A Review of Doritos Loaded, Which Aren't Really Food

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Nick Rallo

Doritos come in multiple forms and dimensions these days. There's the two dimensional-like flat chip option, which have been Street Tacoed, nacho cheese explosioned, Tapatioed, and, more recently, contorted into the taco dimension. On the taco axis, Doritos is often filled with "beef" and sour cream and stuff.

Now, 7-Eleven scientists are thinking more third-dimensionally: Doritos Loaded exist like 3D triangles in the physical universe with depth and breadth. In Doritos Loaded space-time, like in all life everywhere, a dimension is filled to the brim with American, Romano and cheddar cheese and another is encrusted more Doritos.

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Pakpao Has Lost its Way

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Catherine Downes
The fried catfish and red curry of old-time Pakpao
If you haven't been in a while, there have been a lot of changes at the Design District Thai restaurant Pakpao. Owners Richard and Tiffanee Ellman first got attention when they asked chef Eddie Thretipthuangsin to leave late last year. They said they wanted to make Pakpao a "national brand," and the restaurant remained without a chef until recently, when Jet Tila was announced as both chef and partner.

Tila was introduced as a celebrity chef -- he had television appearances with Anthony Bourdain, Iron Chef and others to his credit. He also cooked in restaurants in Las Vegas, where he lives, so he had no intention of working the line in Pakpao full-time. Instead, Tila is leaving a few cooks in Dallas, so a member of "Team Tila" was always in the kitchen. He plans to drop in occasionally.

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A Dallas Man Claims He Drank a $55 Dollar, 60-Shot Coffee Drink at an Uptown Starbucks

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Twitter
Proving that the American workforce is increasingly bored at their desks these days, a $54.75 Starbucks order propelled a Dallas man into Internet fame yesterday. Inspired by a previous unsubstantiated record in which a customer ordered what he called the "Quadriginoctuple Frap," Twitter user Andrew Chifari strolled into an Uptown Starbucks and proceeded to order a coffee drink with 60 shots of espresso.

Then, he says, he did something even dumber. He drank it.

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Tasting the Worst Taco in Dallas

Categories: Complaint Desk

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All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?

If you live in Dallas, you've likely shopped at a 7-Eleven, and if you've shopped at Dallas' official convenience store, then you've likely spent some time staring into the hot box staged near the cash register as you wait in line to pay for your Red Bull.

The dimly lit fortress of sodium displays all manner of food things: the pizza slices with desiccated pepperoni slices and hardening crusts; the chicken wings that look exactly like the partially chewed fried bird parts you find on the sidewalk in summer; the taquitos that look like cigars that someone lit, let float in a swimming pool for a day and then dried in the sun; and, of course, the miniature tacos that somehow manage to look cute when surrounded by so much salty sacrilege.

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Fuel City's Tacos Are Not Good

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Fuel City tacos circa 2011.
All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?

Three or so years ago, when I was driving in a rickety Penske truck with my life's possessions toward Texas, I knew just one thing about Dallas' taco scene. A chef friend back in Washington D.C. told me that the best tacos to be had in Dallas were sold at a place called Fuel City. We were in his kitchen and there was an entire duck with its head still attached simmering away in hot oil. "They serve tacos in gas stations down there," he told me. "No shit," was all I could say in return.

Within a few days of my arrival, I found myself sitting at an outdoor table under the Texas summer sun with the biggest glass bottle of Coke I've ever purchased and a Styrofoam box filled with picadillo and barbacoa tacos. I remember thinking they were pretty good, and that the picadillo was spicy, and that it was pretty great to suddenly live in a state where you could gas up your ride with one hand on the pump while the other cradles a warm tortilla stuffed with meat.

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Happy Easter! I Hate Peeps.

Categories: Complaint Desk

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The Chad Houser
Behead your Peeps. Do not eat them.
If you've never had a Peeps, know this: It's like eating a tablespoon of sugar lovingly dusted atop a mouthful of your gramma's cellulite. Pretty sure those are the two main ingredients, just behind yellow dye number gross. This is punishment candy. It's the equivalent of getting a turd in your stocking at Christmas.

And it's not like they look delicious, either. The original Peeps just look like someone took a log of border collie crap, rolled it in yellow sugar, put some eyeballs on it with a brown Sharpie and called it the greatest Easter candy joke of all time.

Of course they're gluten-free. But so is the vomit of every gluten-free-er on the planet. (Opting out entirely is obviously gluten-free. Air don't have no glutes. I just wanted to offer up another chewable option, if that was needed.)


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Dallas' Car Culture Kept Brian Luscher from Selling, and You from Eating, a Magic Kolache

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Luscher's Face
While Mark Lamster, Patrick Kennedy and others debate how Dallas' car-centric design is crushing this city, I thought I'd take a brief moment to illuminate how our car addiction is keeping us from what may be the most delicious kolache ever created. Brian Luscher, chef-owner at The Grape, has been dangling these beauties from his Facebook feed for a few days now, saying he's in the test stages of some new creations.

There's the bratwurst version pictured above, with caraway, spicy brown mustard and gruyere, and there's a Luscher's Red Hot version, with 4-year-old cheddar and candied jalapeño. There are cherry kolaches too, and each looks good enough to render the shootout we had between The Czech Stop and Village Bakery stupid. The bummer of it all is we would likely be eating these right now if it weren't for the city's need to protect cars over delicious food things.

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Pizza Patrón Is Crying Censorship After its La Chingona Pizza Ads Were Shunned by Radio

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Pizza Patrón has burned a few more crusts of late. The Dallas-based pizza chain hit a nerve in the nationwide immigration debate with its ongoing pizza-for-pesos program, and grated cotija on the wound by offering free pizza to those who ordered in Spanish, has pissed of puritans from both side of the border with its upcoming radio advertisement campaign.

Patrón's new promotional pizza, dubbed La Chingona, packs a lot of spice, with 90 slices of jalapeño-stuffed pepperoni plus extra pickled jalapeños. But while the heat will certainly offend those with a weak constitution, it's the name that doesn't sit well with some Spanish speakers. The verb that chingona derives from is equivalent to the grandaddy of all swear words, and it's used so many times throughout the ad that CBS and Univision have refused to run it.

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Dallas' Restaurants Have Been Shunned by Yelp, but Not for the Reasons You Think

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Earlier this week Yelp published its top 100 restaurants -- what it described as a list of "the ultimate, try-before-you-die, food-coma-inducing, so-good-it-makes-you-want-to-slap-your-momma places to eat." The ranked list seemed to touch on every aspect of American dining, from east coast to west, from downtown to suburban, and from fine dining to humble street tacos, but there was one problem: Not a single restaurant was located in Dallas.

Texas did OK. Austin earned three mentions for Franklin Barbecue, Turf N' Surf Po Boy and Little Deli & Pizzeria, with two more going to the Uchi empire. Tiny Pflugerville got a nod for an Ethiopian restaurant, and Houston got one for a Brazilian steak house.

But while it may look like Dallas has been shunned by Yelp, if you look at how this list was created, it's actually the other way around.

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Please Stop Making Me Chew My Drinks, World

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Alice Laussade
Drinks are for drinking, not for chewing. I thought this was obvious. But then I bought a coconut water from the grocery store. "With pulp" it said. "OK, that's probably like orange juice with pulp," I replied. I opened the can, took a sip, and that's when the pulpy can of coconut water revealed itself to be an inconsiderate asshole. Just like the end of a Mission: Impossible movie, the coconut water can took its cute coconut-photo label off and revealed itself to be Jon Voight. Dammit, John Voight.

As I was sipping the 'nut water, my mouth immediately informed me that "with pulp" on a coconut water can means "with meaty chunks of squishy coconut." Which, for me, also appears to mean, "Yep. You threw up."

Lesson: Do not consume pulp in your 'nut water, people.

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