Farm-to-table was 2011.
In 2012, the two "it" food categories of Philadelphia's food scene were barbecue and pizza. (But not together. Please.)
Both cuisines are popping up all over, and with respectable quality.
That's important, because BBQ and pizza spark intense debate from partisans who sniff that Philly lacks the "real thing."
Whatever that is.
Philly's barbecue scene in 2012 saw the arrival of a few big names downtown:
Just as significant were a few openings in the burbs:
Barbacoa, which moved midyear from Upper Darby into an Ardmore storefront, bases its concept on Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken that owner Rob Hayes encountered in the D.C. area. He also offers Angus beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, and grilled Norwegian salmon.
Early word-of-mouth has been off the charts for Jesse's Barbecue & Local Market in Souderton, a few minutes off the Route 113 exit of Route 309. Jesse Sigmans was an environmental consultant and home cook who went down to Georgia, bought himself a smoker, and set up a family business that includes his mom and uncle. Menu includes pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, but the big draw are the Kansas City-style ribs, which he dry-rubs, smokes five hours, and finishes with a glaze. The market has local produce and groceries.
Thin but pillowy-crusted Neapolitan pizza was trailblazed locally in recent years, first by Osteria and then by Pizzeria Stella.
Imports of 00 flour and San Marzano tomatoes must be setting records.
In 2012, we saw the introduction of other great pizzas everywhere - city, Pennsy burbs, Jersey burbs: