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 questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers, and will be sharing their responses this week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2014?
Danya Henninger, food and beer writer, editor of Zagat Philly:
Retreat/disappearance of Chris Scarduzio. No East Passsyunk project, out of Avance (then Avance shutters), Mia in AC closes, no movement on the other Center City project he was (possibly) planning. Understandable, but still a surprise.
Brian Freedman, food and wine writer, critic at Philly Weekly:
The gefilte fish at Abe Fisher.
Kristina Jenkins, editor at uwishunu:
It was a shock to find I could actually like gefilte fish (if only at Abe Fisher).
Drew Lazor, freelance writer:
For me, the fact that people in Philly really seem to want and like Filipino food! Was so happy about the turnout at the Tita Rosy's popup I did with Neal Santos and Scott Schroeder at American Sardine Bar in September.
Caroline Russock, food editor at Philadelphia City Paper:
It was a good year for underdogs. Bread and bagels got a chance to shine at places like High Street on Market and Knead and work-a-day hummus got an exotic and totally awesome new look at Dizengoff.
Marcos Espinoza, food blogger and co-owner of Side Project Jerky:
Hummus as a meal. Daily. For a lot of people.
Jamie Shanker, editor at Midtown Lunch Philly and food tour guide:
Everything served at Abe Fisher since the descriptions are so vague.