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Sampling the great outdoors this summer

The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and some of us are coming down with a touch of Spring fever. One of the symptoms is the overwhelming urge to be outside. And that’s what this article is all about: One cure for Spring fever is dining outside.

Greenville Avenue naturally comes to mind when thinking about fresh-air dining. But let’s start with a newly opened outdoor addition to a Casa Linda Plaza favorite.

Franki’s Lil Europe, 362 Casa Linda Plaza, is venturing into the great outdoors. This already popular European/Yugoslavian restaurant is expanding into an open-air patio, featuring periodic live entertainment. If you’re looking for relief from the cluster of Greenville Avenue restaurants, try Franki’s.

Speaking of new additions to neighborhood restaurants, the White Swan Café, 2307 Abrams, has added a back patio area. You might check it out the next time you’re in the neighborhood.

At Dodie’s, 2129 Greenville, you can enjoy various Louisiana dishes under umbrellas on picnic tables. From your table, you can dine on a variety of boiled seafood while watching everyone jockey for parking spaces in the Whole Food Market parking lot.

J. Pepe’s Restaurant and Cantina, 3619 Greenville, provides an art deco look to sidewalk dining. And if you are still in the market for Mexican food, don’t forget the ever-popular Blue Goose Cantina, 2905 Greenville. The patio is a great place to be seen; maybe you’ll even be discovered for Oliver Stone’s next Dallas production.

Terilli’s Italian restaurant, 2815 Greenville, is no stranger to the sidewalk dining crowd. And longtime favorite San Francisco Rose, 3204 Greenville, still offers wonderful food served on a corner terrace under umbrellas.

Nero’s, 2104 Greenville, has another popular patio. And Snuffer’s, 3626 Greenville, is a familiar haunt for the Dallas hamburger connoisseur with its airy side porch.

In your outdoor-dining excursion, you may become thirsty. In that case, stop at London Tavern, 2001 Greenville, for spirits served on the patio. I understand the Tavern soon will be serving food.

If you’re tired of the restaurant crowds, consider dropping into the Bluebonnet Café at the Whole Food Market, 2218 Greenville. It doesn’t have outdoor dining facilities, but on a nice Spring day, you can pick up a natural-food order to go and host an impromptu picnic in the location of your choice.

Mangia Italia Ristorante has a nice courtyard next to its restaurant. Occasional entertainment also is available, as is a nice bar. The food is a bit pricey, though, and you’ll often wind up waiting for a table.

Phil’s Natural Eats Café, 2815 Elm, offers outdoor dining, if you’re in the mood for a Deep Ellum picnic. And Crescent City Café, 2730 Commerce, offers Louisiana coffee on a brick patio.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of neighborhood outdoor dining spots. But each of these restaurants is a great place to just watch the world go by.


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