I recently had the best public bathroom experience ever, at a pizza restaurant called Monical’s.
In my younger days, I could never have imagined writing a bathroom review, but lately, I’ve been evaluating the facilities at every public venue imaginable. Some public restrooms have changing tables, and some do not. Then, of the businesses who see fit to provide their patrons with this luxury, there are various levels of thoughtfulness involved, and of course, various levels of cleanliness. Over the past ten months, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Maybe I’m crazy, but if there was such a thing as an online database comparing public restrooms, I would check it on a regular basis and I might even choose where to eat and where to shop solely on the ratings I found.
My husband and I were enjoying our salads, when suddenly, we heard our little ladybug make a very unladylike sound. We exchanged a look. We knew she’d filled her drawers, and she knew it too, based on the proud smile that spread across her sweet little face. “You take her!” I said. But I knew it was no use. Not only does my husband not ‘do’ poopy diapers, when we’re out in public, he couldn’t if he wanted to. Most men’s restrooms aren’t equipped with a changing table, and sadly, I still don’t know whether or not Monical’s Pizza boasts this brilliant monument to political correctness.
I picked up my daughter from the high chair (where she was sitting on a handy, personal high-chair cover we’d brought along (you’re welcome, Monical’s Pizza)) and took her to the bathroom, prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best. I was pleased to find that the bathroom was clean and smelled much better than we did as we made our way into the handicap accessible stall. The changing table was located inside the stall, which is nice, because we didn’t have to worry about random women looking us in all our blow-out glory. I spread our changing pad cover over the plastic fixture and proceeded to change the diaper. As we finished up, I picked up the unfortunate diaper mess and looked around. Where was the trash can? Why, it was placed intuitively beside the changing table, and it had a spring-operated lid which opened with a foot pedal. Brilliant! This is the same setup I use at home, to contain offensive odors and to get the diaper out of my sight (and my daughter’s reach) without ever taking my hands of my squirmy baby. I tossed in our diaper and found the can had a liner, and was not pre-filled with poopy diapers. As the icing on the cake, I noticed that the changing table’s built-in dispenser designed for paper covers was actually filled with paper covers! This was the first establishment where I’d ever seen anything in that dispenser. So, if I would have happened to forget my fabulous changing pad cover, I still wouldn’t have had to place my daughter directly on the plastic changing table. Yay for me–and yay for whoever is in charge of cleaning the changing table! I was thrilled with this, because I could tell that someone at Monical’s has actually taken the time to think about the needs of their tiniest patrons.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise though, because I’ve found Monical’s to be a uniquely family-friendly dining establishment. Their placemats feature word games, fun facts, and table talk–that’s right–suggested questions to ask your tablemate(s) in order to get a conversation started. It’s a sad day in America when we need table talk suggestions from a placemat, but it’s also a phenomenal idea to have placed them there. Our daughter is too young to care about word games or conversation, but my husband and I enjoyed the puzzles, mazes and conversation starters. Neither one of us reached for our phones while we waited for our meal, and the pizza arrived before we could finish our games! I would highly recommend Monical’s for date night, an evening of family fun, or a level 5 bathroom emergency.