Get ready for more local food, more healthy food and more gluten-free food next year. The National Restaurant Association has released its 2013 forecast, and along with that comes the group's predictions for food trends across the country. Many of the trends in dining and menu items remain similar from year to year. Is DC ahead of the curve or lagging behind the trends? Here's an analysis.
Some 2013 Trends We See All The Time Now:
A bunch of the NRA's full-service dining and menu item trends are very familiar to DC diners. They include:
· Locally grown produce
· Locally sourced meats
· Sustainable seafood
· Charcuterie plates
· Flatbread appetizers
· House-made ice cream
2013 Trends We See Sometimes:
Some DC restaurants have experimented with these predicted trends already, but there's a little work required to find them on area menus.
· Healthy kids meals/sides
Spotted Around Town: Hyatt Hotels, PassionFish, Family Meal
· Restaurant gardens
Spotted around town: Restaurant Eve, Bourbon Steak, upcoming Edgar Bar & Kitchen and John Mooney restaurant
· Gluten-free cuisine/menus
Spotted around town: Carmine's, Rustico, Rasika.
· Farm-branded menu items
Spotted around town: Dino, Silver Diner.
· Non-traditional fish
Spotted around town: Ripple, Elisir, the upcoming Azur
· Non-wheat noodles/pasta/grains (quinoa, etc.)
Spotted around town: Protein Bar, The Coupe
· Housemade sodas
Spotted around town: Buffalo & Bergen, We The Pizza, El Chucho
Trends We May See More of in 2013:
These ideas and menu items aren't unheard of in DC, but it'd be a stretch to call them a trend. Perhaps they'll be bigger next year?
· Gourmet lemonade
· New cuts of meat
· Traditional ethnic and ethnic-inspired breakfast items
· Kids' menus with whole grain sides
· Black or red rice
· Ancient grains (spelt, etc.)
· Speciality ice tea
· The NRA's 2013 Industry Forecast [Official Site]