Ally McMeal

Forget the recipe secrets. What we want to know is how senior editor Patricia Sharpe—the Calista Flockhart of Texas Monthly —keeps her slender figure. For this month’s cover story on Mexican food (see “ The Joy of Mex ,”), Sharpe dined at more than 120 restaurants on both sides of the border, yet she’s still as slim as ever. Her strategy, she says, was not to eat more than about four bites of any one thing—“except maybe guacamole.” Dining solo, she would order several menu items at a time, nibble a bit on each, and then ask for the check. “They thought I was nuts,” she says. One manager was so nervous that he kept asking if everything was all right. When Sharpe left, she heard a voice behind her pleading: “Please, ma’am, are you sure everything was okay? You left food on your plate.” After that experience, she changed her strategy: She would request a to-go box and take everything with her. Fortunately, all those months of reporting didn’t ruin Sharpe’s appetite permanently: She was recently spotted in a North Austin bowling alley known for its tasty enchiladas. Witnesses say she ate every bite.

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