Issue September 20, 2011

2011 Readers’ Choice

Cheers to the winners

We here at LEO Weekly have a reputation for being a cynical lot. After all, it’s our job as journalists to bring you the truth, and more often than not, the truth hurts. But it’s not all doom and gloom and scandal — there’s much to love about Louisville. And so once a year, as is tradition, we suspend our surly commentary and toast the city through our annual Readers’ Choice Issue.

This year, our readers cast more than a quarter-million votes, choosing their favorites in a long list of categories. We are grateful for your votes, even when we disagree, and we present the people, places and things you deem the best of the best in the pages that follow.

But not so fast — as much as we value democracy, did you really think we could refrain from having a say? Ha! To that end, we bring you a slightly more eccentric list that ranges from “Best Duck Fat Popcorn” to “Best Use of Baby Oil in Louisville.”

Now raise a glass — water, wine or anything in-between will do — and join us in toasting the winners.

 

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Best Annual Festival?

1) Kentucky Derby Festival

2) Mighty Kindness Earth Day Hootenanny

3) St. James Court Art Show

Best Art Fair

1) St. James Court Art Show

2) Cherokee Triangle Art Fair

3) UnFair

Best Art Gallery?

1) Revelry

2) 21c

3) The 930 Art Center

Best Bowling Alley?

1) Vernon Lanes

2) Ten Pin Lanes

3) Kingpin Lanes

Best Charitable Event?

1) Cabo Wabo

2) WHAS Crusade for Children

3) Walk for Lupus Now

Best Church Picnic?

1) St Joseph Children’s Home

2) St. Agnes

3) Holy Family

Best Cover Band?

1) Eight Inch Elvis

2) Lizzyz Revenge

3) Rocktimus Prime

Best Film Festival?

1) Fright Night Film Fest

2) Flyover Film Festival

3) 48 Hour Film Project

Best Live Music Venue?

1) Headliners Music Hall

2) Louisville Palace

3) Wick’s Pizza

Best Live Theater?

1) Actors Theatre

2) Louisville Palace

3) Alley Theater

Best Local Author

1) D.A. Madigan

2) Wendell Berry

3) Heather Adkins

Best Local Band

1) My Morning Jacket

2) Cougar Express

3) Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Best Local Comedian?

1) Kent Carney

2) Tom Mabe

3) Damaged Goods

Best Movie Theater?

1) Baxter Avenue Theatres

2) Cinemark Tinseltown

3) Rave Motion Pictures Stonybrook

Best Museum?

1) Speed Art Museum

2) 21c

3) Frazier History Museum

Best Music Festival?

1) Forecastle

2) Abbey Road on the River

3) Hullabalou

Best Performing Arts Group?

1) Louisville Ballet

2) Actors Theatre

3) Damaged Goods

Best Promoter?

1) Terry Harper

2) Production Simple

3) Hunter Embry

Best Public Mural?

1) Hunter S. Thompson at The Monkey Wrench

2) Louisville Zoo

3) Highlands at Wick’s

Best Public Sculpture?

1) Abraham Lincoln at Waterfront Park

2) The Thinker at U of L

3) Beerwolf at WHY Louisville

Best Singer-Songwriter?

1) Troubadours of Divine Bliss

2) Brigid Kaelin

3) Justin Lewis

Best Theater Production?

1) “Dracula” at Actors Theatre

2) “Point Break Live” at Alley Theater

3) “Chasing Ophelia” at The Bard’s Town

Best Theater Troupe?

1) Le Petomane

2) Actors Theatre

3) Pandora Productions

Best Visual Artist

1) Douglas Miller

2) Sloan Showalter

3) Eric Schultz

 

GOODS AND SERVICES

Best Adult/Erotic Store?

1) Cirilla’s

2) Love Boutique

3) Adam & Eve

Best Antique Store?

1) Goss Avenue Antiques

2) Joe Ley Antiques

3) Crazy Daisy

Best Attorney?

1) David E. Crittenden

2) Mark Mulloy

3) Rachelle Howell

Best Auto Dealer?

1) Sam Swope Auto Group

2) Neil Huffman Automotive Group

3) Bob Hook Chevrolet

Best Bicycle Shop?

1) Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling

2) Parkside Bike Boutique

3) On Your Left Cycles

Best Clothing Boutique?

1) Dressing Room

2) Dot Fox

3) Cherry Bomb

Best Comic Book Shop?

1) The Great Escape

2) The Zone Comics

3) Comic Book World

Best Consignment Store?

1) Margaret’s Consignment

2) Sassy Fox

3) Urban Attic

Best Contractor?

1) Shine Contracting

2) United Plumbing

3) Esposito Construction

Best Daycare?

1) Holy Spirit Child Care

2) Kayfield Academy

3) Kindercare

Best Dentist?

1) Dr. Tony Zangari

2) Mortenson Family Dental

3) Dr. David Schaefer

Best Dry Cleaner?

1) Highland Cleaners

2) NuYale

3) Sam Meyers

Best Farmer

1) Ivor Chodkowski

2) Foxhollow Farms

3) Adam Barr of Barr Farms

Best Farmers Market?

1) Bardstown Road in the Highlands

2) St. Matthews

3) Jeffersontown

Best Florist?

1) Nanz & Kraft

2) Schultz’s Florist

3) Broadway Florist

Best Gift Boutique?

1) Revelry

2) Regalo

3) Scout

Best Golf Course?

1) Valhalla

2) Quail Chase

3) Seneca

Best Gym?

1) YMCA

2) Louisville Athletic Club

3) Urban Active

Best Hair Salon?

1) 360 Salon & Spa

2) Gregory Michaels

3) Salon 146

Best Health Food Store?

1) Rainbow Blossom

2) Whole Foods

3) The Fresh Market

Best Hospital?

1) Baptist East

2) Norton

3) Jewish

Best House of Worship?

1) Southeast Christian

2) Unity of Louisville

3) Sojourn Community

Best Instrument Shop?

1) Willis Music

2) Doo Wop Shop

3) Guitar Emporium

Best Jewelry Store?

1) Shane Co.

2) Davis Jewelers

3) Benton Fine Jewelry

Best Law Office?

1) Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

2) De Renzo Durrett

3) O’Bryan Law Offices

Best Liquor Store?

1) Old Town Wine and Spirits

2) Liquor Barn

3) The Wine Rack

Best Local Bank?

1) Republic

2) Stockyards

3) Old National

Best Local Bookstore?

1) Carmichael’s

2) A Reader’s Corner

3) Second Story Books

Best Local Grocery

1) ValuMarket

2) Rainbow Blossom

3) Burger’s Market

Best Local Pet Grooming?

1) The Pet Station

2) Pretty Paws

3) Connie’s Groom Room

Best Local Record Store?

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) Better Days

Best Local Shoe Store?

1) Fleet Feet Sports

2) Swag’s Sport Shoes

3) 2nd Step Shoes

Best Luxury Hotel?

1) 21c

2) Seelbach Hotel

3) The Brown

Best Massage?

1) Apex Massage

2) Elements Therapeutic

3) Massage Envy St. Matthews

Best Mechanic?

1) McCormick Motor

2) Tachyon Performance

3) Volksdoktor

Best Pediatrician?

1) Dr. Moises Dreszer

2) Dr. Gerald Sturgeon

3) Dr. Jeffrey Wampler

Best Place for a Wedding Reception?

1) Conrad-Caldwell House

2) Clifton Center

3) Mellwood Art Center

Best Place to Adopt a Pet?

1) Kentucky Humane Society

2) Shamrock Foundation

3) Animal Care Society

Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift?

1) WHY Louisville

2) Regalo

3) Just Creations

Best Place to Buy Vinyl?

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) Please & Thank You

Best Place to Take Kids When It’s Raining?

1) Louisville Science Center

2) Art Sparks at Speed

3) All About Kids

Best Plastic Surgeon?

1) Dr. Thomas Haas

2) Dr. Alex Digenis

3) Dr. Sean Maguire

Best Playground?

1) Waterfront Park

2) Cherokee Park

3) Iroquois Park

Best Plumber?

1) United Plumbing

2) BC Plumbing

3) Tom Drexler

Best Public Restroom?

1) 21c

2) Von Maur

3) 32 Degrees A Yogurt Bar

Best Real Estate Company?

1) RayCo Real Estate

2) Keller Williams

3) Semonin Realtors

Best Roofer?

1) Highland Roofing

2) American Roofing

3) Ray Nolan

Best Scooter Shop

1) NuLu Scooters

2) Highland Motorsport

3) Tachyon Performance

Best Screen Printer?

1) Monkey Drive

2) WHY Louisville

3) Dirty Tease

Best Spa

1) Imaage Medical Spa

2) Z’s Salon & Spa

3) Joseph’s Salon & Spa

Best Sporting Goods Store?

1) Dick’s Sporting Goods

2) Fleet Feet Sports

3) Quest Outdoors

Best Tattoo Parlor?

1) Acme Ink

2) Tattoo Charlie’s

3) Twisted Images

Best Tobacco Store?

1) J. Shepherd Cigars

2) Cox’s Smokers Outlet

3) Kremer’s Smoke Shoppe

Best Veterinarian?

1) Dr. Joe Deck

2) Shively Animal Clinic

3) Fairleigh Pet Center

Best Video Store?

1) Wild and Woolly

2) Redbox

3) Blockbuster

Best Vintage Clothing Store?

1) Nitty Gritty

2) Cherry Bomb

3) Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire

Best Yoga Class

1) Yoga on Baxter

2) Betsy’s Hot Yoga

3) Yoga East

 

DINING

Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal?

1) Golden Corral

2) Ramsi’s Sunday Brunch

3) Bristol Sunday Brunch

Best Bakery?

1) Plehn’s Bakery

2) Heitzman Bakery

3) Nord’s Bakery

Best BBQ?

1) Mark’s Feed Store

2) F.A.B.D. (Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot)

3) Smoketown USA

Best Beer List?

1) New Albanian Brewing Co.

2) Holy Grale

3) Sergio’s World Beers

Best Breakfast/Brunch?

1) Wild Eggs

2) Toast

3) North End Café

Best Burger?

1) Dish on Market

2) W.W. Cousins

3) The Blind Pig

Best Cajun/Creole Restaurant?

1) J. Gumbo’s

2) Joe’s OK Bayou

3) Selena’s

Best Chef?

1) Edward Lee at 610 Magnolia

2) Joe Frase at The Blind Pig

3) Anthony Lamas at Seviche

Best Chinese Restaurant?

1) Annie Café

2) August Moon

3) Café Mimosa

Best Coffee Shop?

1) Sunergos Coffee

2) Heine Brothers

3) Highland Coffee

Best Deli?

1) Stevens & Stevens

2) Jason’s Deli

3) Joe Davola’s

Best Delivery?

1) Jimmy John’s

2) Joe Davola’s

3) Cafe Lou Lou

Best Dessert?

1) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

2) Sweet Surrender

3) DaLat’s

Best Dinner Roll?

1) Texas Roadhouse

2) Red Lobster

3) O’Charley’s

Best Fine Dining?

1) Jack Fry’s

2) The Blind Pig

3) Seviche

Best Fish Sandwich?

1) Mike Linnig’s

2) The Fishery

3) Fish House

Best Food Truck

1) Morels

2) Lil Cheezers

3) Holy Mole

Best French Fries?

1) The Blind Pig

2) McDonald’s

3) Hammerheads

Best Happy Hour?

1) Asiatique

2) The Back Door

3) Maido

3) Napa River Grill

Best Ice Cream Shop?

1) The Comfy Cow

2) Graeter’s

3) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

Best Indian Restaurant?

1) Kashmir

2) Shalimar

3) Dakshin

Best Italian Restaurant?

1) Vincenzo’s

2) Le Gallo Rosso

3) Volare Italian Ristorante

Best Japanese Restaurant?

1) Sapporo

2) Sake Blue

3) Asahi Japanese

Best Late-Night Bite?

1) White Castle

2) Ramsi’s

3) Spinelli’s

Best Mexican Restaurant?

1) El Nopal

2) El Mundo

3) Santa Fe Grill

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant?

1) Shiraz

2) Safier

3) The Grape Leaf

Best New Restaurant?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Dish on Market

3) Harvest

Best Outdoor Dining?

1) Captain’s Quarters

2) Avalon

3) Mike Linnig’s

Best Pizza?

1) Papalinos

2) Wick’s Pizza

3) Clifton’s Pizza

Best Place for a Cheap Date?

1) Annie Café

2) Coals Artisan Pizza

3) White Castle

Best Place for a Romantic Dinner?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Jack Fry’s

3) Bistro Le Relais

Best Pub Grub?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Irish Rover

3) The Back Door

Best Quick Lunch?

1) Annie Café

2) Joe Davola’s

3) Jimmy John’s

Best Restaurant (Louisville)?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Jack Fry’s

3) Seviche

Best Restaurant (Southern Indiana)?

1) New Albanian Brewing Co.

2) Rocky’s Italian Grill

3) La Rosita

Best Restaurant Decor?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Lynn’s Paradise Café

3) Proof on Main

Best Restaurant on the River?

1) Captain’s Quarters

2) Rocky’s Italian Grill

3) Tumbleweed

Best Ribs?

1) Mark’s Feed Store

2) Doc Crow’s

3) Hammerheads

Best Seafood Restaurant?

1) Mike Linnig’s

2) Mitchell’s Fish Market

3) Red Lobster

Best Steakhouse?

1) Jeff Ruby’s

2) Pat’s Steakhouse

3) Ruth’s Chris

Best Sushi?

1) Sapporo

2) Oishii Sushi

3) Sake Blue

Best Takeout?

1) Annie Café

2) August Moon

3) Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

Best Thai Restaurant?

1) Simply Thai

2) Mai’s Thai

3) Thai Siam

Best Vegetarian Food?

1) Annie Café

2) Zen Garden

3) Ramsi’s

Best Vietnamese Restaurant?

1) Annie Café

2) Vietnam Kitchen

3) Nam Nam Cafe

Best Waitstaff?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

3) Coals Artisan Pizza

Best Wine List?

1) The Blind Pig

2) L & N Wine Bar and Bistro

3) Huber’s Winery

Best Wings

1) Buffalo Wild Wings

2) Hooters

3) Roosters

 

NIGHTLIFE

Best Bar Bathroom?

1) Proof on Main

2) Zanzabar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

Best Bar to Nurse a Hangover?

1) Outlook Inn

2) Zanzabar

3) The Back Door

Best Bar to People Watch

1) The Back Door

2) Zanzabar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

Best Bartender?

1) Jeremy Johnson at The Blind Pig

2) Bethany Gantz at Dish on Market

3) Becky Cooper at Coals Artisan Pizza

Best Bloody Mary?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Monkey Wrench

3) Outlook Inn

Best Blues Bar?

1) Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar

2) Zeppelin Café

3) Howl at the Moon

Best Club DJ?

1) DJ Prism

2) DJ Joe Dubb

3) DJ Fluid

Best Comedy Club?

1) Comedy Caravan

2) The Improv

3) The Bard’s Town

Best Country/Western Bar?

1) Saddle Ridge

2) Electric Cowboy

3) Spectators

Best Dive Bar?

1) Magnolia Bar and Grill

2) Nachbar

3) The Back Door

Best Gay Bar?

1) The Connection

2) Tink’s

3) Teddy Bears

Best Gentlemen’s Club?

1) PT’s Showclub

2) Trixie’s

3) Rustic Frog

Best Karaoke Bar?

1) Tink’s

2) Akiko’s

3) Highlands Taproom

Best Local Beer

1) New Albanian Brewing Co. Hoptimus

2) Bluegrass Brewing Co. APA

3) Bluegrass Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Stout

Best Local Brewery?

1) Bluegrass Brewing Co.

2) New Albanian Brewing Co.

3) Cumberland Brews

Best Margarita?

1) El Nopal

2) El Mundo

3) Tumbleweed

Best Martini?

1) The Blind Pig

2) 60 West Bistro

3) Proof on Main

Best Mixed Drink

1) The Back Door

2) 732 Social

3) Zanzabar

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub?

1) Nachbar

2) Shenanigan’s

3) Zanzabar

Best New Bar/Club?

1) Drake’s St. Matthews

2) Garage Bar

3) Holy Grale

Best Original Cocktail?

1) Bacon Manhattan at The Blind Pig

2) Chapter 11 at 732 Social

3) Bloke’s Blonde at Doc Crow’s

Best Place to Dance?

1) Zanzabar

2) The Connection

3) Hotel Nightclub

Best Place to Hear Jazz?

1) Nachbar

2) Seelbach Hotel

3) Jazzyblu

Best Place to Shoot Pool?

1) The Back Door

2) Diamond Pub & Billiards

3) Oliver’s Billiards

Best Singles Bar?

1) Sully’s

2) Drake’s St. Matthews

3) Zanzabar

Best Smoking Area?

1) Zanzabar

2) Nachbar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

Best Sports Bar?

1) Big Blue Country

2) Buffalo Wild Wings

3) The Granville Inn

Best Trivia Night?

1) Zanzabar

2) Molly Malone’s

3) The Granville Inn

Best U of L Bar?

1) The Granville Inn

2) Zanzabar

3) Tailgaters

Best UK Bar?

1) Big Blue Country

2) Highlands Taproom

3) The Granville Inn

Best Wine Bar

1) The Blind Pig

2) L & N Wine Bar and Bistro

3) Huber’s Winery

 

MEDIA

Best Laid-Off Gannett Employee

1) Erin Keane

2) Tamara Ikenberg

3) Joseph Lord

Best Local Arts Writer?

1) Erin Keane

2) Elizabeth Kramer

3) Peter Berkowitz

Best Local Blog?

1) LouisvilleKy.com

2) ConsumingLouisville.com

3) BrokenSidewalk.com

Best Local Columnist?

1) Sara Havens

2) Eric Crawford

3) Joe Manning

Best Local Feature Writer?

1) Rick Redding

2) Cindy Lamb

3) Anne Marshall

Best Local Media Celebrity You Love to Hate

1) Terry Meiners

2) Dawne Gee

3) Mark Weinberg

Best Local Music Writer?

1) Jeffrey Lee Puckett

2) Peter Berkowitz

3) Hunter Embry

Best Local News Writer?

1) Phillip M. Bailey

2) Jonathan Meador

3) Jason Riley

3) Gabe Bullard

3) Dan Klepal

Best Local Publication?

1) LEO Weekly

2) The Paper

3) Louisville Magazine

Best Local Radio Personality?

1) Terry Meiners

2) Laura Shine

3) Mandy Connell

Best Local Radio Station?

1) 91.9 WFPK

2) Crescent Hill Radio AM 1650

3) 89.3 WFPL

Best Local TV Meteorologist?

1) Kevin Harned

2) Marc Weinberg

3) Brian Goode

Best Local TV News Anchor?

1) Dawne Gee

2) Scott Reynolds

3) Melissa Swan

Best Local TV Station?

1) WAVE 3

2) WHAS 11

3) WLKY 32

Best Local Website?

1) LouisvilleKy.com

2) Louisville.com

3) ConsumingLouisville.com

Best Place to Pick Up LEO Weekly?

1) Heine Brothers

2) Qdoba

3) ear X-tacy

Best Reason to Read LEO Weekly?

1) News of the Weird

2) Upcoming shows/events

3) Local music updates

Best Scandal?

1) Councilwoman Judy Green

2) Louisville Metro Animal Services

3) Karen Sypher and Rick Pitino

Best TV Disaster Graphics?

1) WAVE 3

2) WLKY 32

3) WHAS 11

Best TV Morning Show

1) “FOX in the Morning”

2) “WAVE 3 Sunrise”

3) “Good Morning America”

 

OTHER STUFF

Best Attorney Gimmick?

1) The Heavy Hitter

2) Cara Stigger The Tiger

3) Son in Jail? Call Waddell

Best Business to Have as a Facebook Friend

1) Alliance Cost Containment

2) ear X-tacy

3) NuLu Scooters

Best Category We Forgot?

1) Local Improv Troupe

2) Chiropractor

3) Barbershop

Best Community Role Model?

1) Lark Phillips, Save Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion Co-Chair

2) Dawne Gee, WAVE 3 Newscaster

3) Lee Fetzer, Local Musician

Best Excuse to Leave Town for a Day?

1) Kentucky Derby

2) Thunder Over Louisville

3) Weather

Best Local Celebrity?

1) Muhammad Ali

2) Diane Sawyer

3) John Wells

Best Local Landmark?

1) Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion

2) Conrad-Caldwell House

3) Churchill Downs

Best Local Politician?

1) Kimberly Greenwell

2) Jerry Abramson

3) Mayor Greg Fischer

Best Month to be in Town?

1) May

2) October

3) April

Best Neighborhood?

1) Highlands

2) Crescent Hill

3) Germantown

Best Nonprofit?

1) Fairness Campaign

2) Save Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion

3) No Kill Louisville

Best Person to Have Their Face on a Building

1) Diane Sawyer

2) Muhammad Ali

3) Hunter S. Thompson

Best Place to Make a Public Spectacle of Yourself

1) Fourth Street Live

2) Derby Infield

3) Bardstown Road

Best Place to Ride Your Bike?

1) Cherokee Park

2) Waterfront Park

3) Riverwalk

Best Place to See Christmas Decor?

1) Lake Forest

2) Mega Cavern

3) Downtown Louisville

Best Place to Take Your Dog?

1) Cherokee Park

2) Tom Sawyer Dog Park

3) Waterfront Park

Best Place You Wish Had Never Gone Out of Business

1) Hawley-Cooke Booksellers

2) Borders Books and Music

3) Doll’s Market

Best Politician You Love to Hate?

1) Mitch McConnell

2) Rand Paul

3) John Yarmuth

Best Question for John Yarmuth?

1) Why are you so awesome?

2) Where are all the jobs?

3) How do you not go crazy dealing with these crazy people?

Best Question for Mitch McConnell?

1) When will you retire?

2) How do you sleep at night?

3) WTF?

Best Reason to Get in the Ohio River?

1) Fire

2) Polar Bear Plunge

3) No Good Reason

Best Thing That’s Changed Here in the Last Year

1) New Mayor

2) KFC Yum! Center

3) East Market/NuLu District

Best Thing to do With Your Used LEO Weekly

1) Recycle

2) Birdcage Liner

3) Gift Wrap

Best UK Basketball Player

1) John Wall

2) Terrence Jones

3) Darius Miller

Best U of L Basketball Player?

1) Peyton Siva

2) Kyle Kuric

3) Darrell Griffith