Complaint Desk

The 10 Worst Things We Ate in Dallas in 2016

We’ve already celebrated some of the best tacos, best burgers and best food in general that we ate in 2016. But not every meal was so happy. As cosmic payback for having the coolest job on the planet, food writers occasionally have to eat things that are truly terrible. From overcooked burgers to stinky snails, we saw it all this year, tasted it all and regretted plenty of it.

Here, presented in random order and with links to our harsh (but oh-so-readable) reviews, are the 10 worst things our food writers ate in 2016.

1. The overpriced, under-good brunch at Cook Hall. Warning sign No. 1: just one customer in the restaurant at 1 p.m. on a Sunday. Warning sign No. 2: a menu with a $14 bowl of yogurt, granola and fruit. But if a charge of $5 per egg a la carte isn’t enough to scare you off, maybe greasy toast will do the trick. As Observer brunch baroness Kathryn DeBruler writes, “One is reminded that Cook Hall seems to be playing to an audience for whom 'expensed' is the verb of the day.”

2. The scandal-plagued burger at City Council Bar & Restaurant. It’s overcooked, under-seasoned and finished off with a wimpy tomato. Says Nick “Burger Ebert” Rallo, the burger patties “have a tire-rubber texture, like meat nuked in the microwave.” But hey, at least City Council put attention into what really matters: the décor. There oughta be an ordinance.


3. Brisket tacos, guacamole and more at AT&T Stadium Club. Jerry Jones pulled a Jerry Jones on this posh restaurant on the stadium’s north side, going big on the bar’s atmosphere and then skimping on details like edible food or hiring enough staff. The Stadium Club’s food looks a lot different in person than it did when the restaurant sent out dishes for our photographer to shoot. A Big D flatbread pizza coated in red pepper flakes, a brisket tacos with gummy, unheated tortillas and shredded lettuce that has brown spots — yikes.


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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart