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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Stephan Pyles Says Goodbye to Samar and Hello to More Boring

Categories: Complaint Desk

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We hardly even knew you.
Well this sucks.

It hasn't even been a year since I wrote about the temporary closure of Samar and its potential impact on the sandwich scene here in Dallas. Samar earned four stars in the Dallas Morning News, and it was arguably one of owner Stephan Pyles' most exciting restaurants. The menu gathered flavors from India to the Middle East, brought them together and made them sing. It was good stuff, and you didn't have to drive to Richardson to eat it.

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It's Time to Say Goodbye to Flameless Candles

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Nice. Real nice.
I'm not a designer. A glimpse inside my own home would reveal that while I may have amassed a collection of relatively nice things, they in no way work well together. It's as if a half dozen furniture catalogues were tossed into a blender and my living room was constructed from the resultant confetti. What's worse is I can't articulate exactly what is wrong or what will make the problem better.

The same is true of my knowledge of restaurant dining rooms. I can tell when a space works, and describe every detail for an article or review, but if you were to show me a bad design and ask me how to make it better I'd hide my eyes behind a menu. There is, however, one element of restaurant design I feel I can speak to with authority, and that is the use of organic lighting.

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Texas Pete Wants to Capitalize on the #Srirachapocalypse and Gain Market Share

Categories: Complaint Desk

This should go over well.
If you're a fan of Sriracha, you've undoubtedly heard of the trouble surrounding the California plant that produces the sauce. For those of you who have had your head in a bowl of pho the past few weeks, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered a plant that makes the hot sauce be partially shut down in late November. Area residents were complaining of headaches, burning eyes and irritated throats and noses because of the millions of red jalepeño peppers the plant was processing. The news blew up the internet people predicted the #Srirachapocalypse.

But what you may not know is that the folks behind Texas Pete hot sauce have come up with a solution that will sate your need for spicy chilies in liquid form. They're calling it Sriracha Cha! sauce, and they want you to know the release of this not-so-perfect copy-sauce has nothing to do with the stymied California plant.

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Kitchen Towels as Napkins: A Trend That Needs to Die Now

Categories: Complaint Desk

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The kitchen towel trend can't last for ever anyway.
It was cute when it started. Looking for a way to differentiate their table settings, restaurateurs began replacing traditional linen dinner napkins with dressy cotton dishtowels. There had already been a gradual relaxing of rigid dining protocols as a result of the recent recession, and laid-back dishtowels were a logical extension. Linen was suddenly stuffy and old-fashioned, while its neatly rolled replacement was comforting and gave restaurant tables a fresh look.

But as dishtowels have become the linen of choice, gracing tables in gastropubs, trendy restaurants and any other establishment that serves "craft cocktails" or brunch, I find myself less enamored. They're everywhere, and they've lost their impact. And even though they're offered in waffle-weave, basket weave and other fabrics, and in stripes or plain and printed, too, they seem a little worn-out.

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Do Artisan, Craft and Other Food Words Mean Anything? Of Course.

Categories: Complaint Desk

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You may think farms look like this, but most of them don't.
Yesterday I published a post that took a quick look at Grub Burger Bar, which recently opened in Greenville Avenue. The menu touted buns baked on the hour, and while they were certainly much better than stale, old buns, they left a lot to be desired compared to artisan loaves.

It was my use of the word artisan that struck a nerve with one reader. Dominicide1 was "irked" with my use of the term artisan and he said as much in the comments. So irked that a list of the most irritating food descriptions was in order.

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Sorry, but There Is Zero Pumpkin in That Pumpkin Cake-Candy-Latte-Beer-Whatever

Categories: Complaint Desk

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None of this pumpkin patch is in your latte
If you grew up during the mid-60s or after and you weren't raised by the Amish, there's a good chance you watched It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown every fall until you deemed yourself too cool. If you missed it, the holiday cartoon opens with Linus writing a letter to The Great Pumpkin, a holiday spirit not unlike an orange, squash-shaped Santa Claus. He goes so far as to ask for gifts. Lots of them.

The cartoon ends with Linus sleeping amongst the papery stalks and leaves of a pumpkin patch, shivering and clinging to his trademark baby-blue blanket. The Great Pumpkin never comes.

Or does it?

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