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The 30 Essential Texas Restaurants: Surprising Shut-Outs

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Haven't had a chance to peruse this week's feature yet? Catch up on our list of the 30 essential Texas restaurants and then meet us back here. Synchronize Swatches!

There have been plenty of questions asked by readers confounded by how some of their favorite Texas restaurants could have been left off a list that's supposedly "seminal" and "essential" and all those other fun words that arbitrarily determine something's importance in our lives. And we've answered some of those questions so far.

See also: - The 30 Essential Texas Restaurants: What Happened to West, South and East Texas? - The 30 Essential Texas Restaurants: Near Misses (a.k.a. the Dan Marino Restaurants)

But that doesn't mean we don't have a few questions of our own. Like where's the beef?

Namely, why didn't any burger joints make the top 30 list? Although among the 21 of us we managed to cover most of the Texas food groups -- barbecue, steaks, Tex-Mex, Japanese farmhouse cuisine, chicken fried steak -- we didn't manage to come to a consensus on a burger joint.

That's not to say that burger joints were submitted: I voted for East Texas Burger Company in Mineola, for example. Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News noted Square Burger on her list, while fellow Dallas food critic Scott Reitz at the Observer gave a nod to Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger. Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Hanna Raskin of the Seattle Weekly both went full-tilt Texan and voted for Whataburger. But not much was mentioned beyond that.

Equally surprising was the shut-out of City Market in Luling, which is arguably as important as places such as Kreutz Market, Smitty's and Louie Mueller -- and even Snow's, which was on the almost-made-it list. City Market received only two votes, the same as places such as Collin Street Bakery, Royer's Round Top Cafe, The Zodiac Room (at the Neiman Marcus in Dallas) and Hotel Blessing Coffee Shop -- all of which were surprisingly low-ranked as well.

Even more shocking were the restaurants that didn't merit a single vote at all: Kerbey Lane in Austin; The Grist Mill in New Braunfels; The Inn at Dos Brisas in Independence; Johnny Cace's in Longview; or the Texas Chili Parlor in Austin.

Which restaurants were you most surprised to see miss the list?


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