Despite the near-constant stream of restaurant news, 2014 wasn't especially great for local restaurant openings. For a long stretch of summer and well into fall, the flow of actual openings and interesting, new restaurants dried to a trickle; the scene cracked and opened up like Texas clay in a drought.
Kathy Tran The Peace 'Stachio at Hypnotic Donuts
Not that it was a bad time for eating. Curious diners could use the time to push further into the suburbs and mine from a collection of affordable ethnic restaurants that were often more delicious than their urban counterparts. Restaurants that had been open for a decade, some even longer, were suddenly cast in a new light. Tender little dumplings at Everest Restaurant in Irving, biryanis at Chennai, which recently moved to Richardson, kitfo at Sheba's Ethiopian Kitchen -- all dishes that might have been ignored if we'd gotten lost in dining rooms resplendent with Edison bulbs, subway tiles and reclaimed wood.
That's not to say the restaurants that did open this year should be overlooked. In fact, some new restaurants were impactful enough to significantly shape the local dining scene. Blind Butcher has changed how we look at bar food and meat, Stock and Barrel has reinvented meatloaf and Brian Luscher's Post Oak operation has turned the humble hot dog on its head. And that's all before Michael Sindoni at CBD Provisions starts slicing into a pig's head.
Here are 25 dishes that defined the year in eating. There are humble hamburgers and take-out dishes alongside pastrami sandwiches that have been repurposed as eggrolls. There's ceviche, for something lighter and brighter, and ethnic dining that spans India, Mexico, Japan, China, Ethiopia and more. What's even better is that nearly every dish is a bargain. And don't worry -- we haven't forgotten dessert.More »