Today I made a trip to one of my favorite Ann Arbor locations, Ahmo’s. I first laid eyes on Ahmo’s about eight years ago, and aside from the obnoxious guy behind the counter hitting on my wife it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Ahmo’s proudly states that they are “Home of the Chicken Gyro.” The truth is, they had me at chicken. Turn it into a gyro and you have a magical combination. Now, there may be better locations in the Ann Arbor area for Middle East fare (Jerusalem Garden and Ali Baba to name two), but Ahmo’s stands well on its own, and besides, they offer hoagies and subs so a direct comparison with the likes of Jerusalem Garden would be unfair. I was set to launch into a full blown review, but something at Ahmo’s caught my eye today, something I’ve been meaning to rant about for a while.
The kids’ menu. Any parent who actually gives a damn what their kids eat must share my frustration. Never has more pedantic culinary puke been offered than what most restaurants provide for children. Ahmo’s, which serves the hallowed Chicken Gyro, along with traditional gyros, as well as falafel, delicious lentil soup and hummus, offers for kids the following: hot dog, chicken strips, and cheese sticks and fries. As difficult as it is to fathom, I have to assume there are parents who step up to order at Ahmo’s and say: “We’d like a Chicken Gyro, Falafel Pita, side of Tabouli salad, and Junior will have a hot dog and fries.” This is why I don’t wholly blame Ahmo’s for their kids’ menu. Sure, they need to try harder and offer a child size gyro or falafel, but I will not absolve American parents and their grotesque eating habits along with the inability to stimulate an interest in real food to their children. Ahmo’s is only doing what every other restaurant that offers chicken strips and corn dogs on their kids menu does. Clearly there is a market for this crap.
In my previous life as a slave for the man, I had to deal with many oblivious parents. And I am well aquainted with the argument they would give: “But little Tyler and Madison don’t like that kind of food.” Well tough shit for Tyler and Madison. First of all, if you tried cooking a diverse selection of food at home for them, they probably would want to try a falafel. Second of all, did I miss the revolution where children took decision making power away from parents? Too many parents, whether it is about food or another issue, just don’t want to have the argument. I get it, I stay home with the kids and you definitely have to pick your battles. But food is about as important as it gets. Children shouldn’t become obese until they go off to college and gain 30 pounds by drinking a 12 pack of Natural Light and ordering Pizza House at 3am every night.
I am well aware of the solution for the pathetic kids’ menu: Share your gyro or falafel with your kid. But I didn’t become a parent to have my children pilfering food off my plate. They are already sucking away all my time and energy, the least they can do is leave my gyro alone. So please, if you run a restaurant make an effort to diversify your kids menu. Don’t sell yourself short, if the Chicken Gyro is your specialty, than offer one for kids.