One lucky restaurant from Houston scored a ranking on the latest traffic-trolling "top restaurants" list, this one generated by The Daily Meal, a list-delirious website ostensibly dedicated to topics of food and drink. The "101 Best Restaurants in America" includes the much ballyhooed Underbelly at No. 90.
For the Bayou City, that is all she wrote.
The list's top three slots go to the most trite-and-true restaurants in the country: French Laundry, Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin. It goes without saying that the list is dominated by New York and California restaurants, with 28 list-makers from New York and 20 from California.
A list like this can be a wonderful thing, because it gives us a chance to evaluate our weaknesses — which can be basically summed up as, we're not California or New York.
But no tears: A list like this can be a wonderful thing, because it gives us a chance to evaluate our weaknesses — which can be basically summed up as, we're not California or New York. Honestly, we're just grateful for any scraps on the national table. We're thrilled with a showing of one restaurant, because it could have been none at all.
But you do have to wonder how the evaluation went down. Judging from the list of obscure bloggers and random journalists that make up the "illustrious members of their expert panel," the only Texas contributors appear to be Pat Sharpe of Austin-based Texas Monthly and Robb Walsh, of the new publication Houstonia, set to debut this spring.
Another way that you can tell how legit this list is — and that it has nothing to do with gross, shameless, unbridled trolling for traffic — is the inclusion of Shake Shack, the stupidly overrated New York burger place. As the story reads, "There were winners that will be certain to infuriate detractors and inspire advocates. In its first year on the list, Shake Shack’s claim to the 11th spot (above Jean-Georges, Daniel, Alinea, Chez Panisse, Del Posto and Per Se) will likely anger more than In-N-Out lovers."
Yes! In-N-Out! Anger! Outrage! Click click click.
CultureMap Houston editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh contributed to this story.