Patricia Sharpe grew up in Austin and holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. After working as a teacher (in English and Spanish) and at the Texas Historical Commission (writing historical markers), she joined the staff of Texas Monthly, in 1974. Initially, she edited the magazine’s cultural and restaurant listings and wrote a consumer feature called Touts. Eventually she focused exclusively on food. Her humorous story “War Fare,” an account of living for 48 hours on military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), was included in the anthology Best Food Writing 2002. Many of her stories appear in the 2008 UT Press collection, Texas Monthly on Food. In 2006 her story about being a restaurant critic, titled “Confessions of a Skinny Bitch,” won a James Beard Foundation award for magazine food writing.
Sharpe has contributed to Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and the New York Times. She writes a regular restaurant column, Pat’s Pick, for Texas Monthly.
Eighteen hungry reviewers. 14,773 miles driven/flown. 341 joints visited. Countless bites of brisket, sausage, chicken, pork, white bread, potato salad, and slaw—and vats of sauce—ingested. There are only fifty slots on our quinquennial list of the best places to eat barbecue in Texas. Only five of those got high honors. And only one (you’ll never guess which one in a million years) is the best of the best.
Where are the best places to eat barbecue in Texas? Six years ago we published a highly subjective—and hotly debated— list of our fifty favorite joints, and now we’ve gone back for seconds. Ten intrepid souls drove more than 21,000 miles in search of 2003’s worthiest ‘cue. Here’s what they came back with: the top 5 and the next 45, plus honorable mentions, great chains, and meat by mail.