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, from meal of the year to top newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein. Readers, please add your survey answers in the comments.
Q. Name your top restaurant standbys of 2012—the restaurants you returned to most.
Kane Webb, editor, Louisville Magazine: Holy Grale. Hey, it does have food, so that qualifies as a restaurant. Mayan Cafe. Mojito.
Elizabeth Orrick, food writer, Louisville.com: Hammerheads: best meat in town. Oishii Sushi: best and biggest sushi in town, and the biggest bang for your buck. Chop Shop Salads: best lunch in town. Grind (Burger Truck): fantastic bacon and brie burger. Please and Thank You: gorgeous coffee, tea, salad, cookies, coffee cake and records all in one spot. Hillbilly Tea: throws the best special dinners, healthy and fresh.
Steve Hacker, writer and brand consultant, Gourmandistan.com: Blue Dog, NamNam, Harvest, Guaca-mole
Melissa Duley, associate editor, Louisville Magazine: Hammerheads, Wiltshire on Market
Antonia Lindauer, freelance food writer, That Vampin' Lady: Lilly's - We sit at the bar and treat it like our local pub, which may surprise some people. Mayan Cafe - there's nothing else like it. Hillbilly Tea - we love the happy hour. Their apps, like their corn fried tofu and white bean and sage fritters, are incredibly rich and delicious. La Bodega - someday, I'm going to order a plate of just M1s for dinner. It's their montadito #1: chorizo, Serrano ham, goat cheese, mayo, and a fried quail egg atop a slice of crusty baguette. Heart and Soy - for takeout banh mis, fried tofu and curry fried rice. Dragon King's Daughter - I love building my own tacos with their creative ingredients.
Josh Moss, managing editor, Louisville Magazine: My top seven, in order: Holy Grale, Hillbilly Tea, Toast, Blue Dog Bakery, Bluegrass Burgers, El Mundo, Hammerheads.
Zach Everson, editor, Eater Louisville: Blind Pig, Taco Punk, Holy Grale, Day's Espresso, and Dunkin' Donuts because I'm from Boston and it's my heritage.