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With just a few weeks of eating left in 2012, most culinary trend forecasters have issued their predictions for the coming year. As usual, the

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Get a Sneak Peek at Next Year's Big Food Trends

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With just a few weeks of eating left in 2012, most culinary trend forecasters have issued their predictions for the coming year. As usual, the reports are wildly contradictory: Kimchi's either bracing for its best year yet, or way past its peak. Dieting is either painfully passe, or about to become most diners' overriding preoccupation. But what the prognosticators implicitly agree upon is that Seattle's has a significant head start on what's hot. Here, a few of the top trends anticipated to take hold in 2013 - along with the local bars and restaurants driving the bandwagons.

Trend: Healthy kids' meals

Says who: National Restaurant Association, Sterling-Rice Group

Where to find it: Youngsters were probably the demographic least likely to complain about the food at Seattle Center, but the Armory's recent upgrade means parents who flinched at buying corn dogs can now offer their kids sunflower butter on local, organic bread; edamame in a baked wheat tortilla cone and chocolate hummus from Bean Sprouts Cafe.

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Chicken Farmers of Canada
Trend: Restaurant gardens

Says who: National Restaurant Association

Where to find it: The most attractive local example is planted on the rooftop deck of Terra Plata, where diners are surrounded by the herbs and vegetables that Tamara Murphy plucks for her changing menu.

Trend: Onsite barrel-aged drinks

Says who: National Restaurant Association, Baum + Whiteman

Where to find it: Liberty Bar has a well-established cocktail aging program, with a rick of 15 barrels above the front door.

Trend: Beer-based cocktails

Says who: National Restaurant Association, Baum + Whiteman

Where to find it: Like barrel-aged cocktails, this trend popped up in Seattle more than two years ago. Canon's currently pouring a cocktail of bourbon, scotch, averna, bitters, egg white and beer.

Trend: Katsu sauce

Says who: McCormick Flavor Forecast

Where to find it: Katsu Burger serves variety of condiments, including wasabi mayonaise and teriyaki sauce, but seven of its nine burger preparations are slathered with tonkatsu sauce.

Trend: Popup juice bars during the day at otherwise slow places

Says who: Baum + Whiteman

Where to find it: As an intermediary step on its path to a permanent location, mobile juicery JuiceBox this fall started inhabiting La Bete four days a week. "It is a great way to utilize prime real estate when the restaurant is dark," founder Kari Brunson told the Capitol Hill Seattle blog.

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gogatsby

Trend: Popcorn as starter, crouton and garnish

Says who: Sterling-Rice Group

Where to find it: It's hard to ignore the banana cream pie, but Ma'Ono also serves two scoops of popcorn ice cream for dessert.

Trend: Cajeta sauce

Says who: McCormick Flavor Forecast

Where to find it: While it's not a traditional cajeta, fans of the sauce are unlikely to quarrel with Hot Cakes' Pacific Coast Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, recently named a Good Food Awards finalist. And while at the Ballard shop, they can pick up smoked chocolate chips and reflect on the forecast that 2013 will also bring smoked everything.

Trend: Mezcal

Says who: Epicurious

Where to find it: Mezcaleria Oaxaca, atop Queen Anne hill, pours three dozen mezcals, and wisely offers tasting flights to introduce drinkers to the smoky spirit. Extra credit: Remember those aged cocktails? Liberty sometimes puts mezcal in a barrel.

Trend: Vegetable desserts

Says who: Epicurious

Where to find it: Epicurious cites the avocado mousse at Tilth as evidence of the trend's strong prospects, but Seattle eaters can also occasionally find beets in the red velvet cake at Revel.

Trend: Charred octopus tentacles

Says who: Baum + Whiteman

Where to find it: It was tough when I tried it, but the Seattle Times' Providence Cicero was charmed by the charred octopus at Hunger.

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