Catherine Downes

Let us stipulate that those with child and those without will forever diverge on whether kids should be permitted to stray from their coloring-book stations at our finer dining establishments. Let us momentarily table the matter, and instead celebrate a beautiful, sandy, sudsy middle ground called The Lot, known to its East Dallas neighbors as Like Elmo On Demand but With Tito's. A rustic bar and grill near White Rock Lake, The Lot serves up solid renditions of bar-food staples for kids (grilled cheese) and alleged adults (grilled cheese and beer). More important, its massive covered patio is flanked by a just-as-massive sandbox, which is studded with tires and bridges and other things from which your kid can go all WWE on an unwitting stranger-kid, while you, the day's Designated Kid Watcher, sip a bloody mary and think to yourself, Hey, why is that weird kid doing a leg-drop on that poor — uh oh, I gotta go.

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