Overcast   36.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

Traffic Jam & Snug in Detroit for Family Dining

The 'Kidz Kweezeen' menu, boasting aged white cheddar mac and cheese and homemade clown ice cream cones, make this restaurant a kid friendly keeper

Owners Scott Lowell and Carolyn Howard are not only active within the confines of their restaurant – Traffic Jam & Snug in Detroit – but throughout the city. Lowell has always been one of Detroit's biggest cheerleaders before there was so much buzz about Midtown's renaissance, and the restaurant has been a staple for Wayne State University students looking for a late-night fried pickle fix and a microbrew during finals. But is it family-friendly? You bet.

The ambiance

Traffic Jam's interior feels rustic with lots of woodwork and intimate booths throughout. There's plenty of space with about five different rooms filled with seating, including a gorgeous enclosed patio.

Traffic Jam & Snug

Spaciousness is important – because if your kids are loud and/or obnoxious, you can ask to be put in a remote corner of the restaurant, so other diners are not disturbed. And don't act like your kids are perfect angels. Parents, we all know our kids can act up from time to time, so sitting in the corner can be a good thing!

No need to worry about noise level, though. "We love kids here," says Howard. "Our kids are older now, so having young ones around is fun."

The food

Traffic Jam is serious about their food. So serious, in fact, that they make all of their own bread, ice cream, cheese and beer – and grow many of their vegetables. Each item on the kids' menu comes with a clown ice cream cone. Rarely would I suggest you make sure your kids have dessert, but this is one of those times. The ice cream, especially chocolate and strawberry, is phenomenal and it is made in-house.

As for the kids' menu (actually called "Kidz Kweezeen"), the choices appear to be run-of-the-mill – grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and hot dogs.

Aside from the hot dog, which we didn't try, the other three choices are a notch above typical kids' cuisine. Rather than being halved, the grilled cheese is served in four strips or fingers. Instead of simple white bread, Traffic Jam uses its house-made sourdough bread. Don't worry, parents: Tell your kids it's white bread with a little personality.

In some restaurants, macaroni and cheese means the boxed stuff. That's not the case at Traffic Jam. In fact, this is the same mac and cheese that is on the regular menu. Made with Traffic Jam's own aged white cheddar with tiny pasta shells, it is a simple but delicious no-frills version of the comforting classic. Kids also will dig the sliced strawberry served on the side.

Let's not fool ourselves; kids love chicken tenders. However, in most cases, chicken tenders are not the most health-conscious choice. Traffic Jam's aren't exactly going to win any health awards, either; they are hand-breaded in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Still, the fact that they are hand-breaded is important, because you know actual chicken breast is being used.

By default, each dish – except macaroni and cheese – is served with French fries. Nothing wrong with fries every once in a while, but there is no problem swapping them out for fresh fruit.

Looking for something off the kids' menu that could be enjoyed by everyone at the table? Try the nachos with grilled chicken and black beans. Parents and kids alike will love the house-made, aged white cheddar covering the white corn tortilla chips. A large order would serve two adults and two kids easily as an appetizer or even a small meal.

The verdict

Are the options at Traffic Jam revolutionary? No, but they are all homemade and fresh. The atmosphere is family-friendly, and there is plenty to keep both kids and parents busy. Most important, when we left, all of our plates (three kids entrees and small nachos) were clean. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Holiday Ham Recipes

Holiday Ham Recipes

Still looking for some ideas for your big holiday dinner? This year, try a new recipe for your Christmas ham – thanks to these ideas from Taste of Home, Pillsbury and more.

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

If you're celebrating the holiday and looking for quick and easy crafts for kids, this fun and affordable little keepsake is a great way to display family memories.

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

British dad pranks his kids with bad Christmas presents, but didn't get the reaction he was expecting – and it's pretty sweet.

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Does your family have paper cups, Legos, plastic spoons or toilet-paper rolls lying around? Transform them into angels, snowmen and even a chimney for Santa!

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

What's the best way to bathe your child? How can you keep them safe in the tub? A pediatric doctor at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit has tips.

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Who doesn't love Frosty the Snowman? Kids will enjoy making – and eating! – some of these adorable and delicious snowman recipes.

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Crafty company Stampin' Up offers a variety of fun stampers, punches and paper that transform into cool gift tags, cards and other fun DIY projects.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement