Top 10 Meat Eats
Mick Vann's pork, lamb, and beef picks for 2008
2) Beef with cumin and ma po dofu at Asia Cafe: The beef with cumin is just that, tender stir-fried beef seasoned with cumin and garlic chunks in chile oil, and the cafe's spicy Sichuan minced pork and tofu is orgasmic.
3) Chicken-fried steak and a platter of pork-rib ends at R.O.'s Outpost: Randy does chicken-fried steak right – tender and pan-fried (not deep-fried), best begun with a platter of smoky pork-rib ends as a snack. Think pie before you leave!
4) Shaken beef at Le Soleil: Small marinated cubes of mouthwatering, meltingly tender beef goodness nestled on a bed of slivered onions, herbs on the side, lemon-salt for dipping. 'Nuff said!
5) Burgers at Longhorn Po-Boys: This joint is known for its Mideast fare, with a killer gyro for those inclined, but way on the right side of the menu board lurk fantastic burgers: large, meaty, juicy, and charred just right.
6) Beef lemongrass banh mi sandwich at Tâm Deli & Cafe: It starts with the fresh crunchy bun and then the charred, marinated, thinly sliced beef oozing lemongrass flavor. Herbs and pickled veggies complete the perfect sandwich.
7) Rib eye steak at the Backstage Steakhouse & Garden Bar: An aged, fork-tender, richly flavored chunk of juicy steak at a reasonable price. Ask for some of Ray's chinois dipping sauce for the fried oysters on the side – a delicious match.
8) Pork in chile cazcabel sauce at Sazón: Tender cubes of porcine goodness bathed in a rich, complex sauce made from jingle-bell chiles, nestled in a handmade corn tortilla. Hard to beat.
9) Al pastor taco plate at Rosita's al Pastor: Three tacos of wonder pork, marinated and rotatingly cooked on the trompo, dripping with pineapple from above. Real-deal Mexican food for a song.
10) All-you-can-eat lamb shanks at DiMassi's Mediterranean Buffet: Sure, it's a buffet, but there are piles of unctuous marrow-laden lamb shanks waiting to be scarfed. Lamb shanks, people!