In January 2007, the city of Dallas passed an ordinance for restaurant owners to legally allow dogs on their patios. Local dog-lovers were ecstatic until we realized that several months after the ordinance had passed, no restaurants had been officially designated as "dog-friendly." The ordinance required restaurant owners to comply with a lengthy set of rules and improvements for their patios, which were sometimes cost prohibitive and impractical for many restaurants. On May 28, 2008 the Dallas City Council updated the Dog Variance Ordinance with some more relaxed rules - primarily that owners must ensure that the dogs are on leashes and that staff does not touch the dogs. In July 2009, Café Lago received the first permit (#001) to allow dogs on their patio.
Café Lago is located on Garland Road just west of Buckner Boulevard near White Rock Lake and has been open for eight years. This neighborhood restaurant has free wireless internet access, live music on weekends, and is known for the breakfast and brunch menu. There were dog bowls for water on the ground around the table so dogs are able to have a drink while their owners wait to place their orders. Café Lago has a "doggie menu" that outlines the rules for dog-friendly dining on one side and the puppy menu on the other. Menu items are served without spices or seasonings on a disposable plate and should be placed on the ground or hand-fed to your pup, as dogs are not allowed on the patio tables or chairs.
The doggie menu items are fairly inexpensive, such as sliced turkey meat for $3 and egg with turkey pieces for $4, and the proportions were generous for the price. Other menu items are grilled hicken ($6 for a quarter pound) and two scrambled eggs ($3). Interesting fact - 15% of all Café Lago doggie menu item sales goes to benefit the East Lake Pet Orphanage. The service tends to be slow but the food (both dog and human varieties) are always on the mark. The Lago Omelette is outstanding and the doggie menu items are served warm.
Café Lago is located at 9219 Garland Road, Suite 1102, Dallas, TX 75218. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday and is closed on Mondays. You can find more information about Café Lago - including online menus, a calendar of events, and more information about the rules for dog-friendly dining - on their website at www.cafe-lago.com. You can also get updates about Café Lago by following them on Twitter. To contact someone at Café Lago directly, please call 214-320-0726.