The Good & The Not-So-Good (Dallas, Texas)

My Yelp Review

Cook Hall Review (1-10)
Cleanliness: 7
Decor: 8
Friendliness of staff: 4
Taste of Food: 6
Vegetarian options: 2

I got the amazing opportunity to visit Dallas, TX yesterday! I really didn’t realize Dallas was as cool as it is, we were there for a little over 24 hours this trip, but we had a really great time!! We stayed at the W Hotel, which was a really cool looking hotel. Their rooms were interesting and unique. A little too much faux snakeskin for me, but I like where their head was at. We had quite a rough time checking in, as the hotel completely canceled our reservation since we didn’t show up the day prior, but it had been booked the day before so we didn’t have to wait til 3pm to get into our room. So while they were trying to sort that out, Ryan and I decided to get some food because we hadn’t eaten at all that day, and by this time, It was already almost 2pm.

We went to their restaurant at the hotel called Cook Hall. The decor was super old school I really liked it! The edison bulbs were a great touch, the lighting was inviting. I had high hopes based off of the looks. Well, as it turns out, the old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is so true in this story, and I’m afraid that this is where the “good” ends. The staff all seemed so lethargic and looked like they hated their jobs. A waitress seated us at a table that hadn’t been wiped, so we kindly asked if we could switch tables. She turned around and walked away from us without saying a single word. Okay…strange we thought. We waited a moment and she didn’t come back.

We sat ourselves at another semi- clean table. A waitress came by, she was even less excited to be there than the last person. I asked her if the black bean soup was vegetarian, she said it was. I ordered that, and I also ordered the cornbread. I LOVE a good cornbread! She told me this one had jalapenos in it, that made it even BETTER. I also ordered one of my favorite drinks: a bloody mary. Their bar looked impressive. I was excited to see what they could do with a bloody mary. A few minutes later, a very simplistic and boring bloody mary was brought over. It didn’t even have a single olive in it, or celery. Just one lonely lime slice. It was a bloody mary none the less, so I drank it. A little while later the cornbread came out, there were two pieces on a plate. It came with some butter that was as hard as a rock and tasted freezer burned. OK, so we did without the fancy sounding honey butter, no big deal. I was just excited to be eating a meal.

I finished the first cornbread and started to dive into the second. As I cut it open, giant chunks of bacon fell out of it. I realized there was bacon throughout the entire thing, there just happen to be no large pieces in mine (that I noticed). Ryan let her know there was bacon in it. Obviously, I was super upset that I had just been served (and had eaten) bacon, but I internalized it as I didn’t want to make her feel bad. My issue here is that she didn’t really seem to care much that I had just unknowingly eaten bacon. She didn’t apologize she just took the plate away and stated that it’s not usually cooked with bacon. Welp, when you are serving a vegetarian and they state that they are a vegetarian, I believe that it becomes your responsibility to let them know when there’s bacon in something if it isn’t listed on the menu. If you aren’t sure, you should ask the chef to check. Also, shame on this restaurant for putting bacon into cornbread and not notating that there’s meat in it on the menu. I even re-read the menu thinking maybe it was my fault, but no, absolutely did not state there was bacon in the cornbread.

One Last Qualm…
This restaurant also keeps the cutlery and plates on the tables, which I have never been a fan of. Especially in this scenario considering both of the tables we sat at that day were not very clean. I feel like there is too much opportunity for plates/cutlery to get dirty, fondled and coughed on if they’re home is on the table. Not a fan of this.

We couldn’t wait to leave the restaurant and get into our room. The whole vibe in that restaurant was just not pleasant. No one wanted to be there, not even us. We made our way to the front desk again, they were able to figure out our reservations (hallelujah!) they were even kind enough to give us a $40 room credit for the trouble earlier. I had to speak at a party in a few hours, so we made our way to our room. Someone brought out bags, but it was an interesting “bell hop service”…they wheeled the baggage cart to our room, and then just kinda pushed it towards us and ask us to leave it outside when we were finished. If they don’t unload your bags and give you the full experience, are you required to tip?! We weren’t too sure. We thought it a little odd that such a nice hotel didn’t have a legit bell hop service, but whatever! We took a nap and got ready for the evening. Now listen, we had bad luck with food in the earlier part of the day, but at dinner, I relied on Yelp to get us to an awesome dinner, it did NOT dissapoint…that blog post will be coming soon!


Until next time!


  1. January 26, 2018 / 6:46 PM

    The burger I had was on par with Burger King, but it was $16. I was probably less impressed with this place than Kristen. I know the W can do better, and it’s Texas, so I know there are some good burgers to be had there!

  2. Katie
    January 26, 2018 / 6:57 PM

    I appreciate a real review like this that isn’t filled with hate but constructive criticism and I know how nice you guys are! I’m so sorry you ate bacon cornbread! I’m glad there were some bright spots on the trip. I too have heard good things about the W so surprised!

    • kristenleanne
      January 26, 2018 / 7:06 PM

      Thank you <3 we had a wonderful dinner that evening! Can't wait to review that place, it was really great! The staff at The W was very helpful and nice, just like my experiences at other W locations!

  3. Amanda Elliott
    January 26, 2018 / 7:58 PM

    On behalf of Dallas, and as a fellow restaurant manager here, I am so sorry for your negative experience. You’re absolutely right about service standards not being what they use to be. I’ve said the same thing numerous times myself. The W can do better, we all can do better cause there’s no ceiling to greatness! I love when my guests give constructive criticism like this instead of the harsh opinionated things some people unfortunately say. Hopefully next time you’re in town you can get some true southern hospitality!

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 12:04 PM

      Thank you – I have had WONDERFUL service and food in Dallas, my next review is on a restaurant I REALLY loved that evening! <3

  4. Tiffany Leanne
    January 26, 2018 / 8:25 PM

    We have a family owned restaurant near our house they have tons of vegan and vegetarian options and everything is farm to fork. We went there a few months back and I ordered Mac n cheese. And a veggie burger. I made sure you clarify nothing had meat and she assured me. I got 5-6 bites into my Mac n cheese when I bit into a giant piece of bacon. I was so upset I cried and my husband had to tell them about it. The girl was so rude too like it wasn’t a big deal. I haven’t ate pork in over THREE years. Not since we had a pet pig in Oklahoma. I will never go back. I’m still so mad. :/

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 12:03 PM

      Ugh that’s so unfortunate. Just because our diet choices don’t match someone else’s doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be respected and treated as important. That’s lame 🙁 I’m sorry

  5. Chrissy
    January 26, 2018 / 8:30 PM

    I can tell you right now you completely lost me when you said you got up and seated yourself at a new table? Omg noooooo, seriously such a no no. When a restaurant has a seating arrangement, they have certain servers in certain areas and tables are sort of assigned to different servers, so if you just get up and choose your own table you’re most likely moving out of you servers section and possibly going to someone who is at their max amount of tables and can’t handle getting another. That means they either have to take you and end up giving poor service or someone else has to take a table out of their section which ends up affecting things like side work or making that server stay longer than normal because they’re stuck waiting on you. It’s actually a pretty complicated system and always best to leave where you’ll be sitting up to the hosts, now as for them treating you badly and giving you meat when you told them you’re a vegetarian, that’s completely inappropriate and wrong on their part.

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 12:02 PM

      I wouldn’t have minded if I moved out of her section, in all honesty. She wasn’t very friendly. I’m not going to stand there for five minutes when she walked away from us in the middle of the restaurant with no word. It was just odd. But she should have communicated what was going on. I sat down somewhere else. I had been traveling all day and I was tired and hungry. The restaurant was pretty much empty, we were still in her section. I used to be a waitress, I am aware of how sections work, and I also disliked when people would get up and move out of my section with no communication, but it kinda started there with her lack of communication or leadership. Instead, she left us hanging, standing in the middle of the restaurant.

  6. Louise Sharpy
    January 26, 2018 / 9:35 PM

    Wow. Wait, bacon, in cornbread ?? Never ever had I (remind you of anything ?)🤪has bacon. Interesting. I love this review, blog, post experience. I could read for hours. So nice do this the whole urban decay experience ok? Kisses

  7. Richele
    January 26, 2018 / 9:53 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this and I think you should continue to do these restaraunt reviews! How is the service at restaurants ever going to change if we don’t speak up and say anything or let other people know, if it was a poor experience I think it’s reasonable to post about it and if it was a great experience I think restaurants and people need to know that as well!

  8. Tiffany Oshiokpu
    January 26, 2018 / 11:07 PM

    Next time you visit Dallas. Head about 30 minutes north and check out 7 Mile Cafe in Denton. It is absolutely AMAZING! They cater to everyone. They have an entire vegetarian/ vegan menu and some damn good mimosas.

  9. Laura
    January 27, 2018 / 1:12 AM

    I’m all for honest reviews, but this feels like it was written by a junior high student. Stick to vlogs and makeup.

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 11:58 AM

      I’ll actually stick to whatever makes ME happy. Which is writing blogs sometimes. So if you don’t like them then leave. It’s pretty simple. Who looks like a junior high student now? lol

      • Laura
        January 29, 2018 / 10:38 AM

        Then you should work on your writing skills. It’s more enjoyable to read something when it all flows together and doesn’t feel so stilted.

        • kristenleanne
          January 29, 2018 / 4:47 PM

          I am not a writer…I’ll keep writing how I enjoy writing. I don’t write these for others to enjoy necessarily, it’s mostly for me.

  10. Sylvia
    January 27, 2018 / 3:20 AM

    Wow, even when you give a “bad” review you are super nice about it. Such a nice change from all the hate thats being flung around. I have to say, you and Ryan are so sweet and funny!! I feel like I’m learning so much about being myself watching you guys! Thanks for being a wonderful role model!! Wish you were coming to DC!!! Love your videos… keep them coming!!

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 11:57 AM

      Thank you <3 I try to be as fair as possible of course, I don't hate anyone <3

  11. Poppy
    January 27, 2018 / 5:36 AM

    Ugh that’s awful finding that you’ve eaten meat unknowingly! As a pescatarian myself I feel your pain Kristen. Last time that happened to me I was sick for like 2 days. I’ve heard good thing bad about W so hopefully this was a blip for them. Fingers crossed they read this & sort their shit out… xx

  12. Amber
    January 27, 2018 / 7:09 AM

    I always find the best bloody Mary’s around the Dallas/ Fort Worth area at the mexican restaurant’s!

  13. Angelica Tejeda
    January 27, 2018 / 10:30 AM

    Well it’s nice to see that you were just honest about your experience. I appreciate all reviews before we go out to a new place. I feel very similar to your views, if your spending your hard earned money and priceless time anywhere you want it to be worth it. I have be berated on Yelp and other review platforms for just being honest and I don’t gun for people jobs, I just want management to take notice and improve on the staffs shortcomings. So Kristen I commend you for speaking your mind.

  14. Lindsay
    January 27, 2018 / 12:52 PM

    Girl I am so sorry to see you had an experience like that! I am originally from California and just moved to Texas a little while back, and the first thing I noticed when I moved here was how genuinely nice and hospitable everyone was! It’s a shame to hear that restaurant staff treated people that way and they didn’t care to try and correct anything, or even have a friendly enough attitude toward their guests.
    However, I am so glad you had a positive experience after this not so great one! Hopefully the first restaurant didn’t permanently leave a negative impression in your head about Texas.
    Sending love from San Antonio!! 🙂

    • kristenleanne
      January 28, 2018 / 11:56 AM

      I lived in Austin for a couple of months and I definitely experienced a wonderful sense of hospitality! Not everywhere can be a win! The dinner this evening WAS awesome!! I had a wonderful time in San Antonio when I was there!! Do you love it?? In no way would one bad experience be able to give me a bad impression about an entire state, definitely just gave me a bad impression of that one particular restaurant. I love Texas!!

  15. Alexandria
    January 27, 2018 / 3:23 PM

    I work at a restaurant, not as FOH but one of the pastry chefs, anyways the owners always post the reviews on the bulletin board in the kitchen so all employees can see how we’re doing. They highlight the bad ones and whomever is responsible for the terrible service/food gets a talking to. The restaurant will normally comp a dessert or drink to help make up for it. There’s weekly meetings to discuss how to avoid bad service for the upcoming week.

    I don’t understand why people are getting so butthurt about your review. You had awful service and the restaurant should know what a terrible experience you had and fix their issues.

    Sorry you got fed bacon! It’s gross! 🤢

  16. January 27, 2018 / 3:30 PM

    I love this. It’s good corrective criticism; what happens to good friendly customer service? I have been a waitress on many occasions for many of years at a time and no matter you day is it’s always your job to make sure your customers have the best experience there. I’m sorry you’re getting hate for this but honestly anyone who got butthurt over this can’t handle criticism. I love you and what you stand for. 🦄

  17. Elizabeth
    January 29, 2018 / 5:51 AM

    💜💜💜 wow!!! Can’t wait to read ur review on the next restaurant!!!

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