From the next generation of fast casual to the mainstreaming of marijuana, restaurant and hotel consultancy Baum + Whiteman has released their latest report on the hottest food trends to watch in 2019.
Here are four trends from their list and how you can experience them in Charlotte:
“Last year we proclaimed that ‘plant-based’ foods were among the top trends of 2018. That’s still true. But this year we’re shifting our view: Lab-grown meats and related proteins look like profound long-range game changers.” — Baum + Whiteman
I have not found lab-grown meats on any Charlotte menus just yet, but I’m sure it will pop up sometime in 2019. Anyone want to take a guess on which Queen City restaurant will be the first to adapt this trend? In the meantime, a veggie burger that tastes like the real thing is a great motherless substitute.
4435 Park Road
Go for the Impossible Burger ($16), a 100% plant-based all natural patty that mimics the look, smell, texture and taste of beef (bonus: there’s zero cholesterol). Served with lettuce, tomato, onion and their Impossible Sauce.
Say hello to sour:
This year’s trendy flavor is predicted to be good ol’ mouth-puckering sour. From vinegar-based recipes (such as kimchi) to marinades and drinks (such as kombucha).
10920 Monroe Road
This Korean restaurant is located inside a marketplace, so if you didn’t know it was there, it would be easy to miss. This is not a place you’d go for the frills or over-the-top service; here you can expect just authentic fare. Try the Kimchi Pancake ($8) and Woo Guh Ji Gal Bi Tang ($10), a dish made of spicy short rib beef broth soup with special sauce Napa cabbage.
3000 S. Tryon St.
This organic brewery specializes in traditional ales and lagers, fermented sours and wild ales along with seven year-round kombuchas. Kombucha can be purchased by the pint, in a flight, bottled, in a crowler, by the growler or even by the keg from the taproom. They also can be found at many Southeastern-based retailers such as Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and Earth Fare.
Mainstreaming of marijuana:
From CBD-infused cocktails, kombucha and even pimento cheese, look for this trend to continue to grow through 2019. For CharlotteFive’s complete list, check out 10 places to find CBD-infused food and drink in Charlotte.
1300 Central Ave.
CBD menu items include:
- Keep Off The Grass*: Angus beef, fried cheese curds, arugula, OG green vinaigrette, pickled green tomatoes, CBD aioli, with a regular side; $14.
- Not Your Father’s Fries: Large portion of fries with CBD-infused oil drizzle, cascade shake, served with CBD aioli; $7.
- Green Thumb Salad: Field green mix, pickled green tomatoes, diced cucumbers, green onions, avocado, roasted red peppers, cascade nuggets and the OG green vinaigrette; $12.
Note: The limited-time menu has limited quantities available per day.
Next generation of fast-casual:
Consumers want high-quality ingredients in a jiffy. With the hustle and bustle of the work week, our generation of the workforce wants something fresh and delicious during their lunchtime crunch. These places put an emphasis on quality while still anticipating half or more of their food to be consumed off-premises, according to the report.
This fast-casual Charlotte restaurant offers a lot more than the typical fast-casual meal. “We believe fast can still be homemade and a thoughtfully crafted dish can still be a good value. We believe complex flavors should originate from simple ingredients”, Yafo Kitchen states on its website. You can truly taste the difference with their scratch-made hummus, authentic spices flown in from Israel and house-baked laffah made with local organic flour. Try one of their customizable hummus bowls ($8.99) with Baharat Spiced Beef and Pine Nuts. Don’t forget to grab a locally brewed beer while you’re there to make your meal complete.
Here are a few more things to look forward to in 2019.
“Oat milk craze wiping out other alt-dairy milks, probably boosting other oat products …Shiso leaf goes mainstream … After the last straw local governments launch war on Styrofoam … Food from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and other inaccessible places nearby …Edible flowers are back … Floral infusions in plain old water … Forget hash brownies —hemp and cannabis in cocktails, soft drinks, beer and everywhere else … Zhoug … Low-cal vegan ice cream … Umami-boosting, meat-aging Koji … More chefs taking on activist roles on environmental degradation, and disaster food relief (thank you Jose Andres) … Asian pastry/sandwich shops … Pour-your-own-beer systems … Duck and chicken liver preparations in restaurants that people trust … French cooking will make its annual comeback… No-alcohol cocktails at fancy martini prices … Jew-ish restaurant food continues its growth curve … Khatchapuri catching on … Hard seltzer … Sour Calamansi aka Calamondin … Tahini in unexpected places … Szechuan peppercorns reappear in Hot Pots and Dry Pots … King oyster mushrooms” – Michael Whiteman, president of Baum+Whiteman.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed a country that was not part of Baum + Whiteman‘s report on food trends under the “Stans”. The article has been updated.