If you have lived inside the loop for any period of time then you are no stranger to Barnaby's. A true gem of a restaurant. Casual, comfortable and inviting. The menu is a variety of home-style favorites mixed with a genuine consciousness of good health and quality.
My wife and I used to frequent the Midtown (W. Gray) location, but since moving to the Heights we tend to visit the River Oaks location most often since it is just a straight shot down Shepherd. Everyone seems to have a favorite. Especially folks who visit the Original location (604 Fairview) and Baby Baby Barnaby's which is right next door (602 Fairview) but specializes in a fantastic breakfast. The restaurant is small and always hoppin' and early morning dining (and people watching) is almost a rite of passage for Inner Loopers. Now, Barnaby's has expanded across the border, outside the Loop on Woodway.
The name comes from the name of the owner's childhood pet sheepdog and the puppy motif is prevalent in each store. Paper menus and a seat yourself mentality (when not on a wait) lend to the comfortable at home atmosphere.
The service is always quick and friendly and the menu is high quality and high quantity. The guacamole is superb, but you'll need a friend to share the generous portion. The salads are always extremely fresh and definitely large enough to be a meals in themselves. I tend to get one of the juicy, housemade burgers, but there is plenty to chose from including cold sandwiches, hot entrees and vegetarian selections as well.
If you are in the mood, the wine list is small, but well rounded with a remarkably agreeable price range.
The place is well staffed, well managed and delightfully consistent whether dining in or taking out. If you haven't tried Barnaby's you owe it to yourself. Whatever the neighborhood, you won't be disappointed.