out the team, combining culinary forces with Hartzler to offer a menu of family-friendly global flavors. Soups are prepared vegan (we loved the tomato, red lentil, and chickpea) and enormous roast turkey and goat cheese sandwiches were made on 16 Bricks bread.
Kids can graze on whole-wheat mac-and-cheese or customize a pick-three plate with protein (cheese sticks, turkey cubes, black beans), starches (bread, pretzels, corn chips), and produce (berries, grapes, carrots).
While the wee ones enjoy post-prandial play, moms can quietly savor steamers, herbal teas, or warm mugs of Deeper Roots coffee. Baked goods are scratch-made, and the lemon-almond cake is a standout. In fact, take an extra slice to go. Mamas need treats too.
Red Balloon Café + Play, 6200 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 620-8328, redballooncafe.com. Breakfast and lunch Tues–Sun, evening hours Fri.