Best Of 2013: Patio Dining
Amanda's Fonda is a perennial Best Of winner, and it's not just for the "great service, great food, great margaritas and great atmosphere," as Cyndi Strickland puts it. The Colorado Avenue location's assistant manager says the secret is the familial feeling among the staff. "We look out for each other. If somebody has something trying going on, like a death in the family, we'll pool together money to help them out." That support gave the staff strength after co-founder Amanda Lopez Burr died in 2005. Now, they carry on her determination to keep the west-side patio open year-round. February's opening of the North Academy location has given diners another patio to enjoy — along with the marvelous margaritas and Mexican cuisine. — Rhonda Van Pelt
Amanda's is a 12-time Best Of winner in a time of transition: It was sold mid-year to a guy who owns a handful of Wendy's, and he's been talking growth. Regardless, our visit soon after the sale was full of largely satisfying southwestern dishes, and you'll never be disappointed by the creekside patio.