Best Of WNC memories, part 1

In 2009 Xpress convinced Best Of WNC winners to don purple wigs and pose for photos. Not even dogs were exempt. Xpress file photo

Debating whether or not to vote in this year’s Best Of WNC readers’ poll? Here’s something to think about: Not only do your votes show your favorite businesses, bands, artists, innovators, civic leaders and service providers that they’re doing something right — they actually create a historic narrative of our region. Albeit an often humorous one. Need proof?

Take a trip down memory lane with these voter quotes, culled from the 2005 Best Of WNC:

• Best $5 lunch: “This is a myth.”

• Best dessert: “Pie at Picnics”

• Best homestyle: “Rabbit’s Motel”

• Best Italian: “Westville Pub lasagna night”

• Best Seafood: “Mr. Gene’s – fried catfish”

• Best Sub shop / sandwiches: “New French Bar (avocado sandwich!!)”

• Best take out: “Gourmet Perks (drive thru) — Merrimon”

• Best vegetarian: “China Palace vegetarian buffet”

• Best chicken wings: “Asheville high school culinary arts department”

• Best locally brewed beer: “Bubbaganu brand brew”

• Best local band (folk/old-time/bluegrass): “Randy ‘yod’ler’ Danforth”

• Best radio DJ: “Martin Anderson. He sounds cute.”

And some notes from the 2004 results:

Echo Mountain Studios manager Jessica Tomasin and owner Steve Williams, circa 2008. Express file photo
Echo Mountain Studios manager Jessica Tomasin and owner Steve Williams, circa 2008. Xpress file photo

You’ll notice a bunch of new categories, like best place to grab a cheap lunch, best place to access wireless Internet and best green builder. But don’t worry — the old standbys are out in force, too. Readers sound off about pet peeves (most bizarre local trend), gripes (most under-reported story) and gossip (best local scandal).

Sometimes, we miss an important category — at least that’s what our readers tell us every year (and some of them do so politely). This year we’ve been chastised to no end for excluding a category for best place to walk dogs. And we also caught heat for excluding best adult entertainment and best bed and breakfast. Hmm … is there a connection or common thread between these omissions? We hope not.

As for “Best Category to Drop,” our readers overwhelmingly chose “Best Landlord.” It’s quite understandable; after all, the Man is sticking you for rent, why toss him another bone? You also dissed, much to our civic dismay, “Best Asheville-Made Product.” Yet, inexplicably, readers threw their collective weight behind numerous local businesses in our other categories. That, in itself, is a bizarre local trend, which may explain why you want to drop that category too.

Ready to cast your vote and make your mark on local history? Do it here!

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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