Pray tell, what is your methodology in establishing the list of “Best of WNC 07,” which appears in the [Oct. 17] issue of Mountain Xpress? And are the establishments listed actually the best by any realistic measures, or do they just turn out—through some fairly uncontrolled approach—to be the most popular?
I’m just curious—it’s certainly not an explosive issue. The value this annual piece has for the establishments giving paid-for-ad thanks for being voted the “best” seems clear. But I really wonder if readers benefit. Viewing the eateries section alone, for example, the results seem a tad absurd. I can imagine that your food reviewer might agree.
[In my opinion,] the Stoney Knob Restaurant fare rises to near-gourmet standards, far above that of the acceptable-but-ordinary peers that bested it in the Greek category. The Sunday-brunch winners do not approach the brunch-food quality provided at the Southside Café, which is unlisted. And the pairing of the savvy New York-style Well-Bred Bakery and Café with the tasteful-but-ordinary products at the other bakeries in its category seems similarly odd.
So, what goes? Is it a popularity contest, a quality-of-product (or service) competition, or just a joyful exercise in mutual support that has little meaning in terms of guiding consumers?
— Edward E. Loewe
Editor’s note: Mountain Xpress readers voted for their favorites. The winners were those who got the highest votes.