Five stories that have North Texas talking: UberEats took the blame for a Pecan Lodge delivery disaster Wednesday; TxDMV has rejected almost 900 license plates this year; go inside the re-opened doors of El Centro College; and more.
Ordering barbecue through an app to be delivered by Uber so you can get to tickets to a secret party to have more barbecue delivered by a drone. What could go wrong?
Let’s step back. There are three main characters in this story: Pecan Lodge, a beloved barbecue joint in Dallas, UberEats, an on-demand food delivery service, and Dialexa, a Dallas tech startup that builds drones, among other things. All three partnered to deliver barbecue via drone for a promotional event.
On Wednesday, the first 300 people who ordered Pecan Lodge’s brisket sandwich and side of macaroni and cheese from UberEats Instant Delivery menu between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. received a bonus gift — two tickets for a party at 6 p.m. today held at a surprise location where Dialexa would fly in more barbecue via drone.
Plot twist: The UberEats app wasn’t working Wednesday, and many people couldn't make orders. Pecan Lodge owners told The Dallas Morning News that UberEats delivered 150 sandwiches within 45 minutes and then ran out of drivers.
Pecan Lodge retweeted the negative customer feedback and even contributed its own.
We demand a formal apology from Uber_DFW UberEATS to our customers with your EPIC FAIL publicity stunt. Shame on us for being so foolish.
— Pecan Lodge (@PecanLodge) July 20, 2016
UberDFW apologized and took the blame, but Pecan Lodge owners are upset. They will still smoke meat, according to The Dallas Morning News, and more barbecue will come in by drone at the event tonight. [Uber, The Dallas Morning News]
- Two weeks after the Dallas police shooting, students can finally return to El Centro College today. On Tuesday, the community college’s Police Chief Joseph Hannigan took reporters through the area where gunman Micah Johnson was holed up – and where he was eventually killed the morning of July 8. KERA’s Gustavo Contreras walked through the building, learning the course of Johnson’s attack that killed five police officers. “Now, all that’s left is broken sheetrock from the explosion, electrical wires hanging from above and hundreds of bullet holes.” For more first-person accounts, read a KERA intern’s experience on the ground at the protest when chaos erupted. [KERA News]
- A Texas scholar discovered unknown Walt Whitman writings that read like 19th century click bait. In April, Zachary Turpin, a University of Houston grad student scrolled through a reel of microfilm and found 13 previously unknown Whitman articles, all on the topic of “Manly Health and Training.” Turpin talked with Texas Observer recently about why Whitman would spend time writing on the topic. Turpin speculates the burgeoning era of newspapers made Whitman have to subsidize his poetry with journalism to stay afloat financially. The intensely competitive industry made Whitman write strategically, reaching “his audience through idiosyncratic musings on the male body, an object he rather adored.” [Texas Observer]
- Public radio can’t stop “I’m Not Afraid” by Dallas-based singer Charley Crockett. Amy Miller, program director for our sister station, KXT 91.7, contributed to NPR Music’s list of songs on heavy rotation. Here’s what Miller said about the true descendant of Davy Crockett: “I happened to see him jump on stage at a local dive in Dallas. I quickly realized that this was an artist who lived up to the hype. Crockett's throwback sound is a blend of blues, New Orleans jazz and soul.” D-FW residents can watch Charley Crockett perform for KXT Sun Sets on July 28 in Dallas. [KXT, NPR Music]
- UTSUCKS. LAWH8R. FCANC3R. In just seven characters, Texans can say so much. But looking at some of the license plates personalized by Texans this year, it might be best not to say anything at all. The Houston Chronicle reported that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles rejected approximately 869 license plates between Jan.1 and July 7, surpassing this time last year, for “offensive language, violent or obscene nature, or impersonation (FBI, CIA, MAYOR, etc.).” Click through the gallery of about 70 rejected plates from TxDMV this year. [The Houston Chronicle]