texasmonthly.com: How do you come up with an initial list that you eventually narrow down to the top ten?
Patricia Sharpe: The eating for this story goes on all year. The Texas Monthly restaurant reviewers in the major cities are always on the lookout for me; they’re my—well, not eyes and ears, exactly—I guess you’d say mouths. They know I need places to use for Pat’s Pick, my monthly column that spotlights a new restaurant. And a lot of those eventually end up in Where To Eat Now, of course. I travel at least once a month to Dallas or Houston, sometimes both, less often to San Antonio and Fort Worth. (I’m based in Austin.) And naturally I check the restaurant reviews in the local newspapers. Dotty Griffith in the Dallas Morning News and Alison Cook in the Houston Chronicle are invaluable resources. But I do all my own eating.
texasmonthly.com: How difficult was it to pick this year’s top ten best restaurants in the state?
PS: It’s hard every year. I compare it to grading papers—I used to be an English teacher. You know when a restaurant is