Eater Dallas, the local arm of the Curbed Network's popular restaurant blog, went live today. Only officially a few hours old, the site already contains plenty of content to catch up on.
We put down our PBR-stained Moleskine just long enough to ask the site's editor, former Observer-er Andrea Grimes, to give us some insight on what to expect from her and the site, as well as her take on the Dallas food scene.
City of Ate: What made Eater decide to come to Dallas? Andrea Grimes:Eater is a multi-legged, multi-armed, multi-headed newsy-food-gossip sea monster, and it just gets around to everywhere, eventually. You can't hide. Nowhere is safe.
CoA: What's your mission? AG: It's easier to say what isn't our mission. Eater Dallas does everything except: food porn, reviews and recipes. The local media outlets and blogosphere have that covered -- and covered really well. We're into gossip, openings, closings, celebrity sightings, shitty service, kitchen tantrums, plus booze and trends. We do the "news" part of "food news."
CoA: What makes you qualified to be the face of Eater? AG: Well, I'm a journalist, first and foremost. I'm not a food writer -- although I have written about food, as City of Ate readers may remember from my "Brunch Drunk Love" column, and I do love to write about food. But like I said before, Eater doesn't do food writing in the strictest sense. We do news. I'm a reporter, a gatherer and an aggregator.
CoA: What's your favorite thing about Dallas' food scene? AG: The city's excellent mix of high culture, low culture and no-culture, with excellence at every level. Let's be real: I'm a journalist, so I'm broke, but every once in a while, I want to put a great meal on the credit card and feel like a big fucking deal. So I can hit up Local or Lucia or Abacus while wearing my fancy pants. But also, man, Smoke! Over at the Belmont! Smoke freaking exists in this world! Not five minutes away from, say, Lockhart Smokehouse! Which is down the street from Oddfellows! Which is a hop-skip-jump from El Si Hay! And to have options like grabbing a burger from Wingfield's or The Grape, and have them both be outstanding? Just amazing. Even in Deep Ellum, where I live, there's so much diversity in terms of what's on offer, how pricey it is, who's behind it -- Pepe & Mito's is such a fantastic neighborhood joint, and Anvil Pub is really rocking the upscale bar food, and for a greasy burger, Adair's is it. All in a matter of blocks. God, it makes me so happy. Dallas is a delicious place to live.
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CoA: Your least favorite? AG: It's frustrating that a lot of the time, people who write about the food scene here aren't Dallasites, aren't even Texans or haven't even lived here that long. I know that's shitty to say, especially to you, Mr. East Coast, but honestly, I am so proud to be from Texas, I cannot help it. It feels like there's a creativity drain here, where smart, talented people want to ditch out for Portland or New York and wherever else on the coasts, and then we import out-of-towners to tell us about our own food culture! Agh. So frustrating.
So, uh, welcome to town? No really, welcome. I am sure you will be great. Your affinity for micheladas reflects well on you.
CoA:Where have you eaten the most in the last year? AG: It's probably a tie between at home (I love to cook, and I make crazy good soup, all kinds of soup, but especially tomato basil) and Smoke when it comes to eating out proper. Smoke has the whole package, for me -- grab a drink at BarBelmont while you're waiting on your table, have a gander at Dallas' badass skyline, then eat a ton of meat and man-oh-man that hominy casserole or the mac 'n cheese. Then I'm just a meat coma on wheels on my way back home.
CoA: How do you think gender politics affect the way the Dr Pepper tastes here? AG: Texas is the friendly state -- we do make our Dr Pepper with Imperial Sugar -- which means even the patriarchy is a little sweeter here. That's a slightly smoother form of systemic oppression you're tasting with every swallow.