So, I'm not the hugest fan of BlackFinn American Grille. I think that's pretty evident from this week's cafe review, in which I found a few things to enjoy about the place -- giant mug of chocolate cake here, pretty good service there -- but not enough to outweigh the general seething mediocrity of the North Carolina-based chain.
One of those high points, however, is that BlackFinn is one of the few restaurants in Houston that allow dogs on their patios. And for this reason alone, I'd recommend BlackFinn as a happy-hour destination if you happen to be a dog owner and live/work in Midtown. (Also, all bottles of wine are half-price on Wednesdays. Get some.)
Ever since Ziggy's was the first restaurant in the city to receive its Paws On Patios permit last year, the number of restaurants that legally allow dogs has grown -- but not by much. To date, there are fewer than 20 restaurants -- out of an estimated 8,000 in Houston -- that allow dogs.
Those restaurants are:
- Backstreet Cafe, 1103 S. Shepherd
- Barnaby's Café / Baby Barnaby's, 604 Fairview
- Barnaby's Café, 1701 S. Shepherd
- Barnaby's Café, 5750 Woodway
- BlackFinn American Grille, 1910 Bagby
- Canopy, 3939 Montrose
- Celtic Gardens, 2300 Louisiana
- Front Porch Pub, 217 West Gray
- The Grove, 1611 Lamar
- Hugo's, 1600 Westheimer Rd
- Inversion Coffee, 1953 Montrose
- The Lake House, 1500 McKinney
- Little Bigs, 2703 Montrose
- Pub Fiction, 2303 Smith
- Tila's Restaurante & Bar, 1111 S. Shepherd
- Ziggy's Bar & Grill, 702 Main
- Ziggy's Bar & Grill, 302 Fairview
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Don't see your favorite restaurant listed? That's because the City of Houston will fine a restaurant that has dogs without having a Paws On Patios permit. (We've seen that happen, and it's ugly.) Encourage them to apply for a permit; it's a one-time cost of $110 for the application fee, but that's far less than a fine.