Today the Houston Press released its compilation of 30 Essential Texas Restaurants, asking a group of twenty restaurant and food writers to curate the definitive list of where to eat in Texas before you die. Weighing in on the project are the Press' Katharine Shilcutt and the Austin Chronicle's Virginia B. Wood, as well as former Dallas Observer critic Hanna Raskin (who left Texas after less than a year and now lives in Seattle) and former Dallas Morning News critic Bill Addison, who lives in Atlanta.
Of the thirty, five Austin-proper restaurants make the list, and it's a fairly solid cross section of the dining scene, from old-school Tex-Mex to wallet-busting sushi, with stops between.
On the list: Fonda San Miguel, Franklin Barbecue, Green Pastures, Matt's El Rancho and Uchi. But at this point, even Uchi seems a little old-school compared to the likes of, say, Barley Swine. Would have been nice to see some of Austin's newer, more innovative and locally focused restaurants (Lenoir, perhaps?) pushing that "essential" descriptor into the future rather than the past.
Farther out in Central Texas, find Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Kreuz Market and Smitty's in Lockhart, and Ray's Drive Inn, Mi Tierra and Biga On The Banks in San Antonio.
Eater Houston's Eric Sandler and Eater Dallas' Whitney Filloon are taking the temperature of readers' responses in their respective cities, so we're also bound to ask: readers, how's this list look to you? What changes would you make?
· 30 Essential Texas Restaurants [Houston Press]