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Top 5: Restrooms

I'm a bit of a germaphobe, not like Jack Nicholson from As Good As It Gets, but a germaphobe nonetheless. A good restroom says a lot about a restaurant, with important aspects including cleanliness, visual appeal, and overall coolness. These are my top five restaurant restrooms in Houston.

5. Octane Coffee & Wine Lounge What this place lacks in service, it makes up for in décor. This coffeehouse is mellow, stylish and hip--and the restrooms are no different. The cement floors, orange walls, and artsy mirror all stand out, but the star is definitely the light fixtures. They are industrially cool and very unique. By the way, maybe the service is picking up at Octane. I ordered a cup of coffee to-go it was delivered promptly. Restroom deuceability: Get comfortable

4. Haven Like everything else in Haven, the bathroom is "green," both literally and figuratively. The soft colors and minimalist look just agree with me. But are those things enough? Not to make this list. More is needed, and that comes in the form of a super sweet hand-dryer. It's just plain awesome, and in the future, I must own one. Until then, I hope that more of these pop up at dining establishments. Restroom deuceability: Stay awhile, but not too long

3. Big Woodrow's This is the only restroom that solely makes the list based on sentimentality. In my early twenties, I spent most of my Thursday nights at Little Woodrow's for the karaoke and $1 beers. Due to my walnut-size bladder, I frequented the latrines quite often throughout the night. It's been a few years, but I remember LW's bathroom being a lively place filled with odd, drunken conversations and the proclamation of "God, I have to piss!" from just about every patron. Restroom deuceability: You may want to hover

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2. Caffe Bello Have you ever had to walk into a fine restaurant and tell the manager you're just there to take a picture of his bathroom for an article you're writing? Nope? I have. The fine people at Caffe Bello made that awkward moment seem like no big deal, which I appreciated. Their restroom is simple, yet classy. The tiny, mosaic tiles are the highlight for me. They are all over the place, but at the same time, not overwhelming to the eye. Also, there's an added nice touch in the men's restroom--those curved, piss-guard urinals. I love these things, as they decrease the chance of backsplash by tenfold. Restroom deuceability: Get comfortable

1. Maggiano's Little Italy Maybe it's because I am going through a Boardwalk Empire phase, but I just think Maggiano's restrooms are tops. It always feels like I'm taking a leak in roaring '20s, with some Chicago mobster about to whack me from behind, no pun intended. Are they the cleanest? No. Are they the fanciest? No. But in my book, it gets no better in Houston. Restroom deucebility: Stay awhile, but not too long

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