Top 9 Savory Bites of 2009*

* plus a lagniappe

Dai Due's custom breakfast sausage
Dai Due's custom breakfast sausage (Photo by John Anderson)

1) BARBECUED PORK FROM SNOW'S BBQ in Lexington – the best menu item at the joint Texas Monthly named the best barbecue joint in the state.

2) CHICKEN-FRIED RICHARDSON FARMS RIB-EYE STEAK with cream gravy at Olivia – huge, tender, and absolutely delicious.

3) BISON TENDERLOIN AND ANCHO STOUT MASHED POTATOES napped with a tangy beurre blanc that Hudson's on the Bend served at Stars Across Texas – a delectable piece of protein paired with the most amazing mashers ever.

4) CREAMED CORN AND GRILLED ASPARAGUS side dishes at Perla's were simple and fresh, evoking summer on the plate, even making a more lasting impression than the excellent seafood there.

5) FRIED CHICKEN AT FLYING FALAFEL & PO-BOYS on the Drag is juicy and spicy under a crisp mahogany crust with a seductive aroma capable of stopping traffic.

6) SCALLOP AND PORK APPETIZER A plate with one lovely seared scallop and a square of perfectly crisped pork belly in a seductive foie gras sauce was the appetizer presented by Driskill Grill chef Jonathan Gelman at the Film & Food gala – it was eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head marvelous.

7) DAI DUE'S CUSTOM BREAKFAST SAUSAGE on a homemade biscuit with peppery cream gravy is a dynamite Saturday morning breakfast at the Austin Farmers' Market Downtown.

8) STREAT'S VOLUPTUOUS THAI CARROT SOUP with coconut milk was my favorite thing at the Empty Bowl preview party – I'm glad to hear Streat will be opening for business close to the Chronicle office soon.

9) BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Complex and savory, garnished with a local goat cheese mousse, and created by the chef of the Hyatt's SWB, this was the highlight of the Go Texan local chef challenge this fall in my estimation.

&) ALEXANDER FAMILY FARM TURKEY For the first time this year, we enjoyed an absolutely fresh, truly local, pastured turkey from Alexander Family Farm, and were we ever thankful!

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Austin food, Top 10s, Snow's BBQ, Richardson Farms, Olivia, Hudson's on the Bend, Stars Across Texas, Perla's, Flying Falafel & Po-Boys, Driskill Grill, Jonathan Gelman, Film & Food gala, Dai Due Supper Club, Austin Farmers' Market Downtown, Streat, Empty Bowl, Hyatt SWB, Go Texan, Alexander Family Farm

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