Feeling Left Out

RECEIVED Mon., June 17, 2019

Dear Editor,
    I always enjoy reading the Chronicle's special features because there is so much info to add to a person's idea of Austin. However, your First Plates insert on food really dropped the ball regarding North Central Austin. This is the most international district in the city, and so neglected in coverage by all of the media regarding our cultural events (except the Austin Asian American Film Festival, the same week). I would like to highlight the following (non-hoity-toity) restaurants of international diversity in our area: Arpeggio Grill (Mediterranean), Taco More (authentic Mexican), Santorini Cafe (Greek), Pho Van & Pho Dan (Vietnamese), Tropicana (Cuban), Bombay to Kathmandu (Indian), Din Ho Chinese BBQ, Ramen Tatsu-ya, Balkan Cafe. There is so much to enjoy in North Central Austin, don't leave us out.
Caro Dubois
   Food Editor Jessi Cape responds: Thanks so much for your letter. I agree the spots you named are great, and "non-hoity-toity" restaurants are often my personal favorites (hence last year's No. 1 spot Eldorado Cafe, and this year's No. 1 spot Home Slice North Loop). This year we inducted Ramen Tatsu-ya into the Virginia B. Wood Hall of Fame, and last year Din Ho was inducted. Those restaurants – 27 on the list now – are ones we believe define Austin always. Taco More has won First Plates three times, and others you mentioned have been included in past years as well. Because there are so many fantastic spots to eat in North Central Austin, we moved some of them into the Midtown area, and I think you'll really enjoy that list. All of that said, I certainly wish we could include so many more places, but we have to narrow the list to 100 restaurants and 30 trailers (plus Hall of Fame inductees) – a very difficult task! Every year we try to spread the love to restaurants, new and established, that deserve recognition but have never been included, which sometimes means others fall off the list for a year or so. I've made note of your suggestions and will take them into consideration for the Food section going forward. Thanks for reading the Chronicle! [Note: Winners from 2013-present and the Hall of Fame can be found at austinchronicle.com/first-plates.]
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