Local Spotlight

Lazy Day Patio Dining at Onion Creek

After flying back from a quick trip to New Jersey, my fiancé and I recently found ourselves with a lovely afternoon off. Usually when we have extra time on our hands, we book it to the nearest theater and fight over whose turn it is to pick the movie. But this day was just too gorgeous, so we decided on an afternoon stroll and a lazy, outdoor lunch. We wanted somewhere relaxing where we could just chill, chat, then ignore each other while finishing Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games some really intellectual literature.

Onion Creek popped into my head. I had only been there once during a particularly entertaining white trash pub crawl and had been meaning to try out the food. From what I remembered, the patio seemed pretty nice.

And nice it was. I was pleasantly surprised with my inebriated self when we walked up to a beautiful rustic deck planked with long wooden benches and umbrella-covered tables. The greenery surrounding the deck, offering up plenty of shade for those hot summer days, just added to the peaceful, Hill Country vibe.

We grabbed some menus from the hip coffee lounge and bar inside and brought them back onto the deck so that we could soak up some rays while deciding what to get. They have some serious choices, like a Ranchero Cobb Salad with poblano grilled chicken, cojita cheese, mango and avocado, and an O.C. Po Boy served hot with ham, salami, white cheddar and olive mayo.

I'll definitely be giving those babies a try one day, but on this trip, we were in the mood for the classics. As is tradition, I had checked out the menu online before we headed over for the day, and one of the hot dogs had caught my eye. When I didn't see it on the menu, I obviously wanted it even more (such is life, amiright?).

The bartender was totally accommodating when I'd asked if they could still make my dog topped with grilled onions, cheddar and barbecue sauce. I ordered that and a Saint Arnold Root Beer while my man finalized his choice. Dave went with the Plain Ol' Cheeseburger, an eight-ounce patty topped with good old 'merican cheese, and a Saint Arnold Root Beer (copycat). We both got fries, although I kicked myself once I saw the Foursquare tip praising the potato salad. The bartender passed us a number, and we brought it back to our table on the deck.

Soon after, our ice-cold root beers were placed in front of us. I sipped on the crisp, refreshing soda slowly, making sure to save some for the dog, and enjoyed the scene on the deck. People-watching is a favorite pastime of mine, and Onion Creek is the place to do it. There were the guys at the table over enjoying some brews while working on their laptops (what job is this, and can I have it?), a young couple laughing as they shooed away a bird that thought it was invited to lunch, as well as a lone older gentleman sipping on hot coffee and reading the paper in the corner. But it was the group of hipster-looking professionals soaking in their last minutes of freedom before the inevitable return to corporate America that was my fave.

Before I knew it (and before people caught on that I was creepily staring at them), our food had arrived. My weenie looked fantastic (sorry, just wanted to say that). The split all-beef dog had been grilled, creating a caramelized crisp at the center while still maintaining that sought-after juicy snap with each bite. The white bun was toasted just enough to hold up its overflowing contents. There was an option for a pretzel bun as well, but I am against this, as I believe it adds too much salt. The grilled red onions were soft and slightly sweet, while the sharp cheese and the barbecue sauce added a subtle tang. I noted the perfect crispness on the accompanying fries as I dipped them into any spilled-over sauce.

Dave's burger was as juicy as can be. The tender, well-seasoned beef melted in his mouth with each messy bite. Crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, spicy red onion, salty pickles and a buttery, toasted Brioche bun rounded out the burger. By the end, his face was covered in ketchup, but honey badger don't give a shit and neither did he.

All in all, it was the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano