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August 4th, 2004 Josh Parish | Special Section Stories
 

Best of Portland READERS POLL 2004

     
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Best Flesh-Free Restaurant: Vita CAFE
IMAGE: BASIL CHILDERS
While WW has been scouring the town in search of the bits and pieces of Portland that outshine the rest, we also polled you for your favorites. Some 575 voters submitted more than 3,000 entries, thanks to this year's "vote early, vote often" policy. We've sorted and tallied the results, and now present the 2004 Best of Portland Readers' Poll.

FOOD & DRINK

Best New Hometown Restaurant

Irvington Corner Table (1700 NE Broadway, 331-1200) moves in and takes over as your new favorite spot to fill up on portabella mushroom Wellington.

Best Old Hometown Restaurant

Watch those pincers--Jake's Famous Crawfish (401 SW 12th Ave., 226-1419) proves it's got a firm grip on the title of ye olde seafood and shellfish standby.

Best Coffee Shop

With their French-pressed pumps and prime sofa seating, hometown heroes Stumptown (128 SW 3rd Ave., 295-6144; 3356 SE Belmont St., 232-8889; 4525 SE Division St., 230-7797) are the roasters you toast.

Best Lunch Cart

Who's got the meat? Not No Fish, Go Fish (main location at 3962 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-5378). This teeny veggie caravan rolls in as your downtown pick for super soup and battered sandwiches.

Best Place to Pop the Question

Making honest men and women of Portlanders everywhere, Genoa (2832 SE Belmont St., 238-1464) grabs the ring and holds on tight for yet another year.

Best Place to Ditch a Date

Could there be a better place to lose your lover than between the tents at Saturday Market (Southwest 1st Avenue and West Burnside Street)?

Best Flesh-Free Restaurant

The herbivore looking for a little more heads to the Vita Cafe (3024 NE Alberta St., 335-8233), your best bet for the meatless set (although you'll find a great hamburger here, too).

Best Meat-Eater's Palace

Incisors are for pulling and tearing! Ringside Steakhouse (2165 W Burnside St., 223-1513; 14021 NE Glisan St., 255-0750) is where the hunt ends for folks who prefer their dinner born free and flame-broiled.

Best Late-Night Restaurant

Who cares who shares the table at 2 o'clock in the morning? Bistro Montage (301 SE Morrison St., 234-1324) brings everyone together for the after-hour of power.

Best Hangover Breakfast Joint

Everyone in town spends the morning after recovering from the night before at Juniors (1742 SE 12th Ave., 235-5474). So that's why there's always a wait.

Best Restaurant to Bring Friends from Out of Town

Whether it's for the mile-high view or the low-down bar menu, Portland City Grill (111 SW 5th Ave., 30th floor, 450-0030) is where you go to show off our fair city.

Best Restaurant to Close the Deal

Negotiations have their best chances of success when you hold session at Higgins (1239 SW Broadway, 222-9070). A three-martini lunch doesn't hurt your deal, either.

Best Restaurant to Take Advantage of Your Expense Account

This basil gimlet's on the boss! Bluehour (250 NW 13th Ave., 226-3394) is where you go to put the company's dough to good use.

Best Restaurant to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Another incumbent wins the popular vote. Papa Haydn (701 SW 23rd Ave., 228-7317; 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave., 232-9440) finishes neck-and-neck with Pix Pâtisserie (3402 SE Division St., 232-4407) as the bakers who take the cake.

NIGHTLIFE & MUSIC

Best Cocktail Cave

The Space Room Lounge (4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-8303) makes a perfect landing as the spot to crawl into the woodwork.

Best Dive Bar

The Low Brow Lounge (1036 NW Hoyt St., 226-0200) slithers in as the hippest spot to de-evolve.

Best Politically Charged Hangout

For those who feel the stability of their government is as crumbly as the consistency of their scones, the Red & Black Cafe (2138 SE Division St., 231-3899) is where it's at.

Best Brewpub

The local hop-meisters at BridgePort BrewPub (1313 NW Marshall St., 241-3612) take the cup as PDX's true-blue brewer.

Best Happy Hour

Yes, Virginia, you can get good sushi for a buck. Portland City Grill (111 SW 5th Ave., 30th floor, 450-0030) stakes its claim as your happiest happy hour.

Best Restaurant/Bar Patio

While the sunshine lasts, Veritable Quandary (1220 SW 1st Ave., 227-7342) is the portico with more-tico.

Best Bar Jukebox

When you pull off your clubwear and pull out your quarters, The Pub at the End of the Universe (4107 SE 28th Ave., 235-0969) is where you plunk them down.

Best Bar Games

You ramblers and gamblers out there put your money on Black Cat Pub (8230 SE 13th Ave., 235-3571). It's the shuffleboard, stupid!

Best Bar Bathrooms

Aura (1022 W Burnside St., 597-2872) boasts the water closet to end all water closets.

Best Hetero Meat Market

The inferno that is Dante's (1 SW 3rd Ave., 226-6630) is the hottest spot for boy-on-girl action.

Best Place to Pick Up a Gay Boy

The Silverado (1217 SW Stark St., 224-4493) wins first prize, while "around the waist, if you know what I mean" came in a close second.

Best Place to Pick Up a Dyke

For the sweet ladies who like sweet ladies, the Egyptian Club (3701 SE Division St., 236-8689) is where you go to meet up.

Best Drag Queen

The queen mother of local monarchy, Darcelle XV still reigns. (Visit her club at 208 NW 3rd Ave., 222-5338.)

Best Drag King

As a matter of fact, that is braided cheese in his pocket, but Johnny Mozzarella is still the gender-bender you're happiest to see.

Best Place to Dance

Warehouse turned sweaty, sexy hipster hangout Holocene (1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639) plays electronica that makes you want to move.

Best Karaoke Joint

Where else is it actually cool to be a Bobby Darin-wannabe? Chopsticks Express II (2651 E Burnside St., 234-6171) and The Alibi (4024 N Interstate Ave., 287-5335) are your local stops to fake it 'til you make it.

Best House o' Rawk

Dante's (1 SW 3rd Ave., 226-6630) ranks highest in gross national rock, say the people who love to move.

Best Local Band

The patron saints of band nerds everywhere, the MarchFourth Marching Band pumps up the new in-crowd. Don't spend all that school spirit in one place.

Best Local Band Name

Long may they reign. I Can Lick Any Son of a Bitch in the House licks every son of a bitchin' band in town for the third year in a row.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Best First Thursday Stop

The Shift Gallery (625 NW Everett St., 224-8756) is where to take advantage of those days of wine and canvas.

Best Last Thursday Stop

The hip and the gritty get together at Embellishment (5018 NE 22nd Ave., 335-7044) to celebrate (and inebriate) at the twilight of each month.

Best Arts Venue

In a landslide victory, you kept it classic and picked the Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Ave., 226-2811) as the place with the walls to top them all.

Best Local Performance Company

Artists Repertory Theatre (1516 SW Alder St., 241-8268) scores bragging rights as the hardest act to follow.

Best Place to See a Film

The Laurelhurst Theater and Pub (2735 E Burnside St., 232-5511) and the Bagdad Theater and Pub (3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-9234) are the cinemas with the most vérité.

Best Place to See Naked Men

It's not just for cowboys anymore, you know. The Silverado (224-4493) makes for the best place to catch a stampede of baloney ponies.

Best Place to See Naked Women

Although we're sure every one of you witty dudes who wrote in "my bedroom" are really, really telling the truth, the rest of us are sticking with Mary's Club (129 SW Broadway, 227-3023).

Best Place to Make a Scene

Street preachers, city maps and big burritos--who could ask for anything more? Pioneer Courthouse Square (715 SW Morrison St.) makes the cut to make a scene.

SPORTS & OUTDOORS

Best Place to Play Pick-up B-Ball

Laurelhurst Park (Southeast 39th Avenue and Stark Street) is the spot to show you got game.

Best Public Garden

We're not sure if there's a difference between the Washington Park Rose Garden and "The Rose Garden--duh" (611 SW Kingston Drive), but our vote-counters say it wins the wreath.

Best Place for a Local Outward Bound Experience

Where else but Forest Park could inspire as much rugged individualism? (Besides the bus mall at rush hour, of course.)

Best Day Trip

Cannon Beach holds strong as the trip-on-a-tankful you tip your collective hat to.

Best-Smelling Place in Portland

Again, many of you voted for the Rose Garden, but anywhere downwind of Franz Bakery (340 NE 11th Ave., 232-9642) is another suggestion posed by many a nose.

Best Workout Spot

All you insomniacs cheered overwhelmingly for 24-Hour Fitness in Hillsboro (6095 SE Tualatin Valley Highway, 356-1445) as the best gym for working out at 3 am.

Best Day Spa

Dosha (2281 NW Glisan St., 228-8280; 3490 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 231-4993) takes over for the second year straight as the destination for recuperation.

Best Local Sports Team

Sorry, Blazers. The Portland Timbers (www.pgepark.com/timbers) score more goals with fútbol-friendly PDXers.

SHOPPING & AMUSEMENTS

Best Arcade

It's not the '80s style, it's not the '80s video games--it's the '80s style and video games. Ground Kontrol (610 SW 12th Ave., 796-9364) supplies your retro fantasy of the year.

Best Bike Shop

River City Bicycles (706 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 233-5973) is still the place that keeps your wheels turning.

Best Skateboard Shop

From long boards to short ones, the pros at Daddies Board Shop (5824 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-5123) have earned your trust adjusting the trucks.

Best Record Shop

A heated race, but more of you find your discs at Music Millennium (801 NW 23rd Ave., 248-0163; 3144 E Burnside St., 231-8909; 3158 E Burnside St., 231-8926) than at any other record store.

Best Alternative Book Shop

We'd like to think it's the best bookstore on the planet, but Powell's City of Books (1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, and other locations) retains the Portland crown.

Best Place to Rent a Video

You say they've got everything you're looking for at Movie Madness Video and More (4320 SE Belmont St., 234-4363).

Best Wedding Shop

We're not telling you to get married--even though you're not getting any younger, you know--but Sellwood's Très Fabu Bridal (6910 SE Milwaukie Ave., 233-0004) is where to go when you do.

Best Sex Shop

When you get down and dirty, Spartacus Leathers (300 SW 12th Ave., 224-2604) is the dealer that dominates.

Best Flower Shop

For anniversaries, Valentines and those post-break-up make-up sessions, you trust Laurelhurst Florist (4622 NE Glisan St., 232-1596).

Best Place to Buy a Party Frock

You give the green light to Red Light Clothing Exchange (3590 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 963-8888). (One popular write-in answer was the question "What's a frock?")

Best Place to Buy a Snazzy Suit and Tie

Mario's (833 SW Broadway, 227-3477) dresses more of you for success--or perhaps you wish it would.

Best Place to Buy Sexy Shoes

For another year, you say the smoothest foot coverings are down at Imelda's (3426 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-7476).

Best Place to Sell the Shirt Off Your Back

Hands down, you say Buffalo Exchange rules (1036 W Burnside St., 222-3418, and other locations).

Best Gourmet Grocery

That noodle bar, that Guinness-laced chocolate cake, those free samples every weekend--New Seasons Market (1234 SE Tacoma St., 230-4949, and other locations) is the gourmet grocery to fill your belly and empty your wallet.

Best Place to Get a Tattoo

Once again, you inked in Atlas Tattoo (2935 NE Broadway, 281-7499) as the one you want to tattoo you.

Best Place to Get a Piercing

We're sure "your nipple" is a great spot for a piercing, but we meant the best shop. Black Hole Body Piercing (2946 NE Glisan St., 231-0712) punctures you the way you like it.

Best Place to Buy Wine

Say it is so. The place known for its Two-Buck Chuck, Trader Joe's (4218 NE Sandy Blvd., 284-1694, and other locations), wins your wine-shop vote.

POLITICS & MEDIA

Best Official Candidate for Mayor

We'd like to think it was on the merits of our recommendation that you overwhelmingly picked Tom Potter as our next leader.

Best Unofficial Candidate for Mayor

Johnny Mozzarella, where are you? City Hall is yours for the taking.

Best Candidate for City Council

That square jaw and good hair--and, oh yeah, his City Hall experience--all that must be why you claim you'll check the box for Sam Adams this year.

Best Political Scandal

WW's discovery of Neil Goldschmidt's sexual abuse of a minor topped your list as Portland's nastiest wound.

Best Local Political Activist

The respect was hard-won, but Tre Arrow turned out to be the activist who most tugged your heartstrings this year. Art Alexakis came in a close second (kidding!).

Best Politically Active Neighborhood

As if bicycles and coffee weren't enough, you claim Hawthorne-area residents have proven their collective protesting power this year. (What covered reservoirs?)

Best Nonprofit Agency

For its foresight into foreplay and pragmatic approach to pregnancy, Planned Parenthood (288-8826, www.ppcw.org) wins big.

Best Protest Slogan

"Lick Bush." Yeah, that's our favorite, too.

Best Nonviolent Protest Tactic

It's a three-way tie between sit-ins, Critical Mass and, our favorite, voting.

Portland's Shiniest Moment

Of course, the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples by Multnomah County made you proud to be Portlanders. (Most of you voters, anyway.)

Hottest Local TV Broadcaster

You say Kelley Day (KPTV, Channel 12) and Matt Zaffino (meteorologist for KGW, Channel 8) are the most beautiful of anchor-people.

Best Public Access TV Program

The late Jim Spagg's golden words (and his thing for exposing himself on air) made him your favorite local public-access TV choice. (May he rest in peace.)

Hottest Radio Host

Actually, she doesn't have a face for radio: Daria O'Neill (of 105.1 FM, The Buzz) makes a showing as the sexiest voice on PDX's airwaves.

Best Local Radio Team

Shunning style for substance, you chose KBOO 90.7 FM as the morning show that turns your dial. We're proud of you.

Best No-Holds-Barred Local Newspaper Columnist

Do we feel a rasslin' match coming on? Oregonian columnist Steve Duin tied with our very own The Nose as the pundits that pull the fewest punches.

Best Local Author

Not surprisingly, fight-clubber and dangerous writer Chuck Palahniuk retains the title as PDX's most lovable local littérateur.

Best Local Weblog

Capturing the attention of all you blog surfers is Portland Communiqué at www.communique.portland.or.us, written by The One True b!X--a.k.a. Christopher Frankonis.

Best Local Ad Campaign

The best burgers and the best commercials? Burgerville's "Superheroes" campaign caused you to pay more attention than any other commercial.

Your 2004 Mini-iPod Winner

As bait, we offered up a mini-iPod to one lucky PDX voter who took the time to speak out about Stumptown. Congratulations to Linsel Greene of Portland, chosen at random from the hundreds of you who completed the poll. Enjoy it, Linsel--or at least get a good price on eBay.


Inside "Best of Portland 2004"

INTRO | PEOPLE | PDX LIFE | PRESS & POWER | PIRATES | PETS | PLACES | PDX SEX | PORTLANDIA | PALATES | POSTINGS | POSTSCRIPT | READERS POLL

 
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