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Experts Name Their Restaurant Standbys of 2010

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys, and all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein.


Image of the Observatory, a favorite standby for many, courtesy Nicolas C. via Yelp

Up first: What were your restaurant standbys — the restaurants you returned to most — in 2010?

Ben Waterhouse - Editor, Willamette Week: Beaker and Flask, Whiskey Soda Lounge, the Observatory and O'Malley's. B&F still offers about the best value in town, WSL has made me stop going to Pok Pok entirely, the Observatory is where I head for a Manhattan and chicken pate whenever I spend all weekend on a remodeling project, and O'Malley's, a bar with pretty great pizza, is a five-minute walk from my house.

Karen Brooks - Dining Editor, Portland Monthly: Gruner. So many things to love — fantastic soups; unusual salads, perfectly dressed; soul-satisfying braises and stews. Not to mention the addictive pretzel bread. And that burger!

Peter Szymczak - Editor, Northwest Palate: Accanto, Kappaya, Victory Bar.

Tony Perez - Restaurant Critic, Portland Mercury: There are a couple places I probably go to more often, simply due to laziness and proximity to my home or office (shout out to Food Front's Kale Slaw!). But that says more about my shortcomings than my cravings. That said, you're most likely to find me at Biwa, Victory, Meat Cheese Bread, and Potato Champion (Full Disclosure: These guys are buds. Still, I come for the poutine... I just stay for their dick jokes).

Nick Zukin - Resident Fat-Ass Food Blogger & Restaurateur (his words, not ours): Chiang Mai on Hawthorne, Best Baguette Drive-Thru, or Eastmoreland Market.

Mike Thelin - Writer, Brand Developer, Food-smart man about town: Navarre and Nostrana are my standbys. Neither can be beat for simple, honest, inexpensive and well prepared food.

Don Bourassa - Senior Community Manager, Yelp Portland: Pok Pok, Observatory, Jade Teahouse, Broder, Bunk Bar, and Country Cat were easily my top food spots for 2010. For bars (which mean as much if not more to me), it’s all about Irving Street Kitchen, Teardrop, Clyde Common and Central.

Byron Beck - Gossip Hound and Eater Contributor: Bluehour is always my default button, but others in the mix include Trebol, Mother's, Departure.

Allison Jones - Food Blogger and Eater Photographer: Bar Avignon, Laurelhurst Market, Accanto, Cheese Bar, and Gilt Club. I also remain lovingly married to the hollandaise at Screen Door.

Do feel free to add your own answers to the comments. We'll round 'em up later in the week.