Food & Drink

Thai dining downtown

The view from Dallas' patio dining spots is rarely inspiring: nothing but passing motorists, and motorists idling at lights with seemingly no other mission in life but to show off their stereos and Disturb-ya. For a more idyllic setting, hit Lily Pad Cafe, opening Wednesday

This outdoor seating-only breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot sits in the east corner of the garishly modern, $17 million Main Street Gardens like an eco-chic gas station: a hexagonal light-wood deck with weatherproof seating for 80 under a giant white-pillared flat canopy, serviced by a rectangular, glossy lime-green kitchen with bathrooms on the side, accessible sans key-with-Mercury-hubcap-tied-to-it. Designed by the Beyond the Box & Dish chef, the menu's organic/local "Sustainable Street Food" starting with baked-daily muffins (blueberry-banana-walnut, carrot-raisin ...) and egg/ham/bacon/cheese b-fast tacos, while lunch/dinner includes Niman beef dogs top-able w/ Harris Ranch beef chili, loaded nachos, and "Pressed Flats": panini-wrap hybrids filled with the likes of roast beef, roasted peppers, horseradish cream, applewood-smoked bacon, and spinach, which'll make you strong to the finish, even though you finish super-early...eating sandwiches, that is. Because hey, you're outside, there's also wine, frozen sangria, and 12+ beers (Shiner & Murphy's to Old Speckled Hen & Young's Double Chocolate Stout), all served in cans, because how are you supposed to drink out of a can't

Lily also deals organic frozen yogurt, with 35 toppings ranging from fresh fruit to Heath bar bits to Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch, which even when it rains won't get soggy because you're eating it under an umbrella, -ella, -ella...canopy.