Food News

Things from the Dallas Food Scene We Wish Were Jokes

Nobody's laughing at parking in Bishop Arts.
Nobody's laughing at parking in Bishop Arts. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
If anything should be canceled in 2021, it’s April Fools Day. The last 13 months have held far too many tricks to find more of them funny. We haven’t lost our sense of humor, but here are a few very real things we wish were jokes.

The parking situation in the Bishop Arts District. There are a few tricky ways around it, but for the most part, it will make you cry.

Cheesecake Factory.

Salt Bae. This is how we play with our food now?

There’s a peanut butter sandwich on the menu at Norma’s Cafe that costs $29.99. That's not a joke, but there are so many good things to order at Norma’s, you can probably just skip it and save yourself the penalty price. (Kinda like ranch dressing at Cane Rosso back in the day.) Norma’s tells us the peanut butter is flown in from Alaska where unicorns grind the peanuts with their hooves. If you absolutely must order one, you can save a few dollars on April 2, National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, when the price will be slashed to just $25 for one day only. Again, this is not a joke.

Is it a joke that signs at Phil Romano-owned places are in your face about freedom when the race to reach herd immunity through vaccination is pitted against new variants taking hold? It’s not the first time Romano’s wit has been less than appreciated. But being too repulsed or disappointed to go to Eatzi’s (or any place in Trinity Groves) ever again is no joke.
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Funny, we've never really had too much of a good thing.
courtesy of Hot Chicks Nashville Hot Chicken

At least 10 more Nashville hot chicken restaurants will open in the next six months. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but it’s definitely not a joke. Chicken sandwiches are hot, hot, hot right now.

Hawaiian restaurants that serve Spam.

People on the Dallas subreddit (r/dallas) who recommend Dickey’s Barbecue when visitors ask where they should eat in the city. I wish I was joking when I say the insider trick played on unsuspecting tourists and city newbies will probably never die.

A  4-pound, 18-inch taco at Vidorra and drive-thru tacos at 7-Eleven.
No more 20 Feet Seafood's crispy codfish & chips? That's a tragedy.
Catherine Downes
A couple of weeks ago, we got the news that 20 Feet Seafood Joint has closed permanently, and boy do we wish that was a joke. Bye-bye lobster rolls, herb garlic fries, ramen, homemade pie and feeling cool because you knew the real reason 20 feet was part of its name. What we wouldn’t give for Marc Cassel and Suzan Fries to pop out and say, “just kidding.”

We wish it was a joke that there’s no talk yet of a replacement restaurant for the place in Dallas where you could get higher than anywhere else in the city: Five Sixty at the top of Reunion Tower. We think it would be cool if it opened as a food hall, so you could walk around in a circle visiting pop-ups and stalls while the building revolved in the opposite direction. CBD-enhanced food might make the buzz even better. Anybody listening?

While we're grateful restaurants stepped up in a crisis, as they so often do, it’s also sad that restaurants had to act as warming stations when people were without power for days during the winter storm. Restaurants really didn’t need one more thing to make the last year feel like a nightmare.

On the bright side, Taco Cabana won’t stop with the crazy marg flavors, and they’re not playing around. Last summer, they launched 12 flavors including Dr Pepper and a special Star-Spangled Banner flavor that was a blend of lime, strawberry, and blue Curacao. In the fall, there was pumpkin spice, and there was a candy cane margarita for Christmas. The company’s April Fool’s joke about a pickle flavor came to life after customers demanded it. That’s right, now you can get a pickle flavor margarita at Taco Cabana. I guess for two bucks we’ll drink anything.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe