SideDish Dustup Gets Nod From Romenesko

Food fight!

If you haven’t been over to SideDish recently and if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, check out this post that Nancy put up Friday. Short version: DMN food critic Leslie Brenner and her crew went to Proof + Pantry to do a review. She was recognized, and the owners — who are not fans of the DMN‘s star rating system — refused to let Brenner pay for her meal in an attempt to create a conflict of interest that would prevent her from writing a review. In the comments to the post, Jim Schutze dives in, calling the restaurant’s owners “unsophisticated hicks.” Brenner’s husband chimes in. As does Brenner herself. And, somewhat oddly, the DMN‘s classical music critic, Scott Cantrell. It’s a lively discussion. And Romenesko included it in his morning report today, which was nice. So, by all means, dig in.


  • vseslav botkin

    Oddly unmentioned in the SideDish comments (unless I just missed it): Does anyone honestly believe the server voluntarily forfeited his tip on a 4-hour $450 service just to help his bosses make a point? I have a hard time believing he wasn’t urged to do so, and I’d love to know if P&P offered to compensate him.

  • Sideshow Bob

    I hope all of those extra clicks from restauranteurs was worth it because Ms Nichols’ and D Magazine’s credibility sustained some damage.

  • Thomas Hooper

    I would imagine Mr.Cantrell’s chiming in on the story had to do with the hatchet job a Ms. Wommack did on him a few months ago in which she manufactured a controversy out of thin air that he was sexist and elitist.

  • Hugh Mullins

    In my mind, this debate has highlighted a story about crony capitalism within the Dallas media and restaurant industries. One side is a publication financially dependent on a good ol’ boy network, passive-aggressive reporting and soft, non-rated reviews. In the other corner is the outsider who is challenging the status quo and killed the soft bigotry of inflated ratings. D Magazine’s food writer looks like an old-timey Dallas fool. Excuse us while the rest us want to hold our city and our restaurants to higher standards.