Your Nominations, Please, for Houston’s Best Parking Lot Dining Experience

Yesterday we introduced the first 2 nominating categories in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Nominations will remain open until midnight Sunday, December 11, for both awards: Favorite Houston Design Cliché and Best Demolition.

Today, there are 2 more award categories to introduce. And they’re both new to the Swampies. The first is for Houston’s Best Parking Lot Dining Experience.

Sure, other cities may have sidewalk cafes and street life, but what can compare to the many opportunities for fine parking-lot-facing patio dining available in the greater Houston area? In the lot or just looking out onto it, you never leave the action behind. In a city full of places to park and eat, what makes one stand out? Which local dining establishment deserves to be credited with this award?

As usual, the Swampies are open to the sharp and clever formulations of readers. If you use your nomination to give this category a twist, sell your vision!

More complete instructions covering the nominating process can be found on this page. In the meantime, you’ll find plenty of spaces available for your nominations in the comments section below — and in the Swamplot inbox, if you’d prefer a more private venue.

16 Comment

  • Every Friday, from 3-6, the HCC campus on the South Loop (“Incredible University”) has a gathering of food trucks. Last time we went, there were at least 20 trucks.

  • The La Madeleine in Katy at Grand Parkway and I-10. There’s only a few tables, if I remember correctly. But boy would I’d be liar if I said there wasn’t plenty of concrete. Nothing says the French countryside like sipping on some French decaf out there on a July afternoon.

  • I go to a stripmall in the dry Houston Heights,

    Where you order champagne and instead they serve you cherry-cola. See-oh-el-aye cola.

    I walked inside and said hello.

    The waitress looked at me long, and then said “welcome to Lola’s.” El-oh-el-aye Lola’s la-la-la-la Lola.

    I looked around and saw the place swarming with kids, they looked at me back and shouted at me “hola.” Oh Hola la-la-la-la Hola.

    I asked the waitress if I could sit outside, she grabbed a menu and walked me back out to the parking lot-ola.

    Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand,
    why part of the patio is filled with Toyota Corollas. Toyota Corolla la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola.

    Eating with Toyota Corollas at Lola’s, Lala-la-la-la Lola’s.

  • Canyon Creek Cafe on Westcott. Lovely parking lot dining near the biggest park in the city.

  • Canyon creek or cedar creek? Canyon creek has about as much parking as Dry creek (6 spots.. maybe!). I can see a vote for cedar creek because their lot is huge, but nota complete eyesore. One time I saw someone fall down that hill into the ditch of water on their way to the parking lot. That generated a bunch of laughs :) … yes, she was okay.

  • Could this category also win as best Houston design cliche?

    Mel: that is wonderful.

    My nomination: Zelko Bistro. It’s where you can see and most definitely be seen when a Range Rover pulls in and shines its headlights right in your face.

  • Black Walnut in Rice Village. Nice to sit out and watch all the Stepford Wives racing at breakneck speed to get that one last parking spot so they can avoid the uncouth parking garage around the corner.

  • Lola’s is pretty terrible… they have got to do something to get some actual seperation

  • Brasserie 19. Brilliant French inspired food, the new place to see and be seen, a formidable wine list brought to you on an I-Pad and cafe style seating at the foot of a stripmall parking lot. Sure, restos of far greater stature in France look out onto boulevards choked with little deisel fume spewing Renaults sceaming by. But at least the French do not have to worry about grandma over shooting her front-in parking space and pinning you against the window as your 1997 Chateau Neuf Pape spills all over the sidewalk.

  • A nomination should go to Reef, too. Some of Houston’s best fine dining in a building that used to be a car dealership, complete with high ceilings and concrete floors, but with noise levels that give you headaches like you’re stuck in rush hour traffic.

  • So far, I want to nominate Mel for Best Nomination.

  • La Vista on Fountainview is a great place to spend an evening outside looking over parking lot. The cuisine is inventive, the service is friendly, and you can bring your own wine (the place is a favorite for wine enthusiasts). They have both heaters and fans outside to keep you comfortable through either hot of cold and some people just hang out with friends and drink wine before sitting for dinner. You do see pavement and cars, but you also get to appreciate some nice looking women strolling in from the parking lot. If that doesn’t interest you, they also have tables inside.

  • Old School’s nomination had me laughing out loud (the imagery!)… I second it. The clientele and outdoor seating situation at Brasserie 19 is quite a juxtaposition.

  • Any food truck.

  • West Alabama ice house taco truck!

  • El Rey at the Katy Freeway and Bunker Hill. You can sit outside and watch cars park and unpark, see the backs of the other restaurants but best of all, you can enjoy the traffic on the Katy Freeway as it flies by. Don’t forget to take a nice deep breath.