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Texas Monthly On . . .

Texas Monthly On . . .
Introduction by Evan Smith

Some of the most delicious writing about food and food culture in Texas—recipes included—from the state's tastemaker magazine, Texas Monthly.

April 2008
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219 pages | 6 x 9 |

From reviews of the newest, hippest restaurants in cities across Texas to stories about the comfort foods we all love, Texans have long relied on Texas Monthly to dish up some of the best writing about food in the Lone Star state. This anthology brings together twenty-eight classic articles about food in Texas and the culture that surrounds it—markets that purvey exotic and traditional foods, well-known chefs, tributes to the cooks and cookbooks of days gone by, and even a feature on how to open a restaurant. Many of the articles are by Patricia Sharpe, Texas Monthly's longtime restaurant critic and winner of the James Beard Journalism Award for Magazine Feature Writing without Recipes. Joining her are Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith and contributors Gary Cartwright, Jordan MacKay, Skip Hollandsworth, Pamela Colloff, Anne Dingus, Suzy Banks, Joe Nick Patoski, and Prudence Mackintosh.

  • Introduction, Evan Smith
  • Food Culture
  • "Holy Shiitakes!" Gary Cartwright
  • "Sour Grapes," Jordan MacKay
  • "How the West Was Won Over," Skip Hollandsworth and Pamela Colloff
  • "Stop and Smell the Lavender," Patricia Sharpe
  • "War Fare," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Critters and Fritters," Anne Dingus
  • "Stock Tips," Patricia Sharpe
  • "The Art of the Meal," Patricia Sharpe
  • Signature Texas Foods
  • "¡Viva Tequila!" Patricia Sharpe
  • "Round and Round," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Slush Fun," Patricia Sharpe
  • "The Shuck Stops Here," Patricia Sharpe
  • "How Sweet It Is," Suzy Banks
  • "Tex-Mex 101," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Table Talk," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Going for the Jiggler," Anne Dingus
  • "Let Me Call You Sweet-Tart," Anne Dingus
  • Personalities
  • "Pit Split," Joe Nick Patoski
  • "Texas Food Conquers the World," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Confessions of a Skinny Bitch," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Tastemaker of the Century--Helen Corbitt," Prudence Mackintosh
  • "Ladies, First," Patricia Sharpe
  • "How to Open a Restaurant," Patricia Sharpe
  • "We Remember Ninfa Laurenzo," Patricia Sharpe
  • "John Mackey," Evan Smith
  • "John Campbell," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Got Game," Patricia Sharpe
  • "Stephan Pyles," Patricia Sharpe

Texas Monthly has chronicled life in contemporary Texas since 1973, reporting on vital issues such as politics, the environment, industry, and education, as well as music, the arts, travel, restaurants, and cultural events. The magazine has received dozens of editorial and design awards, including nine National Magazine Awards, the industry's highest honor. Evan Smith joined the staff of Texas Monthly in 1992. He became editor in 2000 and executive vice president in 2002. Smith also hosts Texas Monthly Talks, a weekly interview program that airs on all PBS stations in Texas.


Like the man said, we are what we eat. And, fortunately, what we eat is delicious. The cuisines of our state—Mexican food, barbecue, and comfort food by way of chicken-fried steak—have been the stuff of great meals for as long as there has been a Texas, and also of great magazine stories for as long as there has been a Texas Monthly. For 34 years now we've been telling our readers where to find and how to think about the best of everything, and nothing is more important to them, and to us, than the indigenous bests: the best burrito or margarita, the best brisket or beans, the best cream gravy or cornbread. Food has a constituency larger and more passionate than that of any other subject we cover; whoever you may be, wherever you live, it's also the thing that connects you to your neighbors down the block, across town, in the next county, and around the state. And food is fun to write about, though not always to report on: Ask our longtime restaurant critic and resident gourmand Patricia Sharpe to regale you with tales of eighty tacos in four days and you'll see why unlimited eating on someone else's dime may not be as enviable as it appears.

Pat has been, like a celebrated chef at a five-star restaurant, the one who's pulled the ingredients together masterfully, with grace and cheer, all these years. Many of the stories you're about to read originated with her, in conception or execution; others detoured through her office on their way to being served up to the more than two million readers who continue to hang on her every word. We and you owe her greatly for the impact she's had on all of our culinary lives. Thanks, Pat. You can keep the change.


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