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What Was the Biggest Dallas Dining Surprise of 2012?

As 2012 comes to an end, we're surveying friends, readers, critics, and bloggers about the year in dining. Now, we ask folks to dish on their biggest dining surprises of 2012. Readers, feel free to weigh in via the comments.

Bowl & Barrel. [Photo credit: Stephen Masker/EDFW]

Q: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2012?

Leslie Brenner, restaurant critic, Dallas Morning News: "That seafood is suddenly hot — a trend that it seems will continue into 2013."

Kevin Gray, editor, UrbanDaddy Dallas: "Bowl & Barrel. Those guys proved that a bowling alley can churn out food you actually want to eat. The burgers and sandwiches are great for sit-down meals, and the fried quail, hand pies and rumaki (chicken livers and green apple wrapped in bacon) are perfect snacks when bowling a few frames."

José Ralat-Maldonado, blogger, The Taco Trail: "Los Torres Taqueria, a family-run Sinaloan restaurant on Clarendon and Edgefield in Oak Cliff, that I stumbled upon while taking the bus."

Rich Vana, editor, Entrée Dallas: "I had my first grilled cheese with tomato soup at Highland Park Pharmacy. It shocked me, though there was really nothing shocking about the ingredients; it's what my mom would have made when I was growing up: white bread and cheese slices. The shock was how much I enjoyed it—the overflow of nostalgia, maybe?"

Gavin Cleaver, barbecue blogger, City of Ate: "For me, clearly the existence of restaurants where you could purchase nothing but meat, in piles. And then people letting me write about it. Apart from that, the number of curries you can get in DFW. That was surprising."

foodbitch, blogger: "Preston Center. It exploded with new restaurant openings."

Whitney Filloon, editor, Eater Dallas: "My biggest surprises this year were of the unpleasant variety: Nana and Craft closing and being replaced with a steakhouse and a gastropub, respectively. I had some very memorable meals at both of those places, and it was sad to see them go."