In what might be the biggest critical disconnect over comfort food since Pete Wells and Jay Cheshes came away with two totally different impressions of Gus & Gabriel, Ed Levine of Serious Eats and his pal Josh Ozersky of the Feedbag are sparring over Dallas BBQ. Though he’s famously on a diet, Easy Ed took it upon himself to stop into Dallas BBQ to give it what he says is its first proper evaluation by a food writer. He determines that the onion loaf is not just good but “goood,” the wings are “crispy and crunchy and clearly showed that someone knows how to fry,” and the chicken tenders have a “crispy, salty flavor.” But the best part — he says the fries are better than Shake Shack’s!
So far, Serious Eaters are in agreement: “Not a bad way to go on a lazy Friday night,” “it’s hard to complain too much at the prices they’re charging,” and “you can’t get such a great meal for the same price anywhere else,” say commenters. But Levine’s description of the “inoffensive, somewhat tasty food” has managed to rile up at least one fellow foodie. Not satisfied that Levine admitted to finding the ribs and burger flavorless, Mr. Cutlets insists that “the mere existence of places like Dallas BBQ is an affront to us as a city.” Cutlets, who has long championed spots like RUB and Hill Country, describes Dallas BBQ as a “sub-human feeding trough” and tells Levine, “[p]laces like Dallas BBQ deserve your censure, not your grudging praise.”
Here again, we’re seeing tensions flare up as distinguished foodies go deeper and deeper into the maw of comfort food, and the line between Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s molten chocolate cake and the Domino’s Chocolate Lava Crunch Cake is blurred. Will Dallas BBQ now be the test of the true foodie? And where, dear readers, do you stand?