Best of Boise 2013

The First, the Best

We live in a world where there's always something better coming just down the road. There's always an upgrade or a "New and Improved" label staring us in the face and making our "not-quite-so-new" and "not-quite-so-improved" whatever look like yesterday's cold coffee.

But sometimes, you have to get back to basics because, let's face it, there's nothing like the original--look no further than New Coke if you have doubts.

When it comes to "best of" polls in Boise, there's nothing more original than Boise Weekly's Best of Boise--just check the copyright. We've been been bringing readers the very best of this community since 1994, and in recent years, we've honed our focus to highlight only locally owned and operated businesses and organizations. What's that mean to you? It means that we honor those things that make this valley unique--helping to create the essence of this place we call home.

Staying true to the idea of originality, if you're one of the thousands who voted in this year's Best of Boise poll, you probably noticed a little blast-from-the past in the form of our ballot. We returned to a simplified online voting system based on our own website. OK, so maybe it wasn't as fancy, but it did allow for those off-the-cuff write-in votes that we love so much.

Some of you offered us full recipes (we're going to have to try that salmon, thanks) while some of you offered zingers or rants. We do have to advise that discussing where you pick up prostitutes might not be the best choice--you never know who's reading your answers.

A few voters showed the kind of dedication to a joke that we're not sure if we're impressed or terrified by--namely the person who answered nearly every question with "your mom" or the voter who went by the name Joseph Stalin and answered every query with "Walmart." Seriously, comrade, you did kind of scare us.

While some voters seemed to be under the impression that writing in all caps would make their votes count more, we'd like to dispel that belief. We'd also like to acknowledge the creativity of spelling when it came to several popular answers. When it comes to "Shakespeare," "Bardenay," "Gernika," "McU's" and "Trey McIntyre," it seemed no two answers were the same. One particularly creative spelling made us realize how little it takes to turn a Mexican restaurant into an Irish bar: Cafe O'Le.

Who knew?

In addition to finding out who topped our readers' poll, you'll also find the customary collection of Staff Picks, giving BW editorial staffers the chance to single out some of the things we think deserve a little special attention.

Speaking of a little extra attention, we've also brought back the five- and 10-year badges of honor for those winners who have claimed victory for at least five or 10 consecutive years. Some of these perpetual winners are so firmly ensconced on top of their mountains that we may have to start adding badges next year.

Their longevity is just another example of how sometimes you have to stick with an original because an original has sticking power.

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Introductions to the year's Best of Boise

BOB Public Eye

BOB Arts & Entertainment

BOB Goods & Services

BOB Sports & Recreation

BOB Bars & Nightlife

BOB Food and Dining