Buh-Bye Bill Addison

Over on Eatsblog, Dallas Morning News dining critic Bill Addison bids farewell to Dallas with his last blog post and restaurant review of Tei-An. No official word on his replacement.

It seems the whole media world is struggling; we’re adjusting budgets and our time devoted to print products. “The Internet is the future” is the mantra being tossed about in media circles, but not many people have figured out what that actually means or, more important, how to make money in cyberspace.

I shared several delightful meals with Bill Addison. The first was a week or so after he hit town. We met at Escondido Mexican Restaurant on Butler. He ate enough for two, a trait I always liked about him. Of course he spent countless hours in the gym—at least I assume as much, because he was buff and handsome.

Another evening we lingered over French food (and wine and wine) at Watel’s. I enjoyed his energy and zeal when it came to eating and writing. I told him it took more than a few Rocky Mountain oysters to leave a city like San Francisco to write dining reviews in Dallas, a city he’d visited only a few times. I couldn’t do it, because you start out without any sense of history or who’s who. I felt bad for him when he boldly started his campaign to realign the DMN star system by taking one away from Avner Samuel’s Aurora. (My right ear is still burning from the call I got that day from Avner. I’m sure Bill’s is as well.)

When Bill and I were downing cheese enchiladas at Escondido, I told him about SideDish. I told him I would probably make fun of him. I did. I called him Freckle Face, because I wanted you to picture him as a blond, freckle-faced boy when, in fact, he looks quite the opposite. I made him sound old. He is young. Bill didn’t like being called Freckle Face. He didn’t like being criticized. I don’t either. It hurts. But I told him—and I thought he understood—that we are critics, and we have to be prepared for people to be critical of us.

Bill quit communicating with me a while back. I’m not sure why, but he e-mailed me and asked me to never to mention his name in print again. He intimated in the message that I wouldn’t be able to hold back from writing about him again. He’s correct. Today I can’t.

So, Bill, believe it or not, I am sorry to see you go. I wish you could stay and play. Atlanta is a great food town, and you’ll be happy in the magazine business. And I hate to see such a swarthy cloud hanging over our friendship.