Sarah Blaskovich tests a sandwich at Tony's Italian Delicatessen, the restaurant Yelp named as the No. 1 best restaurant in Texas.

Sarah Blaskovich tests a sandwich at Tony's Italian Delicatessen, the restaurant Yelp named as the No. 1 best restaurant in Texas.

Chase Hanna/Special Contributor

As I looked over the list of Yelp's just-released list of top 100 restaurants in Texas, I shrugged. Of these 100 restaurants, I hadn't been to more than a handful. Heck, I hadn't heard of more than half of the 28 restaurants on the list from Dallas-Fort Worth, a region where it's my job to scout out restaurants big and small. 

Except, wait. That first one. The No. 1 restaurant in Texas, according to Yelp, is Tony's Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery, Texas. Tony's ... Tony's ... Tony's. Wait, that deli? The one in a rundown strip center, sandwiched between a pet groomer and a cleaners on Highway 105, on the way to my mother-in-law's house?

That's the one. I'd driven past it 100 times on the way from Dallas to Houston's suburbs.

This small-town North Texas restaurant was named one of the best burger joints in the United States

I happened to be driving past it four more times this weekend, so I stopped in for a bite at Texas' best restaurant. It's an adorable little place with giant sandwiches and pleasant service. Most of the sandwiches are served on crusty Italian bread studded with garlic flecks, and most are named for Italians, like the Joe Pesci (roast beef and provolone) and the A. Pacino (mortadella, bacon and provolone).

It isn't a secret among locals. On a Thursday at 2 p.m. — certainly a weird time to gorge on a sandwich that could feed four people — Tony's served new customers every 5 minutes or so. For an hour, I watched regulars chat with the friendly staff and ogle over the cannoli while they waited on their lunches.

When I got mine, a soppressatta, salami, mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto sam called the F. Sinatra, I tap danced a little in my seat. For a moment, I felt like I could have been at Jimmy's Food Store in Dallas. Or a deli in New York, for that matter.

Tony's Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery, Texas, is Yelp's No. 1 restaurant in Texas right now. On the left, that's the F. Sinatra sandwich. The stunner on the right was my husband's, the D. DeVito.

Tony's Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery, Texas, is Yelp's No. 1 restaurant in Texas right now. On the left, that's the F. Sinatra sandwich. The stunner on the right was my husband's, the D. DeVito.

Staff/Sarah Blaskovich
Of Texas Monthly's 10 best new restaurants, 3 are in Dallas

Is Tony's the best restaurant in Texas? That's not really the point here. Yelp's list has never been a hyper-critical one: A press release says the list is picked "using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews," which is a little vague. It seems like the list ranks neighborhood restaurants that Yelpers seem to like. And Tony's has a solid 5 stars.

Driving anywhere on Highway 105, which is a good three hours southeast of Dallas? Stop at Tony's. I'm kicking myself for not having been before.

Yelp's list of top Texas restaurants includes more than two dozen from the North Texas area, and it's bound to include gems I haven't visited. More than anything else, Yelp's list seems like a celebration of smaller establishments with seriously loyal customers. And for most restaurateurs, isn't that the dream?

Take a look at the list of 100 restaurants in Texas and see if you've been to any worth discussing. Which would you recommend? Let's talk about it on Facebook.

Yelp's top 100 restaurants in Texas

North Texas restaurants noted in bold

1. Tony's Italian Delicatessen - Montgomery
2. Gino's Deli Stop N Buy - San Antonio
3. Kurry Takos - Austin
4. Tommy Tamale Market & Cafe - Grapevine
5. Frank - Dallas
6. It's a Punjabi Affair - Amarillo
7. Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar - Fort Worth
8. Nancy's Sky Garden - Austin
9. Las Tortas Perronas - Houston
10. DB's Rustic Iron BBQ - Terlingua
11. Boteco - Austin
12. Jewboy Burgers - Austin
13. Granny's Tacos - Austin
14. Hugs Cafe - McKinney
15. Nelson's BBQ - San Antonio
16. Fu Manchung - Spring
17. Aladdin Cafe - Crowley
18. Kat's Barbecue - Santa Fe
19. Munchiez - Carrollton
20. Vietwich - Sugar Land
21. Abo Youssef - Austin
22. Casa Mia Latin Cuisine - Lewisville
23. Tranky's Tacos - Garland
24. Ceviche Ceviche - South Padre Island
25. Yia Yia's House of Gyros Mesquite - Mesquite
26. Thyme For Lunch - San Antonio
27. Taste Community Restaurant - Fort Worth
28. Boca 31 - Denton
29. T-Loc's Sonora Hot Dogs - Austin
30. Le' Pam's House of Creole - Houston
31. Ceviche7 - Austin
32. Fuego Latino Gastropub - Round Rock
33. Van's Banh Mi - Austin
34. Leon Valley Cafe - San Antonio
35. The Pita Shop - San Marcos
36. Diced Poke - Houston
37. El Taquito - El Paso
38. Empa Mundo - Irving
39. Pappa Gyros - Katy
40. Mama Frances Soul Kitchen - La Marque
41. Slider Provider - Helotes
42. Butcher Block Food & Drinks - Dallas
43. Moi Vietnamese Grill - Pflugerville
44. Bowl Mami - Carrollton
45. Taqueria El Crucero - Waco
46. Cafe Homestead - Waco
47. Papa's Burgers - San Antonio
48. Whiskers Fish & Burgers - Dallas
49. Tiba Grill - Arlington
50. Quixote Bakery Cafe - Richland Hills
51. Coco Shrimp - Fort Worth
52. Yoyo's Hot Dog - Houston
53. Hoody's Sub Shop - Round Rock
54. Santorini Cafe - Austin
55. DEE DEE - Austin
56. The Shed Market - Abilene
57. Banh Mi Houston - Spring
58. E B Latin Bistro - Plano
59. Railway Cafe - Athens
60. Truth BBQ - Brenham
61. The Big Kahuna - Austin
62. Titas Taco House - Humble
63. Lula Jane's - Waco
64. Casa Jacaranda - Venus
65. Crepes 4 U - Plano
66. Ephesus Mediterranean Grill - Dallas
67. Pollos Asados Los Norteños - San Antonio
68. Irie's Island Food - Port Aransas
69. The Flying Carpet - Austin
70. Crepe Crazy - Dripping Springs
71. Banh Mi Ngon - Austin
72. Comfort Cafe - Smithville
73. CorkScrew BBQ - Spring
74. Outlaw Kitchens - San Antonio
75. Spicy Mikes Bar-B-Q Haven - Amarillo
76. Local Poke - Houston
77. BackDraft Pizzeria - Bee Cave
78. Alamo Hot Dog - San Antonio
79. Sky Rocket Burger - Dallas
80. The B's Kitchen - Austin
81. Spice Station - Kingsville
82. Iron Fish Sushi & Grill - Pflugerville
83. Taco y Vino - Dallas
84. Not Just Q - Dallas
85. Steves' Market & Deli - Brownwood
86. Papi's Pies - Round Rock
87. Avesta Persian Grill - Houston
88. Lebowski's Grill - Austin
89. Tyler's Barbeque - Amarillo
90. Up Inspired Kitchen - Frisco
91. Tender Smokehouse - Celina
92. Sharks Burger - Leander
93. Eggsquisite Cafe - Allen
94. 5 Ate Cafe - Spring
95. Sushi Kadan - Carrollton
96. Nyam Nyam Cafe - Cypress
97. Sikhay Thai Lao Cuisine - Fort Worth
98. The Red Vault Bistro - Flatonia
99. Okome Don - Houston
100. La Cocina de Roberto - The Woodlands

For more restaurant news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

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