Life has changed for this food writer. As a brand-new mom, poppin’ bottles has taken on a slightly different meaning. But while I find myself seeking out diaper changing tables for the first time ever, I’m still on the hunt for all the awesome happy hours, exciting menus and H-town icons, both new and old. Only now, I’m bringing my baby, Quinn, along with me. This “Whining and Dining” series looks at dining out with a baby in the city (more specifically, In the Loop, because Quinn doesn’t like to travel too far from home just yet).
Quinn’s first word may very well be “Altuve.” At least, that’s what I imagine it will be after all of the Astros chanting she’s been around as of late. Way back when the ‘Stros were taking on the Tampa Bay Rays, Quinn, her dad and I took over a stroll to Front Porch, as we knew it was one of the few, kids-welcome bars in Midtown.
What we didn’t know was that the bar would be serving $3 Crush City IPAs (Buffalo Bayou Brewing Buffalo Bayou Brewing) and Crawford Bocks (Karbach) for Game Day. There are also $3 Jager specials during games, but we kindly opted out of those.
In typical Houston fashion, it was a hot fall day; so we started our ‘Stros viewing indoors, where there were a number of other fans already settled in around the flat screens. There was still one big bench table open with some room for Quinn’s jogging stroller, so we settled in as well before jumping on the first round of those $3 brews.
As its name would suggest, Front Porch also has a nice-sized front porch, one covered with TVs, fans and some shade — something that turned out to be super important, as we eventually moved outside once a few more friends showed up.
Before that, we were feeling snacky. There's a solid roster of pub grub, here, housing classics from fried pickles, nachos and wings to not-so-classics like the “Texas Twinkies” — bacon-wrapped, cream-cheese-and-brisket-stuffed jalapeños served with bourbon bbq sauce on the side. Though those “Twinkies” sounded plenty temping, we went classic, ordering a big ol’ tray of "Chicken Pub Nachos."
It was the perfect baseball watching food, a pile of thin, crisp chips loaded with hunks of grilled chicken, housemade guacamole and pico de gallo, black beans and jalapeños, sour cream and two types of cheese, melty shredded cheddar and ooey, gooey queso. We devoured that while Quinn took down a bottle at expert speed.
More friends arrived just as we finished. Happy and full, we moved our growing crew outside to enjoy a few more beers (and another bottle), an Altuve two-run homer and, most importantly, an Astros win.
Quinn napped on the walk home. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll be back for another ‘Stros game day. This time, her very first World Series.
TL;DR: Over in the often non kid-friendly Midtown, Front Porch offers indoor and outdoor seating, a solid roster of pub grub and plenty of TV screens, making it a choice spot for Game Day.
Kid-Friendly Dining Essentials
Seating: Indoor and outdoor tables (no high chairs)
Bathrooms: No changing tables
Kids menu: No, but plenty of kid-friendly food
Extras: Dog-friendly patio (so you can bring the entire family)
Front Porch Pub, 217 Gray, 713-571-9571