As is tradition since the end of 2016 is near, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. The annual survey spans eight questions, from dining surprises, saddest closures, to disappointing meals. All answers will be revealed as the week rolls on — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Readers, add your answers in the comments below. Seventh up:
What are your headline predictions for 2017?
Tom Thornton, freelance food writer and contributor at Eater Austin
Someone finally discovers the pent-up Central and South Austin demand for great Indian and Korean food. Someone else discovers that the William Cannon and Oak Hill corridor is screaming for a craft beer pub and/or quality wine and cocktail bar.
Frani Chung, contributor at Eater Austin
“Healthy Fast Casual Chain X Expands Nationwide”
“Plant-Based Meats Take Over the World”
“Virtual Reality Pop-Up Dinner Experience Delights Diners”
Veronica Meewes, editor of Zagat Austin
“Apple Releases CloudBites, High Speed Food Delivery Service”
“Philip Speer Launches Foodie Running Club”
“Domain Forms Own Precinct, Expands to Parmer Lane”
“Aaron Franklin Opens Barbecue-Themed Amusement Park in Domain”
Melody Fury, freelance food writer, blogger at Gourmet Fury, and contributor at Eater Austin
Restaurants dump cliché descriptor "New American cuisine” because the New American isn’t all that great.
Anastacia Uriegas, contributor at Thrillist and Time Out Austin
"Top Food Critic Proclaims Arby’s Beef N’ Cheddar 'An Unforeseen Triumph’”
Brandon Watson, food editor of Austin Chronicle
"Austin Chronicle Food Editor Disappears at San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Reappears Incoherent at Newly Reopened Chilis on 183"
"Austin Chronicle Food Editor Names Taco Bell Cantina as the Best Restaurant in Austin"
"Austin Chronicle Food Editor Arrested After Opening Speakeasy in Statesman Office"
(Come to think of it, these may actually be resolutions.)
Patricia Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
More of the same: prices higher than ever, spaces just as noisy, diners give restaurants one chance and move on! And yet, chefs will continue to dream.
Jane Ko, blogger at A Taste of Koko
Influx of Asian restaurant concepts.
Jolène M. Bouchon, critic for Austin Monthly
This is more wishful thinking than forecast, but I hope to see an increase in different international cuisines. South African? Sri Lankan? Cambodian? Bring it!
Elizabeth Leader Smith, associate editor of Eater Austin
What I want to see: "Knock-Your-Socks-Off Small [Vietnamese, Thai, or Indian] Restaurant Opens"
What I will see: "Another Upscale New American Restaurant Opens"
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
“East Cesar Chavez Is Austin’s Hot New Dining Neighborhood”
“Aaron Franklin Ventures Into Gumbo Chicken-Fried Steak at Franklin Barbecue”
I’m repeating myself from last year, but: “Mind-Blowing [Indian/Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese/Middle Eastern] Restaurant From Unknown Chef Opens in Austin”