August is a beautiful month.
Except for the back-to-school ads, catalogs featuring sweaters and the realization that all good things must come to an end.
I'm not ready yet! I don't want crisp apples, cozy sweaters or earth tones. I want juicy summer peaches, sandals and beachy colors.
One of the great ways to keep summer with you is to go al fresco when you eat out. There's something about eating outside that makes you want to slow down, sip instead of gulp, converse instead of talk, look at the people around you rather than your phone's Facebook app. It's casual, but a bit sophisticated. Sort of like a Paris bistro.
Here are five ideas for enjoying a summer outdoor meal while there's still time to do so.
- Crocker Park. There are choices here any time you come. Try for breakfast. and are great places to sit outside and watch the world go by. You can also grab a slice of pizza or a corned beef sandwich at one of the stands near the center of Crocker Park and sit near there.
- and . Two Avon establishments that take their menu well beyond standard pub grub. Two Bucks management installed a covered outdoor patio earlier this year. You get the fresh air but not too much harsh sun. Their sage-seasoned fries are wonderful, and the flatbread pizzas hit the spot. There are also simple salads, wraps and sliders. Mulligans is a perfect location before or after a game. There's a covered outdoor bar with some open outdoor seating. The menu is diverse and tasty, including homemade potato chips, pizza, Lake Erie perch and a teriyaki chicken salad.
- . The Olde Avon Village steakhouse in a 19th-century barn has an outdoor dining area that makes one think of Tavern on the Green with its romantic park-like setting among trees, away from the noise of nearby Detroit Road. While Strip is known for its prime steaks, it also has an eclectic menu of specials. Recent offerings have inlcuded watermelon salad and shrimp and blue corn grits.
- . Just on the south side of the railroad tracks in Westlake, this eclectic eatery offers , from burgers to potato skins.
- . The outdoor dining area is surrounded by a low stone wall made from pieces of the original foundation. This is a great place to meet friends for coffee, a sandwich or a sweet treat.