What’s So Special About American Girl?

I’ve known for a long time that American Girl is pretty special. I can’t help but get a little excited to look at the new catalogs myself when they come, and yes, I do like to be invited to play with Cadence’s collection from time to time!

Shopping at American Girl Place Chicago
Shopping at American Girl Place Chicago

I think one of the things that sets this company apart is their attention to detail. I’ve always appreciated how meticulously well-made their products are, but this attention to detail goes well beyond their product line. A visit to one of their stores will show you why American Girl is such a popular brand.

So, what’s so special about American Girl? Read on and we’ll show you!

American Girl - Water Tower Place Chicago
American Girl – Water Tower Place Chicago

During our recent trip to Chicago, we were able to experience even more of what this magical place has to offer. Having researched online about the stores and their features, I knew that brunch at the American Girl Cafe would be a special activity for our family. We have been to two American Girl stores before, in St. Louis and Dallas, but have never had the opportunity to enjoy one of their meals.

Cadence was so excited to visit the Chicago store! She had been saving her allowance, Christmas, and birthday money for a new doll to take with her to brunch, so a shopping trip had to come before our meal.

Browsing the impressive displays at American Girl
Browsing the impressive displays at American Girl Place

Now, can you think of another store where a little girl would so easily part ways with a years’ worth of savings? I can’t.

Our schedule allowed us to stop by the store the night before our brunch date to get a look at all the new products.

Cuteness Overload at American Girl Place Chicago!

Playing with the vignettes at American Girl Place
Playing with the vignettes at American Girl Place
And the winner is...
Checking out the past Girls of the Year

The store is full of displays of the new items, some of which are hands-on. There are adorable vignettes that showcase the dolls with their fashions and accessories at every turn. We had way too much fun playing with the cute “hut” that goes with this year’s Girl of the Year, and we also liked seeing the past Girls of the Year that the Chicago store has on display.

Decisions, Decisions…

Cadence posing with the dolls at American Girl Place.
Cadence posing with the dolls.

After much consideration, Cadence decided that the newest American Girl, Melody Ellison, would be a perfect addition to her collection and a fun brunch companion for the next day. Melody is just another example of why we love American Girl.

The dolls in the Beforever collection and the Girl of the Year dolls come with a backstory and a collection of books. (Thank you, A.G. for encouraging reading!) Melody’s year is 1964, and not only are her clothes and accessories adorable, but her story of civil rights and equality is one that needs to be told.

Have guys in your party who just can’t take it anymore? Fear not.

Visiting American Girl Chicago with kidsAndrew was truly a great sport about the entire American Girl experience, but like most boys, there’s only so much doll shopping he could take.

Luckily, there was a Lego Store right next door.

Redemption for Andrew at the Lego Store!
Redemption for Andrew at the Lego Store!

Brunch at a Doll Store? How Good Could It Be?

Tables beautifully set and ready for brunch.
Tables beautifully set and ready for brunch.

Disclaimer: American Girl Place provided us a complimentary meal during our visit. Our personal opinion is that it was amazing and a good value. Plus, our daughter had a smile on her face all day, which I would gladly pay money for any day.

In a word, delicious! This meal is a treat that every American Girl fan should have the opportunity to experience. It was so fun to create this memory, and I think the guys in our family enjoyed themselves as well, in spite of the girly decor.

Cadence and her guests of honor were seated and happy.
Cadence and her guests of honor were seated and happy.

A reservation is a good idea, and when you arrive, you will check in to receive a table number. At 9:30 on the dot, the doors are ceremoniously opened and you and your doll(s) are led to your table. The waitstaff will assist in getting your dolls properly seated at the table, and the dolls and girls are treated like princesses the whole time.

Fun (and yummy) dishes for kids and adults.
Fun (and yummy) dishes for kids and adults.

After you peruse the menu, you are encouraged to play a Q&A game that is provided for each table. The fun and sometimes silly questions get the whole family talking and having a good time. The menu has a variety of sweet and savory options that are sure to please any palate, and the cinnamon roll appetizers are delicious! We each chose a different entree and were all pleased with our selections.

Even the dolls get place settings at American Girl Place.
Even the dolls get place settings at American Girl Place.

The quality of the food was top notch and proportions were just right. They even include a miniature cupcake and a white chocolate mousse for dessert. It’s amazing how our children found extra room in their stomachs for this!!

Fun times for everyone!
Fun times for everyone!

As I mentioned, the attention to detail does not end with the product line. Our service was exemplary at the Cafe, and I was pleasantly surprised at the extra touches that are included such a napkin rings which are actually hair ties that you get to keep, and the cups and saucers for the dolls that also get to go home. And for girls celebrating a birthday, there’s a goody bag full of birthday accessories for the dolls, including a cute outfit!

The Verdict?

So, you probably shouldn’t just take my word for how awesome this experience was. This is what our 9 year old Cadence had to say:

“I think the American Girl doll store was so cool! We got to eat brunch there too. I got eggs and Canadian bacon on an English muffin with potatoes. It was really good. My favorite parts were looking at all the dolls and all the doll stuff and getting to take my dolls to brunch with me. That was special because I don’t usually get to take my dolls to restaurants. I got the newest doll Melody Ellison. I liked looking at all the stuff because it makes me happy. It was fun to get to go to a huge American Girl store because that’s not something I get to do every day. It was a neat experience!”

Skydeck Chicago
Skydeck Chicago

Overall, this visit to the American Girl store and Cafe was a wonderful way to start our trip to Chicago off right. And, armed with her American Girl doll bag, Cadence was able to let her dolls enjoy the rest of the Chicago sites as well.

What’s It Cost?

Brunch is $19 per person. The menu (found here) is mostly prix fixe, but you get a choice of entrees. Drinks and dessert are included. Yes – they serve dessert after breakfast!

We felt like this was a neat splurge that we would pay for if we visited again. The experience was fantastic and service was top notch. The kids received goody bags, and for ~$80 plus tip for a family of four, you leave with a wonderful memory of Chicago!

Do you know a princess that would enjoy brunch at the American Girl Cafe? Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board for later!Brunch at American Girl Chicago

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