This week, Scott Reitz of Dallas Observer dropped a wrap up of his favorite foods of 2012. For the critic, it was an exercise meant to highlight the myriad ways that locals can find the “small-batch, hand-crafted cooking that gives any food scene its core identity.”

He admits that not every pick is extraordinary. Sometimes, he says, the food’s contribution to Dallas’ culture is just as important. After all, “if you dig deeper and learn how [the dishes are] inspired, prepared or made, you’ll find they’re all interesting in some way. They all have a story.”

For us, Reitz’s coverage reads like a food-driven sociological study on the Dallas population. The list includes a considerable amount of Mexican selections like Avila’s chile rellenos and El Ranchito’s Cabrito a la Parrilla. Then there’s Korea House’s spicy fish soup, Jhinga Masala Nizami at Mughlai Fine Indian Cuisine, and falafel at Fadia Bakery. And of course, there are certain picks that speak to the more obvious culinary associations with Texas: Union Bear’s Chicken-fried egg and Smoke’s Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict. However, it’s abundantly clear that Dallas is more than just barbecue and steaks.

[via Dallas Observer]