Even though the Mayans' prediction of Y2K or whatever was very wrong, it's worth holding out hope for the prognostications of PDX's food & drink heavy-hitters, from late-night hot dogs to more Lardo than you can shake a shank at
Trent Pierce, Executive Chef/Owner, Wafu/Roe "Fine-dining strip clubs.
Ben Edmunds, Brewmaster, Breakside Brewery "I look at the places that have been wildly successful this year -- Lardo or Ox for example -- and I think that Portland's embrace of 'high-brow casual' still has a lot of legs. If either the Duane Sorenson beer hall on Division or the ChefStable beer/sausage concept for the old Corazon space comes to fruition, they'll do really well. I'd also like to see more places that are able to do the full booze trifecta well: beer, wine, and spirits. A lot of places get two of three and then gloss over the third. It takes a lot of knowledgeable staff to do that AND have kickass food. Beer-wise, I think 2013 will finally be the year when craft lagers really take off. I know that some of the larger breweries in the state are planning to launch ambitious lager programs, and we'll be making at least two at all times at Breakside. And as for cocktails, I wouldn't be surprised to see more kitschy drinks showing up on menus, even if only sporadically. It's only a matter of time before someone opens a bar with a frozen Hurricane machine.
Justin Woodward, Executive Chef, Castagna "Pork belly! I'm kidding. It would be nice to see better late-night options offering quality food and drinks, especially in SE. Back in New York, when I was working at WD-50, there was a place called PDT -- it stood for Please Don't Tell -- and you entered through a phone booth, if you knew the number to dial. They served great hot dogs, with chefs from all the local restaurants offering their own combos for the dogs. I loved the sense of collaboration, and the fact that you could get a really great late-night dog.
Brandon Wise, Bar Manager, Imperial/Portland Penny Diner "I see a resurgence in SW happening as we speak. Look for a downtown revival and more big name chefs launching more casual concepts. It wouldn't surprise me to see some of our beloved chefs opening food carts as a departure from their daily fine-dining routine.
Tommy Habetz, Chef/Co-owner, Bunk Sandwiches/Trigger "More queso. More underground places. Less playing-it-safe. I'm not sure if that is a wish or a prediction.
Gregory Gourdet, Executive Chef, Departure "I think lots of newer restaurants will find their stride and more up-and-coming chefs and restaurants will make more of a major mark on the scene as they show their longevity and focus as they enter years two to five. I think all our favorite, smaller artisan companies will continue to grow and expand as the word about them continues to get out, both locally and nationally and as more artisans move to brick and mortar. Cases in point: Jacobsen Salt Co, Nong’s Khao Man Gai (kitchen and sauce line) and Tails & Trotters.
Ken Norris, Executive Chef/Owner, Riffle "Improved seafood distribution for chefs, which would allow for more sustainable choices as well as an improved variety.
Mike Thelin, Co-Founder, Feast Portland "The economy is definitely getting stronger, so I'd expect some bigger restaurant openings. Downtown will continue to be hot. Many top chefs want to open there, to join stalwarts like Vitaly Paley and, coming soon, John Gorham. This is only going to increase. Plus, the real estate market is starting to heat up again. This is going to affect food carts, which will continue to get displaced.
Chris Angelus, Founder, Portland Food Adventures "Two more Lardos and, despite that, I am absolutely going to lose 30lbs. Luckily, the Lardo tuna melt is the best tuna sandwich I've ever had. Half of one of those and a small Caesar more than satisfies."