What’s Up Best of the Best 2012

Two weeks ago, What’s Up Magazine announced the winners of their annual Best of the Best list at The Garden. The list often gets a bad rap from many locals who feel it is nothing more than a popularity contest. Chains are allowed to be nominated (and usually win) and voting is restricted to those attending the What’s Up Dig where finalists try to schmooze and sway votes with freebies. Negativity aside, it’s interesting to see who gets nominated and wins. Everyone also needs to know that the What’s Up staff works really hard to bring this list together and has no control over the winners.

Below, are the winners for the Chow category. Do you agree with the winners? Who do you think should have won? I think Ripe Eatery should have won the Best Veggie-Friendly Restaurant category. They have 5 vegetarian entrees available, not including their salads and appetizers, and introduced a housemade veggie burger to their menu this year. They will also gladly accommodate vegetarian and vegan requests.

  • Best Asian: P.F. Chang’s
  • Best BBQ: Famous Dave’s
  • Best Beer Selection: The Hoppy Monk
  • Best Breakfast: Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Catering: Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Dessert: Fudge-N-More
  • Best Fancy-Schmancy Restaurant: Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Gourmet Pizza: Ardovino’s Pizza
  • Best Italian Restaurant: Italian Kitchen
  • Best Local Burger: Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Margarita: Los Bandidos de Carlos and Mickey’s
  • Best Menudo: Good Luck Cafe
  • Best Mexican Restaurant: L & J Cafe
  • Best Middle Eastern: Zino’s Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine
  • Best New Restaurant: Crave Kitchen & Bar – East
  • Best Seafood in the Dusty Desert: Pelican’s Restaurant
  • Best Service in Town: Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Spot for Steaks: Cattleman’s Steakhouse
  •  Best Sure-Bet for Good Food (Every Time): Crave Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Tasting Mixed Drinks: Nova Luna
  • Best Sushi: The Garden
  • Best Tamales: Dona Lupita Tamales
  • Best Veggie-Friendly Restaurant: Ardovino’s Pizza (this isn’t necessarily true; their pizza sauce contains anchovies) Runners-up: The Greenery & Souper Salad
  • Best Wings: Wing Daddy’s Sauce House

You can view the complete list of winners here.

Thank you once again for nominating and voting for me! It truly means a lot!

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…and thank you Ryan for the sweet write up:

Her passion for cooking and her desire to learn and share her knowledge has turned Lisa Martinez into a must-follow blogger. But her recipes and featured foods are for a specific kind of foodie. “I want to help El Pasoans find the best veggie-friendly restaurants in town,” Martinez writes in her blog. “As well as help you locate hard-to-find ingredients.” Tasty dishes she’s blogged about are coconut bacon (not real bacon, of course), bourbon ice cream and roasted eggplant and grape tomato pasta. Much of what she’s learned has been from magazines, cookbooks, TV and some high school culinary classes. The 30-year-old librarian won Hope and Anchor’s chili cook-off in 2009 and placed second in 2010, and she also won a burger-recipe contest held by meat-substitute brand Harmony Valley. To date her blog has amassed 447 followers, who feast on her regular updates. Pull up a chair.

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