I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes from the restaurants that I reviewed in 2011. The top dish will be revealed on Tuesday, December 27, and look for a slideshow featuring most of the winners on Wednesday, December 28.
Tony and Brenda Garcia, husband-and-wife owners of La Tejana Taqueria
If you can visit this charmingly shabby taqueria/liquor store/cowboy-boot emporium only once, make sure it's on a weekend, when the kitchen makes carnitas. That La Tejana treats as a special what many Mexican restaurants serve daily should signal the seriousness of its intent. This is rendered pig at its finest -- the most flavorful carnitas I've had in St. Louis. The exterior is walnut-brown and crisp, the interior fork-tender. The flavor is exactly what you would expect from pork simmered for hours in its own copious fat: a touch sweet, a touch funky, most of all piggy.
- from "Home Is Where the Taqueria Is"
January 20, 2011La Tejana Taqueria (3149 North Lindbergh Boulevard, Overland; 314-291-8500)