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May 19, 2011 11:30 AM

Chronicle Restaurant Reader's Poll 2011

Can we discuss this here? I think we did last year. The Critic's Poll isn't too bad, but when I look at this reader's poll, I'm wondering if anyone that responded has been out to eat in this town in the past 10 years.

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  1. I will never ever understand this town's obsession with Torchy's. I need to cut myself off right here before I start ranting in earnest.

    4 Replies
    1. re: addlepated

      I am with you 100%. If I start ranting any more, they'll pull my post around these parts :)

      1. re: addlepated

        I've been going there a lot since my wife loves it. But, I can't stand it any longer. I don't think you can call yourself a taco joint when anything you serve that resembles a taco is absolutely inedible. The rule there is: the more unlike a taco, the better the taco.

        Don't get me started on their breakfast tacos. They may be the worst in a town of middling breakfast tacos.

        1. re: achtungpv

          They put MASHED POTATOES on their potato and egg tacos. *cleansing breaths*

          1. re: addlepated

            Torchy's? I thought Tacodeli was the only place around here that did that.

            12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758

      2. agreed on the readers poll. I just don't see how chuy's, salt lick, hut's, and torchy's can top their respective categories. and i'm not above eating the occasional Thundercloud sub and i understand they're a local business with deep roots, but really the best sandwich in town? really?

        1. Some real WTFs in the Reader's Poll:
          Manuel's above Fonda and Vespaio?
          Salt Lick over Ruby's, Rudy's, and Franklin's?
          Get Sum over Shanghai and Fortune for dim sim?
          Din Ho and Suzie's over Asia Cafe???

          And I don't understand how Phoenicia beats out MT as an ethnic supermarket... Maybe someone can enlighten me.

          1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

          1. the poll is schizo, and seriously needs retooling.

            1. the readers poll categories are a mess.
            categories of cuisines make sense.
            ("steak", "bbq", and "comfort food", etc.).
            random dish categories do not communicate what the actual winners were.
            ("appetizer", "chile-pepper dish", "salad/dressing", "seafood dish", "tofu dish", etc.).
            which appetizer? which tofu dish? i would like to know...

            separate the cuisine and dish categories into different sections!
            then, write some blurbs and post some pics.
            and this, my friends, is food journalism. sheesh.

            2. the critics picks has the opposite problem.
            the categories are a little too precious.
            what's next?
            "best locavore, vegan, gluten-free, raw food, cheese made by an albino during the month of january"?

            3. omit national chains.
            it's the *austin* chronicle.
            then we can avoid people voting olive garden as the best salad in town.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dinaofdoom


              I was thinking the same thing about the "best dishes" things. How does it help me to know the best seafood dish is at Perla if you don't tell me what it is? How hard is that?

              And the too precious critics picks are annoying as well. Why can't the critics stick to the same categories and tell us what they like? Of course, I think Virginia Wood likes everything as I'm not sure I've ever seen a negative review from her.

              I guess though, in all honesty, with sites like Chowhound, local bloggers and the other site (which I know better than to name here), the Chronicle hasn't been relevant in food review in about 3 years. And that poll reflects why.

              1. re: foodiegal71

                Wes Marshall and Mick Vann are both to be trusted. Read their archives, particularly Vann, that guy knows what's up.

                The rest are a mixed bag.

                I do love that Threadgill's comes in 2nd for vegetables. That tells you about all you need to know about the typical Chron restaurant poll voter.

                If that joint ever lost their can opener service would come to a grinding halt.

                Threadgills Restaurant
                301 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  I hear you... as I read through the reader's poll I thought it was compiled by people with the palette of 5 year olds. I couldn't believe Plucker's got the nod for best chicken dish. That's like saying Captain D's serves the best seafood in your city.

                  Placing the Bratwurst at Best Wurst over than the Pork Belly Slider at Odd Duck is depressing. The brat is just okay for drunk food, but the slider is really something special.
                  After I finished reading the poll this year, I pretty much said I was done with it... its more sad than anything else IMHO

                  Odd Duck
                  1219 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              2. re: dinaofdoom

                "best locavore, vegan, gluten-free, raw food, cheese made by an albino during the month of january"


              3. Well, I like Torchy's and Virginia Wood. I'd still take the Chronicle over Yuck! any day. But still, the Salt Lick? And those wretched fries at Hyde Park.