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.

Articles by Patricia Sharpe

Roost

Jul 31, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

There I was, sitting all alone at tiny Houston restaurant Roost, fielding frenetic text messages from three friends. A sad litany of flat tires, run-on meetings, and road closures explained their conspicuous absence. At many another place, a seriously incomplete party would have been getting the ol’ stink eye right…

Driftwood

Jun 30, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT Oak Cliff couldn’t possibly shoehorn another modish 
restaurant into its gentrifying streets, along comes Driftwood and gives that notion a kick in the head. Silly me, I imagined that Lucia, Bolsa, Mesa Veracruz, Campo, Oddfellows, 
and Chicken Scratch—to name 
only the more recent ones—might signal impending…

Uchi

May 31, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

FIRST COMES THE ARCHED eyebrow. Then the significant pause. Then the question: “Well, how was it?” This is the reaction of my Austin friends when they hear I’ve been to the Houston location of Uchi, Texas’s restaurant of the moment. Yes, Austin is eaten up with curiosity and jealousy, poor…

Build a Better Margarita and They Will Come

Apr 30, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Sangrita, tequila, and flavored salts From Jim's session (but they're another story) [caption id="attachment_501703" align="alignleft" width="680"]<img class="size-full wp-image-501703" src="http://www.texasmonthly.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0515_TEX.jpg" alt="texanist clothing" width="680" height="965" /> Do I need to update my jeans style?[/caption] <strong><span class="dropcap">Q:</span> I have always been “wear and let wear” when it comes…

Woodshed Smokehouse

Mar 31, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

HOLY SHIN! THE SIGNATURE dish of the two-month-old Woodshed Smokehouse is so paleo that you can almost hear drumbeats when they deliver it to your table. Tipping the scales at a minimum of three and a half pounds and smoked over hickory to an ebony turn, the brazen bone-in beef…

Foodways Texas Is Getting Fat and Sassy

Mar 26, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Foodways Texas, which was founded in July 2010 “to preserve, promote, and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas," held its second annual symposium in Austin this past weekend. A couple of hundred participants listened to talks on the theme of “Texas Preserved”—a deliberately wide-ranging topic that covered cocktails, the drought, cattle, sugar plantations, heritage pigs, beer, shrimp boats, oysters, “trash fish,” and even mayhaw jelly. Attendees also ate, very, very well, from a brisket dinner catered by Austin ‘cue maestro John Mueller (with sides by Hoover’s Cooking) to the recreation of a Texas farm dinner circa 1840 at Boggy Creek Farm. The main course at the latter feast consisted of succulent grilled Red Wattle pigs (a heritage breed) provided by Revival Market in Houston; the chef for the occasion was Sonya Cote of Austin’s East Side Showroom and the brand new Hillside Farmacy. Here are four choice moments from the nearly two-dozen presentations at the symposium: "Two generations ago Texas housewives could buy sugar grown, refined, and packaged in Texas. The brand was Imperial, and it was downright disloyal to buy anything else. But gradually the thriving Texas sugar cane industry collapsed. The cause of its slow death was a perfect storm of cane disease, bad weather, and cheap sugar from other countries, to name just three reasons. But today, sugar cane may be making a comeback in the Rio Grande Valley. Could Texas once again become a sugar belt—or sugar bowl?" - MM Pack, food writer and culinary historian, Austin, speaking on “A Short but Not Always Sweet History of Sugar in Texas.”

The BBQ Snob Is Hanging With the Big Dog

Mar 13, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Enjoying his fifteen minutes (hours, days, whatever) of fame, self-declared “BBQ Snob” Daniel Vaughn is in Austin today hanging out with the big dog, Anthony Bourdain, of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.”  They’re  seen here at Franklin Barbecue, along with Vaughn’s photographer Nicholas McWhirter, Vaughn’s book agent…

Vaca y Vino Is Smokin’–Literally

Mar 1, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

You may think that as a Texan, you know beef and smoking and barbecue and such. Friends, you don’t know anything about it until you’ve attended the smoking of a whole,  entire, big honking steer. At Vaca y Vino, set for Sunday, April 22, from 1 to 6,…

Triniti

Mar 1, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

APPARENTLY DELUSIONAL, I clicked on Triniti’s reservations link on a Thursday morning, somehow imagining that my friends and I could get into Houston’s newest white-hot dining destination the following Saturday night. What was I thinking? Not wanting to eat at 5:30 or 9:30, we settled for Sunday. Bliss! On that…

See Paul Win? See Paul Lose?

Feb 27, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Will Uchiko’s Paul Qui be the big winner on the season nine finale of Top Chef: Texas this Wednesday, February 29? Or will he be the big loser? Keep your fingers crossed for our Austin boy. If you want to really get in the mood, drop by…

The Ten Best New Restaurants in Texas!!!

Feb 15, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Starting in 2002, I have eaten my weight in lamb chops, roasted beets, pork belly, and micro-cilantro every year to come up with Texas Monthly’s annual list of the most innovative, exciting, and delicious new Texas restaurants. For 2012, our feature “Where to Eat Now” runs the gamut from a…

The Good News Is that Texas Captured Four of Seventeen Finalist Slots in Food & Wine’s People’s Pastry Chef Online Contest. The Bad News Is that Only Austin and Houston Made the Cut. What’s Up With That?

Feb 8, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Not bad at all: Texas captured four of seventeen finalist slots in Food & Wine’s new “People’s Best New Pastry Chef” competition.” That’s really impressive, considering that the Texans are up against chefs from Chicago and New Orleans, among other cities (we are in Central, one of three…

Feast

Feb 1, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

RESPLENDENT WITH crystal globes, Philippe Starck–designed transparent “ghost chairs,” and a smart black, white, and gray color scheme, Feast burst onto the scene in San Antonio’s vaguely bohemian Southtown neighborhood five months ago like a New York runway model crashing the ladies’ bridge club. Owner and principal designer Andrew Goodman…

Oh no! Barbecue Stalwart Wild Blue Is Closing.

Jan 28, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Little did I know when I wrote the following words nearly four years ago—“Please, patronize Wild Blue before it’s too late”—that my greatest fear would come true. One of the true stalwarts of Texas Barbecue–Wild Blue B.B.Q., located in the near-Brownsville city of Los Fresnos—will shut its doors…

More Proof That Austin Is Smoking Hot!

Jan 27, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

There’s nothing like a bandwagon. No sooner did Food & Wine and Bon Appétit fall all over themselves to give Austin a whole lotta love than StarChefs.com (an online magazine for chefs and culinary insiders) decided to hold one of its four national awards ceremonies in…

Pourology 101 Comes to San Antonio

Jan 18, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Modeled on the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the first ever San Antonio Cocktail Conference is ginning up for next weekend, with four days of drink seminars, guided tastings, and cocktail parties. You can get a buzz just reading the program, which is amazing both in its scope and…

The Pies Have It–This Saturday! Y’all Come!

Jan 12, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

There are two kinds of people in America: pie people and cake people. If you’re a pie person (as I proudly count myself), consider coming to the fourth annual “Peace Through Pie” Social this Saturday, Jan. 14, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., at the  Sweet Home Missionary Baptist…

Campo

Jan 1, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

BY THE TIME MATT McCallister opens his own restaurant—sometime this year—the thirty-year-old wunderchef will have had more local media coverage than most cooks get in a lifetime. Self-taught, he started as a lowly pantry cook at Stephan Pyles’s eponymous Dallas restaurant in 2006. He then became executive chef and master…

Velvet Taco

Dec 1, 2011 By Patricia Sharpe

I ORDERED AT THE COUNTER and took a seat on a metal stool at a big varnished wood table near wall-to-wall windows. My dinner arrived in a paper wrapper, and I ate it with my hands and a spork. Distraction consisted of watching a motley crew of fellow…

Felix 55

Oct 31, 2011 By Patricia Sharpe

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. Making assumptions. Forming snap judgments. Call it what you will, we all do it, me included. So when I found myself at the address for Felix 55, staring at what looked like an upscale bar with a restaurant attached, my first reaction was, Michael Kramer is cooking…

Here’s the Beef, Pork, and Sausage–and Apricot Fried Pies

Oct 31, 2011 By Patricia Sharpe

The second annual Texas Monthly BBQ Festival was held Sunday, October 30, at the outdoor terrace of Long Center in Austin. Some 3,000 people attended to sample barbecue from 22 vendors (all of whom had been named to our Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas in 2008), listen to music (Jimmie Vaughan and Asleep at the Wheel), and vote for the people’s choice in four categories. The prizes were won this year by Franklin Barbecue of Austin (best brisket), Louie Mueller Barbecue of Taylor (best beef ribs and best sausage), and Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q of Tyler (best pork ribs). Last  year’s best brisket winner was Snow’s BBQ of Lexington. Here are some random observations from an assortment of well-fed attendees. It’s kind of like drinking from a fire hydrant. There is so much here!—Seth Dockery This is Texas, so the temperature could have been 40, it could have been 95. But today was perfect.—Jen Pencis, Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, Tyler Cooking’s easy. The hardest part is figuring out the amount of meat. –Todd Ashmore, Opie’s Barbecue, Spicewood This event is definitely off the ground. Yesterday I was telling people I was in town for the barbecue festival and everybody knew what I was talking about. Last year they had no idea.—Daniel Vaughn, Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog

Eat, Read, Love: Your Quick Guide to Food Sessions at the Texas Book Festival

Oct 20, 2011 By Patricia Sharpe

To me, the most delicious part of the Texas Book Festival (Oct 22 & 23) is its great round-up of food-related talks and sessions and cooking demos. Rather than slog through the full schedule, focus on food with our easy guide. FOOD SESSIONS FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2011 Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender & Southern Food 11:15–12:00 in the Capitol Extension Room E2.030 An associate professor of American studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Engelhardt discusses the origins of Southern cooking and their relations to gender, society, and race. Alton Brown, Good Eats 3: The Later Years 11:30–12:15 at the Paramount Theatre The Food Network personality and chef talks about his third Good Eats book, based on his often-hilarious, always-informative TV show. Lisa Fain, The Homesick Texan Cookbook 12:45–1:30 in the Capitol Extension Room E2.036 This Texan turned New York blogger has written a cookbook featuring the classic Texas favorites she missed after her move to the Big Apple. She talks about her experiences in a Q&A with Texas Monthly food editor and writer Pat Sharpe. Gabrielle Hamilton, Blood, Bones, and Butter 3:15–4:00 at the Capitol Auditorium Room E1.004 Chef and New York City restaurateur Gabrielle Hamilton describes how she got into the culinary world (through some “illegal” ways), and details recipes from her restaurant Prune.