Back in the day, I lived for happy hours when my friends and I would lounge on the patio at Taco Milagro after work, sipping margaritas and basking in the evening breeze. Taco Milagro is gone now, replaced by the second location of Local Foods, which has completely renovated and updated the vast patio area that overlooks the intersection of Westheimer Rd and Kirby Dr. The posh, manicured set-up reminds me a bit of Tiny Boxwoods—not far from here—just without the wait.
With this cold snap bringing fall-like temperatures out to play (and coinciding perfectly with the first real day of autumn), there's no better time than this week to welcome those cooler days and nights to town. That's exactly what folks were doing when I visited Local Foods for lunch today in search of something toeing that line between summer-light and autumn-hearty. I found that happy medium in an achiote pork torta with pineapple and avocado on a crusty, soft bolillo roll and a cup of posole perked up with lime and crunchy pumpkin seeds.
Unlike its flagship location in Rice Village, the patio at the Upper Kirby version of Local Foods is immense and sprawling. Despite this, there were only a few seats to be found today as people packed the sunny expanse, enjoying one of the first days in which they could simply exist outside in the sunshine without sweating through their button-ups. I sipped my peach kombucha contentedly enough, but wished I could stay and bask in the weather with a cocktail or two.
Perhaps it's better, then, to visit Local Foods in the evening—that's when you can really make full use of the full bar. It carries everything from local craft beer and Texas wine to boozy beverages like the Upper Kirby Iced Tea, which mixes Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka with mintade, green tea, and a hibiscus liqueur. Just don't go trying to make a long night out of it; Local Foods and its pretty patio close at a respectable 9 p.m.