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Eating Out, Literally: Dining Outside Becomes Abundantly Popular

By Gini Rainey

What is it about the great outdoors that just seems to make everything better? Is it a primal need to escape the brick and mortar that we have surrounded our lives with in recent years? Or is it that fresh air, friends, great food, and live entertainment are the perfect ingredients to create a relaxing evening under the stars? Whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to know that Tyler is finally coming into its own as far as great patio venues are concerned.

  stanley patioStanley’s  Famous Pit BBQ                                             
525 S. Beckham, Tyler

Now this is one great patio! Not only a major contender for the best BBQ in Texas, Stanley’s has been in business for 50 years and current proprietors Nick and Jen Pencis intend to keep the great Mom & Pop atmosphere that was established by J. D. Stanley when he first started serving up some great BBQ.

As if the food isn’t enough to get you to the Stanley patio, there’s also some really great live music happening three nights a week that gets the patio jumping!


Rick’s  On the Square
104 W. Erwin St., downtown Tyler

Another great place in downtown Tyler, Rick’s patio will make you feel like you’ve jumped over into Louisiana with all the raw wood and iron grillwork. One of the first businesses to begin the trend of great downtown venues, Rick’s full bar and great menu includes seafood and steaks, and will remind you once again why you love downtown Tyler. Rick’s also features live entertainment on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights that will add to the enjoyment of your patio experience.

lago-del-pinoLago del Pino
14706 CR 1134, Tyler

Relatively new to the Tyler scene, Lago del Pino is another “must do” destination patio to visit. Touting its spectacular lake view and distinctive fountain show, Lago is fast becoming a favorite place in east Texans. With a menu loaded with fabulous dishes from fine steaks to vegetarian options, a great bar, and super service, Lago del Pino boasts a large patio area with live music featured on weekends. The view and history of this place makes Lago a favorite and definitely money well spent!

FRESH by Brookshires
6991 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler

Well, Brookshires’ has gone and done it. Not only have they built a place for a wonderful shopping experience, they have expanded and created a terrific outdoors dining and live entertainment venue. Every Friday evening, they serve up live entertainment along with craft beer and wine and light meals.
Go early if you want to score a table. FRESH has become a popular gathering place on Fridays for folks in south Tyler.

coyty samsCoyote Sam’s  Bar and Grille
5424 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler

Now if you’re looking for a great food experience combined with a hunting lodge experience, you need to go to Coyote Sam’s! Not only do they have great food, but the atmosphere is incredible. There’s so much to look at, you might just forget to sink your teeth into their incredible ribs or Kobe burgers. And, add to that a patio out back that has a creek running alongside and you’ll think you’ve been transported to Montana or Idaho. Occasionally Sam and Marsha also have live entertainment for your enjoyment.

And, add to that a patio out back that has a creek running alongside and you’ll think you’ve been transported to Montana or Idaho. Occasionally Sam and Marsha also have live entertainment for your enjoyment.

What About Kabob
713 WSW Loop, Tyler

Offering up some of the most hip food to hit Tyler, WAK also has a little patio space out front that occasionally hosts some really terrific live music. I promise you that you won’t put any food better than the Narnia’s in your mouth and you won’t receive any better service anywhere else in Tyler. This place is amazing and is so moderately priced, you’ll double check your ticket.


In addition to all of these great restaurants, there are plenty of others who offer patio dining, although not necessarily live entertainment. Among those are:

  • Andy’s Frozen Custard, 6106 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • B.J.’s Brewhouse & Restaurant, 210 WSW Loop 323, Tyler
  • Cheddar’s, 6701 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Chiptole, 4751 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Chris & Sam’s Bar and Grill, 2210 Three Lakes Parkway/Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler
  • Chuy’s, 5935 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Clear Springs Texas Seafood, 6519 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • The Egg & I, 150 E. Ninth St., Tyler
  • Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 1871 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • Gus’ Mexican Restaurant, 16700 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Gresham
  • Happy’s Fish House, 2202 E. Fifth St., Tyler
  • The Jalapeno Tree, 420 WSW Loop 323, Tyler
  • Juls Restaurant, 7212 Old Jacksonville Hwy., , Tyler
  • Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, 1327 E. Front St., Tyler
  • Newk’s Express Cafe, 3985 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler
  • Oliveto Italian Bistro, 3709 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • On The Border, 4301 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Panera Bread, 5755 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • The Purple Pig Cafe, 9785 State Highway 155 S., Flint
  • Razzoo’s, 7011 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Rusty’s Taco (2 locations) 1714 S. Beckham and 7920 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, 3316 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • Shogun of Japan Steak House (2 locations) 3521 S. Broadway Ave. and 5515 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Smash Burger (2 locations) 3314 Troup Hwy. and 7484 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Traditions (Bistro), 6205 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Villa Montez, 3324 Old Henderson Hwy., Tyler

There are more patios in the Tyler area. These are just a few to get you started. Grab your spouse, your partner, your best friends and get yourself outdoors to enjoy all of the wonderful food and entertainment that Tyler has to offer. I’m guessing you won’t regret it.


Get Ready for 2019’s Blue Santa Pub Crawl Saturday, Dec. 14th

100% of the Proceeds go to support a Child!

Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Have Fun & Make A Difference in a Child’s Christmas

Are you looking for a way to get on Santa’s good side this year? Turns out you don’t have to wear red to be Santa Claus this Christmas! All you have to do is buy tickets and have some fun at the 3rd Annual Blue Santa Pub Crawl!

That’s because 100% goes to the children in the Blue Santa program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children each year during the holidays. Yes, 100% of your ticket cost goes directly to local children in Tyler, Texas.

Saturday, December 14th, 4-8pm, you can both make Christmas extra special for a child plus, you can have some fun in the process.

At the 3rd Annual Blue Santa Pub Crawl, the fun starts when the sun goes down and adult soon-to-be Santas come out to play in Downtown Tyler. Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase a ticket online at Tickets are $25 before 12 midnight December 13th and $35 the day of the event at the check-in table at ETX Brewing.
  • Check-in at ETX Brewery, 221 S. Broadway, starting at 3pm to get your Blue Santa t-shirt, lanyard, instructions, and Fun Map.
  • Then wander around Downtown Tyler and pick up pieces to your Blue Santa costume at different locations.
  • There will be Santa hats, beards, noses, jingle bells, blinking rings, flashy necklaces, gloves, and a few surprises!
  • There is no schedule – just wander around, have fun, and make a difference.
  • Locations on the Crawl are to be announced soon. To sign up, email us.
  • There will be a group photo at 8pm at ETX Brewing of everyone in the Blue Santa costumes.

You can also sign up to be a sponsor – helping to make a difference this holiday season. Sponsorships are Mrs. Claus Sponsors, Rudolf Sponsor, and Santa’s Little Helpers Sponsors. Details HERE.

Parking is always free in the parking garage and on the square. Valet parking is available on the square after 5pm.

You really can #havefunmakeadifference this Christmas!

Tickets and details are available at

The Blue Santa Pub Crawl is presented by and Visit Tyler in conjunction with the monthly Hit the Bricks – Second Saturday Downtown events.

100% goes to the children in the Blue Santa program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children each year during the holidays.

The Blue Santa Program

The Blue Santa Program is a non-profit outreach program that focuses on giving gift cards to needy children each year during the holidays. Each year the Police provide children that might not have Christmas with gift cards to WalMart.

By purchasing a ticket, you are making a donation to the Blue Santa program. Tickets are non-refundable. This is a rain, snow or shine event.

“It’s amazing to watch the children’s excitement as they pick out Christmas presents. It’s extremely humbling to see that some select presents for their family and sometimes food and other necessities,” said Chuck Boyce, Community Resource Officer with Tyler’s Police Department.

“The Blue Santa shopping trip is truly the highlight of my Christmas every year.”

“Our service to children began back in 2009, serving families in need during the holiday season. With our Blue Santa program, area police officers nominate children that are underprivileged, child victims, and/or are witnesses to crimes that they meet in the community to take Christmas shopping with police officers.”

For questions, call EGuide Magazine at (903)630-3030 or email

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Forks & Spoons Blog: Poch’s Rice Café, Tasty Soup and Eggrolls

By Hungry Guest

It’s hard to choose a single restaurant dish to review; Tyler has so many good restaurants with so many good things to eat!  But one of my go-to lunch favorites is Peking Soup and an egg roll at Poch’s Rice Café in the Tanglewood East Shopping Center.  Poch’s Peking Soup is a bowl full of clean, understated flavors.  Starting with a clear vegetable-chicken stock that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours, Poch’s adds shrimp, chicken and small strips of beef, along with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.  The vegetables are barely cooked through, still retaining bright colors, crispness and fresh flavor that you’ll enjoy with every bite.  The result is a warm, savory dish of lean protein and vegetables that fill you up, but won’t leave you feeling like you killed your diet for the week.

Pair this with one of Poch’s eggrolls (they’re the best in town, the staff is quick to tell you!).  The eggrolls are a delicious mix of cabbage, onion, celery, carrot, and meat, wrapped inside a light pastry and fried just long enough to soften the ingredients and blend the flavors.  This aromatic mixture goes great with a little Chinese mustard or some of the sweet sauce that the eggrolls are served with.

So there you have it; one of my favorite lunch combos!  Try a bowl of Peking Soup and an eggroll at Poch’s.  They’re in Tanglewood East, at the corner of 5th street and Loop 323 East.  You may become a regular there, too!

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