As I prepare to count down my ten favorite dishes of the past year, unemployment is skyrocketing, the Big Three automakers are begging Congress for a bailout and I've spent another week cataloguing local restasurant closings. The urge to replace my top-ten list with a tribute to all those departed eateries is strong.
Yet as I look back over the 51 restaurants I reviewed this year, I'm struck by how many of them offer pretty good grub for not much money. Can we celebrate 2008 as a banner year for St. Louis restaurants? Sadly, no. But I, for one, refuse to let the economy leave a sour taste in my mouth as we head into 2009. If you want to join me, beginning later today I'll offer ten (well, actually, eleven) suggestions for budgets both small and still, somehow, large.
- Ian Froeb