Erik’s 2018 In Food

One of the many pleasures of life in 2018 (there are still a few) is reading Brightest Young Thing’s DC Food Round Up – By The Food Writers. I’m a sucker for this sort of thing, and because BYT does a great job bringing in a wide swath of contributors there’s always something to learn when I read it.

I blog on the food scene here myself, over at Hungry Lobbyist, and while I’m happy to see the names and faces of a few people I know interviewed by BYT, I couldn’t but help imagine what I might say had I gotten the call (not that I would … I’m not big-time). But because I have my own blog now, nothing stopped me from answering BYT’s questions anyway.

Sum up 2018 in food in a word (or, fine, a sentence)?

Influen(cer)za. I’m tired of sponsored cheese pulls.

The best food trend in 2018/The worst?

Best: I feel like I’ve seen a ton more specialty dinners at restaurants this year. I like that these are basically just paid dinner parties with your most talented chef friend.

Worst: Was hot chicken this year? Too much hot chicken. Let Tennessee have it, please.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2018/The one that didn’t quite live up?

For me, I was all-in on Bresca and I really enjoyed my meal there.

I probably wouldn’t go back to Unconventional Diner. Please don’t yell at me.

Most underrated restaurant in DC right now? Why?

I’m going to say Rose’s Luxury. It’s no longer the shiny, new restaurant it was a few years ago when it was the spot, but it’s still consistently great! It’s gotten somewhat lost among DC’s new restaurant barrage.

The best dish you ate in 2018?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

My most memorable was the soft-shelled crab at The Dabney. Perfection. Also high on the list: the Chaplin Ramen at Chaplin’s. Peking Duck at Q by Peter Chang. And the Semifreddo at Masseria.

The one I wish I hadn’t was whatever bowl I got at Tom Yum in Rosslyn that left me dead on the couch for three days.

The soft-shelled crab at The Dabney.
Peking Duck at Q by Peter Chang.
The Semifreddo at Masseria. Bright and fruity.

Favorite cocktail of 2018?

I really dig the Penicillin at Momofuku CCDC. I’m a brown liquor guy anyway, but this drink does well by its scotch base.

What do you think was THE food story of the year in 2018? Why?

Mike Isabella. Because the world is changing. Also #ThoughtsAndPrayers Taylor Gourmet.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2019?

The Ballston Food Quarter. It’s so close to my house! The Chick-fil-A is coming back. Virginia! It’s a thing!

What do you wish for DC in 2019 food trend wise?/ What do you hope stays away?

Less focus on three-dollar-sign dining and more on legacy spots that keep good food a-comin’.

Honestly, all the coffee shops from the four corners of the country. Give me Starbucks; give me Compass. All others will be persecuted.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?

Is it cheating if I say The Dabney? If I could afford to eat there once a week I would.

As for favorite bar? I found myself at Crimson Bar more than most others this year.

What is the place you ended up at the most in your own spare time? Why?

Pho 75 in Rosslyn. Also Momofuku CCDC. I aspire to try all the bing breads.

Pho from Pho 75. It's the real cure for what ails ya. Plus, salty lemonade!
Pho from Pho 75. It’s the real cure for what ails ya. Plus, salty lemonade!

Favorite food story of the year someone else wrote and why?

The story of Ollie’s Trolly in The Bitter Southerner — “He Could’ve Been a Colonel”.

Favorite thing YOU covered in 2018 and why?

I’m not a real food writer, but I liked what I wrote after the La Vie blowback.

Go to cookbook – released this year, and evergreen?

I asked for “The Joy of Cooking” from Santa. Otherwise, my fiancé and I eat from Erin Oprea’s “4×4 Diet” frequently.

Instagram vs twitter for staying in the food loop and why?

Twitter, because Instagram is all cheese pulls and fake shit. I still love it, though.

Favorite instagram accounts and why?

The @memoriesofagourmand guy lives a full life, man.

Favorite twitter accounts and why?

Laura Hayes of course. All these usual suspects: Jessica Sidman, Ann Limpert, Tom Sietsema.

A question you wish we asked here (and your answer)

Question: What’s the best food at Nats Park?

Answer: Jammin Island BBQ. I pray that it returns next year.

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