A common refrain among local chefs and dedicated restaurant-goers is the lack of respect Houston’s restaurants get on a national basis. The city’s amazingly diverse and interesting dining scene has been receiving more attention in recent months with articles in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, The Tasting Panel, Toque and others; still not quite at the level it deserves, in my opinion.
One small thing that you can do to help remedy this is to vote in the Zagat Survey, which just started for Texas restaurants and will run through October 9. In its press releases, which often seem to make news wires, and its popular Zagat Buzz distribution, Zagat gives the most ink to the establishments in the cities where it sells the most books and subscriptions. This makes sense. Widespread voting for Houston restaurants can help to get more attention from Zagat and, so, more attention nationally.
The results will be printed in a book about Texas restaurants – the first since the 2009 edition – and also be available to subscribers online along with restaurants throughout the country, and several cities overseas. The Zagat Survey is a tremendous reference for travelers. I am the local editor, so I might not be completely objective, but its information stacks up quick well against most other sources, and is much more accurate than many (Gayot or any of the un-moderated sites, for example). Zagat is also far more respected by restaurateurs than most other outlets.
By clicking here, you can access the voting. Here are the rules from Zagat:
Please vote on the restaurants that you’ve visited in the past year….The survey concludes on October 9, 2011. When you are finished voting, continue through all four steps (indicated by green text), where you can confirm your votes and choose your favorites. You must finalize the survey by the deadline in order to receive your reward. You may reenter your ballot at zagat.com/vote any time before the survey deadline, even after you’ve finalized. Your votes will be saved. Top Surveyors” sweepstakes in addition to your survey participation reward when you finalize this survey. Three participants with 15 or more votes will be selected to win a $100 MasterCard gift card.
It is easy and it’s free. It’s fun, too, especially if you are good with witty or droll comments (even much better if truthful). By participating, you can help make the survey information more accurate and more useful. And, possibly, get Houston restaurants just a little more deserved attention.