It is *splendid* outside right now. Absolutely splendid.
Yes, the weather’s nice and the livin’s easy. So where do you dine to take advantage of this fleeting joy? The problem is, no matter how nice the temp gets, “outdoor dining” here often means you’re sitting in a glorified parking lot. Never fear, gentle eaters! Here are a few selections to take your mind off Concrete City. Next stop, Niceville.
If it’s a burger you seek, head to Beck’s Prime on Augusta for a two-hander and one of the best milkshakes in town. Get yer grub on while you cool your jets under the shade of Houston’s largest tree, a great-granddaddy live oak. Little Big’s provides another option, and if you sit with your back to Montrose, you can *just* make out the downtown skyline among the Phone Pole Wasteland.
The Black Lab on Montrose gives you the unique opportunity to sample Houston’s finest cheese soup while you play a lifesize game of chess on the hedged-in front patio. Or get your Tex-Mex fix under the lighted palms on the back patio at El Pueblito. [Sigh!]
For something a little nicer, try the aptly named Treehouse on the Discovery Green; it’s American food and cocktails galore, elevated high(ish) into the downtown skyline. A true Houston jackpot is the Backstreet Café. If the food there weren’t so darn good, I’d attribute its 20-year success to the legendary garden deck. Or grab a date and take a strip mall hiatus at the Daily Review or Tiny Boxwood’s, which offer serene garden havens where you can wine, dine, recline, and refine. Hoo-ahhhh.
There’s plenty of beauty to be found in Houston’s madness -- Bodegas in the Museum District, Petrol Station in Oak Forest, Giacomo’s in River Oaks. Just keep your eyes peeled and your mind open. Any outdoor treasures I missed?