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

King Creole

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

I walked into Underbelly the other night and straight into a bear hug from chef-owner Chris Shepherd. And I wasn’t the only one. Every woman that the extroverted Houston chef had ever met before, plus random strangers who were looking a little jealous, also received a hug. I’m not sure…

The Birding Drive

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

The Birding Drive By Patricia Sharpe ROUTE: Mission to South Padre IslandDISTANCE: 89 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 2WHAT TO READ: David Allen Sibley’s The Sibley Guide to Birds Hugging the U.S.-Mexico border in far South Texas, the sultry stretch of land known as the Lower Rio Grande Valley…

Oxheart

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

FOOD GURU MICHAEL POLLAN would be a fan of Oxheart. Admittedly, I haven’t asked him, but his famous imperative—“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”—squares with the philosophy behind the highly anticipated vegetable-centric restaurant from husband-and-wife chefs Justin Yu and Karen Man. (In case you find yourself a…

Where to Eat Now 2012

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

White tablecloths. Street food. Small portions. Lots and lots of innards. The only thing the ten best new Texas restaurants have in common is a willingness to prove that there is no such thing as a “Texas restaurant.” But when the escargots with fennel purée are this good, who cares?

The Monterey

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

I don’t know about you, but when I grab the menu at a beer garden and cafe, the last thing I expect to find on it are dishes like octopus with white curry, smoked fish with sriracha mayo, and chocolate pudding with lime curd and caramel popcorn. But at the…

BBQ08

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe and Patricia McConnico

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.

Feature
A Big Splash

Jan 21, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

The biggest blue catfish ever caught in Texas—121.5 pounds—was hauled flipping and flopping out of Lake Texoma on January 16, 2004, by Howe resident Cody Mullennix. Contrary to iron-clad tradition, Mullennix did not eat the critter, stuff it, or hang its head on a rural fence post. He donated it,…

Dean Fearing, Mansion On Turtle Creek, Dallas

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

“People are fascinated with intricate, exotic preparations, but they love comfort food. What we’re doing is giving homey, Texas food a kick and serving it in our Mansion style.” My dad was an innkeeper, which is how I got into cooking. He was with the parent company of Holiday Inn,…

Where to Eat Now 2011

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Jalapeño sausage–stuffed quail, lemon-pepper-marinated fried chicken: The trend for most of the best new restaurants last year was comfort food with pizzazz. But then along came Uchiko to wow us with its mouthwatering take on Japanese fusion. Who says you can’t buck a trend?

Where to Eat Now 2010

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

You had to be brave to open a restaurant last year. Or you had to be a genius. Or, like Robert Del Grande, whose revamped Houston eatery tops our list of the ten best gastronomical debuts of 2009, you had to be both.

Let’s Have Mex-Tex

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Where’s the best place to get a perfect plate of enchiladas? A chile relleno to die for? A salsa you’ll never forget? Come along on our tour of the fifty greatest Mexican restaurants in Texas, from Hugo’s, in Houston, to Tacos Santa Cecilia, in El Paso. This is not your father’s Tex-Mex.

Round and Round

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Tortillas have been with us since the heyday of the Maya and the Aztecs. Now these simple small cakes are big business-but some are still made the old fashioned way. Includes extra tortilleria listings.

Some Like It Picante

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Actually, most of us do, which is why we’ve visited Mexican restaurants and taquerías all over the state in search of the best enchiladas, guacamole, cabrito, and other classic dishes; pilfered three great restaurant recipes for you to make in your own cocina; answered every frequently asked question we could think of; collected expert tips and techniques; and compiled a glossary of terms you’re likely to find on a menu. Sound like the last Mexican food story you’ll ever need to read?

¡Viva Tequila!

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

How it’s made, the secret of cooking with it, the truth about the worm, and everything else you ever wanted to know about Mexico’s favorite drink—and ours.

State Fare

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Shakespeare deemed music the food of love. We beg to differ. These normally humdrum breakfast staples have been glamorized by chef Kenneth Mills of Dallas’ Natura Cafe. His trick? He enriches the pancakes with yogurt and lightly beaten egg whites before grilling, then pours on generous quantities of warm syrup;…

State Fare

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

Pity poor Santa: Everywhere he stops during the wee hours of Christas morning, he gets a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. This year, do him a gavor and put out something different at your house, like a slice of satiny lemon tart and a cup of liqueur-laced…