Top 10 Breads

1. Whole Food's Bakehouse

2. Texas French Bread

3. Central Market

4. Phoenicia Bakery

5. Morning croissants and pain au chocolat @ Jean-Luc's French Bistro

6. Fiesta tortillas

7. La Madeleine

8. Sweetish Hill

9. The Upper Crust

10. Hyde Park Bakery and Cafe

-- Rebecca Chastenet de Gery

Top Ten Cocktails
With a Punch 1. Dry Bombay Saffire Martini @ Jeffrey's Bar: A classic cocktail at a classy bar, where you can smoke all you want while sipping your juniper jewel.

2. Maker's Mark Manhattan @ Star Bar: Okay, a sour mash instead of a straight bourbon is a bit radical, but flavor this good is sufficient excuse from orthodoxy.

3. The Rocket @ The Cloak Room: Guaranteed to land you on the moon: Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, and Wild Turkey 101 mixed with a splash of pineapple juice and served over ice in a pint-sized glass.

4. Chile Infusion Vodka Martini @ Coyote Cafe: A combination of chile habanero-steeped vodka, dry vermouth, and tiny pickled tomatillos that will rouse your taste buds and rattle your gums.

5. The Dirty Diz @ Cedar Street Bar: Plenty of extra olive juice makes the Diz the dirtiest martini in town.

6. Purple Heart @ Cedar Door: A little sweet, but this ice-cold mixture of Chambourd and Vodka still packs plenty of wallop, and it looks neat, too.

7. 16oz. Frozen Margarita @ Nuevo Leon: A couple of these potent pints and you better hand over the keys.

8. Mango Margarita @ Manuel's: This one may not have quite the kick as the others on the list, but it tastes so good that you'll be through 2 or 3 of them before you stand up and realize it's time to stop.

9. Bloody Mary/Screwdriver @ Texas Chili Parlor (weekends only): At $1.75 per drink, you can cure your hangover from Friday night and work on one for Sunday morning without having to stop at the cash machine.

10. Old Fashioned @ The Bitter End: For best results, better sip this one slowly.

-- Patrick Earvolino

Top Ten Food Folk

1. Raymond Tatum: Longtime local favorite chef was really at the top of his form in 1995 and very happy to be back in the charming old Victorian home that houses Brio!. If all goes according to plan, he'll be there until he retires to join the PGA Senior Tour.

2. Penny McClain: This entrepreneurial single mom is the genius behind Penny's Pastries. Her plant on East Sixth Street is one of the city's favorite examples of a great economic development investment.

3. Emmet and Lisa Fox: Arguably one of the most talented couples anywhere, this dynamic duo is responsible for some of the most delectable and distinctive food in this city. His cutting edge food boosts the beer at the Bitter End and her desserts grace the menu at Coyote Cafe.

4. Pamela Boyar: A California transplant with a strong background in organic and specialty produce, Boyar created a marketing position for herself within Whole Foods and is responsible the Whole Foods Farmer's Market.

5. Rocky Packard: Behind all the hoopla surrounding Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe, this quiet, friendly chef is actually on the range at the Austin location, and he's here for the duration.

6. Cora and Bob Lamar: These hardworking Central Texas farmers were pioneers in forming contract growing relationships with Austin restaurants. Their partnership with the Kerbey Lane restaurant group meant much of the produce consumed at Kerbey Lane in '95 was fresh and local.

7. Angela Shelf Medearis: In 1995, her excellent books The African-American Kitchen and A Kwanzaa Celebration were quoted everywhere, from wire service newspaper stories to Barbara Kafka's column on celebrations in Gourmet magazine.

8. Gary Hodge: Another Central Texas grower, the charismatic Mr. Hodge has a very loyal following among some chefs and the name Hodge Station was prominently featured on several restaurant menus in '95.

9. Rebecca Rather: Formerly the proprietor of her own company Rather Sweets and executive pastry chef for Tony Vallone's restaurants in Houston, Rather's exquisite pastries and fine artisan breads at the Schlotzsky's/Bread Alone Bakery were already generating lots of interest before the end of the year at the new Deli U. on S. Lamar.

10. John and Sydney Jones: The J bar S brand of venison raised at their Driftwood ranch is showing up in more Austin venues every day. Try the Venison Chicken Fried Steak at Skyline Grill, the Venison Medallions at Granite Cafe, and the Venison Sausage at Central Market. It's all fresh and local, low in fat, and hormone and antibiotic free. Look for J bar S brand buffalo in 1996.

-- Virginia. B. Wood Top Ten Good and
Good for You 1. Produce from Boggy Creek Farm

2. Whole Foods's Bakehouse breads

3. Tempeh stir fry @ Martin Brother's Cafe

4. The juice bar @ Central Market

5. Pasta @ West Lynn Cafe

6. Magnolia Cafe's Love Veggies

7. White Egret Farm's goat cheese

8. Vegetables du jour at Eastside Cafe

9. Mr. Natural's Mexican food

10. Desserts at Mother's

-- Rebecca Chastenet de Gery Top Ten "Eat Your Own Weight" Foods 1. Nuevo Leon's Margaritas, Chips, y Salsa

2. Pistachio Baklava @ Longhorn Po-Boys and Falafel

3. Austin Gourmet Market's Garlic Stuffed Olives

4. Fresh Dinner Rolls @ Dart Bowl Cafe

5. Castle Hill's Peanut Butter Pie

6. Dog & Duck's Foggy Mountain Combo Pint

7. Turtle Soup @ Eaves Brothers Seafood

8. Mrs. Johnson's All-Night Doughnuts

9. Phoenicia Deli's Pita Bread

10. Sausage Rolls @ Weikel's Bon Ton Truck Stop, Hwy71, La Grange

-- Pableaux Johnson Top Ten Fast Food Experiences* 1. Pho Cong Ly: This Houston-bred pho chain dishes out cheap, tasty bowls of noodle soups at a speed that rivals Burger King.

2. Quality Seafood: A 58-year-old seafood market serving hearty platters of fish that would jump right in your mouth if they were any fresher.

3. Austin Wok N Roll: Portion control, smortion control. Grab a brimming plate of stir-fry with spicy garlic sauce, fried rice, soup and egg roll all for about four smacks.

4. Terry's Seafood: Another seafood market cum restaurant that beats the booty out of Long John Silver's.

5. Tamale House #3: After an evening of drug-happy wet-wiggling with someone you know only by first name ("It's Karen, right?"), nothing beats a quick, cheap fix of "morning after" Mexican food.

6. Holiday House: Austin's best chicken-fried steak deal ($2.49 after 4pm Mon.-Fri./all day weekends) is in the House.

7. Short Stop: In 1995, I've taken more meals at this flame-broiled godsend than I've cooked.

8. The Healthy Habit/R.I.P: An ill-fated attempt to inject some degree of nutrition into the Short Stop concept. Unfortunately, The Healthy Habit served their black bean tacos and veggie subs to virtual indifference.

9. Longhorn Po-Boys: A large po-boy at Longhorn is enough munch for lunch and dinner. They also serve some tasty falafel.

10. James' Coney Island -- Houston: A couple of $1.49 Coney Island Sandwiches (that's chili dogs to you and me) with melted cheese from a squirt gun almost makes a trip to Houston worthwhile. *Although I enjoy the prospect of a multinational fast-food oligarchy as much as the next guy, I've tried to focus on the less-obvious fast-food hotspots about town. --Greg Beets

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