As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. So far, we've covered: Best Standbys of 2011, Favorite Newcomers and Best Dining Neighborhoods.
Local Foods in West U. [Local Foods/Facebook]
Describe 2011 in one word.
Sarah Rufca, associate editor of Culturemap: Casualicious. I'm going to copyright that, btw. Don't try to use it.
Christina Uticone, blogger for 2 Dine For: Caloric.
Teresa Byrne-Dodge, editor/publisher for My Table Magazine: Explosive.
Katharine Shilcutt, food critic for Houston Press: Bar-raising.
Chris Shepherd, chef/owner of upcoming Underbelly: Stressful.
Nishta Mehra, food writer, Blue Jean Gourmet: Outspoken.
Ruthie Miller, food writer, Culturemap contributor: [Mumble].
Greg Morago, food editor, Houston Chronicle: Perseverance. This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for Texas agriculture; for big and small farmers and cattlemen, for fishermen, and for some artisan purveyors. The agonizing drought, wildfires and hot weather coupled with the ongoing recession made it hard for people who put food on our tables to survive. But so many positive stories of people lending a hand and persevering really showed what Texans are made of.
Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar owner, Top Chef Just Desserts cheftestapant: Ugh, that's hard...anticipating (of 2012).
Hannah Siegel-Gardner, freelance writer, Eater Houston contributor: Untethered.
Alvin Schultz, MasterChef contestant: Whirlwind.
Mai Pham, Examiner.com, Fine Dining in Houston, freelance food writer: Farm-to-table.
Michael Fulmer, Houston food expert, blogger, server at Vic & Anthony's: FoodTruck.
Bobby Heugel, owner, Anvil Bar & Refuge, upcoming Underbelly, The Hay Merchant, Blacksmith: Chaotic.
Robb Walsh, former food critic at Houston Press, co-owner, El Real Tex-Mex Cafe: Downturned.
Amber Ambrose, Eater Houston: Local.
Have your own descriptor for 2011? Leave it in the comments.