It's official: Nordstrom's has the best public restrooms. At least in my area. Well, actually, at least close to my area. It's also the best place for shoes.
January is the time for "Best of" lists, and the Chesapeake Bay area is no exception. Bay Weekly, a free newspaper that covers the Annapolis area and my part of southern Maryland, has issued it's Best of the Bay list for 2010. (Understand that the list is voted on by the readers, so what may be the "best" could merely be the most popular. Isn't that always the way?)
So if you are ever headed down my way, be advised that the best veterinarian is at at South Arundel Veterinary Hospital, and the best acupuncturist is Dr. Daohe Fang. And was there any doubt that the best toy store is Be Beep? I didn't think so.
The best book store is Barnes & Noble. (Really? How long after it won multiple awards did they decided to carry Shaun Tan's The Arrival?) Of, course there is a paucity of independent book stores in the area: the number in my county is...zero.
The most scenic drive? Bay Ridge. Best dentist? A tie, between Dr. Kathy Farley (Annapolis) and Dr. John Cutting (Edgewater). Best yoga studio? Golden Heart Yoga.
And if you come down my way, be prepared to eat, because that evidently is one of the things we do best. Skipper's Pier takes the honors in six catagories: best overall restaurant, best seafood, best oysters, best softshell crabs, best bar, and best dock bar. The Boatyard Bar & Grill is the most Bay-friendly business. Mike's Crab House is the place to go for the best crab house, best crab cake, best crab soup, and best place for a cheap date -- and, no, cheap date is not a menu item. Coffee? The best coffee house is Zu Coffee. (There's an umlaut in "Zu", but damned if I can find an umlaut on my keyboard.) The Cadallac Ranch is both the best new restaurant and (tied with Skipper's, above) best new bar. Best pizza can be found at Ledo Pizza (a bit too greasy for my taste), which is also another best place for a cheap date. The best Asian food is at Lemongrass. The best barbeque is at Adam's: The Place for Ribs. The best buirger can be found at Five Guy's Burgers & Fries; they also have the best french fries. There's a tie for best deli: Giolitti Delicatessen is duking it out with Nick's of Calvert. Luna Blu has the best prix-fixe menu, and Heavenly Chicken and Ribs has half of the best wings. If the wings are too hot, cool your mouth at Maggie Moo's, which has the best ice cream. And if you have a sweet tooth, the best bakery is Sweet Sue's.
There's many more places to eat. Mamma Lucia's Squito's (best Italian), Double T Diner (best kid's menu), Mexico (the one in Huntington -- not the one down the street from me) and El Toro Bravo (best Mexican, tie), Osteria 177 (best romantic restaurant), Lewnes Steakhouse (best splurge restaurant and best steak), Rod 'n' Reel and Yellowfin (best Sunday brunch, tie), Chris' Charcoal Pit (best take-out), and Acme Bar and Grill (the other half of the best wings). It's a bit sad that the best vegetarian category was taken by a supermarket (Whole Foods) rather than an eatery.
While dining, perhaps you can listen to WRNR 103.1 (best radio station), or -- if you're lucky -- the restaurant offers entertainment by John Luskey (best local band/musician).
Two items I will not argue with: Best Hero - Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Biggest Issue Needing More Attention - Bay Clean-Up.
What about where you live? Have you been afflicted, whether good or bad, with a best-of list? If you have, what seems silly and what seems serious? And, if it was up to you, who should be named Best Hero in your area? What should be the Biggest Issue Needing More Attention in your area?