Alibi V.18 No.41 • Oct 8-14, 2009



Best Sandwich

Relish Sandwich Shop

Hey, guess what? Relish’s Uptown store is now open for dinner. Think about how much you love Relish’s sandwiches—how its chefs knead out creamy globes of mozzarella fresh each day, how they take time to hand-crank black pepper onto each sliced-to-order tomato. Now imagine the care and attention they lavish on every step of assembling your beloved, award-winning sandwich and what kind of magic they could work on a meal like dinner. Now go get the car keys, because your fantasy is a short trip away from becoming a reality. (LM)

2) Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

3) DG's Deli

Best Salad

Dion's Pizza

Maybe it’s funny that Dion's Pizza continues to win accolades for salad, but those teenagers really know what to do with a head of lettuce. Soaked in that delectable Greek dressing, some people probably don't even realize they're eating raw vegetables. (JCC)

2) Flying Star Café

3) Tie: Il Vicino, The Grove Café and Market

Best Steakhouse

Paul's Monterey Inn

Food trends come and go, but steak is forever. Proof positive comes in the form of Paul's Monterey Inn, a lava-rock-and-red-vinyl-booth-encrusted joint that's been around since “Mad Men” wasn't so much a historical drama as a documentary. The place isn't quite the same since the smoking ban, but you can still watch seniors down red meat and drink martinis—and two outta three vices ain't bad. (DOL)

2) Tie: Marcello's Chophouse, Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse

3) Gruet Steakhouse

Best Barbecue

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-BQ

We'll forgive the fact that it's a chain out of Texas—mostly because we can't stop eating the no-nonsense oak-wood-smoked brisket, sausage, pork and chicken. We love the cheesy, misspelled condiment labels, the stacks of white bread, the butcher-paper-wrapped meat, the picnic tables and the galvanized horse troughs full of beer. After all, that's what a barbecue is supposed to look like. (DOL)

2) Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque House

3) The Quarters

Best Burger

Blake's Lotaburger

Amidst chain-dominated fast-food joints, Blake's makes burgers more like the hamburger huts of yesteryear. It's still meat on a bun delivered minutes after ordered, but these beef patties respect themselves more than the too-common diabetes dens that shall remain unnamed. (JCC)

2) Owl Café

3) Tie: Bubsters Burger Grill, Independence Grill, Little Red Hamburger Hut

Best Pasta


Pasta seems simple, but there are so many ways it can go wrong. That's why it's nice to have a restaurant that does it right. Vivace chef and owner Joey Minarsich whips up more than 30 pasta dishes from scratch, from mezzaluna alla bettola to rigatoni con salsa rosato. Delizioso! (CC)

2) Tie: Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Trombino's Bistro Italiano

3) Paisano’s Pasta and Regional Italian Cuisine

Best Bread

Golden Crown Panadería

Sure, you love bread, but sometimes a loaf just seems too pedestrian. Some days, you need your bread in the form of a Thanksgiving turkey or a horse-drawn buggy. Thank your bread-sculpted stars for Golden Crown. It also has green chile bread so good you’ll howl, as evidenced by the coyote that decorates each loaf. There’s no reason why bread should be boring. (EAH)

2) Great Harvest Bread Company

3) French Riviera Bakery

Best Soup

Flying Star Café

This is not a soup town. Few places do it, and do it well, so coming by a truly excellent bowl of liquid sustenance is as rare as sighting a pegacorn flying over a double rainbow. Nevertheless, good soup does indeed exist here, and our readers find it at Flying Star Café. (JCC)

2) Annie’s Soup Kitchen

3) Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

Best French Fries

Blake’s Lotaburger

Some studies have shown that potatoes cooked at a very high heat produce carcinogens. But who cares what some egghead scientist in a lab eating bean sprouts says? French fries are among the world's most satisfying foods. And in this corner of the world, Blake's does them the best. (JCC)

2) Two Fools Tavern

3) Tie: O'Niell's Pub, Slate Street Café

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