Watching the watchmen

Do you agree with this list of the best restaurants and bars in Dallas?

Do you agree with this list of the best restaurants and bars in Dallas?

The Haystack at The Grape restaurant in Dallas
The list of best American restaurants is a mixed bag. The Grape (pictured) makes the top 10, but Cheesecake Factory and Grand Luxe Cafe are in the top five. Photo courtesy of The Grape
Prosciutto and arugula pizza at Cane Rosso restaurant Dallas
It's hard to argue against Cane Rosso as the best pizzeria in Dallas. However, everything after that is certainly arguable.  Photo by Jenna Rosier
Goodfriend Beer and Burger House
The best bars for beers list had some good picks, with Ginger Man and Old Monk, but no Goodfriend (pictured)? Meddlesome Moth? No Common Table? Madness. Starfishprime
Foursquare has Thomas Avenue Beverage Co. as the second best bar in Dallas, which might have been true before it closed for good in January.  Courtesy of Thomas Avenue Beverage Company
The Haystack at The Grape restaurant in Dallas
Prosciutto and arugula pizza at Cane Rosso restaurant Dallas
Goodfriend Beer and Burger House

Foursquare, the app for stalkers and reformed Boy Scouts who just really like badges, has compiled “more than 3 billion check-ins and tens of millions of tips” from cities across the country to create “Best of Foursquare” lists. Dallas has a page, so let’s take a look and get irrationally angry about all of the things we disagree with.

Scanning the food categories, we’re reminded that Foursquare is an opt-in service, which means that you’re probably more likely to check in at somewhere popular than you are, say, McDonalds. With that in mind, we’re not too surprised at what we see in the top slots for Mexican food — Mi Cocina, Velvet Taco and Chuy’s.

The American food category is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, both The Grape and Fearing’s make the top 10, but the top five includes The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Café. We like to think that we have some better American restaurants than a couple of chains.

 People, do not worship false idol In-N-Out: If you’re gonna do fast food, eat Whataburger. Don’t support California.

We’re pretty okay with the Burgers list, save for In-N-Out at No. 7. People, do not worship a false idol: If you’re gonna do fast food, eat Whataburger. Don’t support California.

Cane Rosso took the top spot for Pizza, and then, well, let’s say that Teresa and I had some disagreement about the rest of the list, so we’ll chalk this up to people having differing opinions about what good pizza is. We’re told that Chicago and New York City have been over this before. 

Asian and Steakhouses are mostly devoid of surprises, save for P.F. Chang’s making an appearance, which, no, and Del Frisco’s Grille taking the top spot for steakhouses. That upset might be due to the fact that we can’t imagine too many of Al Biernat’s customers are bothering with Foursquare, and Del Frisco’s skews younger.

On to the nightlife scene, where an egregious error pops out right away. The No. 2 bar is Thomas Avenue Beverage Company, which closed its doors in early January. We miss it too, Foursquare, but it's not a good idea to promote a closed bar on your list (which was just released).

We really don’t have a problem with the list for pubs, music venues, dive bars or sports bars, because a bar is often only as good as the people you’re with. We respect those opinions, even if they’re mostly highlights of really popular places. Heck, we go to a lot of those places.

However, we’ve got a real problem with the best places for beers list. Having the Ginger Man at No. 1 and Old Monk at No. 2 is something we can agree with, but putting

 The list for beer lacks spots considered “beer” places, like Meddlesome Moth, Goodfriend or Common Table. Are we beer snobs? Oh, yes.

Idle Rich Pub and Blackfriar Pub at slots 4 and 8 is curious. Both places have good beer selections, but it’s not what they’re known for. They’re McKinney Avenue destinations that would be packed with Uptown crowds even if there was only Miller Lite on tap. 

But the list lacks spots considered “beer” places, like Meddlesome Moth, Goodfriend or the Common Table. Are we being beer snobs? Oh, god, yes, we most likely are. But those are also the bars that, when places known for beer are being discussed, come up.

We understand that Foursquare's list is based purely on how often people check-in, but when Ginger Man makes the cut but none of those other three make an appearance, the list just doesn't make sense.

It's like having a list of best guitarists with Jimmy Page and Keith Richards on it but excluding Hendrix or Clapton in favor of James Hetfield or John Mayer. You're halfway there, so what went wrong?!

We told you this would devolve into irrational anger.

So what can be taken away from Foursquare’s lists of the best bars and restaurants in Dallas? It’s not the list we’d make, but then again, our list isn’t the one you, our reader, might make.

If we were an out-of-towner looking for a quick reference, Foursquare’s guide might work in a pinch. It’s not a bad guide; it's simply a guide of popular, pretty-good places. Just please don’t go to Cheesecake Factory.