It's the end of another year, and here at Eating...Our Words we're looking back at all the great stories we shared in 2012, remembering some that weren't so popular and figuring out new ways to keep you coming back for more.
We've already looked at the best new restaurants of 2013, biggest scandals of 2013 and the most unfortunate food trends of 2013. Continuing our look back at the past 12 months of food writing, we bring you our ten most popular stories of 2013. This round-up doesn't include lists (that'll come later), just news, scandals, humorous opinions, rants, raves and everything in between.
10. Weaponized Bacon Unofficial Theme at Rodeo's 2013 Gold Buckle Foodie Awards In March, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo held its annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards, and the general consensus was that the buckles need to be loosened. Bacon was everywhere and in everything at the festival food competition -- from cotton candy to cinnamon rolls. We hear there were also plastic surgeons on hand to perform liposuction at a moment's notice.
9. Bartender at Rice Institution Valhalla Threatens To Cut Off Alumnus' Necktie Surely everyone knows the no-ties rule at Rice University bar Valhalla, right? Apparently not, as one young man found out when he attempted to drink at the bar wearing a tie. After getting away with ordering a few drinks, he was denied a third, and his whole party was denied service as well until he took his tie off. He didn't, so now he's not allowed back. He was pissed at Valhalla, Valhalla was pissed at him, and a lot of people read this story.
8. Woman Files Lawsuit Against Underbelly and The Pass & Provisions We don't like it when restaurants get in trouble with the law, but you sure do, especially when it's high-profile restaurants like Underbelly and The Pass & Provisions and when there seem to be many sides to one story. It's a bit convoluted, so read the entire article to understand the issue. The lawsuit is ongoing, so, of course, we'll update if we learn more.
7. McDonald's Mighty Wings: Surprisingly Awesome This seemed to be the year of fast-food innovation, from pretzel burgers to Doritos tacos to McDonald's debut of chicken wings. These wings actually have bones in them, so you know they came from chickens rather than pink slime, which is nice. But we were surprised to discover that the usually nasty fast food chain makes some decent wings. You go, McDonald's!
6. Here, Eat This: A Beginner's Guide to Indian Cuisine We've published a number of guides to different world cuisines in an effort to help you expand your horizons and discover our favorite spots for great food. One of our most popular guides was about Indian food. It lists popular types of Indian dishes and what you might find in your average restaurant, so when you see unfamiliar words on the menu you'll know what you're getting. Saag paneer, anyone?
5. Speculoos Cookie Butter Scarcity Continues at Trader Joe's In addition to fast-food innovation and the cronut, 2013 also saw a shortage of (GASP) cookie butter at Trader Joe's. If you've never had it, go out and get some now (it's back on shelves), then come back and read the article. No wait ... go out and get some, bring some to me, and then read the article.
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4. Houston, We Have a New Ramen Restaurant This short article about the possible opening of Austin's beloved Ramen Tatsu-Ya here in Houston got an unbelievable number of Facebook likes and Tweets. Why? Because Houstonians are obsessed with ramen. OBSESSED. This story was published in June, and we still haven't seen a Ramen Tatsu-Ya pop up in Houston. But oh, are we ready.
3. Restaurants Behaving Badly: Maggie Rita's Calls Houston Woman "Fat" on Facebook It all started because a girl got on Facebook and told Maggie Rita's she was happy they were closing. Not ones to take failure in stride, Maggie Rita's replied with "I thought fat people were suppose [sic] to be jolly," clearly mocking the commenter's Facebook profile picture. Way to get in a few parting shots, Maggie Rita's.
2. Cake Decorating 101: Rose Cake This year we published a super-handy series on cake decorating, and one of the most popular posts taught readers how to make icing roses on their cakes. Roses are actually quite easy to make when you have the right tools, and they're deceptively beautiful. Follow these instructions, and everyone will be asking where you went to pastry school.
1. The Houston Valet Conundrum Is there really anything left to say about valet parking in Houston? It's everywhere, and we hate it, and sometimes it's useful but mostly not. And it's all a grand scheme by landowners/restaurateurs/the city/aliens to take all of our money.