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).
I don’t think there’s a more kid-friendly bar in Houston than Preslee’s over in Shady Acres. The airy, indoor-outdoor hangout fits seamlessly into the neighborhood, offering Southern eats, cold drinks, and fun stuff like ping-pong tables and games, hammocks, toy cars and swings, TVs, and an in-house ice cream parlor.
On a recent Saturday, my husband Dave and I brought Quinn to meet some friends, and apparently all of the other families in Houston that decided today was the perfect day to throw back beer and crawfish with their toddlers. It was controlled chaos, however, and we were able to score a shaded lounge spot right by the bar on the patio .
While there are servers making their rounds to bring you drinks (and waters, thankfully), Preslee’s food menu is to be ordered at the counter inside, with “Deep South meets Third Coast” offerings from seafood gumbo and fiery shrimp tacos to homemade banana pudding and giant turkey legs loaded with crawfish mac’ and cheese, plus a kids menu and craveable pub grub like hot wings, hangover burgers, and fried pickles. I can vouch for those ace hot wings and perfectly fried pickles, as both are spot-on renditions of the classics that Dave and I devoured on a previous outing.
In addition to its lineup of wine, bubbles and craft brews on draft and by the bottle and can, you can also quench your thirst with frozen Jack & Cokes, Ginger Mules, Froze and Margaritas, plus house cocktails like the jalapeño-kissed Southern heat.
It was beer for us today. We enjoyed a few local crafts, then snagged a pink baby swing for Quinn and took roughly 25 videos to send to our families back in NJ.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying the laidback porch vibe with our pals…and asking strangers if I could sneak under their table to grab the toy cellphone that Quinn so kindly threw under there, obviously (at least they all had kids, too).
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Can’t wait ‘til she’s old enough for the ice cream.
Preslee’s, 1430 West 19th, 713-360-6439
TL;DR: Sitting over in Shady Acres, this is the place to bring kids and enjoy some comfort foods and adult-beverages (seriously, pretty much everyone here has kids). The airy indoor-outdoor spot rocks swings and hammocks, ping-pong tables and board games, an in-house ice cream parlor and laidback Southern porch vibe.
Kid-Friendly Dining Essentials
Seating: High-chairs available
Bathrooms: Changing tables
Kids menu: Yes
Extras: A big dog-friendly patio with games, TVS, hammocks swings (including baby swings) and toy cars