Hanna Raskin Deconstructs the Dallas Dining Scene

Hanna Raskin’s cover story in the Observer this week is a must-read. In it, she makes the case that the Dallas scene has lost its moorings. Not only do we not have world-class comestibles (oh, to be world class!), but she raises the question of whether Dallas deserves to be ranked higher than Austin, San Antonio, or Houston (Houston!). It really is a very thoughtful, well-written story. It will no doubt spark some good conversation, quite an accomplishment given that the North Carolina transplant has only been eating in this town for a few months.

To balance the effusive praise: how the hell do you publish a story like that without showing even one picture of food? Or of the several players on the scene that Raskin talked to? I sense budgetary constraints. Shame.


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  • Kirk

    Photos of food or interviewees? That’s paper-based thinking.

  • Stacy L.

    I’ve lived here for 13 years and agree with pretty much everything she’s said. Over the past five years, my husband and I have given up on eating anything particularly interesting other than Mexican food or barbecue in Dallas. Even then, the places we used to frequent have put up so many TVs in the dining rooms we can’t hear ourselves talk anymore. When we think of great food cities, we think of New York, Portland, Seattle, etc.

    Dallas foodies don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I’m not sure why they expected Ms. Raskin to just fall in line and yield to their bullying tactics…including, but not limited to, bitching about her age and lack of experience.

    Sometimes a fresh eye is exactly what a stale situation needs. I can’t wait to get on a plane tomorrow and go to New York City…TO EAT.

  • carla p.

    Opinions of those like Stacy L’s chap my arse: “I have given up on eating anything particularly interesting other than Mexican food or barbecue in Dallas.”

    So, it’s fine for Raskin, Stacy L. and their foodie club to think Chicago is great for having pizza, and Atlanta for having grits, but Dallas has no personality because it has barbeque _and_ Mexican? Dallas food is boring because we have two notable staples instead of one. I get it.

  • snoopy

    I agree with carla p. I tried to read this article and found it rather boring. I have lived here for 12 years and still enjoy the dining scene even if it’s only one night a week or at lunch. I like to try new places, but am not going to pretend I’m Tom Colicchio.

  • Agree with carla p. & snoopy.
    I think I’ll go out to eat tonight. To a place *I* enjoy. And one she probably wouldn’t approve of.

  • I agree with everything she wrote, especially about Dallas restauranteurs being corporate products rather than chefs. Big D is certainly not a culinary wasteland but just based on my own experiences I automatically rank Austin, San Antonio and Houston (yes, Houston!) as better food cities.

  • Brandy

    Nonna, Javiers, Nosh, Al Bernaits, Bolsa, Sangria for brunch… many many more…never fail to impress our intercontinental or our in states visitors. NEVER. Maybe you just have to know where to eat.