This past summer I was camping in rural Wisconsin with my partner and son when a huge thunderstorm forced us to seek out the closest local pub for dinner one evening. Our four-year old had been going through some kind of cranky asshole phase all summer and our options for feeding him in the middle of a torrential downpour were either to stay put in our tent and make the best of the water crackers and dried fruit we had lying around—and in the process, risk another epic toddler meltdown—or put on our rain gear and head out into town where our always gregarious kid would at least find someone or something to distract him from feeling too hungry before we got some hot food in front of him.

Yelp did not pull up many options for restaurants close to where we had pitched our tent. There was some fancy steak house that had a fair number of good reviews about a fifteen minute drive in the next town over and a local bar serving pub food that had only a handful of comments but which was a much closer five-minute drive away. We chose the latter after reasoning that a) pub food means fried and fried means toddler-friendly and b) though there were only a few Yelp reviews for this place, they were generally positive about the decent food and authentic “local” vibe of the establishment.

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