Copper Creek's Outdoor Patio

With temps rising above 100 for multiple days during the summer months, the last thing you may want to consider is dining outside. But actually, it’s one of my favorite things to do – when I am in Abilene or when I am traveling and searching for a place to eat.

This week, I will share several great spots for outdoor dining (and why) in and around our community in Part One of this blog. Grab those sunglasses and enjoy the opportunities for dining al fresco:

1. Need an after-work pick-me-up? Or looking for a place that’s rustic, yet upscale? Copper Creek is the place to be. No matter what the weather outside is doing, their outdoor patio is designed to be pretty accessible. They have plenty of large umbrellas for shade and a built-in wooden pergola for coverage. Sit back and sip one of their signature martinis (I personally like their Lemon Drop or Cucumber Martini). Savor a variety of items from the menu – rib eye, prime rib, tenderloin, large selection of fresh seafood (even lobster) and much more. Mesquite smoke and traditional Texas seasonings inspire their bold flavors at Copper Creek. Need to take it inside? Be sure to spot the trophy animal mounts on display throughout the restaurant when you go. Open Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Closed Sunday. Info: 325-692-4424 or click here.
2. Searching for the patio in town that constantly has live music? Look no further than Lytle. Lytle Land & Cattle Company, that is. They have a large outdoor patio complete with a corner stage and outdoor fountain, for added ambiance. Plenty of private events have been held here, but weekly – different drink specials are advertised and local favorites, such as Kelly Corn, Steve Miller, Kale Stephens, Bob Boyce and many others, take the stage from 7-10 p.m. Recently, Lytle held a Singer/Songwriter contest out on the patio, complete with ‘Finals’ and prizes! If you’re looking for something to munch on when you visit this venue, you won’t be out of luck – they’re known for their steak served over a hot mesquite fire. Consider trying “The Abilenian,” the large rib eye they’re famous for – or “Sharon’s Rib Eye” – same steak, just not as thick. Delicious! Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Info: 325-677-1925 or click here.

Plenty of picnic tables outdoors at Perini's

3. Looking to venture out a little further into the country? Why not Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap? Just about 15 miles outside of Abilene. If you’re in the mood for chuckwagon, down-home style cooking, I recommend heading that direction. Plus, they have a great outdoor dining spot — perfect for day or night. I love nothing more than enjoying their Sunday brunch “out on the ranch.” Think chicken fried steak, fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, bread pudding and more – with a simple sweet tea, a nice mimosa or even light white wine Sangria –on their slightly Sunny, picnic-tabled, breezy patio. Not a bad start to a Sunday, huh? For Tom Perini and Perini Ranch Steakhouse’s full story, click here. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m., and Friday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Info: 325-572-3339.