Well, it’s time to rip off the last page of the calendar and ring in not just a new year, but a new decade. A lot has happened in the culinary world over the last 10 years, both around the country and around Baton Rouge. Let’s cast our memories back to some of the biggest food trends that landed in the Capital City and are still changing the way we eat and drink.
The new raw bar
The Hawaiian street food, poke, had been hot on the West Coast for some time. But over the last decade, it edged its way into new markets across the country. Southfin Southern Poke got things started in Baton Rouge in 2017, appealing to diners with its healthy profile and DIY toppings. The trend triggered several other openings of poke concepts over the next couple of years.
Rice makes room for whole grains
There’s no denying that rice will forever be the darling of the grain world in south Louisiana, but it’s slid over to accommodate healthier whole grains on local menus. Simple Joe Cafe‘s blueberry quinoa yogurt bowl springs to mind, as does the new BLDG5’s protein plate, which features a standing whole grain side made with a combo of tri-color quinoa and farro. The fast-casual spot The Salad Shop incorporated red quinoa into its Sonoma bowl with avocado, sunflower seeds, egg, cucumber and spring mix.
Hated veggies become chic
All those vegetables you feared as a kid became fashionable menu items across the 2010s. First there was kale. Then beets. Then cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Local menus dutifully incorporated these kinds of veggie sides into their line-ups. Memorable dishes include Stroubes’ crispy Brussels sprouts side dish loaded with thick bacon, and the keto-friendly cauliflower bowl at Mestizo.
Canned alcoholic beverages
In a city that loves to tailgate, it’s no wonder Baton Rouge embraced the canned alcoholic beverage trend, which jumped 62% between 2013 and 2018 nationwide. Now your ice chest can hold all manner of canned wines representing the main varietals, along with canned hard seltzer and various canned premixed cocktails.
Here come the noods
Ramen’s sweep around the United States made its way to Baton Rouge, as diners embraced steaming ramen bowls, resplendent with deep, rich broth, tender strands of noodles and varied accoutrements. Spots like Chow Yum Phat, Soji, Jinja Ramen Bar and Umami were happy to fill your order with their original takes on this savory dish.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.