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SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington Michaela Burke, 4, (Credit: Nicole Horton)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington
Michaela Burke, 4, of Syosset, shares her food with cousin Courtney Burke, 17, of Lloyd Harbor at Samurai, where kids entrees come with vegetables, rice and onion soup and include hibachi chicken, steak or shrimp ($10-$12) as well as chicken nuggets ($9). (Aug. 25, 2012)

Kid-friendly restaurants on Long Island

So what if it's a school night? All the more reason to grab the kids and head out to a restaurant. Just make it somewhere time-efficient and friendly, with good food and painless prices. Families often get exactly what they want at these kid-friendly restaurants. --JOAN REMINICK, joan.reminick@newsday.com

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington It's always showtime
(Credit: Nicole Horton)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington
It's always showtime at this hibachi palace, which is birthday party central before 8 p.m. on a weekend evening. (Aug. 25, 2012)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington Carlos Zarzuela, of
(Credit: Nicole Horton)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington
Carlos Zarzuela, of Manhattan, with his daughter, Emily, 3, and Steven Nataniel, 7, right, of Bay Shore, enjoys the show--chefs making a "big fire" on the griddle, flinging vegetables at open mouths (including Steven's). (Aug. 25, 2012)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington Michaela Burke, 4,
(Credit: Nicole Horton)

SAMURAI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE, Huntington
Michaela Burke, 4, of Syosset, shares her food with cousin Courtney Burke, 17, of Lloyd Harbor at Samurai, where kids entrees come with vegetables, rice and onion soup and include hibachi chicken, steak or shrimp ($10-$12) as well as chicken nuggets ($9). (Aug. 25, 2012)

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ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson StationAt this
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson Station
At this theme-park eatery with a Southern roadhouse vibe, kids can get into the video games near the entryway or play the word-search game printed on the menus. (Aug. 28, 2012)

ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson Station Jose
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson Station
Jose and Martha Benitez have a meal with daughters Kelly, Kayla and Miley at Eldorado's, where entree choices include mac and cheese, chicken quesadillas and BBQ ribs, accompanied by a side dish -- fries, mashed potatoes, broccoli or sliced apples -- and a fountain drink. (Aug. 28, 2012)

ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson Station Tuesday
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

ELDORADO'S BAR AND GRILL, Port Jefferson Station
Tuesday nights, kids eat free. Otherwise, kids menu items range from $5.99 to $6.99. (Aug. 28, 2012)

BUTERA'S, SmithtownAlthough all four Butera's Italian restaurants offer
(Credit: Adrian Fussell)

BUTERA'S, Smithtown
Although all four Butera's Italian restaurants offer the same kids menu, only Smithtown features a "kids eat free" night Monday and Tuesday and all week at lunch (with adult meal purchase). Youngsters are supplied with crayons and coloring material. Here, Emily, left, and Aubrey Worth of Islip dig into their pasta and pizza. (Aug. 28, 2012)

BUTERA'S, SmithtownMenu options include pasta with marinara sauce
(Credit: Adrian Fussell)

BUTERA'S, Smithtown
Menu options include pasta with marinara sauce or butter, pizza, cheese ravioli, chicken fingers with fries, and fries covered with melted mozzarella. (Aug. 28, 2012)

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BUTERA'S, SmithtownWhen kids are looking for mozzarella sticks,
(Credit: Adrian Fussell)

BUTERA'S, Smithtown
When kids are looking for mozzarella sticks, Butera's version is its mozzarella frita, served with a slice of prosciutto. (Aug. 28, 2012)

RAGAZZI ITALIAN KITCHEN & BAR, NesconsetAt this big,
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

RAGAZZI ITALIAN KITCHEN & BAR, Nesconset
At this big, bustling Italian restaurant, at 2950 Middle Country Rd., kids can learn about Italy from their menus, which contain puzzles, quizzes, word games and more. (Oct. 3, 2010)

RAGAZZI ITALIAN KITCHEN & BAR, NesconsetChoices range from
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

RAGAZZI ITALIAN KITCHEN & BAR, Nesconset
Choices range from a 6-inch pizza to the ever-popular pasta with butter or tomato sauce, mac and cheese and chicken fingers with fries, each at $7.95. (Oct. 3, 2010)

CHEEBURGER CHEEBURGER, Farmingdale, Great NeckAt this nostalgia-themed chain
(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

CHEEBURGER CHEEBURGER, Farmingdale, Great Neck
At this nostalgia-themed chain with '50s decor, kids meals come in cardboard cars, and menus offer games and puzzles. (May 4, 2012)

CHEEBURGER CHEEBURGER, Farmingdale, Great Neck Meal choices include
(Credit: Nicole Horton)

CHEEBURGER CHEEBURGER, Farmingdale, Great Neck
Meal choices include the classic cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich, batter-fried mac-and-cheese wedge, chicken fingers and even peanut butter and jelly, at $6.29. Kids can choose from applesauce or baby carrots with ranch dressing and fries, plus a soft drink, juice or milk. At the Farmingdale location, a kids meal is served in a cardboard Bel Air Classic Cruiser. (Aug. 25, 2012)

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A one-pound burger served at the Cheeburger Cheeburger
(Credit: Nicole Horton)

A one-pound burger served at the Cheeburger Cheeburger in Farmingdale.

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO, WestburyIf the hulking statues
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO, Westbury
If the hulking statues of Ming warrior horses don't fascinate your kids, there are the coloring book menus, which come with crayons. (Dec. 16, 2010)

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO, Westbury Kids menu prices
(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO, Westbury
Kids menu prices at this national chain run $2.95 to $4.95, including soft drinks. Choose from honey chicken, sweet and sour chicken, an all-vegetable "baby Buddha's feast" as well as lo mein with chicken. Here, Sebastian Lucero, left, and his sister, Daniela Lucero, of Bayside, have some fun with their food. (Aug. 26, 2012)

DOMENICO'S RESTAURANT, Levittown What looks like a little
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

DOMENICO'S RESTAURANT, Levittown
What looks like a little strip mall Italian restaurant is really a long chain of connecting dining rooms leading to an exit that seems miles away from the entrance. Sundays, a magician holds sway at dinnertime. A lengthy children's menu ranges from spaghetti with butter or marinara sauce ($7.95) -- which six-year-old Charlie Jacobs is enjoying -- to veal Parmigiana ($11.95). (Aug. 26, 2012)

MIM'S, Roslyn and Syosset These handsome something-for-everyone restaurants
(Credit: Adrian Fussell)

MIM'S, Roslyn and Syosset
These handsome something-for-everyone restaurants have butcher paper-covered tables with crayons -- for adults as well as kids. (Aug. 24 , 2012)

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MIM'S, Roslyn and Syosset A meal with a
(Credit: Adrian Fussell)

MIM'S, Roslyn and Syosset
A meal with a drink, at $8.95, includes such choices as chicken Parmigiana over linguine, grilled cheese sandwich, and macaroni and cheese, as well as penne or cheese ravioli with butter or tomato sauce. Families can conclude with a communal s'mores dessert -- from the adult menu -- to be cooked over an open flame ($9-$16). (Aug. 24 , 2012)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury A tropical mood prevails at
(Credit: Michael Falco)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury
A tropical mood prevails at this lighthearted, if noisy, spot for Latin-Caribbean family fare. (Nov. 24, 2010)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury Kids can doodle with crayons.
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury
Kids can doodle with crayons. Brooke Diamond draws her name after dinner, sitting next to her brother, Justin. (Aug. 26, 2012)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury Two children per party, ages
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

LAGUNA GRILLE, Woodbury
Two children per party, ages 10 and younger, eat free from the kids menu; for the rest, menu items are all priced at $6.95 and include such choices as fish and veggies or salad, and grilled chicken and mashed potatoes. Five-year-old Wyatt Wahl of Woodbury opted for a quesadilla and fries. (Aug. 26, 2012)

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, WestburyKids
(Credit: AP)

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Westbury
Kids can watch their pizzas being made or color in their menus at this national chain. Choose from a variety of pies -- traditional cheese to Hawaiian, at $5 to $5.50 -- or get a fusilli with butter, tomato or Alfredo sauce and a salad ($5.50). There's also grilled or fried chicken breast with baby broccoli ($6) and, for dessert, fruit, a sundae or brownie ($1.75-$2.50). (May 25, 2011)

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