In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What was the biggest restaurant grievance of 2015?
Robert Donovan, photographer and contributor to Eater Charleston:
Not enough time to hit everything ...
Peg Moore, contributor and food critic for The Mercury:
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
The real estate grab in Charleston is pushing out locals and inviting more and more chains into the area, due to the high cost of space. Yes, I'm one of those people that jeer at the sight of Panera Bread on Calhoun Street.
Hayley Phillips, assistant editor for The Local Palate:
I think all the new restaurants are putting pressure old standbys who have been coasting off their name and prestige and slacking a bit … which is a good thing. They need to step up and continue evolving.
Marion Sullivan, Culinary Institute of Charleston, food editor Charleston Magazine, columnist Post & Courier:
Kinsey Gidick, managing editor for the Charleston City Paper:
No baby changing tables. I promise I'm not trying to roll up to McCrady's with my six-month-old in tow. All I'm asking is that the casual spots around town, the seemingly family-friendly ones, do parents a solid and put these in. I will stay and buy all the cocktails if you just make changing a diaper easier.
Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier and author of Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews:
This nitpick isn't specific to 2015, but with a solution now available, courtesy of Root Baking Co., it seems like the right year to raise it: Restaurants should have good bread available. I don't mean free bread, which long ago shifted from the endangered to extinct list. I'm just looking for something more dignified than a cracker with which to open a meal. If there's sauce on the menu, there ought to be quality bread in the kitchen.
Brian Wilder, editor The Rakish Perspective and contributor to Eater Charleston:
People kept referring to cafeterias as "food halls" this year. Granted, they aren't Perkins or Carey Hilliard's, but a cafeteria is, and always will be, a cafeteria. Period.
Emma Humphries, Instagram superstar and photographer for Eater Charleston:
Lana restaurant and bar — subpar service and mediocre food.