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PDX's Foodiest Name the Biggest Dining Surprises 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: Top Newcomers, Top Standbys, Best Restohoods, and 2010 in One Word dropped earlier, and all survey questions will be answered by the time we turn off the lights tomorrow. On we go, in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited.


Image of Ha & VL courtesy Eat.Think.Drink.

Q: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2010?

Don Bourassa - Senior Community Manager, Yelp Portland: Discovering the secret soup menu at Ha VL — specifically Wednesday’s yellow chicken curry. Amazing stuff.

Mike Thelin - Writer, Brand Developer, Food-smart man about town: The Cochon 555 fight, and the fact that it screwed Portland out of its only nationally focused food event. I hope it was worth it. It made Portland look like a backwater. I get sick just thinking about it.

Peter Szymczak - Editor, Northwest Palate: Portland snubbed again at the Beard Awards.

Karen Brooks - Dining Editor, Portland Monthly: The number of restaurants thriving in a troubled economy.

Ben Waterhouse - Editor, Willamette Week: The decor at Lucky Strike. It's so tacky it transcends bad taste.

Tony Perez - Restaurant Critic, Portland Mercury: Hmmm... I'm not easily surprised. I went to Grain & Gristle tonight, and I was pretty amazed that their (great) moules frites was only $9. If they can keep their prices down, I'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Nick Zukin - Resident Fat-Ass Food Blogger & Restaurateur: Chiang Mai.

Byron Beck, Team Eater: Oasisba, the drag queen Asian eatery, actually has good food.

Allison Jones, Team Eater: There IS such a thing as too much pork.

Any big surprises to share? Post 'em in the comments.
· All Previous Year in Eater 2010 Coverage [Eater PDX]