Each and every year, we ask you to prove it once again. For 14 years running, Boise Weekly has been publishing what we affectionately refer to as "BOB." You may call it Best of Boise, but we've discovered that by personifying what is our hairiest, hardest, most hilarious issue of the year with a human-like moniker, we're able to love it all the more.
The annual Best of Boise issue is a contest in two parts. Part one: BW listens to you, our readers. We concocted a list of 85 "bests"—from the best restaurant to the best day trip—and urged readers to vote for their favorite person, place or thing in all 85 categories. Part two: BW has a little fun. We at Boise Weekly spend all year observing the best, worst and most outrageous moments in Boise, and BOB is a chance for us to rehash it all and feed it back to the public with a wink, wink and a nudge.
Like all adolescents, BOB has been slowly undergoing change over the course of several years. In 2006, after 12 years of counting handwritten votes on paper ballots, Boise Weekly printed the last of its old-school hardcopy ballots. Year 13, aka 2007, was the dawn of the all-digital, all-robot age. This year, we're all local, all the time.
Here's the way we figure it. The Best of Boise is just that—what's best about Boise. It's not what's best about Boise and the 83 other cities all over the country where a franchise or chain is located. And, of course, there's the fact that Boise Weekly itself is a locally owned and independent business.
When voters logged on to BW's polling site, instructions requested that all nominated businesses adhere to the following criteria in order to qualify: businesses must have a location in Boise or Garden City, be privately held and be registered in Idaho without corporate or national headquarters outside of Idaho. Business owners with a majority ownership must live in Ada or adjoining counties (Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem or Owyhee) and businesses must make independent decisions regarding the name and look of the business. Finally, a business is considered local if it makes independent decisions regarding all business purchasing, practices and distribution and pays all of its own marketing fees, rent and other business expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters.
In most cases, voters adhered to the rules. In a few cases, a number of voters mistook corporate for local, and a winner or runner-up was tossed out of the results. And in even fewer cases, some of the answers were so completely ridiculous, we couldn't help but print them.
And now, without further ado, heeeeeeeere's BOB.