As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of local food writers, industry types, and friends. We asked the group eight questions, from Restaurant Standbys to Best New Restaurant, and all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at week's end. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and unedited herein.
Some of 2013's noteworthy empires. Photos courtesy Avila/EPDX
Q: Sum Up 2013 in One Word.
Byron Beck, local gadfly and Eater contributor, ByronBeck.com:
"Expansion" (with the added caveat of location, location, location). Empire builders like Andy Ricker, Duane Sorenson, Eli Cairo, Nate Tilden, and Micah Camden continue their march across Portland... and the world.
Chris Onstad, restaurant critic, Portland Mercury:
PDX Food Dude, editor, PortlandFoodandDrink.com:
Anne Marie DiStefano, restaurant critic, Portland Tribune:
Jordan Michelman, founder, Sprudge.com:
Can I say "self-service"— does the hyphen get me under the one word count? "Had to get my own silverware" is clearly too many words.
Don Bourassa, community director, PDX Yelp:
Allison Jones, web editor, Portland Monthly:
Image courtesy Eater National
Chris Angelus, founder, Portland Food Adventures:
Drew Tyson, editor, Thrillist PDX:
Mike Thelin, co-founder, Feast Portland:
"Revival." The economy came back a bit and Portland is finally starting to move beyond its DIY mason-jar phase. That was great in the down-market, but ideas are evolving, and there is more investment to back it all up. Portland is growing up, and it's dining scene is growing up with it. Really exciting times are ahead. Time to recycle those mason jars...
Georgia Frances King, editor, Kinfolk Magazine:
Erin DeJesus, editor, Eater PDX:
Adam Lindsley, freelance food writer, Serious Eats/The Oregonian:
Michael Zusman, author and freelance restaurant writer:
Photo of Ava Gene's courtesy Avila/EPDX
Ben Tepler, contributing food writer, Portland Monthly:
"Avagenes." Broken record over here? There were some tremendous openings this year (Din Din, Holdfast, Davenport to name a few…), but Ava Gene's really demanded Portland's attention. The food (ballsy, rustic Italian vegetable play) is one thing, but that dining room — the investment and thought that went into it — it sort of signaled a sea-change for our dining culture, both in terms of ambition from restauranteurs and what diners are willing to indulge in. Christ. It looks like they had to rob a Swiss bank just to furnish the marble bathroom.
Paul Gerald, author, Breakfast in Bridgetown:
Dina Avila, freelance/Eater photographer, Eater PDX
"Sexy." (See here.)
Martin Cizmar, arts and culture editor, Willamette Week:
Andy Kryza, senior editor, Thrillist:
Karen Brooks, food critic, Portland Monthly Magazine:
· All Year in Eater 2013 Coverage [Eater PDX]