The Universal Food Shame Scale

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Damn. Eating that freezer burrito made you feel like an awful human being. But, exactly how awful? Wish there was a way to know exactly how much shame you should feel when you eat a horrible, awful food? Wish. Effing. Granted.

Above is our very helpful, very scientific Universal Food Shame Scale:

In order to further confirm the Universal Food Shame Scale's rightness, we thought we should consult a few chefs and other serious food experts in town. Here are their contributions:

Daniel Vaughn (Also known as @BBQsnob, or That Dude Who Knows Everything About Texas Barbecue No Seriously He Knows Everything Even Anthony Bourdain Thinks So)

1. IBP beef. I know that feed-lot steer could have had a better life, but it's sure tasty when it's smoked.

2. Saucy chopped beef and jalapeno sausage sandwich from Mac's with fries and beans. Now dip the fries in the bean juice.

3. Anything I hide from my Instagram feed.

4. A whole tube of BBQ flavored Pringles.

5. Ojos de vaca.

6. Cow eyes ('cause they sound cooler in Spanish at #5).

7. Salt Lick.

8. Salads without meat on them.

9. I want my baby-back, baby-back, baby-back.

10. Oatmeal from La Madeleine. I felt so dirty afterwards that I drove straight to Kuby's for a smoked pork chop from the meat counter. I ate it with my bare hands as I sat in the Snider Plaza parking lot. There were concerned onlookers. Take that, Oatmeal.

Next: Jeffrey Hobbs, José Ralat-Maldonado, Chad Houser and Jeana Johnson Jeffrey Hobbs (He made you that fried chicken you just had at Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar because you heard from Scott that it was uhmazing.)

10. An entire bag of Oreo cookies, original flavor, with a bag each of chocolate & mint warming up in the bullpen

Jeana Johnson (You know her as the Good 2 Go Taco Goddess who makes the tacos that make you go "Unnnnnngh.")

10. God's Chicken (as my friend Tara calls Chick-Fil-A). I feel guilty because: 1) They hate the gays. 2) I don't eat fast food. But about twice a year, I crave their dirty, dirty bigoted chicken.

José Ralat-Maldonado (You know him as the Taco Trail badass, or The Guy Who Took You On That Taco Tour of Dallas And Blew Your Taco Mind Forever And Ever)

9. The barbacoa breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana. Greasy, messy and so delicious. The first time I ate one, I got grease all over my guayabera. It was love at first stain.

10. I was visiting Portland, Maine, for a wedding. The house many of us were staying at was within walking distance of the Fisherman's Grill, a rundown fried seafood and lobster roll shack. Each time I gobbled up one of the lobster rolls, packed with almost an entire lobster bound lightly with mayo, a part of me grew bright and happy while another grew dark and dank. You see, lobster rolls are expensive. The ones at the Fisherman's Grill approached the $20 mark. And I ate them for daily for five days.

Chad Houser (He's just some dude who's the chef at Parigi and stuff.)

1. Foie Gras. Debate all you want about ethical treatment, I love it so much that I went out of my way to tour a duck farm in Lebanon and watched the entire process of how it is made -- from duck babymaking to vacuum-sealing the freshly slaughtered livers for selling. My stomach didn't turn, it growled.

2. Almost every morning, I eat the same breakfast: Fried egg on toast... with a half cup of Sriracha poured on top.

3. Everything tastes better pickled.

4. I've spent 36+ years trying to like bananas. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry potassium.

5. No matter what type of candy I'm eating, I always set the orange ones aside to eat last.

6. I grew up thinking a loaf of Mrs. Baird's bread and a slab of butter was its own food group.

7. Forget corn dogs, turkey legs and funnel cakes. Every year, I make a pilgrimage to the State Fair of Texas to eat the nachos with the little chips shaped like Texas. I needn't bother concerning myself with the fact that every ingredient is so artificial that the guacamole on top probably isn't even made with avocados. Tradition is tradition, bro.

8. I once spent a week in Scotland. Seven days meant seven delicious haggis dinners. The only thing that could make haggis more delicious is if you stuffed haggis inside haggis.

9. My name is Chad, and I'm a sour candy-holic. Junkie would be more like it. There is not much I wouldn't have given up for a "hit" of high fructose corn syrup and artificial color. After some serious rehab, I am now able to walk by a bag of Sour Patch Kids without breaking out in cold sweats.

10. The jar of pickled jalapenos on the table of all "reputable" pho restaurants is meant to be an accoutrement. For me, it's an appetizer. I eat the whole jar. Every. Time. Maybe I am the reason no one gets more than one glass of water. Sorry for that. (Not really.)

It is our sincere hope that this Universal Food Shame Scale helps you identify the correct shame level for every one of your future foodings. Should you have any questions, like, "What about brisket tacos, should I feel level 7 food shame for even ordering brisket tacos?" please direct them to @cityofate.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.