Boxcar Restaurant in downtown Geneva this week. The moment we walked in it became my new favorite train restaurant. Just like other railroad-themed restaurants in the area, this one surrounds you in train decor, brings food to the table on a model train, and is heavily populated by a young, train-loving crowd. The difference is that the decor is warm and cozy. (And not too noisy!) Realizing that the grownups bringing their young diners to the restaurant want a nice meal in a comfortable space, the owners of this place have panted the walls in warm earth tones fitting a classy Geneva restaurant. The train decorations, including a wonderful wall-filling black and white photo of Geneva's station in steam engine days, have a classic vintage feel. There are TVs to watch while the meal is on its way (tuned to Nick Jr and Sprout when we were there) but my kids spent their waiting time with their faces against the window watching the Metra drop off commuters at the Geneva station. They also loved the ride-on, coin-operated train. Despite their inability to sit at the table for the meal, they still managed to grab enough bites between excited "The bells are ringing!" moments to finish their entire meals. My husband and I enjoyed our food, too. So, praise to the kitchen staff for respecting the taste buds of their clientele. Most glorious of all, with everything to watch around him, my toddler actually stayed in his seat from the time we came in until it was time for all of us to go. That never happens. Boxcar, I love you!
Find the Boxcar at 500 S. Third Street in Geneva, just two doors down from Geneva's Metra station.