By Chris Lane
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Boheme (307 Fairview): This tiny jewel box of a patio is tucked into a quiet, predominantly residential neighborhood in Montrose. Enjoy the imported Zimbabwean sculptures and towering bamboo planted in fat clumps while you sip homemade sangria.
Cafe Adobe (2111 Westheimer): Take in an oddly mesmerizing view of the city from the Westheimer location's rooftop. Get there early enough and you can snag prime real estate in the cozy cabana.
Little Big's (2703 Montrose): This brand-new patio on Montrose still smells of freshly cut wood, which goes well with Little Big's freshly cut french fries and affordable wine and burgers. Some of the best people watching in the city doesn't hurt.
Coffee Groundz (2503 Bagby): This compact patio turns sprawling on the weekends as people drag tables and chairs into the drive-through area and it morphs into Ground Zero for Houston's technorati community.
Brasil (2604 Dunlavy): Opening up a beautiful second patio in the back (which it shares with Domy Books) has allowed this cafe to expand its fascinating menu and offer crowd-pleasers like free movie nights and live music.
Baba Yega (2607 Grant): Not to be missed for the heavenly Sunday brunch, this ever-growing patio features bright flowers, bubbling fountains and sun-warmed bricks that encourage diners to relax and enjoy the afternoon.
Cafe Benedicte (15455 Memorial): This unlikely outpost on the west side of town overlooks a quiet, duck-filled lake and rolling, verdant grounds. It's best enjoyed with a bottle of wine between friends.
Out of Africa (14019 Southwest Fwy., #204): One of several South African restaurants in town, this Sugar Land hot spot offers a soothing, watery view that will help combat the ultra-spicy food.
Beat Houston's notorious heat this summer with one of these refreshing drinks.
BY KATHARINE SHILCUTT
1½ ounces Pimm's No. 1 Cup
½ ounce gin
¾ ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
½ inch wide cucumber wheel (muddled)
Splash of soda
Muddle the cucumber in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add ice cubes and remaining ingredients, then finish with a splash of soda. Garnish with a lemon slice.
If you don't have the ingredients on hand to make your own Pimm's Cup, head over to Anvil, where the bartenders will make a fresh one to quench your thirst.
1 teaspoon powdered sugar2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ounces white rum2 ounces club soda4 mint leaves (muddled)
1 sprig of mint (garnish)
Gently muddle the mint leaves with the lime juice and sugar in a Collins glass. Add crushed ice and remaining ingredients. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Not in the muddling mood? Under the Volcano makes a mean, minty mojito, and The Flat freezes them for an ultra-chilly treat.
1½ ounces tequila
½ ounce triple sec
Dash freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ounces sour mix
Mix tequila, triple sec, sour mix and juice in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Strain into a margarita glass and garnish with a lime wedge. Salted rim optional.
Whether on the rocks or frozen, no summer is complete without a margarita. For a twist on the old standby, try The Grove's spicy ginger margarita or Beaver's Mayahuel Fizz.