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I'm a bit surprised by the list, honestly. Navarre was voted the top restaurant this year, and while I don't disagree, I'm am surprised that it wasn't one of the usual "sweethearts" of critics' lists. I'm talking about the list that usually includes Le Pigeon, Toro Bravo, and so on.
I haven't been to the majority of the restaurants list, but am steadily working my way down it. My favorites on the list include: Bluehour (clearly), Driftwood Room (if solely for my own personal sentiment), Fire on the Mountain, Higgins, Navarre, Pambiche, RingSide, Saucebox, Screen Door, The Country Cat, and Toro Bravo. I've also tasted some samples from Ten-01 (and met the owner) and really liked it. I have yet to dine there, though.
One major disagreement...
Por Que No: I don't get it. I really don't. I swear I'm the only person in this world who cannot stand this place. I get the whole theory behind it, using sustainable and organic ingredients, which I love. But here's the thing...you still have to cook it well. I won't go off too much (because I could), but the one time I ventured there, I had the special, which was the pozole, and it was awful. Overly salty and more like a stew. Maybe it's because I know what real pozole should taste like. Anyway, then there was the tacos Shawn got. They were ok, but for $7, they should have at least had two corn tortillas, rather than the one that ripped. So I disagree not only flavor, but also the usual "cheap eats" tag it gets. I'd rather forgo the sustainability and get a burrito at King Burrito for $3.95. I know, it seems to go against everything I believe in. I like to keep people on their toes.