When you have grandchildren in your life and sometimes want to take them out for dinner, you know that there are just some things that will not work until they get much older.  Tonight we had our oldest grandson, who is 9 stay over and do some Xmas baking  – but more on that later – and we wanted to go out to dinner as a bit of a Saturday night treat!

His usual request is to head to Sizzler, as a 9 year old he loves that he can eat all the things he wants like pasta, corn chips, a little bit of salad and then he can hit the dessert bar for lots of soft serve and chocolate mousse…but Sizzler is only a place I can go to every few months as it is really a bit full on…and so this time we decided to head to a burger restaurant in Scarborough that we have been too as a family a few times because we can make lots of noise, its meals are great prizes and it offers really healthy burger options for everyone in the family.  But more than that they also give back to the local community in which they operate.

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I first became aware of Grill’d www.grilld.com.au about a year ago when it chose the Freedom Centre – a drop in centre for same sex attracted and other young people of diverse sexuality – http://www.freedom.org.au to be one of the three local businesses that it would support by getting all of its customers to place a bottle top in a jar that was associated with one of three local groups that needed some financial support.  The group that receives the most bottle tops over the month is presented with $300 for Grill’d and the second and third each receive $100.  Yes I know that is not a huge amount of money but for many grass roots organisations if can really make a difference.  Plus it is great awareness raising of that group to the many people that pass through the doors of Grill’d on a daily basis.

Tonight was no different with each of us receiving our bottle tops when we placed our orders at the counter and our grandson made the choice as to which group we would support!  He chose for us to support Perth Home Care Services – http://www.phcs.org.au and we all duly put our bottle tops in the corresponding jar.

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This really is a nice idea and you do feel that you are doing something, even just a small thing to give back to the local community and at the same time enjoying a health burger made with really fresh ingredients, for me the way hamburgers used to be served before the days of the golden arches took that freshness away from the hamburgers we were served.  Add to that the cost which is really not that large for a great fresh burger and you have a great easy meal in a great location (just opposite the beach in Scarborough) to take family for a laid back easy meal.

There are chicken, beef, lamb and vegetable options and gluten free bread options as well and with most burgers being between $11 and $15 and packed with fresh ingredients it is a great experience.  Add some fresh hand cut chips to the mix and a nice glass of Swings and Roundabouts Merlot and you have a casual dining experience that is a nice way to end a hectic Saturday of Xmas Shopping.

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And the options for kids are great too – either a chicken or a beef burger served with a small serve of fries and either water or juice and all served in a box with some pencils and an activity book and you have great options for them as well.  We have been with 10 others, just the 2 of us and like tonight with just the 3 of us and each time the service was fast and efficient and the food was fresh and delicious.

For a great family friendly dining experience from a group that also aims to give back to their local community then head down to Grill’d…it really is worth it!

Grill’d
188 The Esplanade
Scarborough 6922
Ph: 9245 1055

MON: 11AM – 10PM
TUE: 11AM – 10PM
WED: 11AM – 10PM
THU: 11AM – 10PM
FRI: 11AM – 11PM
SAT: 10.30AM – 11PM
SUN: 10.30AM – 10PM

On another note, after we had finished our dinner we headed home for a night of planning for our upcoming Xmas day and some of the things that we wanted to look at creating this year.  We are always looking for things that we have not done before in the way of food because we like to experiment and challenge ourselves with some things that we have not made before.  This year after watching The Great British Bake Off Christmas Baking Special we were inspired to attempt to make our own Fruit Mince Pies to have on Xmas day with the family.

Now we could have waited until just before Xmas to do them but Trevor thought it would be better if we made a batch to see how they would turn out…being the perfectionist that I can be I always hate to turn up, even at a family lunch with food that is not up to the standards that I like to have…so into the kitchen we went and the three of us had our first go at making homemade fruit mince pies based on the recipe from Paul Hollywood.

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Well as you can see from the picture here they turned out pretty well and I can tell you tasted wonderful.  The secret I think is that they have chunks of fresh apple and orange zest mixed in with the traditional mince pie fruit and it makes for an amazing taste and I know we will now make a couple of batches for Xmas day and maybe even a couple for each of us to take to work in the next week or so.  The recipe is really simple to do and the result is wonderful…http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/paul_hollywoods_mince_04604 you can find the recipe here…they really are much nicer than those mass produced store bought fruit mince pies and so simple to do.  Give them a go they are wonderful!