As the local editor for Houston, I would be remiss not to pass on information concerning today's release of Zagat's latest Texas Restaurants survey.
The guidebook is entirely electronic, a first for Zagat in Texas. The information can be accessed at www.ZAGAT.com, the mobile site ZAGAT.mobi, and ZAGAT TO GO? for iPhone, Android and smartphones. The Zagat Texas Dining Survey includes ratings of 1,809 restaurants in Austin/Hill Country, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
Below are some of its highlights :
• Houstonians dine out more often than people in any other U.S. market, but still less than they did two years ago - 4.0 times per week down from 4.2 in 2008. Close behind are Austin diners at 3.8 meals per week (up from 3.7), Dallas at 3.6 (down from 4.0) and San Antonio at 3.5 (down from 4.0). Comparatively, Texas diners eat out more often than diners in Los Angeles (3.4) and New York City (3.0). The Zagat national average is 3.2 meals out per week.
• Texas remains a relative bargain as the average cost of a meal in all four major Texas markets ranks below the national average of $35.10, with Dallas/Ft. Worth coming in at $35.05, followed by Houston ($32.53), San Antonio ($31.34) and Austin ($30.76).
• The top food winners are, in order: Le Mistral, Kanomwan, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Mark's and Da Marco.
• Top décor and service scores are held by Tony's, followed by Mark's.
• The most popular Houston restaurant among surveyors is Da Marco.
Special congratulations to the brothers Denis at Le Mistral.
For information about the Survey and to find additional statistics, visit the online press center at http://www.zagat.com/presscenter.