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Schnitz Deli, winner of the Best Deli and Sandwich

Best of Grand Rapids

Your votes (thousands of them) are in: Check out the results of Grand Rapids Magazine’s 100-category Readers Poll.

By Jocelyn Burkett
Photography by Michael Buck

We can all agree that 2008 was the Year of the Vote. We voted for everything: drain commissioners; presidents; vice presidents; idols; marijuana; millages; stem cells; dancers. You name it, we voted for it.

Not to be outdone by the cluster of national, state and local elections, Grand Rapids Magazine submitted its own 100-category ballot and then ensured that your vote was deciphered (more on that later) and counted.

With the precision of a diamond-cutter and the patience of Susan Lucci, our staff labored over the thousands of line-item nominations for four consecutive months (June through September) to procure the following results. We were tested daily by the voluminous amount of ballots we received, as well as the challenges of curious penmanship and the ambitious use of the English language on some of the more interesting responses.

Unfettered, we assumed the responsibility of decoding your truest intentions. How could we know what, who or where you meant when you voted for “the one on Alpine” in the Best Auto Repair category, or “Craig DeBoer” as Best Weatherperson, or “Showcase Cinema” as Best Movie Theater?

Given this dilemma, we thought it prudent to offer some helpful suggestions for next year:

It’s Best Diner, not Dinner. A diner is a small, informal and usually inexpensive restaurant. Dinner is the principal meal of the day, normally served in the evening. We thank you for generously correcting our spelling, but it was you who changed the course of history when you voted 1913 Room in this category.

Again, our gratitude for pointing out that there is rampant alcohol abuse in the world, but some people really do enjoy a glass of wine or frothy mug of beer on occasion. If you are a teetotaler, we admire you, but please refrain from pontificating on our ballot. Rather, leave the category blank and your silent vote will be heard.

Awesome that you can write with a pen between your toes, but if you can’t read it, chances are good that we can’t either. If a combination of dead-language proficient, MENSA-graduated, MIT scholars cannot interpret your “writing,” you have just tragically eliminated your vote.

All kidding aside, what we found in this readers poll was continued enthusiastic support for all things West Michigan. You, impressive reader, know where to go and who to see.

Let’s get right to it, shall we? GR

Jocelyn Burkett is marketing coordinator for Gemini Publications.

CUISINE
Appetizer Menu
San Chez, 38 W. Fulton St., (616) 774-8272, www.sanchezbistro.com
Bakery
Wealthy Street Bakery, 608 Wealthy St. SE, (616) 301-2950, www.wealthystreetbakery.com
Breakfast
Wolfgang’s, 1530 Wealthy St. SE, (616) 454-5776, www.mattwolfgang.com
Brunch

Charley’s Crab, 63 Market Ave. SW, (616) 459-2500, www.muer.com
Deli
Schnitz Deli, Multiple locations, www.schnitzdeli.com
Desserts
Arnie’s, Multiple locations,
www.arniesrestaurants.com
Diner

Pal’s, 6503 28th St. SE, (616) 942-7257
Ice Cream Parlor
Jersey Junction, 652 Croswell Ave. SE, (616) 458-4107, www.jerseyjunction.com
Kids Menu
TGI Friday’s, Multiple locations, www.fridays.com
New Restaurant (opened in 2008)
Rockwell/Republic, 45 S. Division Ave., (616) 608-6465
Outdoor/Deck Dining
Rose’s, 540 Lakeside Drive SE, (616) 458-1122, www.thegilmorecollection.com
Romantic Dining Atmosphere
1913 Room, 187 Monroe Ave. NW, (616) 776-6426, www.amwaygrand.com
Vegetarian Menu
Gaia Cafe, 209 Diamond Ave. SE, (616) 454-6233

A LA CARTE
Bagel
Bagel Beanery, Multiple locations, www.bagelbeanerycafe.com
Barbeque
Sandmann’s, 1200 Wealthy St. SE, (616) 459-0900, www.sandmanns.com
Burger
Cottage Bar, 18 LaGrave Ave. SE, (616) 454-9088, www.cottagebar.biz
Burrito
Beltline Bar, 16 28th St. SE, (616) 245-0494
Chicken Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings, Multiple locations, www.buffalowildwings.com
Chips & Salsa
Beltline Bar, 16 28th St. SE, (616) 245-0494
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Wealthy Street Bakery, 608 Wealthy St. SE, (616) 301-2950, www.wealthystreetbakery.com
Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme, 2700 East Beltline SE, (616) 464-1630, www.krispykreme.com
Hot Dog
Yesterdog
, 1505 Wealthy St. SE, (616) 262-3090, www.yesterdog.com
Pizza
Vitale’s
, Multiple locations, www.vitalespizza.net
Sandwich
Schnitz Deli
, Multiple locations, www.schnitzdeli.com
Seafood
Leo’
s, 60 Ottawa Ave. NW, (616) 454-6700, www.leosrestaurant.com
Soup
Panera Bread
, Multiple locations, www.panerabread.com
Steaks
Chop House
, 190 Monroe Ave. NW, (616) 451-6131, www.thechophouserestaurant.com
Sushi
Mikado
, 3971 28th St. SE, (616) 285-7666

REFRESHMENTS
Beer/Wine Merchant
Martha’s Vineyard, 200 Union Ave. NE, (616) 459-0911, www.marthasvineyardgr.com
Coffee/Coffeehouse
Kava House, 1445 Lake Drive SE, (616) 988-5351
Happy Hour
Uccello’s, Multiple locations, www.uccellos.com
Martini
Bistro Bella Vita, 44 Grandville Ave. SW, (616) 222-4600, www.bistrobellavita.com
Microbrewery
Founder’s, 235 Grandville Ave. SW, (616) 776-1195, www.foundersbrewing.com
Nightclub/Bar
The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. NW, (616) 356-2000, www.thebob.com
Sangria
San Chez, 38 W. Fulton Ave., (616) 774-8272, www.sanchezbistro.com
Sports Bar
Uccello’s, Multiple locations, www.uccellos.com
Wine List
Bar Divani, 15 Ionia Ave. SW, (616) 774-9463, www.bar-divani.com

GETTING OUT
Art Gallery
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center NW, (616) 831-1000, www.artmuseumgr.org
Golf Course
Thousand Oaks, 4100 Thousand Oaks NE, (616) 447-7750, www.thousandoaksgolf.com
Health Club/Fitness Facility
MVP Sportsplex, Multiple locations, www.mvpsportsplex.com
Karaoke/Open Mic
Cheers, 3994 Plainfield Ave. NE, (616) 363-1188
Live Theater
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 N. Division Ave., (616) 222-6650, www.grct.org
Movie Theater
Celebration Cinema/IMAX, Multiple locations, www.celebrationcinema.com
Museum
Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW, (616) 456-3977, www.grmuseum.org
Outdoor Festival
Festival of the Arts, www.festivalofthearts.com
People Watching
Festival of the Arts, www.festivalofthearts.org
Place For A Wedding Reception
Frederik Meijer Gardens, 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, (616) 957-1580, www.meijergardens.org
Public Park
Riverside Park, GR Parks & Rec Office, (616) 456-3696, www.grcity.us
Shopping Mall
Woodland Mall, 3195 28th St. SE, (616) 949-0012, www.shopwoodlandmall.com
Sports Team
West Michigan Whitecaps, 4500 West River Drive, (616) 784-4131, www.whitecaps-baseball.com
Tourist Attraction
Frederik Meijer Gardens, 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, (616) 957-1580, www.meijergardens.org

PEOPLE/MEDIA
Band
Mid-Life Crisis, www.mlcband.com
Bartender
Chris Williams/Leo’s, 60 Ottawa Ave. NW, (616) 454-6700, www.leosrestaurant.com
Blogger
John Gonzalez/GR Press, www.mlive.com
Chef
Bernard Lucas/Leo’s, 60 Ottawa Ave. NW, (616) 454-6700, www.leosrestaurant.com
Chiropractor
James Elliott, D.C., 1553 Alpine Ave. NW, (616) 364-9485
Dermatologist
Robert Lamberts, M.D., 655 Kenmoor Ave. SE, No. 200, (616) 949-5600, www.lambertsmd.com
Plastic Surgeon
John Renucci, M.D., 220 Lyon St. NW, No. 700, (616) 451-4500, www.psa-gr.com
Radio Personality
Tony Gates/WLAV, www.wlav.com
Radio Station
WLAV, www.wlav.com
Radio Team
Free Beer and Hot Wings, www.wgrd.com
TV Personality
Suzanne Geha, www.woodtv.com
TV Station
WOOD-TV8, www.woodtv.com
Weatherperson
Bill Steffen/WOOD-TV8, www.woodtv.com
Writer/Columnist
Tom Rademacher/GR Press, www.mlive.com

 

Snapdragon, winner of Best Children's Clothing Store

SHOPPING AND SERVICES
Animal Clinic
Cascade Hospital for Animals, 6730 Cascade Road SE, (616) 949-0960, www.chfa.net
Antique Shop
Eastown Antiques, 1515 Lake Drive SE, (616) 776-1076, www.eastownantiques.com
Architectural Firm
Visbeen Associates, 4139 Embassy Drive SE, (616) 285-9901, www.visbeen.biz
Auto Dealership
Fox Motors, Multiple locations, www.foxmotorsusa.com
Auto Repair Service
Community Auto Repair/Fox Motors (tie), www.communityautomotive.com, www.foxmotorsusa.com
Bank
Fifth Third, Multiple locations, www.53.com
Bicycle Shop
Village Bike Shop, Multiple locations, www.villagebikeshop.com
Bookstore
Schuler Books & Music, Multiple locations, www.schulerbooks.com
Car Wash
Southland Auto Wash, Multiple locations, www.southlandautowash.com
Catering Company
Applause Banquets & Catering, 2728 Birchcrest Drive SE, (616) 940-0001, www.rcfc.com
Cell Phone Company
Verizon Wireless, Multiple locations, www.verizonwireless.com
Children’s Clothing Store
Snapdragon, Multiple locations, www.snapdragonboutique.com
Credit Union
Lake Michigan Credit Union, Multiple locations, www.lmcu.org
Day Spa
Design 1, Multiple locations, www.design1.com

Dry Cleaners
Sheldon Cleaners, Multiple locations, www.sheldondrycleaners.com
Florist/Flower Shop
Eastern Floral, Multiple locations, www.easternfloral.com
Furniture Store
Israels, Multiple locations, www.israels.com
Garden Center
Fruitbasket/Flowerland, Multiple locations, www.myflowerland.com
Grocery Store
Meijer, Multiple locations, www.meijer.com
Hair Salon
Design 1, Multiple locations, www.design1.com
Home Builder
Scott Christopher Homes, 620 3 Mile Road NW, Suite A, (616) 784-4500, www.scihomes.com
Hospital
Spectrum Health, Multiple locations, www.spectrum-health.org
Hotel
Amway Grand Plaza, 187 Monroe Ave. NW, (616) 774-2000, www.amwaygrand.com
Interior Design Firm
Think Design, 560 5th St. NW, Suite 301, (616) 458-8370, www.thinkdesignstudio.com

 

Juhas & Sullivan, winner of Best Jeweler

Jeweler
Juhas & Sullivan, 1100 East Paris Ave. SE, (616) 957-2222, www.juhasandsullivan.com

Landscaping Company
Rook’s, 9244 36th St. SE, (616) 897-4287
Law Firm
Varnum, 333 Bridge St. NW, (616) 336-6000, www.varnumlaw.com
Men’s Apparel Store
Daniel’s, 1100 East Paris Ave. SE, (616) 949-7777, ww.danielscollections.com
Pharmacy
Walgreen’s, Multiple locations, www.walgreens.com
Real Estate Company
Greenridge Realty, Multiple locations, www.greenridge.com
Resale/Consignment Shop
Georgie’s, 7504 Thornapple River Drive, (616) 676-1869, www.georgiesconsignment.com
Retirement Community
Porter Hills, 4450 Cascade Road SE, (616) 949-5140, www.porterhills.com
Shoe Store
DSW, Centerpointe Mall, 3665 28th St. SE, (616) 940-3763, www.dsw.com
Sporting Goods Store
MC Sports, Multiple locations, www.mcsports.com
Women’s Clothing Store
Daniel’s, 1100 East Paris Ave. SE, (616) 949-7777, www.danielscollections.com

   
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