We asked some of the Twin Cities' most esteemed food writers, makers, and eaters what surprised them in 2012, and the answers may surprise you. Which, again, is the point
Tom Horgen of Star Tribune: Nightingale was a spot that opened with little hype (and in my mind, a lame name). But it's quickly become one of my favorites of the year, with high-quality small plates (and an amazing burger) and a great drink list (get the sazerac). I was also surprised at the number of breweries that opened, and for the most part, they're all making delicious craft beer
Erik Forsberg of The Devil's Advocate: The biggest surprise of the year is a pleasant one. At the city and state level, we have seen the relaxation of law with regard to brewing, brewpubs, and tasting rooms. Not since pre-prohibition have we seen such interest in embracing the art of brewing and the benefits to culture, food, and economy. We have a long way to go but at least we are moving in the right direction
Thomas Kim/ Kat Melgaard of The Left Handed Cook: What were the biggest surprises of 2012? That we live in Minnesota. Also Mpls is actually a freaking great city for food, drinks, art, and music and now the rest of the nation knows it thanks to The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Shape, etc
Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods: The slow growth in our local restaurant industry might mean we have reached another saturation point between concepts and customers. I thought we could support more new places because I thought more of the horseshit restaurants would close! They didn’t. Oy vey! I also didn’t see the flat-lining of the Italian dining scene here in Mpls/St Paul. It's stagnant and boring
Matty O'Reilly of Republic: The food truck boom. I'm mostly surprised that they're all so good
Greg Martin of Urban Bean Coffee: That Tom Pham was not able to open Azia again. (I kid, I kid). Very predictable.