Happy December. 2010 is only a few weeks away. It's time, in other words, for the avalanche of year-end round-ups (food trucks! vampires!) and predictions for the coming year. Will we still love burgers and bistros and cupcakes, or will we segue off into something else, like maybe layer cakes. God knows. But why not make a bunch of predictions now and see how on target we are? Or how completely off the mark.

Epicurious has gotten started, with their predictions for the Top 10 food trends for 2010. On their list? Fried chicken, Whoopie pies, and homemade beer. Restaurants & Institutions has predicted their Top 20 menu trends for 2010, with pot roast, beer, drugstore counter desserts and fried chicken on their list. Mintel, a market research company, predicts that we'll gravitate towards simpler, healthier and more ethnically diverse menus. Maybe they didn't poll for fried chicken and beer.

So what do you think it will be next year? Sarah Palin moose burgers or vegan bicycle carts? Remember that these things are cyclical. 1939 was a big year for fried chicken too. And in a down economy, when bars are looking pretty good and $15 cocktails are not, beer is a pretty safe bet.

LA Weekly