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2012 food trends: still sizzling, or fizzling?

Posted 7:47am on Wednesday, Jan. 09, 2013

While our crystal ball has revealed several food and drink trends for 2013, it's also cloudy with some of last year's trends that have hitched a ride into the new year. They're welcome to tag along, but not without a few reservations.

Food trend forecast: What's cooking in DFW for 2013

1. Craft beer barrage: Seems like only yesterday that you couldn't get a good craft beer in Fort Worth. Or, excuse us, a locally made craft beer. But then Rahr, Deep Ellum Brewing, Lakewood Brewing and Revolver Brewing came along, turning us into cheerleaders for local/craft brews. Not to mention, places like Live Oak started serving a dizzying number of local and craft beer. We'll totally drink those with our pork belly sandwiches and KXT-loving friends. But there are just so many craft brews now, it's having something of a reverse effect on us. Seriously, who wants a Coors Light?

2. Turbo tacos: We wholeheartedly approve of the ongoing taco trend, no doubt about it. Welcome to Fort Worth, Torchy's. Don't mind the drive up to Roanoke for Tacos and Avocados. And tip of the ol' chef's hats to Velvet Taco and Love Shack for combining tacos with our other trendy crush: burgers. A burger inside a taco? We'll take two. But at some point, the taco trend has got to crumble. What's the breaking point -- a pizza-stuffed taco from Domino's? Guess we shouldn't give them any ideas.

3. Mixed-up mixologists: Bartending reached new levels of popularity and hipness last year, as bartenders went from being bartenders to being, quote/unquote, mixologists. Fellas, let's not get carried away, OK? We can deal with the bitters and the fresh lime juice and even the egg whites you toss in your drinks, but can we do something about your attire? The fedora, the suspenders and that handlebar mustache were charming retro quirks at first. But maybe this year, we stop trying to bring back the 1920s and Algonquin Round Table chic. Mix us up a new look with that fennel-infused Sidecar.

Five most anticipated restaurant openings for 2013

4. Food truck glut: Food trucks were a major trend in Fort Worth in '12. Following in the tire tracks of the Fort Worth Food Park, two new parks opened last year, Cowtown Chow Down and the more recent Clearfork Food Park. Fort Worth-based Good Karma Kitchen, veggie and gluten-free, is probably one of our fave meals on wheels, and we can't wait to try Simply Dosa, a new Indian vegan truck. We're nearing cliched territory, though, sorta like when major labels started signing alternative bands in the early '90s, and everyone started forming bands to cash in on the craze. When we see a food truck start selling full Thanksgiving dinners, we'll know we've reached a Candlebox-level of absurdity.

5. Frou-frou comfort food: Remember when Frito pie was something you put together yourself, and fried chicken was something you got in a drive-through? Now you can spend double digits and get a chef's version of those items. Max's Wine Dive, Sissy's Southern Kitchen, Chicken Scratch and Stampede 66 are taking things we used to consider low-brow and giving them a gourmet spin, be it housemade Frito pie or fried chicken brined in buttermilk, lovingly coated in heirloom grains and gently submerged in a bath of oil at just the right temperature. It's all as tasty as can be, yet we still dream nostalgically of the day when Fritos were 50 cents and canned chili was a buck and here's your paper plate, and fried chicken came in a white bucket, not on a white tablecloth; Those were the days.

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