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Friends of Eater Name The Biggest Dining Surprise of 2014

From bankruptcies to pizza.

Nikki Mayeux

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the best standbysnewcomers, 2014 in one word, and the best dining neighborhood. Now, the biggest dining surprise of 2014.

Q. What was the biggest dining surprise in 2014?

Rene Louapre, cofounder of Hogs For The Cause:
Boswell's bankruptcy. I get Stella! closing, but revenue from Stanley should have been enough to keep a small nation afloat.

Lorin Gaudin, Nola Food Goddess, food editor of Where, cohost of New Orleans By Mouth:
That the restaurant openings keep coming.

Kim Ranjbar, writer, Suck The Heads:
Palace Cafe was far more fabulous than I imagined.

[Photo: Brasted]

Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, writer/contributor for Thrillist, NolaVie, and Louisiana Eats!:
Brennan's abruptly closing, then eventually reopening. It was the biggest soap opera in town, but I'm glad it's over.

B.E. Mintz, founder and editor of Nola Defender:
That we still can't turn out a decent bagel in New Orleans.

[Photo: Paul Broussard]

Josh Brasted, photographer:
I'm constantly trying new food out around town so I don't make return trips too often, with that being said, this year I've been to Kebab over a dozen times. Kebab's daily specials have yet to disappoint.

Nora McGunnigle, beer writer and contributor for Eater NOLA and Gambit:
That a food truck has an authentic wood burning pizza oven.

Gwendolyn Knapp, editor, Eater NOLA:
That Cosimo Matassa's grandson and pals are bringing legit wood fired pizza and pasta to Harahan in a former Popeye's (at Oak Oven).  And finding out there's a tunnel beneath Brennan's with a secret entryway.