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Eater Dallas’ Top Stories Of 2016

Whataburger, the Dallas Cowboys, and a chocolate piñata dominated the news cycle

Dallas loves its stunt foods.
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Now that 2016 will officially come to an end this weekend, it’s time to look back at the biggest stories to come out of Dallas’ dining scene in the last year. It may not have been as massive as the one that preceded it, but 2016 was an incredible year for the city’s dining scene, especially in terms of how it is viewed on a national scale.

Judging by this year’s 10 most popular posts, Dallasites were obsessed with Whataburger’s support of the Dallas Cowboys, a smashable chocolate piñata, and the arrival of Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa Marketplace.

1. Whataburger Issues Sick Twitter Burn To Cowboys Haters After Win Over Pittsburgh

You can pretty much always count on Whataburger’s Twitter feed to be a social media goldmine, but the chain’s support of the Dallas Cowboys with a sick burn was definitely a highlight. Heim Barbecue’s offer of free barbecue for life to Rougned Odor stirred similar excitement, as did the arrival of The Halal Guys.

2. You Can Bash Open Your Very Own Chocolate Piñata At Uncle Julio’s

For whatever reason, folks in Dallas really love the idea of smashing open a giant chocolate egg to reveal a bounty of treats inside. This dessert quickly went viral, since inspiring its own website and plenty of YouTube videos of people cracking open that piñata.

3. Mitsuwa Marketplace, The Japanese Supermarket Of Your Dreams, Heads To Plano

Dallas has a bounty of international grocery stores, but next year’s arrival of Japan’s Mitsuwa Marketplace may be one of the most exciting openings of 2017. Even if you’re not much of a home cook, Mitsuwa’s food court will bring ramen and super-popular tempura bowl spot Kaneko Hannosuke, known for inspiring lengthy lines at the original Tokyo outpost.

4. Keep Calm: The Halal Guys Land In Dallas This Summer

The Halal Guys brought its classic chicken, rice, and white sauce to Dallas this year, and people were seriously excited. In the first few weeks after its opening, folks happily stood in line for upwards of an hour to score their first falafel platters. Considering that a second location will soon open in Richardson, it’s clear that this is one import that’s here to stay.

5. Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor Earns Free BBQ For Life For Punching Jose Bautista

After becoming an instant hero with the punch heard ‘round the world, Rougned Odor scored a prize that us normal people could only dream of. Fortunately, there’s going to be plenty of Heim’s brisket and burnt ends to go around in 2017.

6. The Mysterious History Of The Neiman Marcus Cookie Hoax

A bizarre story that’s circulated long before the internet ever existed, the Neiman Marcus cookie hoax is one of those urban legends that we’ve all heard of. Unfortunately, though, the story of a woman paying $250 for a chocolate chip cookie recipe is completely untrue.

7. Dallas Barbecue Enthusiasts Outraged, Confused By Vegan Brisket

Vegan brisket is a totally new thing to Dallas, and people were decidedly skeptical of its arrival. After Dallas Observer food editor Beth Rankin scoped out the Trinity Groves restaurant’s meat-free BBQ option, Dallasites responded with emotions ranging from rage to utter confusion.

8. Video Of Chips & Salsa Inspired Melee At El Paisano Goes Viral

A fight over chips and salsa is one thing, but the virality of this video is quite the other. Over the course of the year, a clip of this brawl made its way to the world’s biggest news outlets and millions of Facebook feeds.

9. Hash House A Go Go’s Massive, Martha Stewart Approved Breakfasts Land In Plano This Spring

The arrival of this California-based chain stirred a great deal of enthusiasm in Dallas, likely because of those wacky brunch cocktails and epic entrees.

10. Dallas Cowboys Rookies Spend Nearly $55,000 On Dinner At Nick & Sam’s

Football players are no slouches when it comes to dropping giant chunks of change at restaurants, but this $55,000 dinner at Nick & Sam’s was impressive even by those standards. And, most importantly, the rookies equitably split the bill — unlike in past years — which only seems fair.