It's the last Friday of 2012, which means Eater's annual tradition of end-of-year roundups is coming to a close. As you have probably surmised by now, we have asked a select panel to reflect on the year that was. If you've been playing along at home, we've already covered Best Standbys, Top Newcomers, 2012 in a Word, Best Dining Neighborhood, Biggest Dining Surprise, and Best Meals. Now, we focus on Restaurant Breakups. As per usual, readers leave your two cents in the comments!
Skillet Diner [Photo: S. Pratt / ESEA]
Q: Were there any restaurants that you broke up with in 2012 -- eg, places you stopped going to?
Linda Miller Nicholson, Salty Seattle: Independent Pizzeria in Madison Park. They have some of the best pizza in town, but two hours is too long to wait for pie. The solution would be to limit the many takeout orders they give precedence to over in-house diners. I'm also over the surly service and mediocre food at Staple and Fancy.
Scott Heimendinger, director of applied research, Modernist Cuisine: Well, I'm not going back to Chick-Fil-A anytime soon. FYI, many folks may not know that I'm an ordained minister. If Chick-Fil-A opens a location in Washington state, I'd be happy to perform gay marriage ceremonies there. We can stop for Chipotle on the way home.
Erin Thomas, editor, SIP NW: Yes, with the changing of the guards in some kitchens, food just isn't the same but I'll never tell who.
Allecia Vermillion, food & drink editor, Seattle Metropolitan: I broke up with Capitol Hill, residentially speaking, and it definitely changed my dining patterns.
Surly Gourmand, writer/curmudgeon: I didn't break up with Ma'Ono, but I definitely don't get out there as often as I used to. Sucks to be me.
Hanna Raskin, restaurant critic, Seattle Weekly: Since I'm not in any intimate relationships with restaurants (see above), I don't get too many break-up opportunities. But I've crossed Met Grill off my special occasion list since the restaurant botched my husband's birthday: He'd ordered a long bone-in rib eye and ate very little of it, thinking he'd enjoy the leftovers the next day. When our server asked whether diners at a nearby table could have his bone for their dogs, he gamely agreed, thinking the server would carve out what she needed. She didn't. Dog-owning strangers went home with $50 worth of free steak. And instead of dessert menus, we got a check.
Leslie Kelly, contributor, Seattle Magazine: I tried to break up with Chicken Valley, the fried poultry stand at Pike Place Market, but those cheap crispy legs and thighs and deep-fried hearts just keep calling my name. I am going to cut back. I swear.
Alicia Arter, Zagat Survey/Google restaurant editor, Seattle: Not really. I'm an optimist.
Kathleen Flinn, author, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Ezell's. I hadn't been in a couple of years and since then, so many places have great fried chicken that it was a huge letdown.
Jennifer Worick, author, Things I Want to Punch in the Face: Hmm, I turned away from places like Red Mill, primarily because my system can't handle fried foods and a lot of carbs any longer. And places with crazy lines turn me off (sorry Skillet Diner but I'll go to the Skillet in the Armory instead).
Julien Perry, editor, Eater Seattle: I followed Brandon Kirksey and much of the Tavolata staff to Rione XIII and have yet to return to my once regular Belltown hangout. It's not because I don't like Tavolata, but when the staff who attracted you to a place leave, it's tough to return. I will go back soon, though, as Tavolata has consistently been one of my favorite places since it opened.