The results of The Portland Phoenix's eagerly awaited annual "The Best" poll are in, and, as usual, the reader selections for Food + Drink are somewhat predictable. Stop me if you've heard these before: James Beard award semifinalist Chef Masa Miyake wins "Best Chef" while two facets of the Miyake crown jewels win "Best Asian Restaurant" and "Best Sushi." Scratch Baking Co. and Standard Baking Co. win "Best Bagel" and "Best Bakery," respectively. In truly "Who else could it be?" fashion, Kamasouptra wins "Best Soup."
The biggest surprises come from the strange or outdated category names themselves: Do "Best Coffeshop/Teahouse" or "Best Cookie/Cupcake" still need to be lumped together? How about the loaded "Best Ethnic Restaurant" category? As Edible San Francisco recently asked in a powerful piece, "What the hell is ethnic food anyway?"
The Editors' Picks get more creative with categorization, including some food highlights. Though readers don't even get a "Best Cookie" category, the editors choose the "Best Not-Really-A-Cookie Cookie" (Po' Boys and Pickles offshoot Choomi, a soft cookie in the vein of a macaroon, as well as the name of the side business). The pick for "Best Category-In-Waiting" is "Best Food Truck," meaning next year's readers won't have to choose between brick-and-mortar or mobile restaurants in the "Best Restaurant" category.
"Best Off-Peninsula Food Hub" goes to the intersection of Veranda Street and Washington Avenue, which includes the new configuration of Hella Good Tacos (a mobile restaurant) at Steve and Renee's Diner (a brick and mortar establishment), blowing more than a few minds. Finally, "Best Pizza Rivalry" is the Slab vs. Micucci's saga, which means the Otto Pizza West End vs. East End debate will have to be settled another time. Do you agree with the choices of the readers and editors? Share thoughts in the comments.
· Best 2014: Food & Drink Winners [TPP]
· 2013's The Portland Phoenix Best Results [-EME-]