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Hubcap Grill owner tells Dallas critic off in a profane Twitter tirade that's gone national

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Hubcap Grill in the Heights Photo by Sarah Rufca
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Ricky Craig of Hubcap Grill Photo by Sarah Rufca

I'm starting to wonder if Ricky Craig's Twitter explosions are carefully timed to get Hubcap Grill maximum exposure. Except, of course, that nothing about Craig's Twitter persona seems scripted.

Just days after throwing a relaxed Anti-Yelp party at the Hubcap Grill on 19th Street — the peaceful culmination of a Twitter fight started in January when a Yelper took Craig to task for running out of burgers — Craig has started another online war.

This time the offense comes from Ewan Macdonald, a Dallasite and Scotland native writing about Hubcap in A Hamburger Today, a respected national blog under the Serious Eats umbrella.

 "There's not going to be a Fuck Dallas party," Craig tells CultureMap. "It was just a hashtag, it's nothing about Dallas. It was just a joke that got out of hand." 

MacDonald took issue with the beef and the fry oil, remarking that his Hubcap cheeseburger left him "underwhelmed." Still, it was hardly a scathing review. As Macdonald noted, "So, naturally I wanted to love the burger itself. Instead I left merely liking it."

A smattering of the reaction from Craig that followed:

[View the Twitter feed "Hubcap Grill vs. A Hamburger Today" on Storify]

After his Twitter rant went viral — it was first picked up by Eater Houston, then on Eater National, The Atlantic and more — Craig says he takes responsibility for his tirade and hopes the fuss blows over.

"There's not going to be a Fuck Dallas party," Craig tells CultureMap. "It was just a hashtag, it's nothing about Dallas. It was just a joke that got out of hand." Craig calls the uproar "a hard lesson learned" and says that while he still plans to use Twitter to market his business and interact with other chefs, he's going to stop reading a lot of what's said about him on Twitter and in Internet comments.

"It's just not going to be as personal," Craig says. "It went too far, but I'm being crucified on it."

Asked about the review that set him off, Craig is still upset.

"They talked shit about my beef, about the bun, about something black on the fries, they even said something about my dad, who runs the counter downtown," he says. "It was just from A to Z, not one nice thing to say."

Robyn Lee, editor of A Hamburger Today, says that Craig's response was surprising but that she has full trust in Macdonald's opinion.

"Craig's response is definitely out of the norm," Lee says. "We've ruffled a few feathers with our negative reviews, but rarely does a chef/restaurant owner blow off that much steam. The only other place that comes to mind is Burger Kitchen in LA . . . which is closed now."

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