As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from best dining neighborhood of the year to top restaurant newcomers, and we'll be rolling out their expert opinions all week long. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please share your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2016?
Andrea Damewood, restaurant critic, Portland Mercury
"After managing to place logo hats on *every* line cook in Portland, Jacobsen's Sea Salt reveals they're actually mind-control devices ordering chefs to add copious amounts of finishing flakes to the most bizarre of dishes, including: ribs, lemon meringue pie, Paleo baby food, and Kure juice smoothies"
Michael Zusman, cookbook author, restaurant critic (and judge)
I've never really nailed this before, so this year I'll play it safe: "More Cool Openings, More Sad Closings, Still Plenty of Excellent Choices"
Ben Tepler, Associate Food Editor, Portland Monthly
"ChefStable becomes self-aware, Skynet-style, and takes over West End. The last of the survivors (the pop-ups, the food carts) mount a resistance and go back in time to stop Kurt Huffman from meeting Andy Ricker in 2008, where it all began."
"Robot chooses 2016 Oregonian Restaurant of the Year; vending machine at PSU wins"
Gary Okazaki, professional glutton (aka Gary the Foodie)
"SuperBites: First PDX restaurant with Rose's Luxury/Franklin BBQ-like queues"
Andy Kryza, senior editor, Thrillist Portland
"Oregon names yet-unnamed, yet-to-open eatery ‘Restaurant of the Year'"
Martin Cizmar, Arts & Culture Editor, Willamette Week
"Angry Socialist Activists in Portland Do Something Like that Attack on the Bougie London Cereal Spot"
"Renata Finally Takes Pizza Off Menu, Customers and Critics Rejoice"
"Someone Finally Opens High End Cannabis Edible Bakery"
"Cannabis Pairing Dinners are Portland's Hot Trend"
"Something Interesting Goes in Lucier/Quartet Space"
"Interesting New Thing in Lucier/Quartet Space to Close"