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Restaurant Experts Sum Up 2014 in One Word

What defined Austin's restaurant scene this year?

Sawyer & Co
Sawyer & Co
Jeff Amador/EATX

Melanie Haupt, restaurant critic for The Chronicle and author of Historic Austin Restaurants

Megan Giller, editor of Zagat Austin
Pizza! (Neopolitan, if I get a second word)

Jane Ko, editor at A Taste of Koko and food photographer
Overwhelmed. So many new places opened up but very few standouts.

Dan Gentile, staff writer at Thrillist

Meredith Bethune, CultureMap and Serious Eats contributor

Veronica Meewes, CultureMap and Austin Monthly contributor
If I had to pick one word to describe the restaurant scene in Austin this past year, it would be "comfort." Olamaie, Jacoby's, and Dai Due showed us that Southern cuisine can be delicious and comforting without being completely drowned in butter or dredged and fried. Red Star Southern served us restaurant-calibur fare from an Airstream trailer outside The Grackle. Kin & Comfort put a Thai twist on Southern classics and Sawyer & Co put a Cajun twist on diner classics. East Side King's trailer expanded their offerings to include even more tasty Asian street food, like Japanese-style hot dogs and Thai-Kun chicken wings.

Tom Thornton, CultureMap food and drink editor
Crossroads. There are so many new projects in motion, I wonder if there is room here for all of them. Pricing may be a big topic of conversation in 2015 - will Austin come through and support restaurants that source top products and price accordingly?

Patricia Sharpe, executive editor/food writer, Texas Monthly

Melody Fury, Serious Eats and Eater Austin contributor and blogger at Gourmet Fury
Indulgent. Rich-on-rich seems to be a running theme in many restaurants.

Nadia Chaudhury, associate editor at Eater Austin

Meghan McCarron, editor at Eater Austin
Booming is a word I used to describe at least three different restaurant strips which barely existed before this year, and there's only more boom on the way for 2015.

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