Down with Paper Drinking Straws

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Scott Reitz
Paper drinking straws will not save the universe.
I get it: It's 87 degrees in January and it hasn't rained since the early '1990s. We all should be conserving. But considering the overflowing dumpster the size of a short bus behind every restaurant in America, I'm having a hard time thinking drinking straws are where we should focus our efforts.

Restaurants are switching to paper straws and touting their environmental do-goodery as some epic step toward reducing waste and saving the sea turtles. "Paper straws cost more, but we're doing it anyway," Snappy Salads actually said in a press release, before they served up a salad in a plastic to-go bowl. And this is supposed to make me feel good about the soggy paper pulp I'm gumming while wrestling with my beverage?

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Addison: You Need a Nice Cocktail Joint, Stat

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Kathy Tran
Take notes, Addison.
Craft cocktails are finally a thing in Dallas. The rest of the country has been drinking better than us for years, but we're catching up. At least parts of the city are, anyway. You can't throw a rock without hitting a craft cocktail bar on Henderson Ave, Lower Greenville or even in Uptown. Where you won't find a single bottle of fancy imported rhum or frothed egg whites in a glass, though, is Addison.

I begrudgingly moved to Addison in a crunch to find an apartment last December. I'd lived in East Dallas for five years, but I didn't realize just how much I would miss everything that the neighborhood, and those within a five minute Uber ride, had to offer. I could go to Proof + Pantry anytime, and hit up Parliament's spontaneous, rainy-day happy hour whenever a craving for one of their perfect Ramos gin fizzes crept up.

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Uptown's Tacos and Tequila Demonstrates How Not to Serve Elotes

Categories: Complaint Desk

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The elotes at Tacos and Tequila.
Like many foods, elotes is interpreted differently in different regions. Depending on where you place your order it can be served on or off the cob, and the slew of toppings and condiments varies as well.

When elotes makes its way into professional kitchens it is subject to a new layer of interpretation. Most of them work -- corn, cheese and hot sauce is a hard combination to mess up -- but since elotes is a street food, those interpretations can get a little clunky when a chef decides to chef things up.

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In 2015, Let's Say So Long to Bone Marrow, OK Dallas?

Categories: Complaint Desk

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When bone marrow is done right, it's great. When it's not...
I ate a lot of bone marrow this past year, and the only dish that really wowed me was the one you see pictured above. It's bacon-crusted bone marrow and it's served with either uni or caviar, depending on the mood of chef John Tesar at his new steakhouse, Knife.

When roasted bone marrow is good, it's really good. It spreads like whipped butter and melts on the palate. Bone marrow is rich, and if any dish out there deserves to use the term unctuous, it's this one. When bone marrow is bad, though, it can be really bad, which happens when it is served at one of two temperature extremes.

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Ben & Jerry's Made a DFW Ice Cream

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Ben & Jerry's limited-batch Bourbon Pecan Pie ice cream.
Last summer, Ben & Jerry's announced it wanted to make some new ice cream flavors based on cities across the country. The notion filled our brains with po' boy flavored ice cream from New Orleans, and scoops of chocolate-laced chili heaped into cones in honor of Cincinnati.

See Also: If Dallas Were an Ice Cream, What Would it Taste Like?

When we asked what Dallas would taste like on our Facebook feed, though, things got even more strange. It seems we are a city without a unique culinary identity, and that led our readers to come up with some questionable flavors. What does Dallas taste like? Spray tans and silicone, according to one reader, and Botox, according to another.

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Sorry, Dallas, but Your Favorite Puffy Taco Is Not a Puffy Taco at All

Categories: Complaint Desk

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You're worse than a fake Santa with a crappy beard at the shopping mall.
Despite a modest campaign to right puffy-taco wrongs, there remains a great rift in Dallas' puffy-taco universe. The issue centers around an impostor, a sham, a fraudulent taco promising supple puffiness that never makes its way to the plate. You'll find this taco at many Tex-Mex restaurants, including Ojeda's, which is pictured above, and most recently in Leslie Brenner's review of Raffa's, the Tex-Mex restaurant that's been busting up bellies on Lovers Lane for two decades now.

I'm not, in any way, trying to deny the deliciousness of what is paraded around town as a puffy taco. Any time you combine crispy, fried masa, seasoned ground beef, cool lettuce and tomato and few spoons of salsa, the results are going to be good. But they're not puffy tacos.

See Also: Tracking Down the Origin of Dallas' "Puffy" Tacos

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The 10 Biggest Sins of Dallas Diners, in Honor of Yom Kippur

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Wrong religion, right idea.
The somber Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur begins at sundown, extending until precisely 7:44 p.m. tomorrow. So while you all are stuffing your faces with festival barbecue, Oktoberfest beers, fried fair fare and pumpkin-flavored everything, I, and millions of other Jewish folk, will be consuming absolutely nothing. No food, no water, nothing. It's a very, VERY long day.

But in the spirit of having even more to atone for, I'd like to talk about your sins. Yes, you.

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Texas Department Of Agriculture Commissioner Disagrees That Kids Should Eat More Beans

Categories: Complaint Desk

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An educational slide from the Texas Department of Agriculture's Square Meals program.
September has been a long one for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. At the month's start, Staples drew some heat for an op-ed he fat-fingered for the Austin American-Statesman. It denounced efforts to get school children to eat less meat and sparked an Internet backlash that preceded Staples' resignation from the Texas Department of Agriculture, which was announced yesterday morning.

Elementary schools in Dripping Springs, a suburb of Austin, had recently embraced Meatless Monday as part of their school lunch program. The movement encourages participants to give up meat on the first day of the workweek, in the hopes that the behavior will curb Monday meat consumption and also shape mealtime choices the rest of the week. The push towards flexitarianism is said to benefit the participant in terms of healthier choices, and also the environment, which suffers negative impacts from unfettered meat production.

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'Tis the Season for Dallas Restaurant Breast Cancer Fundraisers with Stupid, Sexist Names

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Lenny Pichette/Flickr
Oh, this will be rich.
In the coming weeks, you will start to see everything from the sleeve on your coffee cup to the jerseys your wife-beating running backs wear in the National Football League turn a Pepto-Bismol shade of pink. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

You'll also start to see restaurant promotions that benefit breast cancer charities. These promotions typically offer to donate a portion of your cash to a breast cancer charity of their choice, which in theory is an excellent idea. Breast cancer is a terrible disease that kills millions of women each year. But restaurants don't always choose the best way to promote their support of cancer-fighting charities.

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Dear Dallas Restaurants: The Music on Your Patio Is Probably Too Loud

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Cover your ears and proceed with caution.
If you haven't been to the West Village in a while, you might not have noticed LYFE Kitchen, which sprung up recently in the spot that used to house Lemon Bar. The fast-casual restaurant is devoted to meeting your every dietary need while supplying you with plenty of shrubbery. Outside the restaurant -- flanking the fake street that would welcome pedestrians into the shopping complex if not for the crass metal gate that's always closed off -- is a nice patio so you can eat your tofu and drink your chia seeds while soaking up the sun.

Music pours from speakers up above, including the artists often featured in commercials about global warming and inhumane slaughter, like Coldplay. I guess the music is supposed to remind you that you're doing a good thing for the world by choosing to consumed responsibly sourced animal proteins. And it might work if Mi Cocina didn't have a competing patio with blaring trumpets just across the street.

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