Leslie Brenner

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2014

    Morning News Critic Leslie Brenner Dressed Like a Mummy to Sneak into Proof Pantry

    The saga is finally over. After the owners of Proof Pantry refused to allow The Dallas Morning News' food critic to pay for a meal that she was planning on reviewing, Leslie Brenner has finally published her thoughts on the One Arts Plaza restaurant and dropped a cute little bombshell in the proce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2014

    Unmasked Leslie Brenner Is Going to Get Really Special Treatment, Says 2009 Leslie Brenner

    Last week, Leslie Brenner, the restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News, officially gave anonymity the middle finger, publishing an interactive feature on the News' web site complete with portraits and video. In the story and video, Brenner announces that after years of masticating dry-aged ste ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2014

    Dearest Leslie Brenner: Here's How to Make Friends with Proof & Pantry

    Hey Leslie Brenner! I don't know you. I'm Alice. I don't know what you look like, but lots of chefs in town tell me they know what you look like, and that you're never truly dining secretly in their restaurants. I imagine that you look like the above illustration that took me one hour to draw. You' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2014

    If Proof Pantry Really Wanted to Avoid a Morning News Review, its Plan Backfired

    Like everyone else in town, we've told you already about Leslie Brenner's recent visit to Proof Pantry. The dining critic at the Dallas Morning News visited the restaurant last Thursday in preparation for a review, and the meal went as most meals do until owner Michael Martensen raised a stink riv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2014

    Proof Pantry Refused to Take Leslie Brenner's Money, Really Doesn't Want to Be Reviewed

    Leslie Brenner, the Dallas Morning News' food critic, isn't the most popular journalist in town. In the past few months, she's taken fire from chefs and diners alike who say Brenner doesn't understand Dallas or its cuisine. Most famously, Knife and Spoon chef John Tesar joined the chorus of Brenner ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2014

    Observer Critic Scott Reitz Blows the Cost of a Loaded Honda CR-V at the Lakewood Landing

    Figure out how to blow $30,000 at a dive bar: That was the direction of my editor, as he instant-messaged me a link to Leslie Brenner's recent story in FD Luxe, headlined, "Restaurant critic Leslie Brenner blows the cost of a small Mercedes on the most expensive meal in Dallas." "If FD Luxe can Go ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2014

    Chef John Tesar Told the Dallas Morning News' Food Critic "Fuck You," and Life Is Good

    This week, John Tesar's new steakhouse, Knife, was reviewed by Leslie Brenner, the longtime critic at The Dallas Morning News. Brenner awarded three stars, an assessment that translates to "very good: a destination restaurant for this type of dining," according to the paper's review and listing poli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2013

    Dallas' Truck Yard: A Video Tour

    We asked Leslie Brenner to give us a video tour of the Truck Yard but she was too busy Googling "Los Angeles food critic openings West Side please mmmmmm the beach," so we settled for crack video intern, Sarah Passon. Read Scott Reitz's review in this week's weekly periodical or just click this bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2013

    Zanata, Home to an Excellent Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese, Damaged in Fire

    Leslie Brenner reports that the owners of Zanata have closed the restaurant after a significant fire. Based on the account on the DMN's Scoop blog, the fire, which broke out Sunday morning, was significant enough to damage the inside of the restaurant, as well as the roof, and was recently ruled acc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2013

    Handsy Waiters, Bad Fish and Taco Nerds: This Week In Dallas Dining

    Are you ready for BrewFest? Of course you are. But first we have some food news to wrap up. The more I think about it, the pending arrival of BonChon is probably the biggest food news of the week. Their chicken is addictive, and it's the sort of place you can hang out and have a beer or three, whic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2013

    Vodka, Natto and the Dallas Farmers Market: The Week That Was in Dallas Dining

    With Lakewood's anniversary party coming up Sunday, you've got plenty of reasons to drink a lot of beer, and you should. But not before we wrap up this week's food news. This week I visited the Russian Banya in Carrollton. Check out the review, and if it sounds like the kind of place you could get ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Pop Diners, Cinco De Mayo and a Slew of Restaurant Openings in This Week's Wrap

    We had a busy week at the CoA. Scott Reitz endured some bad karaoke at Pop Diner at in Uptown. No matter what the T-shirts may say, pulling off good food is sometimes easier said then done. Unless you're drunk, then who cares? Exactly ... We covered some solid Cinco de Mayo festivities and 10 happ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2013

    Cheese: This Week In Dallas Dining

    So cheese week happened. We've filled City of Ate with so much cheese news we looked like a full -on cheese blog. Even ol' Lee Harvey up in the header there is eating cheese. This week we ran a porny slide show devoted to some of the better cheese boards in Dallas instead of running a traditional r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    Barbecue, Butchery and Corn: This Week In Dallas Dining

    As yet another week draws to a close, it's time to start thinking about your food-related weekend plans. Looks like we might have some nice grilling weather in our future, but before you scrub the rust off your grill grates, we have a week to wrap up. This week I reviewed Spoon Bar & Kitchen, the f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    Breakfast Tacos, Mustaches and Steak: This Week in Dallas Dining

    If you haven't noticed, after a few days of doom and gloom the sun was shining outside. It's a good day for some patio drinking, if you know what I'm saying. Don't get out there too soon though. We've got a week to wrap up, first, and this has been a really good one for City of Ate. This week I rev ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    Yes, There Are More Burgers and Even A Meat Maelstrom: This Week In Dallas Dining

    Did someone say Wintervention? Looks like a nasty cold front is on its way. Time to break out those dutch ovens and braise some lamb shanks, I'm thinking. Or maybe a hearty beef stew is more your style. Whatever you plan on cooking, cold weather dishes make your kitchen smell amazing and always have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2012

    Getting Ready For Burger Week, Sloppy Joes And Beer: This Week In Dallas Dining

    Cool weather is upon us, and the weekend is here. If you don't have weekend plans, check out LDD's weekly food guide. Or if you're feeling lazy you could just drink a ton of beer. We've got the guide to everything North Texas has to offer in the suds department. Don't crack that bottle yet, though. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Restaurant Week: Are You Getting A Great Deal?

    Restaurant week is about to wrap up, or is half over depending on how you look at it. The promotion named after its duration has become a bit of a misnomer as restaurants expand it into what might more accurately be described as restaurant month. Back in July, when restaurants announced participati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2012

    Markets, Pho, Limey's and BBQ: This Week In Dallas Food Blogging

    This week I reviewed Dalat, a new Pho place on Fitzhugh Avenue that stays open late and takes a whimsical approach to Vietnamese cooking. I also took a closer look at Gandolfo's, the deli truck that hails from NYC. Elsewhere on CoA we noted the opening of Ten Bells Tavern, a new bar in Oak Cliff, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2012

    Driftwood, People 2012 And A Gorgeous Bowl Of Soup: This Week In Dallas Food Blogging

    Any time a big holiday falls in the middle of the week, the question on everyone's mind is which weekend to celebrate on. Obviously the answer is both, so half of Dallas should be out on their lawns with canned beers, Popsicles and sparklers in just a few moments. If it gets too hot your you you can ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2012

    One Hundred Million Tacos With A Side Of Burlesque: This Week In Where The Hell Is My Lipator

    Summer is picking up and that means the arrival of tomatoes that taste like nature intended. Not those lifeless cottony numbers picked while green and sprayed with ethylene, but those glorious summer orbs ripened right on the vine and delicious enough to be eaten all on their own. It's a good time t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    Chicken Scratch, Spicy Wings And Four More Stars: This Week In Dallas Dining

    The first week of the unofficial summer season is slipping away, and I find myself craving BLT's. The tomatoes I've been getting in some of my salads have started to come to life, and I hope it's a sign that the summer fruit will fare better this year, compared with the last dismal season we had. Be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2012

    AFJ Names Three Texas Finalists in Awards Competition

    The Association of Food Journalists has announced the finalists in its annual competition, and Texas fared well. Dallas, Texas, even. Leslie Brenner of The Dallas Morning News was nominated for best newspaper restaurant criticism for her continued coverage of our local restaurant scene. And at the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2012

    Beer, Taco Wars, and Matt McCallister: This Week In Dallas Dining

    Last week seemed slow: I could hardly find any stories to string together into a Lettuce wrap up. This week, however, I'm having trouble deciding how to fit all of these interesting stories in. Happy hour's in only getting closer, so I better cut to the chase. This was the week of pink slime for Ci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2012

    Rats, Italian Beef, Fried Chicken And Burgers: This Week In Dallas Food Blogging

    What a week, with the rats and the meatless eating and Alice being Alice and all. I'm about to find a spacious patio, order a beer and a burger and kick off my weekend, but before I go, there's a week to wrap up -- I'm going with mesclun. This week I reviewed the Vspot Vegan Cafe, which I mostly li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2012

    Steak Bullying, Off-Site Buzz and More from the Week in Dallas Dining

    Am I in the clear yet? I just checked the weather report for the weekend and there's a pollen alert, but I feel fine. I've never had allergies, yet everyone has told me Texas would be all to happy to provide me with some. So far I feel OK... How are the rest of you doing? This week I reviewed Del F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2012

    Brisket Tacos, Mexican Seafood, Pop-up Bars and Trufflegate: This Week In Dallas Eating

    Those poor, homeless bees.​We made it. Another week has come to a close, and after spending a decent amount of time recovering from my Super Bowl hangover, I'm ready to do it all again. But first there's a week to wrap. Endive, perhaps? This week I reviewed Private Social and bitched about te ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Donuts, Reubens and Dallas' Prettiest Food Blog: This Week In Dallas Dining

    FlickrI'm pulling for the Ravens.​When I moved to Texas I was very upset about the weather. Multiple weeks of triple-digit heat and no rain had me begging for relief. I asked everyone if winter was at least mild. No, everyone said. There's ice and it's so cold it burns your skin. Fortunately ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    Booze Booze Booze Tacobots: This Week In Dallas Grubbing

    ​Ouch. Remember that whole Bar 828 thing in Oak Cliff? Seems like a distant memory. While milling around out back of the event, I asked a bartender (details fuzzy for obvious reasons) his best hangover cure. He told me a gin and tonic water poured over a couple of alka-seltzer tablets with som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    Sliced Beef, Texas Sausage and Tax Dollars Turned into TV: This Week In Dallas Grubbing

    Flickr​It's getting cold out -- cold enough to make Thanksgiving seem welcome, but maybe not cold enough for mulled wine on the stove -- yet. This week we checked out SWIG, a trendy bar-restaurant on Henderson with a cool bar and ho-hum food. I still think the place warrants a visit. You know ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    The Week in Dallas Food: Tiny Sandwiches, Too-Sweet Desserts, and Lots and Lots of Beer

    ​This week we brewed at the zoo, ate some disappointing things, and Leslie Brenner told us another thing wrong with Dallas. Read on. City of Ate/Observer Even if Taj Chaat has Amruth beat as far as charm, interest and adventure, the humble vegetarian former stumbles into second place when it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    Leslie Brenner, Morning News Food Critic, Defends the Paper's Star System

    ​Leslie Brenner went all radio superstar yesterday. The critic some love to hate talked for an hour with Think host Krys Boyd about the DFW dining scene, culinary trends and and the mechanics of good reviewing. Brenner described a blossoming scene that still had some hurdles to handle. While ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Five Ways To Get Unlucky By Eating On Friday The 13th

    ​If you haven't already been reminded by 90 coworkers today, we're happy to tell you that today's Friday the 13th. According to Wikipedia, fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia. So now you know that. Nerd. Since today's already unlucky, in the spirit of getting screwed by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2010

    Heard Through the Grapevine: Who Deserves Credit for Great Dining Finds?

    Who cares how you know? Just tell us where the good stuff is.​Is restaurant scouting an open source activity? That's essentially the question underlying local barbecue blogger Daniel Vaughn's frustration with Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner's new list of the top barbecue joints, an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Honest food at Potager and a roll of the dice at The Mercury

    Sara Kerens​This week's Dallas food bloggers learned to trust empty parking lots, took Mary into their own Bloody hands, and found peace on Earth at Potager Café and the Dallas Islamic Center. More Dallas restaurants have Gone Texan, and don't expect to find wines from any other place e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2010

    Sloppy Seconds: Luxe food at the movies, green 'cue in the Cliff

    Gold Class Cinemas​This week's Dallas food blog coverage saw lots of action over at Stephen Pyles and a musical chairs of restaurant openings and closings all over the metroplex. Bargain priced wine and seafood may be in short supply at some venues, and a couple of bloggers gave the bene ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2010

    Clarifying a Post About a DMNer Who Says City of Ate Readers Hurl Insults. You Guys Wouldn't Do That, Would You?

    ​Proof of blog posts' surprisingly long shelf life arrived via e-mail this morning, in the form of a message from Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner. Brenner had e-mailed last Friday, while I was out of the office for a Southern Foodways Alliance event, still smarting over a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2010

    Snob Appeal: Should Restaurants Reserve Seats for VIPs -- i.e. Not You?

    ​When Dallas Morning News' restaurant critic Leslie Brenner guested on KERA's Think this afternoon, her first call came from an unidentified maitre d' who took her to task for criticizing restaurants that refuse her a 7:30 p.m. reservation. Brenner confided she sometimes accepts the 8 p.m. ti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2009

    Sloppy Seconds: Don't Drive Angry

    ​We did our best to avoid blowing up here at City of Ate HQ, but really, that tantalizing taste of vacation on Monday just made it easier to get bitter over the other four workdays. Times like that, when you're right on the edge of letting your temper go, the right food writing can be just the thi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    Poor Julia Child

    Great note on the Eats blog by Leslie Brenner. Thanks to a movie that turned them on to an old cookbook, some columnists have discovered classic French recipes are difficult. And reverence for her leaves out modern trendwriters like Michael Pollan. And she didn't share today's outlook on sexual orie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    Sloppy Seconds: A Case of the Mondays

    ​In this back-to-school edition of Sloppy Seconds, we're recapping a hectic week that saw complications both technical and interpersonal as the City of Ate crew went about its business. Still, from wine classes to a little meta-analysis, last week saw plenty of learning opportunities for devotees ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2009

    Leslie Does Dallas, Or The Perils Of Popularity

    Innovation out of control: tall food-foam fusion.​Leslie Brenner's assessment of dining in Dallas appeared over the weekend--a comprehensive and provocative piece both casting the city in culinary shadows and under a gleaming ray of promise. You may disagree with her assignment of stars for parti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2009

    Report From Leslie Brenner: Lola To Close

    Normally I find restaurant opening/closing stories to be rather tedious, as far as news goes. Places come and go all the time, you know.But Leslie Brenner's announcement on Eats that Lola will soon shut down...Damn.Turns out she was intent on reviewing the place. Guess what--I had one planned for th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2009

    And The Winner Is...

    As you know, each week we highlight some of our favorite reader posts--an idea we began sometime back in the hopes of giving away prizes, then dropped, then kinda stole from Leslie Brenner when she started doing it (without prizes) on Eats. Too much to choose from this time around. Thoughtful posts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2009

    Sloppy Seconds: Taking the Easy Way

    Even as much as we honor hard work in America (nearly as much as apple pie), we admire quick fixes, workarounds and clutch deliveries more. You say there's no easy way out? We say you're not looking hard enough. Or maybe you're looking too hard. Either way, this week on City of Ate, we celebrate th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2009

    Sloppy Seconds: As Seen On TV

    Having handily dispatched the written word, television's having its way with dining now, too -- at least, that's the idea you get after reading our last week on City of Ate. Not good news for those of us who write about food.From an Oxygen Network TV crew getting in our photographer's shot at Centra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2009

    Question Of The Week: Which Is More Important--Service, Atmosphere Or Food?

    Both Leslie Brenner and I hammered the kitchen at Nick & Sam's Grill. But there's no denying the restaurant's popularity. Some people rank Mi Cocina amongst the city's top ten restaurants while others--myself included--consider it mediocre at best. Again, it turns out, those who favor the local ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2009

    Grapes Of Wrath

    Scanning Leslie Brenner's introduction last week, I wondered first if such a manifesto (outlining the new Dallas Morning News critic's rules of engagement) was truly necessary. Then again, food writers at the daily take some rather unfair jabs on occasion from those compelled to flail away without, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2009

    Sleuthing The Sleuths

    Last evening I stopped by the SPCA's Paws Cause event--not only for the free wine, but also to show support...and glance at silent auction items from afar.One must live in a world other than journalism to bid on, well, pretty much anything--including rusted radiator parts.At one point in the evening ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2009

    DMN Announces Addison's Replacement...Finally

    A few weeks before the Christmas holiday, Bill Addison and I had lunch at Screen Door. At the end of the meal he said 'no reason to hide' and whipped out his real credit card to pay.Yes, we all carry at least one piece of plastic with a phony name. And yes, I pretended to have left mine in the offic ... More >>

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