Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living magazine's "Best Of" reader poll results.

SPOKANE COEUR D'ALENE LIVING MAGAZINE'S 2010 BEST OF WINNERS


Feature Story
by Kevin Finch, Sarah Hauge, Laurie L. Ross (aka SIP), and Blythe Thimsen
(look after the write up for the intials of the author)

Look up the word “best” in a Merriam Webster Dictionary, and you will get the following result:

1best
adj \best\
Definition of BEST
superlative of good

1: excelling all others
2: most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction
3: most, largest

We’d like to suggest a fourth definition:

4: top pick, no one is better . Further definitions of the “Best” are as follows:

BEST FINE DINING, MOST ROMANTIC, BEST HAPPY HOUR FOOD and BEST DESSERT
Clinkerdagger
621 Mallon Avenue, http://www.clinkerdagger.com/
Talk about fine dining domination! 2010 is the fourth year in a row that you voted Clinkerdagger the top spot for an elegant meal out. Gold medals in three other categories (Most Romantic, Happy Hour Food and Best Dessert) gives the restaurant both the coveted fine dining honors and a “Best Of” hat trick to boot. Almost 40 years of memories, slow-roasted rock-salted Prime Rib and fresh fish, an addictive Crème Brulee, Happy Hour deals and dark cozy corners make for a winning combination. (KF)

Best Fine Dining
Silver: Wild Sage
Bronze: Spencer’s Steakhouse and Chops
Idaho: Beverly’s Restaurant

Most Romantic
Silver: The Melting Pot
Bronze: The Davenport Hotel
Idaho: Beverly’s Restaurant

Best Happy Hour Food
Silver: Max at Mirabeau
Bronze: The Swinging Doors
Idaho: Bardenay

Best Dessert
Silver: Madeleine’s Café and Patisserie
Bronze: Churchill’s Steakhouse
Idaho: Dockside in the CDA Resort

BEST SEAFOOD
Anthony’s At The Falls
510 N Lincoln Street, http://www.anthonys.com/
Anthony’s is literally perched at the top of the Falls and is figuratively back on top of the Best Seafood category. This Spokane member of the west side Anthony’s restaurant empire benefits from fresh fish and seafood flown in from Anthony’s own seafood company based in Seattle. (KF)

Silver: Milford’s Fish House
Bronze: C.I. Shenanigan’s Seafood and Chop House
Idaho: Fisherman’s Market and Grill

BEST STEAK
Spencer’s For Steaks and Chops
322 North Spokane Falls Court,
http://www.spencersforsteaksandchops.com/
Spencer’s beat back upstart Churchill’s to retain its gold for impressive hunks of charred flesh. What is not to love about Prime beef seared to perfection in a 1800-degree Vulcan broiler and paired with great wines and those inspired (and broiled) Beefsteak Tomatoes? (KF)

Silver: Churchill’s Steakhouse
Bronze: Wolf Lodge Inn
Idaho: Wolf Lodge Steakhouse

BEST VEGETARIAN
Mizuna
214 N Howard Street, http://www.mizuna.com/
While Mizuna took Spokane by storm in 1996 with an entirely vegetarian menu, it now takes a more flexitarian approach to the whole ‘eat meat or not’ question. Order fresh fish or organic and hormone-free meats, but chef Scott Diamond continues to serve up creative and refined vegetarian and vegan food that changes seasonally. Separate cooking surfaces are used for all meat products, and several Mizuna staples are always vegan. (KF)

Silver: Lindaman’s Gourmet-To-Go
Bronze: Huckleberry’s Natural Market

BEST APPETIZERS, BEST OUTDOOR DINING, BEST COCKTAILS AND MARTINIS
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
Multiple locations, http://www.twigsbistro.com/
Now with a fourth location in the valley, Twigs has been exposed as harboring schemes for world supremacy with its ‘killer’ Calamari A La Romana, Moroccan Beef, Gorgonzola Cream Fries, and Argentinian Fish Tacos. And what plan of expansion would be complete without a Well-Mannered Dirty Martini or the Ultimate Lemon Drop—particularly one served out on the patio? (KF)

Best Appetizers
Silver: Clinkerdagger
Bronze: Churchill’s Steakhouse
Idaho: The White House Grill

Best Cocktails and Martinis
Silver: Bistango Martini Lounge
Bronze: Peacock Room at the Davenport
Idaho: Oval Office Bistro and Martini Bar

Best Outdoor Dining
Silver: Anthony’s at the Falls
Bronze: Clinkerdagger
Idaho: Bonsai Bistro

BEST GREEK FOOD AND BEST WINE LIST
Niko’s
725 West Riverside Avenue,
http://www.nikosspokane.com/
If you are jonesing for Greek food at lunch, you might end up on the short end of a kebab skewer. But for dinner Niko’s has you covered, and Pauline Riley has worked alongside chef and owner Laith Elaimy to make Niko’s as well-known for its wine and wine bar as it is for its food. Riley rotates one premium red and one premium white into their by-the-glass selections as well as offering two ounce pours of three different wines as a “wine tour.” Niko’s also sells all the bottles you can sample over dinner nightly or… okay they do open for lunch on Fridays. (KF)

Best Wine List
Silver: Luna
Idaho: Beverly’s Restaurant

Best Greek Food
Silver: The White House Grill
Bronze: Opa Pizza and Greek and Italian Cuisine

BEST NEW RESTAURANT 2009 – 2010
Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie
404 West Main Avenue,
http://www.santespokanecom.fatcow.com/
You loved Sante so much that you voted them as the best new restaurant for the past year even though they’ve been open since November of 2008. If this is because you just discovered Jeremy Hansen’s take on French food that celebrates organic and local ingredients, we won’t complain. You are welcome to vote for them as the best new restaurant again next year since we love them too. (KF)

Silver: Churchill’s Steakhouse
Bronze: The Luxury Box
Idaho: Bistro On Spruce

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
Dick’s Hamburgers
10 East 3rd Street
Perennial favorite Dick’s serves up its famous Whammy for less than $2, hot salty fries, and thick shakes as well as some of the best fish-n-chips in town. The Inland Northwest Union of Seagulls (INUS) expressed delight that Dick’s took top marks again this year and recommends you take care that you are dipping any fish in your tub of tartar sauce rather than something left by a non-union gull. (KF)

Silver: Kalico Kitchen
Bronze: Dave’s Bar and Grill
Idaho: Pita Pit

BEST BREAKFAST
Old European Breakfast House
Multiple locations,
http://www.oldeuropean-restaurant.com/
Come one, come all for the wonderful, small pancake cannon-balls: Marie Mekkelsen’s Danish aebelskievers or the massive platter of Hungarian Goulash with shredded potatoes, peppers, onions, ham, sausage, bacon and four eggs topped with cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes. Different branches of Menkkelsen family tree run the three different locations on Division, in Post Falls, and down south in Pullman. (KF)

Silver: Dave’s Bar and Grill
Bronze: Frank’s Diner
Idaho: GW Hunters

BEST LATE NIGHT DINING
Max at Mirabeau Restaurant and Lounge
1100 North Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley,
http://www.maxatmirabeau.com/
Max at Mirabeau slipped past all the familiar late night dining names to take the gold this year with its expansive dining room and backlit bar. If you are a player or just looking for one more stop before you contemplate sleep, Max has you covered with Happy Hour prices after 9 p.m. and a truly massive menu. (KF)

Silver: Satellite Diner
Bronze: The Swinging Doors
Idaho: Cricket’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar

BEST PIZZA
Bennidito’s
1426 S Lincoln and 9925 North Indian Trail, http://www.benniditos.com/
Another pizza gold goes to Chris Bennett and his crews on the South Hill and Indian Trail for their gourmet pies like the Primo (fresh and roasted garlic, marinated chicken, whole milk mozzarella, mushrooms, and feta over pesto sauce) and the Maui Wowie (mozzarella and fontina cheeses, prosciutto ham, panchetta bacon and pineapple). Chances are you’ve also tried Bennidito’s Beer Buddies (baked dough drenched in garlic butter and topped with parmesan) and one of their Northwest beers rotated in weekly on Bennidito’s ten taps. (KF)

Silver: David’s Pizza
Bronze: Villaggio Pizza, Wine, and Martinis
Idaho: Garlic Jim’s Gourmet Pizza

BEST DINER
Frank’s Diner
1516 W 2nd Avenue and 10929 N Newport Hwy, http://www.franksdiners.com/
More diner domination this year from Frank’s as the voting masses pile into Frank’s train cars downtown and up north for nostalgically cramped quarters and big platters of eggs, bacon, waffles, and pancakes as well as lunch and dinner plates of pure comfort food. Pass the gravy. (KF)

Silver: Dave’s Bar and Grill
Bronze: Hogan’s Hamburgers
Idaho: Jimmy’s Down The Street

BEST SALAD
Luna
5620 South Perry Street, http://www.lunaspokane.com/
Culinary archeology traces the classic Inland Northwest bistro salad back to the day Luna first opened its doors. The iconic “Luna Salad” remains on the menu to this day and has imitations everywhere. This said, Luna’s new chef Brian Hutchins just recently introduced another addictive option: a smoky Grilled Romaine. Try it and you may be voting for Luna again next year with a dribble of buttermilk dressing on your chin. (KF)

Silver: Moxi
Bronze: Ambrosi
Idaho: Dockside at the Coeur d’Alene Resort

BEST THAI
Thai Bamboo Restaurant
Multiple Locations,
http://www.thaibamboorestaurant.com/
For the second year in a row Thai Bamboo takes top honors on both sides of the border with its four regional restaurants that balance an entertaining atmosphere (including plenty of their namesake bamboo) with healthy renditions of Thai classics at competitive prices. The Coeur d’Alene location also offers a Vegas-style lounge. (KF)

Silver: Thai on 1st
Bronze: A Taste of Thai
Idaho: Thai Bamboo

BEST CHINESE
China Dragon
27 East Queen
China Dragon sits just off Division a good distance north of the thickest concentration of Chinese restaurants. We think its appeal (Gold winner two years in a row now) is in part the slightly shabby chic feel of the dim dining room with its nooks, crannies, and big padded booths. The place looks like the set of a Kung Fu movie and for years has served up the right combination of comfort and exotic with its classic Chinese-American dishes like Almond Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork done Dragon style. (KF)

Silver: Mustard Seed
Bronze: Ming Wah
Idaho: Golden Dragon

BEST BARBECUE
Longhorn BBQ
7611 West Sunset Highway and 2315 North Argonne Road, http://www.longhornbbq.com/
Slop a lot of Longhorn’s signature BBQ sauce over ribs, chicken, German sausage, beef, ham or their ‘zesty’ pork. The combination made you hand Longhorn the Gold this year for barbecue. Then pile on a scoop of potato or macaroni salad, coleslaw or tossed lettuce with dressing, and you will have rustled up a plate of grub Longhorn style. That style is all Texas and their menu announces some serious longevity since they have been, as they put it, “tending the pits since ’56.” (KF)

Silver: Red Lion BBQ and Pub
Bronze: Chicken-N-More
Idaho: Famous Willie’s Barbecue

BEST HAMBURGER
D’Lish Hamburgers
1625 North Division Street
You voted and the D’Lish Double took gold this year with its juicy burgers served with raw or grilled onions. As a testament to fresh, D’Lish doesn’t have a freezer. The fries are quite fine as well and the line at the drive-through suggests plenty of people go out of their way to D’Lish. (KF)

Silver: Zip’s Drive In
Bronze: The Onion
Idaho: Hudson’s Hamburgers

BEST SUSHI
Raw Sushi and Island Grill
723 West 1st Avenue, http://www.spokanesushi.com/
Noel Macapagal and his crew have taken the island spirit and put a little of it in the heart of downtown Spokane. Their formula for success? Fresh sushi + rock’n night life = ‘Best Of’ Gold. Raw is also offers some “training wheel” rolls that are fully cooked if all your friends are doing it but raw fish makes you nervous. (KF)

Silver: Sushi.Com
Bronze: Sushi Yama
Idaho: Takara Restaurant

BEST JAPANESE
Shogun
821 East 3rd Avenue, http://www.shogunspokane.com/
Shogun chalks up another Gold this year for best Japanese with its dinners choreographed as theatre. If you have assumed that all Japanese food is raw, think again. Behind sushi’s tidal wave of popularity is a broad and refined culinary tradition with flavors anyone can appreciate. Much of Shogun’s menu of steak, chicken, and seafood is cooked right at your table, but you can also slip into the back room for your fix of sushi if you want. Tucked back there is one of the largest sushi bars in the state. (KF)

Silver: Suki Yaki Inn
Bronze: Sushiyama
Idaho: Takara

BEST MEXICAN
Azteca Mexican Restaurant
Multiple locations, http://www.aztecamex.com/
Azteca retains its crown as your favorite spot for Mexican food, and don’t think this is luck. Since opening their first Azteca in Seattle in 1974, the Ramos family has built a real south-of-the-border juggernaut on fresh tortillas, their special Chile Relenos, and Grandma Carmerina’s Arroz Con Pollo. Check out their website with its novella style history of the four founding brothers. (KF)

Silver: Fiesta Mexicana
Bronze: El Mercado del Pueblo
Idaho: Mexican Food Factory

BEST INDIAN
Taste of India
3110 North Division
Since Hardish and Ajit Khinda took over Taste of India’s kitchen in 2001, the flavors of Punjab in northern India rule this unassuming spot on the Division hill. Their 800-degree Tandoor (a traditional clay oven) turns out hot Garlic Naan and Tandoori Chicken. Try their Chicken Tikka Masala, the wealth of vegetarian entrées, and the simple chickpea flour batter crackers called Papadum. (KF)

Silver: Top of India
Bronze: Marrakesh*
*Since the owners at Marrakesh have just relocated from Northwest Boulevard to Division, they will probably welcome any publicity, but technically the food they serve is Moroccan rather than Indian.

BEST ITALIAN
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant
245 West Main, http://www.luigis-spokane.com/
Actual Italians are currently fussed about an iPhone app that says one of the most memorable things about Italy is organized crime. Your votes suggest that at least here, you associate the best of Italy with Luigi’s Roasted Garlic, Baked Meatballs, and Smoked Salmon Lasagne. The food is traditional, the portions large, and a martini a must. (KF)

Silver: Italian Kitchen
Bronze: Tomato Street Italian Restaurant
Idaho: Angelo’s Ristorante

BEST PHO
Pho Van
1212 North Hamilton Street and 2909 North Division Street
The one Vietnamese dish that has capture the imagination of Americans more than any other is Pho (properly pronounced ‘fuuh’). We are not complaining. Nothing kicks a cold right in the teeth better than a massive bowl of Pho Ga (the Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup) and the standard beef broth options served at an amazing price are spectacular as well. While the basic ingredients are fairly standard, the quality varies widely and you feel top honors this year go to Pho Van. (KF)

Silver: Vina Asian Restaurant
Bronze: Pho 999 Vietnamese Restaurant
Idaho: Pho Thanh

BEST SALAD BAR
Cedars Floating Restaurant
1514 South Marina Drive in Coeur d’Alene,
http://www.cedarsfloatingrestaurant.com/
Cedars blew our voting system (which we confess does give nearly all the write-ups to Washington restaurants) out of the water (so to speak) to score Gold for leafy greens and the massive number of things you can put on top of said greens. The restaurant does actually float on top of 600,000 pounds of concrete encased Styrofoam and will be happy to serve you Cedar Plank Salmon or Midwest Stockyards Beef with your salad. (KF)

Silver: Dockside at the Coeur d’Alene Resort (also an Idaho contenter)
Bronze: Rocky Rococo (the only salad bar in Spokane worth a medal?)

BEST COFFEE SHOP
BEST BAKERY
Rocket Bakery
Multiple locations, http://www.rocketspokane.com/
Our coffee culture keeps cranking up the ante for a bean’s pedigree, but we think that the reason you order your quad-shot mochas has more to do with sleep deprivation than the righteousness you feel purchasing shade-grown, organic, free trade, single origin grinds that have been roasted to perfection. Your votes say that the multiple Rocket locations remain your go-to spots for caffeine. It certainly doesn’t hurt that you love them too for their classic baked goods like triple berry scones, moist pumpkin bread, garlic bagels, and pink sugar cookies. (KF)

Best Coffee Shop
Silver: Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasting Company
Bronze: Tully’s Coffee
Idaho: Java Coffeehouse and Cafe

Best Bakery
Silver: Madeleine’s Café and Patisserie
Bronze: Great Harvest Bread Company
Idaho: Bakery by the Lake at Parkside

BEST BEER LIST
The Viking Tavern
1221 N Stevens Street
Newfangled brewpubs might be opening left and right, but you gave this year’s Beer Gold to the Viking once again. The young taverns just can’t compete yet with the Viking’s 30 years and 50 beers that rotate through the Viking’s 32 taps. Thor’s Thunder is always available as well as over 100 bottled varieties. Then there are the 26 sandwiches, 11 burgers and free popcorn to soak up the suds between rounds. (KF)

Silver: The Swinging Doors
Bronze: The Elk Public House
Idaho: Moontime

BEST BAR FOR DANCING
BEST BAR TO MEET SINGLES
BEST BAR FOR UNDER AGE 35
Marquee Lounge
522 W Riverside http://www.marqueelounge.coman/
This exclusive style nightclub nestled in the heart of downtown Spokane incorporates multiple VIP sections throughout the not-so-Spokane liquid lounge perfect for drinking, dancing and hooking-up. The Marquee offers bottle service and private liquor locker memberships, so you may want to break out that Member’s Only jacket because at the Marquee membership really does have its privileges. (LLR)

Best Bar for Dancing
Silver: ZOLA
Bronze: Gibliano Brother’s Dueling Piano Bar
Idaho: The Grail Venue

Best Bar to Meet Singles
Silver: Press
Bronze: Jimmy’z
Idaho: Iron Horse Bar & Grill

Best Bar for Under Age 35
Silver: The Park Inn
Bronze: Zola

BEST BAR FOR RELAXING
BEST BAR FOR OVER AGE 35
Max at Mirabeau
1100 N Sullivan Rd http://www.maxatmirabeau.coma/ metropolitan oasis awaits you at the Mirabeau Hotel & Convention Center’s restaurant and lounge known as Max. Swanky isn’t a word that often to used to describe the Spokane Valley, but Max has that sophisticated downtown vibe. Expect really great food, creae cocktails and a highly exclaimed wine list. The lights are dimmed, the ambiance is casually elegant and the easy and free parking makes this a lounge to linger at. (LLR)

Best Bar for Relaxing
Silver: Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
Bronze: Peacock Room Lounge
Idaho: Whispers, A Quiet Bar

Best Bar for Over Age 35
Silver: Press
Bronze: Peacock Room Lounge
Idaho: Wine Cellar

BEST PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN
Silverwood Theme Park
27843 North Highway 95, Athol, ID,
http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/
Kids’ rides? Wave pool? A roller coaster that drops 100+ feet into an inky black tunnel? Check, check, and check. Silverwood has more than 65 rides, shows and attractions, with everything from Toddler’s Springs for the little guys to the Aftershock for brave souls who don’t mind hurtling backward at 65 mph. (SH)

Silver: Riverfront Park
Bronze: Triple Play Family Fun Park & Raptor Reef Indoor Water Park

BEST PLACE FOR KIDS UNDER 12
Chuck E. Cheese’s
Multiple locations, http://www.chuckecheese.com/
Inland Northwest families love their Chuck E. Cheese’s! The friendly mouse has been hosting special nights out, birthday parties and kid-friendly fun since the first location opened in 1977. With attractions ranging from Skytubes to musical entertainment to video games, there’s something fun for all kids, from the diaper crowd through the braces set. (SH)

Silver: YMCA
Bronze: Wonderland Family Fun Center
Idaho: Silverwood Theme Park

BEST PLACE FOR TEENS
YMCA
Multiple locations, http://www.ymcaspokane.org/
The YMCA’s multiple locations are all hits with Spokane teens. Options include rock climbing walls, family activity centers with billiards, ping-pong and board games, open gym sessions and a plethora of other ways to break a sweat. Each location offers a Teen Center, and the central and north locations have music recording studios. (SH)

Silver: Silverwood Theme Park
Bronze: The Kroc Center

BEST LAKE RESORT
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
115 S. 2nd Street, Coeur d’Alene, ID, http://www.cdaresort.com/
Music on the deck, fine dining on the seventh floor, and spa-tastic experiences on two floors, all add up to a little slice of heaven on the lake. When The Coeur d’Alene Resort opened 24 years ago, it was a boost to the city of Coeur d’Alene, but what we really enjoy is the boost it gives to our spirits when we spend a weekend getaway in this elegant resort. (BT)

Silver: Hill’s Resort
Bronze: Elkin’s Resort

BEST HEALTH CLUB
OZ Fitness – North Spokane
603 East Holland Avenue, http://www.ozfitness.com/
It is only fitting that Oz Fitness once again muscled its way into the winner’s spot for Best Fitness Club, though this year, the north side gym has shown it has the strength to carry the title on its own. Whether pumping iron or flexing your “I look hot in a leotard and I hope you notice me standing by this stairmaster” muscles, this is the place to work up a sweat and get the results you want. (BT)

Silver: YMCA
Bronze: Gold’s Gym
Idaho: Kroc Center

BEST HOTEL & BEST PLACE FOR A 25th ANNIVERSARY
The Davenport Hotel and Tower
10 S Post St. (Hotel) and 111 S Post St. (Tower), http://www.thedavenporthotel.com/
Everything about the Davenport is first class – right down to the music that plays on their website. The historic hotel’s ornate décor has made it popular with everyone from locals to visiting celebrities. Stop by to ogle the vast lobby, ballrooms and balcony, grab a bite at one of several eateries, or cross the street to the safari-style Davenport Tower. (SH)

Best Hotel
Silver: Northern Quest Resort and Casino
Bronze: The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Best Place for a 25th Anniversary
Silver: The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Bronze: The Glover Mansion

BEST GOLF COURSE
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
115 S. 2nd St., Coeur d’Alene
http://www.cdaresort.com/
Golf digest may have said it best declaring “The Coeur d’Alene is what every resort should be. It’s not just upscale, it’s posh. You aren’t just pampered here, you’re spoiled. It’s not just an escape, it’s an experience…” It may not be in every golfer’s budget to swing the clubs at this gem of a golf course on a regular basis, but the splurge of this highly acclaimed course and world’s only floating green is an experience worth teeing off “fore”! (LLR)

Silver: Circling Raven Golf Club
Bronze: Indian Canyon Golf Resort

BEST BOWLING ALLEY
Lilac Lanes & Casino
1112 East Magnesium Road,
http://www.lilaclanes.net/
If you can spare some time, and are in the right frame of mind, meet your friends in a dark alley. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about an activity we think will strike you as fabulous: bowling! Where better to bowl than at Lilac Lanes & Casino where, along with 32 lanes, they offer the 11th Frame Lounge, full service dining, and you might even strike it rich in the casino! (BT)

Silver: Players & Spectators
Bronze: Hugo’s on the Hill
Idaho: Sunset Bowling Center

BEST CASINO
BEST CARD ROOM
Northern Quest Resort and Casino
100 N Hayford Rd, Airway Heights, WA,
http://www.northernquest.com/
Our readers already loved them, but Northern Quest went and upped the ante by dealing a whole new hand of cards with their recently opened 250-room hotel and 14,000 square-foot spa. We’re betting you’ll be torn when it comes deciding between dining in the hotel, pampering in the spa or hitting the casino. Either way, you’ll walk away a winner! (BT)

Best Casino
Silver: Ringos Little Vegas Casino
Bronze: Hugo’s on the Hill
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort and Hotel

Best Card Room
Silver: Hooters Restaurant & Owl Club CasinoBronze: Hugo’s on the Hill

BEST ANNUAL SPOKANE EVENT
Spokane Hoopfest
Downtown Spokane
http://www.spokanehoopfest.net/
Hoopfest is the biggest 3-on-3 street basketball tournament on the planet, taking place right here in the closed down streets of Downtown Spokane. Hoopfest consists of over 6,700 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 200,000 players and fans, 428 courts spanning 40 downtown city blocks, and that’s just on day one. We applaud the creativity of some the team names, like Hoopatitus B, Probably Dehydrated, and Fatter than Last Year. (LLR)

Silver: Bloomsday
Bronze: Pig out in the Park

BEST GETAWAY WITHIN 100 MILES
Sandpoint
Sandpoint, 75 miles from Spokane, makes an ideal getaway for those times when a staycation just won’t cut it. Ski, snowboard or ice fish in winter; hike, camp or shop at the farmers’ market in the warmer months. Whatever the season, there are plenty of cozy lodgings available in this charming lake- and mountain-bound spot. (SH)

Silver: Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Bronze: Priest River
Idaho: Quinn’s Hot Springs

BEST THEATRE COMPANY
Spokane Civic Theatre
1020 N. Howard Street,
http://www.spokanecivictheatre.com/
“Awesome! Are you in community theatre?” The elite thespians in our community may be able to answer yes to that, but for the rest of us mere mortals, watching community theatre is almost as much fun as being the star. When the curtain goes up and the lights go down, something magical happens at Spokane Civic Theatre, one of the country’s oldest community theatres, which has been around for 63 years. Now that’s quite the performance. (BT)

Silver: Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre
Bronze: Spokane Interplayer’s Theatre

BEST DANCE COMPANY
Ballet Arts Academy
109 W. Pacific Ave.,
http://www.balletartsacademy.net/
Tutus, pirouettes, toe shoes, leotards…whether you’ve got the grace and poise of a dancer or a more elephant-like stomp, the efforts of Ballet Arts Academy’s staff and dancers are ovation-worthy. The academy offers classes ranging from creative movement to advanced ballet; there are courses available to both children and adults. All classes are taught by experienced faculty. (SH)

Silver: Ballet Spokane Bronze: Spokane Dance Company

BEST LOCAL SPORTS TEAM
Gonzaga Basketball
McCarthey Athletic Center, http://www.gozags.com/
Around here, everywhere you look, sporting Gonzaga University apparel is so popular it’s considered a Spokane fashion statement. Men’s basketball may just be the hottest ticket in town, if you can get your hands on some. The women’s basketball team, coming off a historic 2010 season, has proven they are a hardwood force not to be overlooked. The best part of attending a GU game is watching the energy and enthusiasm in the ever-so-loud student section. Go ZAGS! (LLR)

Silver: Spokane Shock
Bronze: Spokane Chiefs

BEST LOCAL CHARITY
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
1004 E. 8th Ave., http://www.vanessabehan.org/
Vanessa Behan is a repeat winner for the support and love the nursery offers to families in crisis. Since 1987, the nursery has been a safe spot for more than 60,000 children, who are cared for by house parents trained in early childhood development, as well as volunteers. Available services include the 24-hour crisis nursery, parenting classes and crisis counseling. (SH)

Silver: Candlelighters of the Inland NW
Bronze: Union Gospel Mission
Idaho: The Salvation Army

BEST CHARITY GALA
Coaches vs. Cancer
http://www.gucoachesvscancer.com/
Basketball coaches nationwide participate in a variety of local and national events to raise funds and awareness for Coaches vs. Cancer. The Basket Ball that takes place in the decadent Davenport Hotel is a black-tie gala hosted by Mark and Marcy Few and offers an exciting evening of dancing, dinner, celebrity appearances, and a unique silent auction. Sneakers meet Suits. Almost 4 million has been raised since 2002. (LLR)

Silver: Epicurean Delight
Bronze: Spokane Symphony
Idaho: Winter Wine Taste & Auction

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE
Riverfront Park
507 N. Howard St.,
http://www.spokaneriverfrontpark.com/
Date options abound in Riverfront Park. Act like kids again with a spin on the Looff carousel, or hold puffy mittens while skating at the Ice Palace. Athletic duos can go for a walk, run or bike ride through the park; romance-lovers can picnic on the sprawling green spaces or take a gondola ride over the Spokane Falls. (SH)

Silver: The Melting Pot
Bronze: Manito Park
Idaho: The Coeur d’Alene Resort


BEST PLACE FOR A WEDDING RECEPTION
The Davenport Hotel
10 South Post, http://www.davenporthotel.com/
This palace for brides with its fairy-tale style ballrooms is a magical place to celebrate your happily ever after. This historically romantic location can change any Bridezilla into Cinderella. Spectacular attention to detail and perfect planning are The Davenport’s pleasure to make sure your big day is an “I Do” and not an “I Don’t.” (LLR)

Silver: The Glover Mansion
Bronze: Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
Idaho: Greenbrier Inn

BEST WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT
Keen Music
http://www.jeffkeen.com/
Country, hip-hop, top 40, funk, R&B – whatever your taste, Keen Music will pump the tunes that get your toes tapping. A DJ can make or break an event, but readers know they can count on this popular local company to get guests out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. (SH)

Silver: Music Maker DJ
Bronze: 6 Foot Swing
Idaho: Positive Vibes Entertainment

BEST THING TO HAPPEN LAST YEAR
US Figure Skating Championships
In Spokane, dubbed Skate City, we think it’s great to skate. So much so we broke the previous attendance record for the event which was held by… oh that would be us. Our vocabulary has expanded to at times to include Twizzle, Lutz, and Salchow without bursting out into uncontrollable laughter. From the oohs and the ahhs from the skating spectators to our media being all about the ice and the honor we displayed to visitors we earned our reputations as great city to host a major sporting event. (LLR)

Silver: North-South Freeway
Bronze: Crime Check voted into action

WORST THING TO HAPPEN HERE LAST YEAR
Economy
Chin up Spokane! Our economy is starting to show signs of recovery. Really. The unemployment rate is improving and seems like a new restaurant is opening every week. Okay that isn’t much consolation for those still in search of a job, or for businesses with slouching sales, but we believe the rumors are true and that the economy is saying in its best Arnold Schwarzenegger “I’ll be back.” (LLR)

Silver: No snow
Bronze: Pot holes

BEST NEWS ANCHOR - MALE
Randy Shaw – KREM
http://www.krem.com/
Take two parts Walter Kronkite and one part Tim McGraw, shake it up, spin it around and put it behind the news desk, and you’ve got Spokane’s favorite news guy, Randy Shaw. An award-winning journalist with a passion for telling Spokane’s stories, he is also popular for his years behind a guitar and microphone, belting out the tunes we love. (BT)

Silver: Mark Peterson - KXLY
Bronze: Mike Gonzales - KXLY

BEST NEWS ANCHOR - FEMALE
Stephanie Vigil - KHQ
http://www.khq.com/
It looks like 13 is a lucky number for Stephanie Vigil, who is in her 13th year at KHQ, the NBC affiliate here in Spokane, and who continues to rank high in the hearts of local viewers. True, some have said she bears a resemblance to a certain attractive conservative tea-drinking politically vocal gal from Alaska (hot chicks unite!), but we think she’s much cooler – because she’s ours! (BT)

Silver: Nadine Woodward - KXLY
Bronze: Robin Nance - KXLY

BEST WEATHER PERSON
Tom Sherry
http://www.krem.com/
Come rain or come shine, readers count on KREM’s Tom Sherry for their weather news. When he’s not fulfilling his duties as chief meteorologist, Sherry finds other ways to benefit Spokane, the place this California native now calls home. One recurring project is Tom’s Turkey Drive; he also sells barbecue seasoning to benefit the Northwest Autism Center. (SH)

Silver: Kris Crocker
Bronze: George Maupin

BEST SPORTSCASTER
Dennis Patchin
http://www.kxly.com/
Not only is this guy a good sport, he is one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the Pacific Northwest. We like that Patchin has declined playing the popular game of Media Musical Chairs by being true to his KXLY4 team since 1984. Throughout his career he has covered our high school, college and professional athletes, as well as, 25 Bloomsdays and every Hoopfest. Give this guy the MVP already. (LLR)

Silver: Matt Rogers
Bronze: Bud Namek

BEST RADIO PERSONALITY
Dave Sposito, Ken Hopkins and Molly Allen
http://www.kzzu.com/
Good Morning Spokane! Waking up to ZZU morning team is a great way to start your day. Sure getting the traffic and weather is convenient, but you also get to listen to the banter of these familiar radio personalities, Dave, Ken and Molly, who won’t stop talking on the morning commute. I’m not complaining, I mean how many other people in your carpool give away CDs, concert tickets and other cool prizes on the way to work. (LLR)

Silver: The Jay & Kevin Show
Bronze: Bud Namek
Idaho: Rick & Teresa Lukens

BEST  WRITER - NON FICTION
Tony Bamonte
This former sheriff is credited with solving America’s oldest open murder case. He became especially interested in the unsolved murder of Marshal George Conniff, and his thesis eventually became a book, Sheriffs 1911-1989. Bomante is also the author of local history books about Manito Park, The Davenport Hotel, Miss Spokane. We’re thinking Bamonte is a sleuth shoe-in for town historian. (LLR)

Silver: Doug Clark
Bronze: Jess Walter

BEST LOCAL WRITER – FICTION
Jess Walter
http://www.jesswalter.com/
This local knows the good, the bad, and the quirky of Spokane, the city in which his work (most recently The Financial Lives of the Poets) is often set. Jess Walter’s whip-smart, hilarious novels have earned him many awards – it’s no wonder this writer is readers’ favorite. (SH)

Silver: Sherry Jones
Bronze: Susan Nipp

BEST LOCAL ARTIST
Kay O’Rourke
O’Rourke, an accomplished painter and sculptor often includes her passion of nature in her works. She hosts an annual garden party which includes garden art works by a dozen artists, and plants and vegetable start-ups from local gardeners and information on recycling. This has become a delightful tradition for those who share her passions. O’Rourke recently created the beautiful original label art for two wines by Townshend Cellars that benefit The Spokane Symphony. (LLR)

Silver Dianah Carlson
Bronze: Harold Balazs

BEST ELECTED OFFICIAL
Mary Verner
www.spokanecity.org/government/mayor, http://www.maryverner.com/
“The People’s Mayor” has served this office since 2007 and was recently named one of the nation’s top 16 mayors by the American Lung Association. Got a question for the mayor? The accessible Verner encourages Facebook friends to pose their pressing queries online and has been diligently posting thorough responses. (SH)

Silver: Ozzie Knezovich
Bronze: Kevin Parker

BEST LOCAL HERO
John Stockton
For decades, Spokanites have been cheering for John Stockton, the native son who played for Gonzaga before a 19-year run as point guard with the Utah Jazz. He set records for steals and assists, won Olympic gold in 1992 and 1996, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 – all evidence of a local legend’s extraordinary career. (SH)

Silver: Mark Rypien
Bronze: Ozzie Knezovich

BEST JEWELRY STORE
Jewelry Design Center
821 N. Division Street,
http://www.jewelrydesigncenter.com/

When trouble brews in Gotham City, the Bat Signal shoots into the air, beckoning Batman to come to the rescue. Likewise, when a jewelry crisis hits in Spokane – you know, you need the perfect engagement ring, or you want to design a necklace to showcase your grandmother’s ruby – there is a superhero jeweler to help. Located outside Jewlery Design Center is their huge rotating diamond, something we like to call the “jewelry signal.” It beckons customers from across the region calling them to this mecca of jewelry design heaven. Whether it’s rings, necklaces, broaches or more, this is your jewelry store. (BT)

Silver: Tracy’s Jewelers
Bronze: Pounder’s Jewelery
Idaho: Clark’s Diamond Jewelers

BEST CLOTHING BOUTIQUE
Finders Keepers
309 W 2nd Ave. (Finders Keepers), 18 W Main (Finders Keepers II)
http://www.finderkeeperspokane.com/
Finders Keepers has got what readers are looking for – friendly, helpful staff, styles that span the decades and jewelry galore. For endless jewelry and accessories options, stop by Finders Keepers on 2nd Avenue. For designer dresses and accessories, check out the racks of options at Finders Keepers II on Main. (SH)

Silver: Swank
Bronze: Cue
Idaho: Velvet Hanger

BEST FURNITURE - TRADITIONAL
Walkers
Various locations, http://www.walkersfurniture.com/
Shopping for traditional furniture at Walkers has been a local tradition since 1980. This furniture store has all the items needed for a successful shopping spree for your home. Whether you’re looking for an extreme home makeover or the place just needs a little sprucing up, walk yourself to Walker’s in Spokane, the Spokane Valley, or Coeur d’Alene and treat your home to some new furnishings. (LLR)

Silver: Ennis Fine Furniture
Bronze: The Tin Roof
Idaho: Runge

BEST FURNITURE – MODERN
Concept :: Home
401 W. 1st Ave.,
http://www.concepthomefurniture.com/
Casual contemporary is the name of the game at Concept :: Home, where they’ve got everything from graphic rugs to comfy and clean-lined couches to show-stopping pieces of wall art. And, for anyone who wants an expert eye to assist with those critical décor choices, Concept :: Home provides in-home design consultations and accessories house calls. (SH)

Silver: Dania Furniture
Bronze: Ennis Furniture Warehouse

BEST FURNITURE – LIVING ROOM
Tin Roof
1727 E Sprague Avenue http://www.thetinroof.us/
This oasis along East Sprague Avenue provides affordable style for your home with a hip staff who knows how to outfit a room. With fabulous merchandise arriving weekly you need to shop there often to keep up with the ever-changing selection. The on-staff designers can help you with major furnishing do-overs, but the Tin Roof is also a good place to pick up a little something for a room pick-me-up to add instant pizzazz to your décor. (LLR)

Silver: La-Z-Boy Furniture
Bronze: Walker’s Furniture
Idaho: Koerner Furniture

BEST FURNITURE – TABLES & CABINETS
Walker’s Furniture
Multiple locations, http://www.walkersfurniture.com/
Since 1980, Walker’s Furniture has offered exceptional products and service to Inland Northwest customers. Once upon a time, Walker’s focused on solid oak pieces. Today, they’re a full line furniture dealer, with a wide variety of wood finishes. They’re open for business in eight Eastern Washington cities. (SH)

Silver: Tin Roof
Bronze: Mor Furniture For Less
Idaho: Mountain Comfort Furnishings Design

BEST ART GALLERY
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
2316 W 1st Ave., http://www.northwestmuseum.org/
Head to Browne’s Addition to visit readers’ favorite art gallery. The MAC focuses on three disciplines: regional history, fine art, and American Indian and other cultures. The exhibit “100 Curious Things” runs through May 2011, and uses RFID technology to create a game-based format that enhances visitors’ experiences with the MAC collection. (SH)

Silver: The Great Frame Up
Bronze: Lillian Conn Antiques Interiors & Gallery
Idaho: The Art Spirit Gallery of Fine Art

BEST FLORIST
Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse
1401 E Newark Avenue,
http://www.libertyparkflorist.com/
To say Liberty Park Florist and Greenhouse is a perennial favorite would be an understatement. This local florist and greenhouse first planted the idea of providing quality flowers and plantings to the Spokane community over 70 years ago, and it has blossomed into one of the most popular and trusted florists in the area. Pop in for a visit and we think it will grow on you, too! (BT)

Silver: Appleway Florist & Greenhouse
Bronze: Stanek’s Floral Gift & Nursery
Idaho: Hansen’s Florist & Gifts

BEST GIFTS – TRADITIONAL
Halpin’s Treasure Room
11406 E. Sprague Avenue, http://www.halpins.biz/
Newsflash! The elves have abandoned Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. You can’t blame them, though; they’ve discovered that it doesn’t require reindeer and a flying sleigh to reach the ultimate gift shop. Just hop in your car and drive to Halpin’s Treasure Room in Spokane Valley. With gifts of all kinds – sentimental, whimsical, practical and delightful – you’re sure to find exactly what you need – and maybe even something you don’ need, but will want! (BT)

Silver: Mel’s Nursery
Bronze: Lillian Conn Antiques
Idaho: The Country Porch

BEST GIFTS- FUN
Boo Radley’s
232 N. Howard St
Boo Radley is not just a fictional character, but the namesake of an iconic shop that oozes with smiles, fun, laughter and sometimes an evil snicker. This original novelty shop has random yet remarkable merchandise that is sometimes nostalgic, often quirky, and maybe at times a little naughty. Where else can you find a bobble-headed nun, a Spokalahoma t-shirt, a superhero tin lunch box and Gumby and Pokey all in the same place? (LLR)

Silver: Mel’s Nursery
Bronze: Halpin’s Treasure Room
Idaho: Lucky Monkey Trading Co.

BEST GARDEN SHOP
Mel’s Nursery
8800 North Division, http://www.shopmels.com/
It started as a fruit stand that sold seasonal shrubs in 1970, but has blossomed into so much more. Expect great home furnishings and décor, a full-service florist, great gifts and destination nursery that provide an inspirational field trip for gardeners of all levels. No need to be intimidated if you are a newbie to flora and fauna. Mel’s expert staff is readily available to help turn your thumb green. (LLR)

Silver: Stanek’s Floral Gift & Nursery
Bronze: Plantland
Idaho: Aspen Nursery

BEST WINERY
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
4705 N. Fruit Hill Road, http://www.arborcrest.com/
Summer Sundays for live music in the events tent in the vineyard is a Spokane tradition. And then there’s the vino. Arbor Crest, famous for their whites, have lately been turning out a plethora of award winning reds including a divine blend called Dionysus, a seductive Syrah and a magnificent Malbec. The Tuscan Style Cliff House which tragically suffered a fire is lovingly being restored to its former glory. Thankfully, no wine was damaged in the fire. (LLR)

Silver: Latah Creek Wine Cellars
Bronze: Townshend Cellar
Idaho: Pend d’Oreille Winery

BEST CREDIT UNION
Spokane Teachers Credit Union
Multiple locations, http://www.stcu.org/
Okay, let’s give credit where credit is due: Spokane Teacher’s Credit Union has been schooling us all in the ways of fiscal responsibility since 1934, when there were just 120 members and $4,000 in assets. Today, with 91,000 members and $1.4 billion in assets, STCU has compounded our interest in them and earned their Best Of title. (BT)

Silver: Numerica Credit Union
Bronze: Global Credit Union
Idaho: Horizon Credit Union

BEST BANK
Washington Trust Bank
Multiple locations, http://www.watrust.com/
This bank is the one readers trust – pun shamelessly intended. Since 1902, Washington Trust Bank has provided stellar service to Spokanites. Today they’ve got more than 40 locations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Utah, with a full line of services ranging from personal banking to wealth management. (SH)

Silver: Sterling Savings Bank
Bronze: Chase
Idaho: Mountain West Bank

BEST GROCERY STORE
Rosauers Supermarkets
Multiple locations, http://www.rosauers.org/
Eggs, flour, milk and bread. Pepper, light bulbs, tomatoes. The lists may vary but what doesn’t is where people want to shop for their groceries. Rosauers has won over the hearts of local shoppers with their commitment to quality, service and selection. From grocery list to Best Of list, Rosauers is sure to be on our list! (BT)

Silver: Winco Foods
Bronze: Yoke’s Fresh Market

BEST TOYS & GAMES
Uncle’s Games Puzzles & More
Multiple locations, http://www.unclesgames.com/
Even window-shopping is fun at Uncle’s! Our readers peruse their shelves of board games, puzzles and brainteasers when it’s time to update the game closet. The friendly staff is always willing to help, whether you’re looking for juggling supplies or the latest incarnation of Clue (Harry Potter edition, anyone?). (SH)

Silver: White Elephant
Bronze: Boo Radley’s
Idaho: Figpickels Toy Emporium

BEST FRAMING SHOP
The Great Frame Up
Various locations,
http://www.spokane.thegreatframeup.com/
This is a place that captures and holds hostage life’s greatest moments so you can be reminded of them by turning them into home décor. You name it, they frame it. The Great Frame Up can display in shadow box sports jerseys, awards and that Donny Osmond poster that hung in your teenage room. That prom picture from the 80s with the hair-don’t should really just stay in an album, though! (LLR)

Silver: 29th Avenue Art Works
Bronze: Lee Frame Shoppe
Idaho: Rockeby’s Custom Framing


BEST WINDOWS
McVay Brothers
11420 E Montgomery
http://www.mcvaybrothers.com/
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, windows provide a view into the heart of a home. Since 1933 Mcvay Brothers has been enhancing the look of home throughout the Inland Northwest. We all know how accessories can make an outfit. Well, consider McVay Brothers a fashion accessory store for your home. Windows, siding, garage door, roofing and gutters can give your home that curb appeal your neighbors will covet. (LLR)

Silver: Cascade Windows
Bronze: Pella
Idaho: Window World

BEST KITCHEN DESIGN
Kitchen/Interior Showcase
8121 East Sprague Ave.,
http://www.kitchen-interior.com/
The kitchen, they say, is the heart of the home. If your home’s heart has seen better days (peeling linoleum, ‘70s-style lighting, spastic appliances), Kitchen/Interior Showcase has everything from soup to nuts when it comes to kitchen goods. Plus, their web site has step-by-step guides to help you plan a remodel. (SH)

Silver: Gina’s Design Corner
Bronze: KellCraft
Idaho: Lowe’s Home Improvement

BEST COUNTER TOPS
R W Gallion Floors
12701 E Sprague, http://www.rwgallion.com/
Readers in the market for granite know they can count on this locally owned and operated shop, where Randy Gallion personally oversees each granite job. Visit their website or stop by the store to check out the wide array of granite colors that span the spectrum from “Yellow Embroidery” to “Blue Barracuda.” (SH)

Silver: Mario & Son Inc.
Bronze: Tresko Monument Inc. and Washington Stone
Idaho: Surfaces In Stone

BEST CABINETS
Huntwood Custom Cabinet
23800 E Appleway Ave Liberty Lake,
http://www.huntwood.com/
We recall the nursery rhyme of Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard. Well she most likely had Huntwood Cabinets and just liked admiring them. From a small community cabinet-maker to the largest custom cabinet maker in the West – and ranked in the top 20 largest cabinetmakers in the United States, Huntwood undoubtedly has the perfect cabinet for you and Mrs. Hubbard. (LLR)

Silver: Berry Built Design Inc.
Bronze: Affordable Custom Cabinets
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Custom Cabinetry LLC

BEST LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Land Expressions
5615 E Day Mount Spokane Rd., Mead,
http://www.landexpressions.com/
Whether your tastes run toward Asian inspired, log cabin chic, or contemporary cool, Land Expressions will transform your outdoor spaces from shabby to stunning. The award-winning company, headquartered in Mead, has completed projects all over the western United States and tackles both residential and commercial properties. (SH)

Silver: Dee’s Landscaping & Lawn Service
Bronze: Hahn Landscaping Inc.
Idaho: Landmark Landscape Architects

BEST ARCHITECTS (HOME)
Copeland Architects & Construction Inc.
528 E Spokane Falls Blvd & Construction Inc http://www.copelandarchitects.com/
As children, today’s best architects most likely built masterpieces with Legos, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets. Copeland Architecture and Construction Inc. is a regional architecture and construction firm specializing in design/build residential projects and commercial design services for multi-family residential, office, retail, and resort projects. And though their toys are more powerful and their projects much larger, we think have a feeling they get the same since of accomplishment as they did creating the Taj Mahal out of alphabet blocks. (LLR)

Silver: Glen Coninger & Associates
Bronze: Jon Sayer
Idaho: Momentum Architecture

BEST HOME CONTRACTOR
Brent King Homes, Inc.
509-939-4878
Some people thrive on never-ending hardware store trips and weekends full of painting, spackling and sanding. If your relationship to DIY looks more like you parked on the couch watching HGTV, your remodel probably calls for a general contractor. Brent King will take charge of your project, freeing you up continue your role as remote-wielding “researcher.” (SH)

Silver: Diamond Rock Construction
Bronze: Eagle Mountain
Idaho: Bertram Construction

BEST PAINT STORE
Wahl Paint Center
512 W. Indiana Avenue,
http://www.wahlpaintcenter.com/
Readers have painted a pretty clear picture of their affection for local paint store Wahl Paint Center. We are primed to love this locally-owned store where every project is important to them, and they have brushed away the competition and colored our hearts for them! (BT)

Silver: Columbia Paint & Coatings
Bronze: Sherwin Williams
Idaho: Sherwin Williams

BEST FLOORING STORE
Great Floors
Various locations (Spokane/Cda)
http://www.greatfloors.com/
Great Floors takes the ground you walk on pretty seriously as for over four decades they still specialized in what you stand on. What began as a road show through Idaho and Montana in the early 1970s with a carpet peddler selling wares from the back of his car has grown to prominence as one of the nation’s top specialty floor covering selling, as the name promises, Great Floors. Feel free to walk all over them. (LLR)

Silver: R W Gallion Floors
Bronze: Carpet One
Idaho: Great Floors

BEST ROOFING
J.U. Contracting
http://www.jucontracting.com/
Shingles, roofing paper, tar, multiple-story fall potential – just a few of the reasons it’s often wise to relinquish roofing projects over to the pros. When it comes to commercial roof installation and maintenance, the team at J.U. Contracting is one of the most knowledgeable in the area, with more than 30 years’ experience under their collective tool belts. (SH)

Silver: McVay Brothers, Inc.
Bronze: Spokane Roofing Company
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Roofing

BEST PLUMBING
Gold Seal Plumbing
5524 E. Boone,
http://www.goldsealmechanical.com/
We swear Gold Seal Plumbing didn’t win Gold because of their name…it is kind of convenient though, isn’t it? Another thing that is convenient is the service that Gold Seal provides: timely, quality and competent – all things that make them earn their name – and their spot as the Gold winner! (BT)

Silver: United Plumbing, Inc.
Bronze: Ripley’s Plumbing Inc.
Idaho: Mr. Rooter of Kootenai

BEST LIGHTING & ACCESSORIES
Revival Lighting
14 West Main, http://www.revivallighting.com/
Everything old is new again. Revival Lighting specializes in antique, vintage and repurposed lighting. Style is timeless and after visiting the showroom you may realize that they just don’t make them like they used to. Whether you are looking for period light fixtures or just to add character to a newer home or office for a more original look let these folks shed some light on the matter. (LLR)

Silver: Apollo Spas
Bronze: Evergreen Lighting
Idaho: Idaho Lights & Evergreen Lighting

BEST NEW CAR DEALERSHIP
Wendle Motors
9000 N Division, http://www.wendle.com/
There are few purchases more daunting than springing for a new vehicle. Locals know they can rely on repeat winner Wendle Motors to help get them from new-car jitters to new-car smell. This family-owned business has been handling Spokane’s automotive needs since 1943 and carries new Ford, Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. (SH)

Silver: Dave Smith Motors
Bronze: Lexus of Spokane

BEST USED CAR DEALER
Jennifer’s Auto Sales
15020 E. Sprague http://www.jenniferscars.com/
Jenny from the lot has been the region’s standout independent used car dealer since 2005. We like that in this guy dominated field Jennifer pulls ahead beating the boys at their own game. With an honest approach and top-notch customer service, our valley car girl is changing the way we think about used car sales. (LLR)

Silver: Wendle Motors
Bronze: Lexus of Spokane
Idaho: Dave Smith Motors

BEST AUTO REPAIR:
Tune Tech
Various locations, http://www.tunetech.net/
Ever feel like you are the mercy of the auto repair shop? Well then pay very close attention to the results of the reader’s poll of the place to go with your car woes. Tune Tech opened in 1989 in a tiny two bay shop along Northwest Boulevard and now has three locations. Locally owned and operated, it’s nice to know you have a friend keeping your vehicle running smooth despite the potholes. (LLR)

Silver: Mechanic Pride
Bronze: Manito Automotive Technicians
Idaho: Lloyds Automotive

BEST BODY SHOP
Ed’s Premier Auto Body
E 2707 Francis, http://www.edspremier.com/
Ed’s Premier Auto Body helps drivers sort out the mess following car collisions. Whether your accident is fender-bender small or significantly larger, the quality-minded staff at Ed’s handles every step from towing to delivery. Spokanites with damaged autos count on their expertise in framing, painting, mechanical and bodywork, and more. (SH)

Silver: Watson Paint & Body Works Inc.
Bronze: Craig’s Automotive Collision Center
Idaho: Lake City Auto Body Inc.

BEST HAIR SALON
Jaazz Salon &a Skin Care Center
Multiple locations
http://www.jaazzsalons.com/
Readers trust their tresses to award-winning Jaazz Salon and Skin Care Center. Stop by either of their two locations (downtown Spokane or Cheney) whether you’re thinking of a tiny trim, a full-fledged chop, or a facial treatment. The results may leave you so happy, you’ll feel like flashing Jaazz hands. (SH)

Silver: Blades Design Group
Bronze: Dimensions Hair Salon & Body Care
Idaho: Fratelli Salon & Day Spa

BEST SKIN CARE
Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery
1807 N. Hutchinson Rd.,
http://www.advancederm.net/
If fine lines, sun damage, acne or any other skin condition has put a wrinkle in your quest for fabulous skin, then it is time for an advance solution. Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery has you covered when it comes to your skin, handling everything from dermatological issues to cosmetic services. They take the wrinkles out of our skin and that is why they are the best! (BT)

Silver: Ajuva Medical & Day Spa
Bronze: South Hill Laser & Medi-Spa
Idaho: ABY! Skin Care

BEST MEDI-SPA
SHAPE Cosmetic Surgery & Med Spa
524 West Sixth Ave http://www.shapespokane.com/
In our 30s we may plan on aging gracefully, but in our 40s we go kicking and screaming. Well here’s a place that can help you fight off the aging process with everything from a slight tune up to a total body overhaul. Though there is still no cure for the common birthday, Shape Cosmetic Surgery & Med Spa can take some mileage off your appearance providing a medical approach to the fountain of youth. (LLR)

Silver: Rockwood Aesthetics Center
Bronze: Spa Paradiso
Idaho: Zi Spa

BEST MANICURE
Foxy Nails
9706 N Newport Hwy.
Really, is there anything better than a relaxing manicure? Don’t even think about it, we’ll answer for you: no there is not! When it comes to where to go though, the options seem overwhelming. Luckily, our readers have nailed down the best spot for you. Foxy Nails leaves you feeling like a fox, and with the nails to prove it. (BT)

Silver: Dimensions Salon Hair & Body Care
Bronze: Strata Hair Design & Spa
Idaho: Salon Bella Dona

BEST MASSAGE
Applied Healthcare Associates
1403 S. Grand Blvd., Suite 101 S,
http://www.ahaspokane.com/
Uh oh! Did we say nothing is more relaxing than a manicure? We forgot about massages, which are pretty darn relaxing as well. What a conundrum. At least you don’t have to worry about where the best place to get a massage is; our readers have figured that part out and proclaim it is Applied Healthcare and Associates. We suggest you apply that information to your life and enjoy the results of a relaxing massage. (BT)

Silver: Elements Therapeutic Massage
Bronze: The Brickhouse Massage and Coffee Bar
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Massage Center

BEST TANNING PLACE
Sunny Buns
2821 E 27th Avenue, http://www.sunnybuns.com/
Sunny Buns is a tanning salon and spa nestled on the South Hill. Luckily technology has improved the faux tan, but unless you have incredible attention to detail and a little luck, this is something to leave to the tanning professionals. The folks at Sunny Buns have advance beds, or they can air brush you the perfect shade, whether you want healthy glow or a deep dark tropical tan. (LLR)

Silver: Coconutz Tanning Spa
Bronze: Montego Bay Tanning Co.
Idaho Summer Sun Tanning Salon

BEST DENTIST
Dr. Timothy Labrosse, DDS
700 W Ironwood Dr. #212, Coeur d’Alene
Dental hygiene has been linked to everything from healthy pregnancies to heart attack prevention – a couple more reasons to make those pearly whites a top priority. While no one relishes time in the dentist’s chair, the payoff is well worth it. Readers voted the lake city’s Dr. Labrosse the best tooth man around. (SH)

Silver: Dr. Dwight Damon, DDS, MSD
Bronze: Dr. Brooke Cloninger, DDS
Idaho: Laser Dentistry of Coeur d’Alene

BEST COSMETIC DENTIST
Dr. Kenneth Collins, DDS
3151 E 28th Ave.,
http://www.collinsfamilydentistry.com/
Unsightly gaps, coffee stains and yellowish hues have met their match in Dr. Kenneth Collins, DDS. Those in the market for a confidence-boosting transformation can try porcelain veneers, which make crooked teeth appear straight and revamp worn-down chompers. Other options for smile makeovers include laser teeth whitening. (SH)

Silver: Dr. Charles Regalado, DDS
Bronze: Dr. Clay H Damon, DDS
Idaho: Dr. Curtis Eastin, DDS

BEST CHIROPRACTOR
Valente Chiropractic
3017 E. Francis Ave,
http://www.spokanechiropractic.com/
Admit it: there is something so-bad-it’s-good satisfying about that joint-cracking pop sound. And it’s even better when a trained professional is realigning your spine. If your musculoskeletal system needs some help, a visit to repeat winner Valente Chiropractic could get your body back in line. (SH)

Silver: Houk Chiropractic
Bronze: Sicilia Chiropractic
Idaho: Everson Chiropractic

BEST HOSPITAL
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
101 W 8th Ave., http://www.shmc.org/
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is no small operation: they’ve got 644 beds and a staff of more than 4,000, including over 800 specialists and primary care doctors. It’s no wonder this hospital is readers’ favorite, especially considering the plethora of accolades it’s received in both the medical arena and community leadership. (SH)

Silver: Deaconess Medical Center
Bronze: Providence Holy Family Hospital
Idaho: Kootenai Medical Center
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