This year's FNA deliberations were especially agonizing, for a number of reasons.
It's funny when you look at the final list, and see that a nominee has fallen on one side of the fence, there's no distinguishing between those that were no-doubters and those that were hotly-debated squeakers. And in reviewing the posting record, there are agonizing frustrations. Some restaurants received scads of attention and chatter over the course of the year, yet few spoke in their support when it came time for the FNAs. And there are those that suddenly seemed like the belle of the ball in the past three weeks, yet had scarcely been mentioned in the past 15 months. So much of parsing the record is a matter of gut, and a matter of feel.
And despite that difficulty, here we are with another list that I think is a beautiful reflection of the places that have touched this community since we last convened the panel. There are longtime favorites, new infatuations that have exploded onto the scene, old FNA restaurants that have returned to the list having dropped off last year, and the first FNA restaurant opened by somebody who was previously a member of the community himself. As agonizing as the process can be, somehow in the end, it feels right.
On an even more personal note, however, this year's Food Nerd Approved deliberations were especially agonizing for me, as they'll be my last. But as difficult as it will be to step away from my administrator/moderator role, the FNAs are a wonderful reminder that this is about the community, and the community will still discuss food, still get excited about restaurants, still learn from each other, and still produce what I'm sure will be a fabulous Food Nerd Approved 2016 list, even if I'm no longer one of the folks behind the curtain.
Congratulations to all of the restaurants honored. And thanks so much to all of you for continuing to make this yearly event so special.
2015 list of restaurants that have captured our love and admiration
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I knew the second I heard the great news that there would be less Skillet Doux in the PhxFoodNerds world, but that there will be more in the mainstream food scene via the new gig makes up for it. Still, I'm verklempt.Skillet Doux wrote:
On an even more personal note, however, this year's Food Nerd Approved deliberations were especially agonizing for me, as they'll be my last.