The James Beard Awards are the restaurant’s business version of the Academy Awards, and though the awards have more than a few problems (right, Sharon Hage?), they do give a decent idea of what’s going on in the food world.

And in Dallas, it’s not the restaurants. None are finalists for this year’s Beard Awards. Which, to my mind, isn’t surprising. I get to eat at many of them through my wine writing, and I’m glad I’m not paying. Too many of those considered the best are overpriced, snotty and not worth a second visit. Even when you’re not paying.

Instead, it’s food writing where Dallas shines. My pal Hanna Raskin, soon to leave the Observer, was nominated for her work on the Observer food blog, City of Ate. And her colleague, Alice Laussade, who writes damn fine reviews of cheap places to eat, is also a finalist.


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