On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler takes a look back at the year in dining. To help him chronicle the highs and lows of 2020, he's joined by three of his regular co-hosts: Matt Harris, Linda Salinas, and Felice Sloan.
The conversation begins with Sandler asking the panelists for their favorite new restaurants of the year. Bludorn, the French-influenced restaurant from former Cafe Boulud executive chef Aaron Bludorn, quickly emerges as the consensus pick. However, both Sloan and Salinas note that it was the established restaurants they supported throughout the year — places like Candente, Pondicheri, Paulie's, and Dish Society — that defined their year in dining.
Other topics include the group's favorite food startups, including Angie's Pizza, tortilla maker Tatemó, and buzzy ice cream sensation Undergroud Creamery, and the year's saddest closures. The group's favorite dishes of the year include the egg salad sandwich at UB Preserv, the lobster sando at Kata Robata, and the Louie's ghost kitchen started by Riel chef Ryan Lachaine. In other words, it was a good year for sandwiches in Houston.
Mostly, the panel expresses optimism for 2021. They hope that once the COVID-19 vaccine has been thoroughly distributed that people will feel comfortable gathering in bars and restaurants.