Hanna Raskin To Leave Observer, Taking Her Opinions and Her Bikes to Seattle

Categories: Food News
Lone Ranger1.jpg
When Eater last published my picture, Nancy Nichols told the crowd at Sidedish that it looked like I needed to eat more. Her remark was perhaps snide, perhaps sexist, but definitely true.

I've lost 10 pounds since moving to Dallas, a result of my nightmarish reaction to short Texas ragweed and a host of other noxious plants and grasses I've never before encountered. Until my suffering started, I had no idea allergies could prey on the digestive system. It's a nasty situation, and one my doctors counseled could only be solved by switching to a bread-and-water diet or relocating. Since I like what I do, I chose the latter.

Village Voice Media, the parent company for the Dallas Observer, has kindly agreed to transfer me to a place where short Texas ragweed doesn't grow, which makes April 1 my last day here. I'll be taking on my very same job way, way further north, serving as food critic for a sister paper, the Seattle Weekly. I've already been warned I'll need to outfit my rain-adverse bike accordingly.

I struggled mightily with the decision to leave Dallas, but felt my health necessitated it. As someone whose health care over the past decade has consisted of a single bottle of ibuprofen, it's been discouraging to have to devote tremendous amounts of time, money and worry to my physical well-being. I want to be in the best shape I can be to do my job, and was deeply disappointed to discover the environment here isn't compatible with my allergy chart. (It's a doozy. When an allergist first reviewed it, she said, "You must feel like you have the flu all the time." Yup.)

I'm heartsick about leaving Texas when there's so much of the state still to explore, but am grateful for all the edible adventures I've had here. I've learned to appreciate queso and pronounce kolache and attack barbecue with my bare hands. I was there when Big Tex Choice judges first sampled fried beer and when cowboys tried to revive a fellow hot sauce contest judge felled by capsaicin extract. I've eaten puffy tacos in San Antonio, oysters in Galveston, chicken-fried steak in the Hill Country and -- right here in Dallas -- some of the best burgers I expect to ever eat anywhere.

My experience in Dallas hasn't been Edenic. Restaurants here are too often shackled by pettiness and posturing (a complaint I laid out in detail in "Forked Up," a feature story last fall). And I'm still disappointed by how much mean-spiritedness pervades the local food scene. But there are signs that dining is on the upswing: My downtown block, where a year ago it was nearly impossible to find anything worth eating or drinking, is readying to welcome a pho shop and a classic cocktail bar. That's a tremendously exciting development.

It's difficult to leave when the barometer's pointing to a lively food scene ahead, but I trust you'll understand my reasoning -- and perhaps even empathize with my excitement about covering a city where, as a former Seattle food writer put it, "people forage and fish and pick berries and brew."

While I don't nurture any fantasies that you'll speak well of me when I'm gone (I thoroughly expect a number of good riddance-themed responses), I like to think this blog has contributed in some small way to our collective understanding and appreciation of eating in Dallas. I've striven to create a City of Ate in which writers and readers could thoughtfully explore and debate food culture, and hope I've been at least somewhat successful in achieving my goal.

Thank you for keeping me company during my brief stay. And enjoy In-N-Out, y'all.


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ECommerce Solution
ECommerce Solution

do the huge eye roll over it...............u can do it.................

Davie
Davie

Hanna was as biased against vegetarians as Rick Perry is to environmentalist.

Comment
Comment

Good. That bitch was a terrible writer.

lemonjello
lemonjello

i lived in seattle for 4 years before moving back to dallas. it's a great place and i miss it quite a lot. you will have a great time.

the rain and dark isnt too bad, you'll learn to love it. though sometimes in June you'll still be bundled-up, which can be a bummer.

just stay away from the "holier-than-thou" attitude that pervades a lot of the culture there; particularly in the food, wine, beer, hip scene. it gets annoying for people who are rather normal and rational about things. it can suck you in and before long you're an asshole.

but dear god...im still waiting for decent farmer's markets here in dallas. i try not to think about it. seattle is a fresh-food mecca.

Lee Rognlie
Lee Rognlie

Hanna - I wish you the best. I appreciate your fresh view of the local food scene. And you are exactly right about restaurant "pettiness and posturing" and I'll add the suckers that buy into the hype. By some quality fenders!

Seattle sucks and so do you
Seattle sucks and so do you

Seattle sucks, the food there sucks, it is full of pansy white libtard "progressive" poliyically correct wimps who fall all over themselves to kiss the asses of the black thugs who mug them. Get ready for 9 months of cold rain and a multitude of junkies, drunk bums, out-of-control coddled black criminals, shitty food, and tons of naive white libtards. You will probably fit in just fine. Go hang out with all the rape apes at 3rd and Pine you stupid cunt. Good riddance. I hope you are there when the earthquake that will destroy Seattle hits.

Black males committed at least 14 of the 28 homicides in Seattle in 2008.

Black males committed at least 12 of the 21 homicides in Seattle in 2009.

Black males committed at least 8 of the 17 homicides in Seattle in 2008.

Black males commit about 80% of all violent crime in Seattle.

Black males make up only about 4% (or less) of Seattle's population.

THEREFORE: If the Police ARE NOT "racially profiling" black males, and if they ARE NOT subjecting to black males in Seattle to "disproportionate police attention", then THE POLICE ARE BEING NEGLIGENT OF THEIR DUTY.

guest5
guest5

She was never a good fit for Dallas, so I felt her tone was often negatively biased off the bat. However, good luck.

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

What's a "good fit" for Dallas sound like, exactly. Blow-job boosterism?

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

guest5, so what crappy restaurant do you work at?

Scott
Scott

Probably too sophisticated. Yee Ha,

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

You might be moving to Seattle, but you're becoming a resident of the entire Pacific Northwest.

Have an awesome time.

p.s. Hope you like riding your bikes on hills.

Jjerrier
Jjerrier

Hannah - thanks for writing about our pizza when you were here. Seattle has a great Neapolitan pizza scene!

Nate
Nate

As a former Dallas-ite but now living in Seattle, I can attest that good Mexican isn't easy to find. No Tex Mex. Lots of "teriyaki" stands...literally all over the area. However, my main complaint - nigiri sushi is almost nowhere to be found. Sushi rolls are everywhere though. But I've yet to find a Japanese restaurant here that can compare to what Dallas institutions (Tei Tei, Sushi Sake, Shinsei, Teppo, etc).

Hanna: if you want tips on what to check out or where to live, holler at me.

Robert
Robert

Yes, let's compare a quality sushi experience in Dallas to Seattle, which is recognized as having some of the best sushi anywhere in the US, including that sushi capital, Dallas.

There are a dozen within ten blocks in downtown Seattle to find incredible nigiri. You must venture out of the Burbs.

Robert
Robert

Yes, let's compare a quality sushi experience in Dallas to Seattle, which is recognized as having some of the best sushi anywhere in the US, including that sushi capital, Dallas.

There are a dozen within ten blocks in downtown Seattle to find incredible nigiri. You must venture out of the Burbs.

Harriet Blythe
Harriet Blythe

Hannah will find chefs to be friendly with like she did in Dallas, then deny she knows them only to be seen with a name tag blowing them. Its what she does.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Hmm, Seattle, rainy, wet. How do you handle mold?

Monkee
Monkee

Don't worry... Google works on the west coast too

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

The Dallas food scene pathetic.

You will be missed

Fuck the haters

Tony
Tony

You will enjoy Seattle. A perfect balance of beauty with the mountains and water and a plethora of diverse, international cuisine.

Plus it's a pedestrian and bike friendly city.

You won't look back!

Perpetual Warfare
Perpetual Warfare

Seattle sucks, it is full of wimpy politically correct white "progressives" who kiss the asses of their black muggers out of fear of being called "racist". Fuck you!

don
don

Enjoyed your articles, I bet you'll love Seattle. Get some bike fenders stat....with mud flaps.

Kirk
Kirk

You'll love Seattle. Sorry to see you leave so soon.

just sayin'
just sayin'

Damn, nobody wants this fucking job. First Dave Faries bounces suddenly, now Hanna takes off. Just don't give the job to Alice Laussade. Putting her on the big page would work about as well as the Situation at a roast.

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

I agree.

just sayin'
just sayin'

Your replies are like your Cheap Bastards. The exact fucking same every single time. Just without the overplayed potty mouth. You cuss like a 5th grader trying to impress some 8th graders.

cp
cp

I didn't tell you to shut up, I said to shut the "fuck up". I'm trying to impress you.

just sayin'
just sayin'

Now I have to post again just so your dumb ass doesnt think I stopped because you told me to shut up.

cp
cp

Oh would you just shut the fuck up already?

Beda
Beda

Hanna, I've enjoyed your writing. I wish you the best in Seattle.

FromageBondage
FromageBondage

When people have this many opinions about them posted, good OR bad, you have made an impact. Welcome top Seattle, Hanna!

NewsDog
NewsDog

Hanna, prepare for some serious Tex-Mex withdrawl.

Bubbleguts
Bubbleguts

So Hanna, What will be the one Dallas area food you will miss? (if any).

I have lived in a few spots around the country, and I know that I have at least 1 "go-to" spot in every city that I must go to when I am in town.

Bob
Bob

Why have a food critic in Dallas...it's akin to having a beauty contest for Pugs. For a city this size, it's an embarrassment at the lack of fine dining.

Dallas' idea of quality food must include, sloppy sauce, requires no utensils and/or has Buffet on the sign.

Justin B.
Justin B.

Stay hard, Hanna. I enjoyed hearing your take the local restaurant scene. Best of luck in Seattle!

Coleman
Coleman

Is Rock 'n' Taco going to have a going-away party for you?

luniz
luniz

I thought you added a unique and knowledgeable voice and enjoyed reading your reviews and articles. I'm sure you'll find a lot to love about Seattle and wish you good luck there.

Car WHORE
Car WHORE

Unless Katharine Shilcutt has lived in Dallas, I don't know how she has the authority to speak for what we're ready for up here.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

My entire family lives in Dallas. I choose to live in Houston. ;)

cp
cp

Why? Nobody really "chooses" to live in Houston.....

Fred Soloman
Fred Soloman

Great job. Your "Forked Up' article was right on and your also right about the pettiness. Thanks for not being the "chef groupie" that seems to be case at all the second tier critic sites. This is why all the "foodies" can't stand Leslie. Can you take all of them with you when you go.They use be called "the Fickle 500" before they started to self apply the label "foodie"

Laura
Laura

"And I'm still disappointed by how much mean-spiritedness pervades the local food scene."

But yet you felt the need to take a stab at NN within your first two sentences? Hypocrite, much?

cp
cp

Literature much? It was segue into talking about WHY she is skinny and lost weight. IIRC, it was NN who called Hannah not only skinny, but a skinny "bitch".

Laura
Laura

Literature much? As NN mentioned on SideDish, the "skinny bitch" reference that NN frequently makes on SideDish is referencing a column that Pat Sharpe wrote for Texas Monthly. It's not specifically used to refer to Hanna.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/pr...

Genslay
Genslay

Really? In spite of people like "Laura", Hanna, you will definitely be missed. You are honest and funny and always a pleasant read. Enjoy Seattle.

Laura
Laura

Not sure why it won't let me directly reply to your most recent comment, but who's being petty? Me or Hanna? She was the one who lamented "oh, everyone here is so mean!" right after she lambasted NN.

Anyway, I actually left Dallas right before Hanna came so I have no personal judgments other than what I just read. I would never wish ill upon anyone and, considering that I struggled with miserable Dallas allergies for 20+ years, I definitely feel her pain.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

I think the clinical term for Laura's behavior, petty bitching about someone else being bitchy, is projection.

Look in the mirror girl!

Laura
Laura

P.S. I'm flattered that you've taken it upon yourself to know my internet aliases. I've arrived!

Laura
Laura

"Laura"? Are you questioning my knowledge of my own name?

TG
TG

Jeez Genslay, why you picking on Laura. She made a good point.

If you want to see mean-spirited, take a look at how they treated Meredith Brody when she moved to San Francisco.

For now, we still have a number of sites where you can post comments anonymously, and that allows for unedited freedom of speech, both good and bad. I don't think that makes Dallas any more mean-spirited than any other place

Genslay
Genslay

Yes. I'm also questioning how someone can be so petty. Now, let's focus on the point of the article. How do you feel about Hanna leaving, "Laura", or is it "LO"?

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