Food Fight: Dallas chef Matt McCallister goes all Gatling guns on a Yelper. Do you agree or disagree?

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matt mccallister sure doesn't look crazy to me

Matt McCallister is one heck of a talented chef.  He cooks without books or boundaries, a nose-to-tail specialist who, truth be told, would be just as happy to serve a bowl of foraged dandelions as a sous vide lamb tenderloin.

He’s proved his chops at countless dinners where I’ve eaten his cooking, whether it’s at charity events like Chefs for Farmers, or at underground dinners, or in restaurants such as Stephan Pyles (where he was once the executive chef) and CampO Modern Country Bistro, where he cooks on the line nearly every night.

He works hard. Damn hard. Just like lots of folks in the restaurant business. But I guess Tina of Dallas pushed the wrong button when she (or he?) Yelped her comments about McCallister, his cooking and Campo.

On Facebook today, McCallister fired a Gatling gun of periods at Tina of Dallas. Lots of people look to Yelp to guide their dining decisions. Should McCallister have stayed quiet, holed up behind the expo line? What do you think? Is the customer always right?

Here’s what McCallister wrote on his Facebook wall (which he gave me permission to reprint on the Hatch):

To Tina of Dallas… this is the best yelp review of Campo I have seen yet. In fact I am going to frame it. You can see below. Just a few comments, since you didn’t want to eat chicken on the bone that is all natural and locally raised and also complained about the price which you thought was $24 when it is actually $17… I will bring in some commodity bulls**t chicken farm raised BONELESS SKINLESS bulls**t for you. Oh and also since I am so pretentious and didn’t want to take the OXTAIL SUGO out of the oxtail pasta.. which by the way makes up the whole sauce base for the pasta to sub it out for the chopped up bone in chicken that you didn’t want earlier… I am sorry I just don’t believe in ruining food… Oh also Tina of Dallas.. I am opening a restaurant in the Design district.. PLEASE don’t come to it..I don’t want to disappoint you again.. A place like Del Friscos grill might suit you better..or maybe even Burger King.. I hear they say you can have it your way but I don’t eat that s**t.

This is my problem with yelp.. you can come in a blast somebody’s food which can then potentially make you loss business because the diner is a f***ing moron. I’m not pretentious nor am I arrogant. I just try to make the best food I can and stand by what I do.

Tina of Dallas
1.0 star rating

I really wanted to like this place! We went for date night a few weeks back. There was a table available but not any empty chairs, so we were happy to sit at the bar.

The decor was cute and cozy, and our server was quick to get us the cocktails. Not a fan of anything with egg whites in it, but the bf loved his. My wine was great. We ordered chorizo balls as an appetizer. They were just kind of blah. Nothing too flavorful or tasty but up until this point, this place was getting a solid 3, maybe 4 stars.

One by one, they lost all their stars from me! While looking over the menu, I quickly came to realize that there was nothing in the way of lighter fare available on the menu. I wasn’t overly hungry, and I am never one to eat a huge pile of meat at any restaurant. Even their salads and appetizers seemed super meaty or heavy and the only chicken they had was bone-in chicken (I don’t want to pay $24 to eat meat off of a bone).

The pasta and vegetables topped with oxtail sounded good, but I didn’t want oxtail. I asked if there was any way they could either sub the oxtail for chicken or just leave it off entirely. The waiter says “I will check with the chef, but I don’t think he will do either option”. He walks in the kitchen, and we can see him talking to the chef. This pretentious douche literally rolls his eyes while talking to our waiter. I get that you think you’re a badass chef and that your pasta tastes better with oxtail, but don’t you want to make your customers happy? Yes I could have taken it off, but that seemed awfully wasteful and I was just so shocked at the treatment. The waiter seemed annoyed that we hadn’t ordered yet (and mind you by now there were about 5 open tables so we were not holding anything up). At that point I knew that nothing on the menu was going to be worth the money, so I decided to just wait and eat something later. The boyfriend ordered, and ate while I just drank a few more glasses of wine.

We decided to try dessert because who needs a main course if the dessert is yummy? We ordered some tart thing with ice cream on it. One bite of it and all I could think about was the episode of Friends where Rachel makes the trifle and Ross says “It tastes like feet!”. Because yes, it tasted like feet. We ate the ice cream off of it, paid the tab (still over $100 even though I didn’t eat a main course) and left.

Not worth it… There are way better places in Bishop Arts!