Where Should Leslie Brenner Eat?

Yow. Zah. Cathy Barber has stirred up a hornets nest over at Eats blog. She asked readers to recommend Dallas restaurants for new DMN critic, Leslie Brenner, to try when she comes to town. Cathy put up a post and Chowhound broke out. Leslie, wherever you are, I recommend you start anywhere other than Aurora. Dishers, let’s get Leslie a better list. (Update: My pick below.)

22 comments on “Where Should Leslie Brenner Eat?

  1. She could be the first to review Nick & Sam’s Grille. I personally would like tips on which hole-in-the-wall taquerias are really good (and pass health inspections). I also think someone should review banquet food that Dallas hotels serve. Some of the food is great, some of it is really lame.

  2. Actually I thought it was a pretty reasonable list. Not that she should go to every place on it, but maybe every place that shows up twice. At least there are some non uptown/tollway places on the list.

  3. I haven’t check out the Eats list but I’d say York Street is a must. It might not be cliched Dallas (Sonny Bryan’s? El Fenix?) but it shows what Dallas is capable of: great local food.

  4. Mi Cocina, Mercury, Taco Diner, Neighborhood Services, Porch, Hibiscus, Victor Tango’s, Fireside Pies.

  5. Silly me, I actually thought you people would put some thought into this project. If Leslie called me, I would tell her Mi Cocina, Mercury, Taco Diner, Neighborhood Services, Porch, Hibiscus, Victor Tango’s, Fireside Pies.
    All in one night. Seriously, I would think Five-Sixty would be a natural. She’s lived in Wolf country and would have a great perspective on how it feels in Dallas.

  6. Definitely Jimmy’s and while she’s over there… Mai’s for a chicken curry clay pot. Let’s not forget all the fun little tapas spots. Cafe Madrid is always a fun night out. I’d also suggest that she hit Wingfield’s in Oak Cliff, Vera Cruz and Vitto’s in Bishop Arts. Ah. And we can’t forget Hattie’s. Oh and Dream Cafe for brunch.

  7. Bolsa, El Ranchito, York Street, Mercury, Twisted Root, Tillman’s, Stephan Pyles, Tei An, Yao Fuzi, Veracruz, Nana, Zodiac Room, Jasper’s, La Duni, Abacus, Market Diner, and a sandwich at Jimmy’s.

    Steak: Nick & Sam’s, Pappa’s Bros., perhaps Bob’s.

    In Ft. Worth: Lonesome Dove, Angelo’s, Lanny’s, Joe T’s, Lambert’s.

  8. So NN you wouldn’t send him outside of uptown/Knox-Henderson?

    I dunno, I couldn’t care less about 560. It just doesn’t interest me as a restaurant, I guess some people are interested in hype and celebrity and spectacle. But who’s going to read a review and think “now that sounds like an interesting place to eat”?

    I feel like Neighborhood Services, La Duni, and a lot of the newer places have been done to death already. Nothing against Hattie’s and I guess she should eat there, but review it? What’s the point. The food’s not really that different from anywhere else, there’s nothing particularly standout about it iirc.

  9. I can think of 100 better first impressions of Dallas cuisine than Sonny Bryan’s or Mi Cocina. I’d prefer her discovering them au naturale. For local flavors I’d recommend Lola, York Street, Bob’s, Abacus, Jasper’s, Neighborhood Services, La Duni, Hibiscus, Nona, Nana, Nick & Sam’s, The Mercury and Taverna: with smatterings of Mia’s, Cowboy Chow, Babe’s Chicken Dinner, Suze, Rise No. 1, Manny’s, Urban Taco, Ra Sushi, Twisted Root and First Chinese BBQ in-between. Of course I’m ignoring the big(ger) boys in Craft, Charlie Palmer, Nobu, Houston’s, The Palm, Ruth’s Chris, etc. but I’m sure she knows of them and can find them on her own.

  10. Well, here is the reality of the situation–she has to sell herself and newspapers. She can do all the little mom-and-pop Indian places she wants after she gets rolling, but she is coming from LA and Dallas’ newest hot restaurant–whether you like it or not–is Puck’s. She has a unique perspective she can bring to the review. I would certainly want to read what she had to say about Puck’s, sorry Five-Sixty. Plus, the DMN has already reviewed most of the places listed above.

  11. Do people really buy newspapers for a review of a brand new restaurant that’s already covered in depth and detail in pretty much every other restaurant covering publication in town? I mean it’s a given that she’s going to review it, but shouldn’t that wait a couple months? I’m sure you know more about the business than me, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to read her take about 560 (assuming it was actually interesting reading and focused on the food & experience). I just don’t see much point in a breathless lovefest as a weekly feature about whatever the newest “high end” restaurant in town is, especially if it has nothing to do with the experience I’m going to get when I go a year later (if at all).

  12. Leslie should review Nick and Sams grill, ken rathburns blue plate kitchen opening party next week, Verns place, Yutaka Sushi, and Omi. Oh and look at my yelp reviews! haha.

  13. Actually, I don’t want her anywhere near my favorite restaurants (at least at first). I am sure she has to make a splash when she arrives with a scathing or controversial criticism of a restaurant that aimed high (see the later retracted lack of a 5th star for Aurora). And after reading about her reviews and experience in LA, she seems happy to attack in order to generate buzz and sell papers. I hope that eventually she gets into a nice routine, with fair reviews, but I am betting that she doesn’t start that way. Let me say that differently, the first reviews may be fair, but they wont’ be nice.

  14. Hey Nancy — amazing how similar this list is to the Eats list. The original “assignment” wasn’t where should she review, but rather where should she go to learn about Dallas dining. She’s going to have to do a lot of educational eating that may or may not get written about.