Best Patio Houston 2006 - Ernie's on Banks
Readers' Choice: El Pueblito
Christopher Columbus stands at the south end of Bell Park pointing an index finger toward some trees as if he has made some big discovery. The six-foot sculpture ought to be rotated 90 degrees so Chris can point the way to a place that's really worth discovering, if you haven't already: Ernie's on Banks, which boasts the city's best patio. At first glance, the second-story space, which opens late in the day, isn't anything to crow about: just a few metal tables, plastic chairs and folding umbrellas. But the view of the park -- a quaint, well-shaded square of wooden bridges and running fountains -- imbues it with an irresistible charm and makes it the perfect place to catch a beer and a breeze.