Patricia Sharpe's Profile Photo

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.

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

The Monterey

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

BBQ |
January 21, 2013

BBQ08

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.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

A Big Splash

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,

Recipes |
January 20, 2013

Dean Fearing, Mansion On Turtle Creek, Dallas

“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, and

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Where to Eat Now 2011

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?

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Where to Eat Now 2010

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.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Let’s Have Mex-Tex

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

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Round and Round

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.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Some Like It Picante

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

Libations |
January 20, 2013

¡Viva Tequila!

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.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

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;

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

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

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Top of the Morning

Recipes for the state’s best breakfasts, including empanadas from Joe T. Garcia’s Bakery in Fort Worth, smoked-salmon omelets from benjy’s in Houston, and gingerbread pancakes from Austin’s Magnolia Cafe.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Hot Plates!

Recipe for a great new cookbook: Combine a celebrated chef, a veteran food writer, and an innovative approach to contemporary Tex-Mex; serve.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Southern Comfort

Fabulous fried chicken, marvelous meat loaf, great greens, outstanding okra, perfect pie, and more: where to find our favorite staples of home cooking.

Texana |
January 20, 2013

Road Show

Our guide to finding Texas wildflowers that stand out in their fields.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Chef’s On The Rise

—David GarridoBefore he became a chef, David Garrido very nearly disappeared into a different profession—a scary thought. He was on a career path in hotel management at the Hilton Hotel University in Houston eleven years ago when friends introduced him to French cooking. From the first minute in the kitchen,

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Southwestern Ho!

Where to Eat Southwestern in TexasReata Alpine Cowboy cooking rules, but you’ll find city touches like cream of jalapeño and cilantro soup and smoked-cabrito quesadillas in habanero barbecue sauce. After dinner in the simple wood-floored dining room, check out the sprawling mural of the original Reata, from Giant.Brio Austin At

Recipes |
January 20, 2013

Robert Del Grande, Cafe Annie, Houston.

“In the past few years I have tried to simplify what we do and not trump it up too much. I’ve never strained the sauces—I leave bits of chile in there to give a more rustic look.”Food seems magical to me. The idea that you can take flour, eggs, milk,

Feature |
January 20, 2013

How We Did It

Our 31 researchers were given rigorous training and dispatched to the field with packets of wet ones, bottles of Tums, and a scientific score sheet (the one pictured at right is from the Cove, in San Antonio, whose Texas Burger ranked number five on our list).As soon as the burger

Travel & Outdoors |
January 20, 2013

Vineyard Hopping

Location: Hill CountryWhat You’ll Need: Road map, spittoonTexas runneth over with wineries; more than 160 are scattered from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods. But for a doable weekend that blends good wine and well-run tasting rooms with wonderful scenery, side trips, varied shopping, and restaurants both

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Where to Eat Now 2009

How perfect is this: The best new restaurant to open during the Year of Financial Meltdown is located in the lobby of an old Houston bank. What better place to invest your money than in the soul-nourishing flavor combos of chef Michael Kramer’s beautifully composed plates?

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Even without fancy dressing, this showy Mediterranean-style salad makes a spectacle of itself. Chef Timothy Keating of the Omni Houston Hotel’s La Rèserve restaurant (4 Riverway), created the “intense” salad, as he calls it, for a fundraiser last year on a Hollywood soundstage, where he was “elbow-deep in roasted vegetables,

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Salads, they do get weary, wearing that same shabby dressing. And when they get weary, Thai Spice says, try a little tenderloin.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Make Way for Duck

Tired of talking turkey? ‘Tis the season to feast on a bird that’s all it’s quacked up to be—and other dishes created by five of the state’s hottest chefs.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

If you’re hungry . . .

Panhandle Cope’s Coney Island, CanyonAt Cope’s, the lunch counter with swivel stools will make you nostalgic for the fifties. All-American eats include chicken-fried steak, one-third-pound burgers, barbecue, grilled steaks, and, of course, hot dogs. On Saturdays, chow down on fried catfish and shrimp. 2201 Fourth Avenue, 806-655-1184. Lunch and dinner

Feature |
January 20, 2013

The Best of the Rest

• Tell me if this idea is not totally Dallas: a restaurant with a conjoined clothing boutique. At Cretia’s on McKinney, both sexes can peruse trendy garb while the kitchen whips up their food. To be honest, I prefer lunches here because the damage to my pocketbook is less if

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Where to Eat Now 2005

What’s on the menu this year? Not the best new restaurants of all time, perhaps—but you’ll still love the veal shank at 17, the Texas quail at T’afia, the Guinness stout cake at George, and the fusion of French and Mexican cooking at Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana. And don’t forget

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Directory

• Beso, – Closed• Cretia’s on McKinney, 4438 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, 214-252-9300• El Chile Cafe y Cantina, 1809 Manor Road, Austin, 512-457-9900• Fireside Pies, 2820 N. Henderson Avenue, Dallas, 214-370-3916• George, – Closed• Hector’s on Henderson, 2929 N. Henderson Avenue, Dallas, 214-821-0432• Julia’s Bistro, 3722 Main, Houston, 713-807-0090• Lanny’s Alta