With the at-home tailgate for the Mountaineer game on Friday, Halloween partying on Saturday, and trick-or-treaters + Steelers game/The Walking Dead premiere, I haven’t had a whole lot of down time to cook and/or write about cooking. I’m looking forward to the day I get a digital camera, because then I can properly write/display the culinary output of kitchen. Friday’s tailgate feast was particularly good, but without pictures there’s little point to devoting a whole post about it.
The little bit of food-related business from the weekend (unless you count stuffing my face with candy and drinking a lot of beer) was reading this article on The Huffington Post, reporting the Nation’s Restaurant News 2011 Food and Restaurant Trends predictions. Among the upcoming trends:
– 2011 is THE YEAR OF THE PIE – According to restaurant and hotel consultant, Andrew Freeman, we are on the cusp, or, rather, the crust of the 2011 Pieocalypse: “This is not just sweet pies, this is savory pies, bite-sized pies. They are even blended into milkshakes,” he said. “I’ll eat pie if I don’t get this one right at the end of the year.”
Following the trend of item-specific bakeries, notably the cupcake craze of 2007 – 2009, and a more recent spate of donut shop fever, look for more pie shops serving up sweet and savory offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, snack time, birthdays… Look, ANY TIME is a good time for pie.
– Now’s the time to start that honey cafe – Continuing the with the trend of specificity and simplicity in dining (streamlined menus is also a 2011 trend) one-ingredient restaurants are taking over. In addition to the aforementioned pie shops (and their still standing strong cupcake and donut brethren), more hot dog and burger shops are on the way. Freeman prophesies that peanut butter and grilled cheese – focused eateries could be not far off, which is excellent news for me. Gimme a grilled cheese with avocado and bacon RIGHT NOW.
In addition, honey is a big ingredient of choice these days, maybe because bee populations are being steadily crippled. Endangered substances are delicious. Taste the population decline!
– Now restaurants have to have at least two different uses – Freeman has noticed a growing trend of restaurants with marketplaces, and no, he doesn’t mean Cracker Barrel (from whose General Store I purchased my beloved bear hat for only eight dollars). The Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District, because it features several places to grab a bite and even a few spots to sit and eat said bite, while at the same selling local produce, foodstuffs, and handmade goods, absolutely qualifies.
I say that’s all well and good, but what about other multi-purpose matchups? How about the H&R Cafe, where your taxes are done in the time it takes them to serve you a fabulous (and budget-conscious, of course) dinner? My personal choice would be a movie theatre/pizza place that serves beer. Dormont just about had it for a few months, and I’d like to get it back again.
– Restaurants are now serving (*gasp*) VEGETABLES – Forget the Pieocalypse. The true 2011 turning point is going to be a healthy one. Quake in your boots, meat-lovers! The herbivores are taking over. Soon you’ll be eating sprouts, squash, and multicolored other creations of the earth. Let’s hope, for your sake, that Freeman’s other prediction trend of fried vegetables pans out.
– Let’s get Sweded – Swedish foods are taking over, which means that IKEA will not only be the most popular place for post-grads to buy the furniture for their one-bedroom apartments, but that their little grocery market will become the place of regular choice for those in the know. If that means we’re all going to be eating more smoked salmon, I’m okay with that.
– Junk food is still not good for you, but now restaurants will offer it to you for three times the normal price – Gourmet cheese doodles? Five star Fritos? An artisan Twinkie baked in a clay oven? “I feel like that munchies we grew up on are going to show up with interpretations done by chefs in really the most unique ways,” Freeman said, suggesting house-made Cheetos, Bugles, Slim Jims and jerky.
House-made Slim Jims? What’s the point of that?
– There some dirt on your plate – Apparently, a trend toward local, sustainable agriculture is leading to another popular eating concept – instead of sauces, chefs are opting for powdered spices and ingredients to add flavor and texture to a dish.
I’m stating this right now – if you know of a local restaurant that specializes in culinary dirt concoctions, please give the name in the comments, and I will make a visit within the month.