Cane Rosso versus Palomino: Who Makes Dallas' Best Zeppole?

Categories: Smackdown

For a long time, the zeppole at Cane Rosso were the only versions of the Italian doughnuts I'd tried here in Dallas. Jay Jerrier's version has a lot of fans -- it's fried dough and sugar; how could it not? -- but I've always wondered how they'd stand up against competition, if only because it gives me an excuse to eat more fried dough. So when I saw another version on the menu at Palomino for lunch I knew a battle was brewing. It was time for a smackdown: Italian doughnut edition. Could Palomino's zeppole stand up?

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Battle of the Pork Ribs: Lockhart Smokehouse Versus Baby Back Shak

The pork spare ribs at Lockhart Smokehouse
In honor of Sunday's sold-out Meat Fight, we're celebrating smoked animal flesh all week long in our inaugural Meat Week, in which we celebrate the procuring, cooking and face-stuffing of dead-animal flesh.

Trying to compare two barbecue restaurants with meals from your distant memory is always tough. Eat at them back to back and the differences stand out like broccoli in a smoke shack. Either way, when two meats fight, your belly always wins.

Lockhart Smokehouse

These ribs put up a serious fight.

Smoke flavor
Deep, rich and black but not acrid or bitter.

Extremely moist due to serious fat content. These pigs obviously ate well and now so are you.

Pronounced porky flavor with almost buttery tones.

$6.50 per half pound

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Girl Fight: Girl Scout Cookies versus Keebler's Knock-Off Girl Scout Cookies

Categories: Smackdown

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Which cookie will reign supreme?

Have you been complaining that Girl Scout cookies aren't available year-round? Have you hidden boxes from yourself in secret cabinets, cut cookies in half to save more for later and frozen Thin Mints and Samoas just to stretch out your supply until "next Girl Scout Christmas?"

Well, those jackass elves at Keebler heard you and they've been making knock-off Girl Scout Cookies (Which they should've named Gurrrrl Scout Cookies). But, there's no way they could be as delicious as real Girl Scout cookies, right?

Despite the fact that my husband said I was "shaming our entire family by bringing those fake-ass cookies into our home," I had to find out. I had to know if the elves had magically recreated Girl Scout cookies in easier-to-open packaging, but with shittier names.

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Burger Smackdown: Drive Through Class, Dairy-ette Vs. Kellers

Dairy-ette's Formica counter tops and shiny, red bar stools are the marker of a burger joint with some serious history, but if you need more proof, the push-board menu drives it home -- they've been serving burgers for more than 50 years.

Order a cheeseburger here and a few minutes later a paper parcel arrives in a plastic basket, its contents gently steaming away inside. Dairy-ette was the Best Burger in Dallas in 2011, according to Jim Schutze, who proclaimed the small drive-in a master of burger basics.

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Burger Smackdown: North Dallas Class, Liberty Burger Vs. Hopdoddy

Of all the smackdowns I've ever done, none has been so crystal clear. I stopped by Liberty Burger first and ordered their namesake topped with cheese and bacon. Each cost me an extra buck, and the cheese I received was American.

As I paid, I watched the cooks behind the counter squish the burger patties they were cooking with their spatulas and wondered why this is such a popular practice. I guess it's something to do to keep yourself busy when all you do is flip burgers all day, but it's a shame the behavior is so common when all it does is squeeze the patties dry.

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When my massive burger arrived I was surprised to find a very moist patty, which despite being ever so slightly overcooked was actually quite delicious -- one of my favorites of this entire burger endeavor.

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Burger Smackdown: Deep Ellum Full Service Class, St. Pete's Vs. Angry Dog

I'm perplexed. The first time I had an Angry Dog burger more than a year ago, I was really disappointed. The meat was way over-cooked, the cheese wasn't melted and gooey, and I walked out of the restaurant smelling like a teenager who had just put in a double-shift at McDonald's. I was sure St. Pete's Dancing Marlin was capable of better -- they pummeled Angry Dog in a recent chili dog smackdown -- but the burger I ordered for Burger Week was exactly the same -- tough, dry and rather flavorless.

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Burger Smackdown: Deep Ellum Fast Casual Class, Twisted Root Vs. Uncle Uber's

Here's how it went down. I dropped into Twisted Root at 11:30, refreshed and ready to pummel my arteries with some serious burger action. The line started at the register and reached to the door. I was at the end of it.

See Also:
Burger Smackdown: Dive Bar Class, Club Schmitz Versus Adair's Saloon
Burger Smackdown: West Dallas Fast Casual Class, Off-Site Kitchen Vs. Maple and Motor

The line did not move. Five minutes later it still hadn't moved. Five minutes later it moved one customer.

I bolted.

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Burger Smackdown: Dive Bar Class, Club Schmitz Versus Adair's Saloon

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I love Club Schmitz. I think it's one of the best bars in Dallas, and as far as I can tell the hipsters have yet to ruin the place with Sunday night karaoke. This burger, though, needs some work if it's going to stand up to the history that's swaying the ceilings and rotting the floors. When actress Clara Peller asked "Where's the beef?" in her popular Wendy's ad, she might have been talking about a Club Schmitz burger. For what little beef there is, it's pretty tasteless and bland too.

See Also:
Burger Smackdown: West Dallas Fast Casual Class, Off-Site Kitchen Vs. Maple and Motor

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Burger Smackdown: West Dallas Fast Casual Class, Off-Site Kitchen Vs. Maple and Motor

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Our first smackdown of the week pits two burger joints in close proximity to Observer headquarters. I've eaten at both restaurants more often than I care to admit, but this is the first time I'd raced to Maple & Motor minutes after leaving Off-Site Kitchen with a Locals Only burger in my belly.

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Burrito Smackdown: Chipotle vs. Freebirds

Categories: Smackdown


This is the hardest smackdown I've undertaken so far. Freebirds' Texas-based burrito bomb versus the longstanding American favorite Chipotle.

See Also:
Lobster Roll Smack Down: Rex's Versus Sea Breeze
Chili Dog Smackdown: Angry Dog Versus St. Pete's

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