As 2016 finally — and mercifully — winds down, it’s the perfect time to look back at what’s happened in the Dallas dining scene over the last twelve months. As is tradition, we’re wrapping up 2016 by asking local critics, industry types, bloggers, and friends of Eater what they loved (and hated) about eating in Dallas in 2016.
We’ve already covered the city’s best new restaurants and our favorite dining standbys of 2016. Next up? The year’s saddest restaurant closure. Perhaps not surprisingly, the loss of Luscher’s Red Hots was heavy on the hearts of our experts.
Beth Rankin, Dallas Observer food editor
“I'm far from the only one mourning the loss of Luscher's Red Hots, but that Uncle Herky was by far the greatest burger I've had — and in a city like Dallas, that's saying a lot. Like many others, I didn't go hear nearly enough, but on the several times I did visit, I walked out endlessly satisfied and with a real feeling of community. It kills me that it's gone, but Brian Luscher is an incredible talent and I know there's more in store from him in 2017.”
Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas Editor
“The most surprising closure of the year was undoubtedly the loss of Luscher’s Red Hots, but I’ll probably never be able to get over the fact that I have gone almost an entire year without a slice of Grandma from Zoli’s NY Pizza. It’s coming back, but it’s taking way too damn long.”
Brian Reinhart, Dallas Observer food critic
“Hibiscus and Luscher's. On The Lamb. San Antonio, where my family is, had it rough: they lost The Monterey, Mezcaleria Mixtli, Las Kekas, and the Sandbar.”
Nancy Nichols, D Magazine senior editor & former dining critic
“All closures are sad to me. They represent the loss of dreams and savings. The most surprising and saddest is Luscher’s Red Hots. It goes to show all the great reviews in the world don’t insure a successful business.”
Rachel Pinn, blogger & Eater contributor
“It's a tight race between Luscher's and Remedy, because both their burgers rank high for me, but Remedy is where I chose to eat on my birthday this year, where every ice cream sundae always felt like a celebration of life and where the egg creams reminded me of my late grandfather.”
“2016? I'm still not over the Thanksgiving 2015 shuttering of Los Torres Taqueria.”
Teresa Gubbins, CultureMap senior editor
“Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern is the obvious answer because it has a happy ending but I hate to see the demise of Dixie House and Black Eyed Pea. It keeps getting harder here to find decent food that's cheap.”