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Looking for fromage frais in DC area

Our family is moving to the DC area this summer, and our kids LOVE fromage frais, which they eat loads of in England. Can anyone tell me if there is anywhere to buy fromage frais in or around DC? Whole Foods? Dean & Deluca? A grocery store that specializes in European goods?

This is what I'm looking for:


Restaurant/ice cream parlor for child's birthday in SF (near Union Square?)

We'll be just two adults and two kids.

At home we eat local, organic, unprocessed food, so something along those lines would be great, but that could include pizza, burgers, etc, just high quality ones.

Yes, English cake is like American pound cake.

Restaurant/ice cream parlor for child's birthday in SF (near Union Square?)

Our family is visiting San Francisco Dec 7th-15th. We have two young kids (3 and almost 7). The older one will be celebrating his birthday while we are in SF. I am looking for a fun restaurant or ice cream parlor that we can take the kids to on our older son's birthday. If a restaurant, we'd like one that will allow us to bring a cake. Ideally it would be not too far from Union Square, since that is where we are staying.

I'm also looking for recommendations for a place to get a decent but not too pricey birthday cake (no more than $25). We are English, so would like an English-style sponge/Madeira-style cake, rather than the lighter American kind.

Thank you in advance!

Toddler birthday tea and dairy-free cake

Oh, a further search reveals a much dissed company called Waiters on Wheels. Guess we'll give them a miss. How about restaurants near Union Square that have an online menu and allow you to order over the phone and pick up? Is that done?

Toddler birthday tea and dairy-free cake

Thank you for the honest assessments of the toddler-unfriendliness of the San Francisco restaurant scene. Better to be forewarned. Are there any good restaurants that deliver to hotel rooms? How would we find a list of those that do? (It seems that you don't have a general delivery service a la Takeout Taxi in DC.) That way we can eat well without bothering other restaurant patrons. Thanks!

Toddler birthday tea and dairy-free cake

For me, whether a restaurant can truly be called toddler-friendly or not is largely down to the attitudes of the staff (and to some extent the other patrons). Are they happy for a little person to toddle around looking at things and saying hello to all and sundry? Are they bothered by a toddler's sometimes noisy exuberance, or by a tendency for food, books and crayons to find themselves on the floor (sometimes repeatedly)? Is there anything interesting for a toddler to look at either in the restaurant or out of the window (fishtanks are a favorite with our son)? Best of all, are there any child-loving staff or regular patrons who will entertain the child for a little while to give the parents a well-earned break and a chance to enjoy their meal for a few minutes? (Sound far-fetched? Not in Japan (where we travelled with our son a few months ago) or in many other countries. I assume we'd be more likely to encounter this in ethnic restaurants in this country.)

Toddler birthday tea and dairy-free cake

We're planning to visit a number of museums and kid-focused attractions (Exploratorium, zoo, Hyde St Pier boats, etc.) in different parts of the city.

Our toddler eats next to nothing, subsisting mainly on a diet of breastmilk, with the odd bit of fruit, bread and goat's milk yogurt thrown in. He does like cake, cookies and soy ice cream for the occasional treat though.

Toddler birthday tea and dairy-free cake

My husband, our almost two-year-old son, and I will be arriving in San Francisco a week on Saturday for a ten-day visit from the culinary wastelands of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The day of our arrival happens to be our son's second birthday. We're looking for somewhere to take him for either afternoon tea or an early dinner to celebrate. It should be somewhere where the staff will sing him 'Happy Birthday' and where we can get some sort of cake with candles (ideally with a car or train on it!). Only thing is, he's highly allergic to dairy, so the cake would have to be dairy-free.

Othewise, if you can recommend a bakery where we could buy a suitable cake and then a toddler-friendly cafe or restaurant where we could take him to eat it and celebrate, that would work too.

We'll be staying in Union Square and will not have a car, so we'd need recommendations that take that limitation into consideration.

Thank you!

P.S. Any other suggestions for toddler-friendly restaurants would also be warmly welcomed!

Brunch at Elkridge Furnace Inn

Has anyone had the three-course brunch at the Elkridge Furnace Inn? Is it worth the rather hefty price tag? If not, is there anywhere else in the Elkridge-ish area that offers a decent brunch? Maybe one of the BWI hotels? Thanks!

Bakeries in the Catonsville area?

We live in Arbutus, just south of Catonsville, and we get all our bread from the MOM's store in Jessup/Columbia East, which is just 10 minutes down I-95 at the intersection of Routes 1 and 175. We buy the bread they get delivered daily from the Spring Mill Bread Company, which uses all-natural ingredients. It costs about $4.50 for a 2-lb loaf. Check out for more details.

There's also a place on Route 40 just west of 29 called The Breadery, which is slightly closer to Catonsville. I've never been there, but they're also known for their high quality, all-natural breads. You can find their product list and baking schedule at

Reasonably priced Thanksgiving dinner or buffet in Baltimore area

Hubby and I are from England and have no family in the States but don't want to miss out on a good Thanksgiving feed. Obviously we're not going to cook a turkey dinner for just the two of us, so we're looking for somewhere in the Baltimore area (we are in SW Baltimore County) where we can get a decent Thanksgiving meal without paying an arm and a leg (no more than c.$30 per head, if possible). Wine is not an issue, as I am 8 1/2 months pregnant. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!