'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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In Dallas and Beyond, Custom Cocktails Are Overrated

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Catherine Downes
The stage at Smyth is set for the cocktail of your dreams, or a complete disaster.
It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.

I had my first "custom cocktail" about four years ago. I was at new bar in D.C. called The Passenger, where, along with doing untold things to hot dogs, they served drinks few others in the city were making at the time. A man named Tom Brown was behind the bar, and a friend beside me mentioned I could order a customized cocktail -- something whipped up just for me, based on my tastes.

I remember Brown's hulking figure turning toward a wall of spirits, one hand wrapped around a stainless steel shaker and the other near his face, finger tapping his lip in deep introspection. He'd just asked what kind of base spirit I liked and a few other questions about sweetness and flavor preferences, and was presumably was using the information to create something that had never been created before.

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The Line at Steel City Pops Makes No Sense

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Looks good, but be ready for a wait
Dear Steel City Pops,

First, I want you to know I love you. On a hot day, one of your fruity pops is the pinnacle of refreshment; I can't eat it fast enough. An avocado pop, with its creamy tang, would be a treat no matter the weather, and I'm convinced that delicious coffee pop provides a significant boost. I love you so much I favorably reviewed you in a column that's normally reserved for restaurants. You: a little popsicle stand, with only one product.

But there's a problem and it is keeping me from eating all the delicious pops I would otherwise. It's the line. It's INSANE. I absolutely can't understand it. It starts at the counter, stretches out the door before it turns, and at times runs all the way to Prospect Avenue. There might be a hundred people in that line, which you think would not be a problem, but it's enough to keep my inconsolable popsicle paws at bay.

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Go Away, Restaurant Musician

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Anja_johnson
Back up, dude.
Dear Tableside Restaurant Serenade Man,

We all have to make a living, I know, but your present vocation is having significantly negative impact on my dining experience. I came out to share a quiet meal with a friend and all I can hear if your incessant thrumming.

I can't recall a single meal that was enhanced by your pitchy crooning, in fact, not to mention your lack of respect for my personal space. I'd like to think I might be able to convince my date to come home with me eventually, but you're standing so close that your crotch is directly in her face, subjugating my masculinity. You look at her with eyes that suggest you might be available, should things not work out with me, and then you use the same raised eyebrows in my direction to say, "Hey buddy, how 'bout a tip?"

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Five Dallas Dives Guy Fieri Should (Not) Visit

Categories: Complaint Desk

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Naomi Vaughn
Guy marked his territory at Maple and Motor in 2012.
Everyone's favorite backwards-sunglasses and flaming-shirt enthusiast Guy Fieri revisits DFW this week, sort of, with an hour-long rehash of former Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes that he's calling "The Legends of Texas" tour, airing all week. As we wrote about in 2012, this means some people's favorite restaurants, including Cane Rosso, are about to be crushed.

In the spirit of Guy's visit to our fair city, we decided to give Guy a few new suggestions for some future Dallas-focused episodes. Then we decided, Screw that. But we'd already written our tip sheet so we just redacted the important details so Fieri can never find them and can never ruin them, too.

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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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