Best Chain Restaurant for Families - 2004
Big Bowl Asian Kitchen
Big Bowl is one of those places we like to think of as dressed-up fast-food chains: They're more expensive and time-intensive than McDonald's, or even Noodles & Company, but then again, the portions are bigger and the extras more extravagant. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when you're trying to please everyone -- your chic sister-in-law, customer-service-intensive grandmother, ravenous uncle Randy, half a soccer team and a thousand and one small, hungry, whining children. At times like these, it's the little things that count. Immediately on arrival, Big Bowl presents your kids with a bowl of rice and a cardboard takeout box filled with crayons, small toys, rookie chopsticks and a children's menu. That's enough to keep them occupied while you peruse the grown-up menu, which is expansive enough to include mac-n-cheese along with the stir fry for small-fry, potsticker and grilled-satay offerings.