Tell us about your arrival in Big D.
"I arrived with absolutely nothing except hope and determination. I had to find an apartment and I needed a car. I lucked out because I was able to sublet an apartment close to Southern Methodist University, which is a great neighborhood for a newcomer to Dallas. I settled in quickly. But journalistically, it was a baptism of fire. I had to learn on my feet. But what a terrific way to earn my reporting stripes."

What were some of your neighborhood haunts?

"Bubba's was and still is the place for breakfast. It's a diner right near the campus. Their portions are huge. I used to order waffles and French toast, which kept me going all day since I rarely had time for a real lunch. I also like Lola on Fairmount Street. Over in Fort Worth, there's Kincaid's, which has great burgers. It's an old grocery store, and the butcher used to make burgers for the postman every day. Apparently, people couldn't walk by without wanting one themselves."

What would you say is your all-time favorite area restaurant?

"I probably was at Joe T. Garcia's, the famous Fort Worth Mexican restaurant, once a week with my friends, or sometimes for business events. Like everyone else, I have great memories of eating too much and probably enjoying one too many margaritas. There are times now in New York when I need a salsa fix and dream of Tex-Mex food. To this day, I take a bottle of Tabasco wherever I go. I have one in my purse right now. I put it on everything - meat, pasta, soup - everything but waffles. Waffles and pancakes are a Tabasco-free zone."

Where else did you hang out regularly?

"When I give you my list, you're going to think that my whole life is about food. But I love Angelo's [in Fort Worth] for barbecue, and went there often. Dickey's Barbecue is right up there with Angelo's."