It’s safe to say that 2021 has been a long year, with lots of ups and downs for the restaurant industry as the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic. But in rounding up the most-read Eater Dallas news posts of 2021, there was one man who captured the imagination of North Texas readers. That would be the one and only Salt Bae.
Whether he was embroiled in legal drama or attempting to hand-feed an NFL star, social media star Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe’s arrival on the Dallas scene with his steakhouse opening had many twists and turns over the course of the year. Readers were also very interested in where visiting celebs dined out in Dallas, along with Turkey Leg Hut pop-up news and the impacts of Snowpocalypse 2021. Here are Eater Dallas’s Top 10 stories of a year.
The RH Gallery, the chain formerly known as Restoration Hardware, created a park-like oasis for truffled grilled cheese sandwiches with the opening of its Dallas rooftop restaurant. The glass-enclosed space debuted in May 2021, and is located above the furniture store.
Eater charted the effects of Snowpocalypse 2021 on the restaurant industry in Texas, as readers were interested to see which restaurants were able to serve food in the face of freezing temperatures and power outages.
Eater interviewed new Dallas resident Mike Chen, who moved from Seattle to Dallas in 2021 and brought along his major YouTube clout: Chen’s channel focusing on Asian cuisine boasts more than 3 million subscribers.
Cult-favorite Houston restaurant Turkey Leg Hut’s pop-up restaurant proved as hyped as the original location, as readers clicked to find out the details of where to find stuffed turkey legs and cajun Crawfish mac and cheese in Fort Worth in March 2021. Long lines ensued at the pop-up, where some waited up to 13 hours for food and one customer spent more than $1,000 on turkey legs in a single order.
Where exactly does Rihanna go out in Dallas? Queen RiRi went on a dining tour of Deep Ellum when she visited in November, dining out at Oni Ramen, Harlowe MXM, Monarch, and more.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper went out to eat at Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe’s steakhouse in March, and he played along when Salt Bae sprinkled salt off his elbow onto the meat in his signature move. Cooper drew the line at being hand-fed by Gökçe, however.
The Voice newlyweds were spotted at Highland Park-area sushi restaurant Shinsei in July, when someone snapped a photo of them at their table and sent it to gossip site Deuxmoi.
Before the doors even opened to Gökçe’s Dallas restaurant Nusr-Et Steakhouse, the social media star found himself in a legal drama in January when contractors alleged that Nusr-Et Dallas fell behind on its bills.
2.) State Fair of Texas Vendors Stunned to Learn Few People Want Low-Paying Jobs That Only Last 24 Days
Labor shortages hit the State Fair of Texas in September as vendors struggled to find temporary workers. The Fair announced that it would raise pay by more than $1 from the 2019 event, to $12.38 per hour, a wage that was still much lower than the $15 to $18 per hour that some restaurants advertised to potential new hires for permanent jobs.
Lines snaked around the building during the opening of social media sensation Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe’s lavish Arts District steakhouse Nusr-Et in March, as the man himself showed off gold-covered ribeyes, ridiculously thick filet mignons, and whole racks of lamb.