Best of Eugene 2011-2012

Civics

Best Local Activist

1. Frog

2. Peter DeFazio

3. Kitty Piercy

We salute Frog as an activist and, perhaps more appropriately, as an icon of free speech in Eugene.

 

Best Local Politician

photo by todd cooper

1. Peter DeFazio

2. Kitty Piercy

3. Rob Handy

Of course Lane County loves Rep. Peter DeFazio. He is known to quote Lord of the Rings when making political analogies, and he drives around Springfield in his Dodge Dart with his dogs lolling out the windows on his way to chat constituents up while shopping at Bi-Mart. What more could you ask for? Well, politically he’s not bad either. The longtime congressman gets hot under the collar on the House floor about anything that affects Oregonians from Occupy Wall Street to trade and transportation issues. EW’s only complaint? We kind of miss the ‘stache.

 

Best Local Uproar

1. EmX

2. Civic Stadium

3. Anti-Ducks Football

It’s one of the best busters of Eugene’s “liberal haven” myth — the genesis of a Eugene rapid-transit system is one of the most loudly protested and least understood controversies in the area, with hyperbolic threats of failed businesses souring public opinion. Come on, who doesn’t love a friendly dragon?

 

photo by trask bedortha

Person of the Year

1. Kitty Piercy

2. Chip Kelly

3. Jacqui Wiley

Mayor Kitty Piercy is a survivor, both politically and as one of Eugene’s favorite people, but this vote was close with football coach Chip Kelly and Jacqui Wiley (whoever that is) not far behind. Piercy has helped put Eugene on the map for work on sustainability, and downtown’s long-awaited revival is happening on her watch. She’s running for her third term and is already racking up endorsements from prominent people like Gov. John Kitzhaber. Will she have a serious opponent in the May primary? No one has filed yet.

 

Best Nonprofit

photo by todd cooper

1. Food for Lane County

2. Greenhill Humane Society

3. Planned Parenthood

If there’s one category where everyone’s a winner, it’s the list of Lane County’s nonprofits. FOOD for Lane County wins this category perennially, probably because we empathize with their work in our hearts and our bellies. While FFLC keeps thinking up new ways — produce stands, gardens, accepting extra home garden produce — to keep the organization giving, we hope Eugeneans who voted for FFLC can do the same.

 

Eats

Best Bakery, Sweets

photo by todd cooper

1. Sweet Life
755 Monroe St.  683-5676. sweetlifedesserts.com

2. Metropol
2538 Willamette St. 465-4730.

3. Divine Cupcake
1680 W. 11th Ave. 543-5757. divinecupcake.com

From the Chocolate Orgasm cake to the lavender honey gelato, Sweet Life never fails to satisfy the most intense of sugary cravings — but judging from its longtime spot on top in Best Of, you already knew that. Try taking your dessert experience to the next level by pairing some of Sweet Life’s gourmet coffee drinks with one of your favorite treats.

 

Best Bakery, Savory

1. Hideaway Bakery 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 868-1982.hideawaybakery.com

2. Metropol 2538 Willamette St. 465-4730.

3. Eugene City Bakery 1607 E. 19th Ave. 334-6906. www.eugenecitybakery.com

It’s carbs that make the world go ‘round, and Hideaway Bakery’s wood-oven offerings could speed up the earth’s rotation with their deliciousness. Hideaway’s bread menu alone includes almost 20 items, from the Kalamata olive loaf to the potato rustica, and whenever possible the items are made from local, organic ingredients. It’s a perfect reward for a walk to this comfy, hidden spot.

 

Best Hangover Breakfast

photo by todd cooper

1. Brails 1689 Willamette St. 343-1542.

2. Glenwood 1340 Alder St., 687-0355; 2588 Willamette St. 687-8201. glenwoodrestaurants.com

3. Studio One 1473 E. 19th Ave. 342-8596. studioonecafe.com

In a city where drinking is a sport to a large segment of the population, getting in a good hangover breakfast is essential. Brails once again takes the spotlight as the first thing one must do when waking from a night of beastly drunkenness, right after you crack that morning brew.

 

Best Barista

1. Sue HarnleyEugene Coffee Co.
1840 Chambers 344-0002.

2. Thomas HowardWandering Goat
268 Madison St. 344-5401. www.wanderinggoat.com

3. Emily SwanBarry’s
804 E. 12th Ave. 343-1141.

Over on 18th and Chambers, where delicious coffee nectar flows softly out of espresso machines and into mugs for consumption, Sue Harnley will undoubtedly be going about her business. The Eugene Coffee Co. barista bought the company with her friends in March of 2008 and has worked hard ever since to make sure that her business, as well as her barista skills, thrive. “The relationships that I get to have with my customers” are what Harnley has proclaimed to be her favorite elements of barista-ing, and we’re glad she’s stuck with it. Sue, you rock; keep on keeping on.

 

Best Coffee

1. Wandering Goat 268 Madison St. 344-5401.www.wanderinggoat.com

2. Dutch Brothers www.dutchbros.com

3. Full City 295 E. 13th Ave., 465-9270; 842 Pearl St., 344-0475. www.full-city.com

Just thinking about a good Wandering Goat latte makes our skin crawl with lust. Some folks whine about the “weird” location, but we like its funkiness and the hipster vibe is overwhelmed by the Wandering Goat’s caffeine-laden scrumptiousness. The baristas are dedicated coffee folks, and the brew made from locally roasted beans is just as good at Lane Community College’s café or made in your own pot at home as it is while using the free Wi-Fi and holding a beer in your other hand at the retail location on Madison Street.

 

Best BBQ: Papa’s Soul Food

1. Papa’s Soul Food 400 Blair Blvd. 342-7500.

2. Hole in the Wall 3200 W. 11th Ave., 683-7378; 

1807 Olympic St., Spfd., 726-1200.

 

3. BBQ King 18th & Pearl. 915-3252.

If it’s not the succulent, smoky, barbecued meat that hooks you, the crispy fried chicken will. Throw in some sides of cake-like cornbread, good ol’ fashioned collard greens and some sweet tea to wash it all down, and you’ll think you’ve stepped right into the South at Papa’s Soul Food. Don’t forget to finish it off with one “big-ass piece of cake.” Papa’s has proven once again that it knows how to do comfort food.

 

Best Italian

1. Beppe & Gianni’s 1646 E. 19th Ave. 683-6661. www.beppeandgiannis.net

2. Mazzi’s 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 687-2252. www.mazzis.com

3. Osteria Sfizio 105 Oakway Center

Year after year Beppe & Gianni’s is anointed as Eugene’s choice for fine Italian dining. The mixture of cozy ambiance and upscale service is rivaled only by the delicious food cooked by an excellent kitchen staff. Whether celebrating birthdays, anniversaries or meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time, Beppe & Gianni’s is the premier choice for authentic Italian dining in a distinguished yet down-to-earth atmosphere.

 

Best Mediterranean

1. Poppi’s Anatolia 992 Willamette St. 343-9661. www.poppisanatolia.com

2. Evergreen 1525 Franklin Blvd. 343-7944.

3. Café Soriah 384 W. 13th Ave. 342-4410.  www.soriah.com

Everything about Poppi’s Anatolia is a little odd: The dining space is tiny, the menu offers equal space to both Greek and Indian food, and the décor hasn’t changed since they moved from campus decades ago. Yet this homey restaurant in the heart of Eugene is consistently a favorite. It’s like eating at your hippie friend’s house when they cook everything you really like.

 

Best Thai

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. Ta Ra Rin 1200 Oak St. 343-1230. www.tararinthai.com

2. Sweet Basil 941 Pearl St., 284-2944; 1219 Alder St., www.sweetbasileug.com

3. Tasty Thai 80 E. 19th Ave., 302-6444, www.tastythaikitchen.com; 1308 Hilyard St., 

343-0165, tastythaicampus.com

Housed in that old IHOP building, Ta Ra Rin cooks up some to-die-for Thai cuisine. The green curry with shrimp or chicken served with a vegetable medley over jasmine rice is a must-try dish. The pots of gold and chicken satays are also highly recommended. Hell, from the many items on the menu, you really can’t go wrong with any dish here. And for dessert there’s that delectable sticky mango rice. So really, who’s missing those pancakes?

 

Best Mexican

1. Chapala 68 W. 29th Ave., 683-5458; 136 Oakway Center, 434-6113. www.chapalasmexicanrestaurant.com

2. Red Agave 454 Willamette St. 683-2206.  www.redagave.net

3. Mi Tierra 638 Blair Blvd. 743-0779. www.mitierraeugene.com

It’s nice to see Chapala Mexican Restaurant receiving the credit it deserves. This place is perfect for those date nights where we don’t feel like dressing up, but don’t feel like completely slumming it either. The drinks are cheap, the food is solid and the atmosphere is lively enough to be fun without being obnoxious. Chapala, you’ve got it figured out, and our sombreros are off to you.

 

Best Sushi Roll

1. Sushi Domo 1020 Green Acres Rd., 343-0935; 2835 Oak St. www.sushidomoeugene.com

2. PURE 296 E 5th Ave. 654-0608.  www.pureeugene.com

3. Izumi 2773 Shadow View Dr. 683-1201. www.izumisushieugene.com

Whether you’re a designer sushi roll snob or someone who loves to try new food, Sushi Domo can’t be beat — that’s how they roll.

 

Best Pizza

1. Pizza Research Institute 530 Blair Blvd.  343-1307. pizzaresearchinstitute.com

2. Mezza Luna 933 Pearl St., 684-8900;  2776 Shadow View Dr., 743-2999mezzalunapizzeria.com

3. Pegasus 790 E. 14th Ave., 344-4471;  #4 Oakway Center, 344-0844.  www.pegasuspizza.net

Even good old pizza can get boring, but not at P.R.I. You’ll find no pepperoni or Hawaiian on the lab bench, no whiffs of boredom in the fume hood. Instead, the chefs use combinations like Granny Smith apples, smoked gouda and roasted walnuts or pear, pesto and roasted potatoes. The chef’s choice is a fun surprise for adventurous eaters. Vegans and cheese-lovers alike go for the vegan pizza just for funsies. Sure, it can be a glacially slow dining experience, but all the better to enjoy the company of friends. Check it out if you need to do more research.

 

Best Cheap Eats

1. Café Yumm 1801 Willamette St., 686-YUMM; 130 Oakway Center, 465-YUMM; 730 E. Broadway, 344-YUMM; 1005 Green Acres Rd., 684-YUMM; The Crossroads, 3340 Gateway St., Spfd., 747-YUMM; Sacred Heart, 3333 RiverBend Dr., 736-YUMM www.cafeyumm.com

2. Burrito Boy 510 E. Broadway, 344-8070; 497 Hwy 99, 607-5513; 30 W. 10th Ave., 343-8089.

3. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd., 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St., 505-5399laughingplanetcafe.com

The one thing at the heart of all that makes Café Yumm a local favorite has to be, without a question, the Yumm sauce. We have heard it referred to time and again as no less than addictive. With a growing and diverse menu, Café Yumm provides something for all tastes, be it the staple, the Yumm Bowl, or the wide array of sandwiches, salads and soups. This café has grown from the founder’s obvious love of food and continues to provide the perfect meal choice for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

 

Best Food Cart

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. Cart de Frisco Oakway Center; UO Bookstore

2. Viva! Vegetarian Grill 12th & Willamette St. www.eugenecooks.com

3. Devour Location/schedule varies. devoureugene.com

Even as the Borders Bookstore has gone out of business, Eugeneans still stop by the storefront to enjoy the charbroiled chicken sold by Cart de Frisco outside. The smoky, delicious poultry flesh dominates the simple menu, including the chicken sandwich, which is as messy as it is scrumptious. Regulars also appreciate the cart’s sauces, which complement the chicken’s versatile smokiness in different ways. On top of the chickenwich extraordinaire, the cart offers skewers, salad and a noodle dish, all about the chicken and sauces. The food cart is also located near the Duck Store on weekdays, so students can get their fill on the fly while they head to class, leaving trails of breadcrumbs in all directions.

 

Best Place to Eat with Kids

1. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd., 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St., 505-5399. laughingplanetcafe.com

2. Leave kids at home

3. Hot Mama’s Wings 420 W. 13th Ave. 653-9999. hotmamaswings.com

Taking the “ew” out of fast food is no laughing matter, but throw in some plastic dinosaurs and Laughing Planet will give you a whole new perspective. Keeping true to its philosophy of serving wholesome, nutritious foods quickly (for people with time constraints) and at an affordable price (for people with wallet constraints), Laughing Planet’s dishes are deservedly a favorite. The organic, healthy ingredients on the menu make the food nothing less than honest. And it’s honestly good, too. What’s better than a quesadilla oozing with Tillamook cheese or a cup of vegetarian chili on a cool autumn afternoon — or even one of those famous burritos? Though the menu is vegetarian, the more carnivorous folk can add some Draper Valley chicken to just about any dish. And don’t worry about leaving the kids at home for this place — rowdy kids chasing each other (with those dinosaurs) have almost become part of the restaurant’s décor.

 

Best Winery

photo by todd cooper

1. King Estate 80854 Territorial Hwy. 942-9874. kingestate.com

2. Sweet Cheeks 27007 Briggs Hill Rd. 349-9463. sweetcheekswinery.com

3. Territorial Vineyards 907 W. 3rd Ave. 684-9463. territorialvineyards.com

King Estate, with its pristine setting in the heart of the Willamette Valley’s wine country provides the perfect spot to sample its array of masterful wine. One can sit and enjoy a glass and a gourmet meal overlooking the certified organic vineyard in a most picturesque setting. This year the vineyard celebrates its twentieth anniversary and continues to produce some of the most exceptional wines with grapes grown in its own vineyard as well as from various other Northwest regions. King Estate’s creations illustrate time and again why the Northwest is known for its wine.

 

Best Place to Take Vegetarians

1. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd. 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St. 505-5399 laughingplanetcafe.com

2. Café Yumm 1801 Willamette St., 686-YUMM; 130 Oakway Center, 465-YUMM; 730 E. Broadway, 344-YUMM; 1005 Green Acres Rd., 684-YUMM; The Crossroads, 3340 Gateway St., 747-YUMM; Sacred Heart, 3333 RiverBend Dr., 736-YUMM, www.cafeyumm.com

3. Holy Cow 2621 Willamette St. 852-4659. holycowcafe.com

 

Best Place to Take Carnivores

1. Belly 291 E. 5th Ave. 683-5896. www.eatbelly.com

2. Papa’s Soul Food 400 Blair Blvd. 342-7500.

3. Bates’ Steakhouse 433 E. Broadway. 683-3108. www.batessteakhouse.com

After a brief vacation, the folks at Belly are back to satisfy our carnivorous needs in a town that has no shortage of vegetarian cuisine. With winter on the way, you can look forward to the last hoorah of fall fruits and an upcoming onslaught of well-proportioned meaty stews. New operating hours will leave flesh eaters out of luck on Sundays, but adequately compensated with Belly’s Monday taco nights!

 

Best Burger & Brew Special

1. Cornucopia 295 West 17th Ave. 485-2300. www.eugenecatering.com

2. Sixth Street Grill 55 W. 6th Ave. 485-2961. www.sixthstreetgrill.com

3. The Vintage 837 Lincoln St. 349-9181.  www.thevintageeugene.com

 

Best New Restaurant

photos by todd cooper

1. Cornbread Café 1290 W. 7th Ave. 505-9175. cornbreadcafe.com

2. Hot Mama’s Wings 420 W. 13th Ave. 653-9999. hotmamaswings.com

3. (tie): Holy Cow 2621 Willamette St., 852-4659; and Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St., 505-8804.

This new restaurant offers a stick-to-your-ribs twist to vegan food. The Cornbread Café serves up vegan comfort food in a down-to-earth atmosphere. The Build-Your-Own Meal option allows you to get menu items like southern- fried tofu with barbecue sauce or chicken-fried tempeh with biscuits and gravy at à la carte prices. The sandwich selection ranges from the classic French dip to a more locally themed Eugenewich, which is served with a fried tofu patty, melted Daiya cheddar, deep-fried carrot slices, onion rings, lettuce and tomato in a smoky sauce on a grilled bun. For the kiddos, try the phish sticks with a side of mac uncheese or half a grilled cheese sammie on Dave’s Killer Bread with some crinkle fries. The majority of ingredients are organic and local. And, in effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Cornbread Café also sends all of its food scraps to a local gardener and gives away its used oil.

 

Best Restaurant

1. Belly 291 E. 5th Ave. 683-5896. www.eatbelly.com

2. Marché 296 E. 5th Ave. 683-2260. http://marcherestaurant.com

3. Cornbread Café 1290 W. 7th Ave. 505-9175.

 

Spending

Best Bookstore

1. Smith Family 768 E. 13th Ave., 345-1651; 525 Willamette St., 343-4717.

2. Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette St. 345-8986.

3. J. Michaels 160 E. Broadway. 342-2002.

No, seriously, print is dying. But Smith Family (either location) is keeping the flame alive. If you love books and you have a few hours to kill, Smith Family is a treasure hunt waiting to happen. If there is a title you’re trying to find, chances are you can find a very affordable well-loved or brand new copy of it there. Oh, and this is a bookstore run by bookworms — so fire away with questions, the staff knows the inventory inside out. It’s more than likely that you will find what you were looking for and a few more titles as well. Students, pay attention, this is a great place to score the books you need at a cheap price.

 

Best Entertainment Shop

1. CD/Game Exchange 30 E. 11th Ave. 302-3045. cdgmexeug.com

2. CD World 3215 W. 11th Ave. Suite B. 683-6902. gotocdworld.com

3. House of Records 258 E. 13th Ave. 342-7975.

Winning for the second year in a row as Best Entertainment Shop, CD/Game Exchange proves once again that it has games and gear that used to be someone else’s that can now be yours, for a good deal. Snag that old videogame you used to play as a kid, hell, you can probably pick up the entire videogame system you used to play as a kid. With DVDs both new and used (all in good condition), CD/Game Exchange is definitely where you want to be if your craving for digital media outweighs your pocketbook.

 

Best Environmentally Friendly Business

1. BRING Recycling 4446 Franklin Blvd. 746-3023.bringrecycling.org

2. Down to Earth 532 Olive St., 342-6820; 2498 Willamette St.,
349-0556.
 down-to-earth.com

3. NextStep Recycling 2101 W. 10th Ave. 686-2366. nextsteprecycling.org

Even if you are not in the middle of some huge cool home remodeling project, whiling away a couple afternoon hours at BRING is kind of like going to the biggest yard sale ever for home and garden stuff. Where else can you find used windows, used sinks, random tubes and hoses, tools with obscure uses and office furniture of all shapes and sizes? Look one way and there’s a bin of used crutches, across the cluttered but clean room is a bin of car parts, with a horse’s hackamore tossed in. There’s gold in them thar bins of recycled stuff.

 

Best Bike Shop

photo by todd cooper

1. Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life 234 W. 6th Ave., 344-4150; 3870 W. 11th Ave., 343-2250; 152 W. 5th Ave., 344-4105; 2480 Alder St., 342-6155 www.bicycleway.com

2. Arriving By Bike 2705 Willamette St. 484-5410. arrivingbybike.com

3. Hutch’s 960 Charnelton St.345-7521; 2100 Main St. Springfield 741-2453

It’s nice to have options, and with Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life, you have an option pretty much wherever you are in town. The four shops all seem to have knowledgeable and helpful staffs, and each is slightly specialized — 5th Avenue in rentals, 6th Avenue in road and cross bikes, West 11th in helping stranded Fern Ridge bikers (thanks, guys) and Alder Street in, well, being the first Paul’s.

 

Best Local Resale

1. Redoux Parlour 780 Blair Blvd. 342-1942. redouxparlour.com

2. Deluxe 1331 Willamette St. 686-0205. deluxefashionshop.net

3. BRING 4446 Franklin Blvd. 746-3023. bringrecycling,org

 

Best Naughty Business

1. Olive Juice 543 Blair Blvd. 345-1618.

2. Freudian Slip 870 Pearl St. 345-7547. www.shopfreudianslip.com

2. The Nile Gentlemen’s Club 1030 Hwy 99 N. 688-1869.

Looking for locally made underwear? A sexy wig? Corsets or lingerie? Olive Juice, a gift shop that specializes in sexy costumery, has a variety of options that most certainly veer toward naughty. It’s a great stop when you’re looking to finalize an outfit so it has that certain je-ne-sais-fuck-me.

 

Best Bookstore

1. Smith Family 768 E. 13th Ave., 345-1651; 525 Willamette St., 343-4717.

2. Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette St. 345-8986.

3. J. Michaels 160 E. Broadway. 342-2002.

No, seriously, print is dying. But Smith Family (either location) is keeping the flame alive. If you love books and you have a few hours to kill, Smith Family is a treasure hunt waiting to happen. If there is a title you’re trying to find, chances are you can find a very affordable well-loved or brand new copy of it there. Oh, and this is a bookstore run by bookworms — so fire away with questions, the staff knows the inventory inside out. It’s more than likely that you will find what you were looking for and a few more titles as well. Students, pay attention, this is a great place to score the books you need at a cheap price.

 

Best Entertainment Shop

1. CD/Game Exchange 30 E. 11th Ave. 302-3045. cdgmexeug.com

2. CD World 3215 W. 11th Ave. Suite B. 683-6902. gotocdworld.com

3. House of Records 258 E. 13th Ave. 342-7975.

Winning for the second year in a row as Best Entertainment Shop, CD/Game Exchange proves once again that it has games and gear that used to be someone else’s that can now be yours, for a good deal. Snag that old videogame you used to play as a kid, hell, you can probably pick up the entire videogame system you used to play as a kid. With DVDs both new and used (all in good condition), CD/Game Exchange is definitely where you want to be if your craving for digital media outweighs your pocketbook.

 

Best Environmentally Friendly Business

1. BRING Recycling 4446 Franklin Blvd. 746-3023. bringrecycling.org

2. Down to Earth 532 Olive St., 342-6820; 2498 Willamette St.,349-0556. down-to-earth.com

3. NextStep Recycling 2101 W. 10th Ave. 686-2366. nextsteprecycling.org

Even if you are not in the middle of some huge cool home remodeling project, whiling away a couple afternoon hours at BRING is kind of like going to the biggest yard sale ever for home and garden stuff. Where else can you find used windows, used sinks, random tubes and hoses, tools with obscure uses and office furniture of all shapes and sizes? Look one way and there’s a bin of used crutches, across the cluttered but clean room is a bin of car parts, with a horse’s hackamore tossed in. There’s gold in them thar bins of recycled stuff.

 

Best Local Resale

1. Redoux Parlour 780 Blair Blvd. 342-1942. redouxparlour.com

2. Deluxe 1331 Willamette St. 686-0205. deluxefashionshop.net

3. BRING 4446 Franklin Blvd. 746-3023. bringrecycling,org

 

Best Place to Pamper Yourself

photo by todd cooper

1. Gervais 248 E. 5th Ave. 345-1312; 301 W. 5th Ave. 334-6533. www.gervaiseugene.com

2. Pearl St. Day Spa 1375 Pearl St. 683-3377. www.thepearldayspa.com

3. Bello 2746 Shadow View Dr. 345-0551. www.bellospa.com

When it comes to the pampering process, the folks at Gervais have it down. Aveda products enhance the normal salon experience with fresh scents of lavender. And give your hands and feet a little TLC with a manicure and pedicure at the 5th & Lincoln day spa. Get those roots touched up or get a nice haircut and style over at the Fifth Street Public Market salon.

 

Best Clothing Shop 

photo by todd cooper

1. Redoux Parlour 780 Blair Blvd. 342-1942. redouxparlour.com

2. Deluxe 1331 Willamette St. 686-0205. deluxefashionshop.net

3. Sweet Potato Pie 20 E. 11th Ave. 344-8810

Get your shop — or your sell — on at Redoux Parlour. Whether you are looking for designer labels or something a little funkier, you are sure to find it at this resale store. Clean out your closet and turn your dowdy day outfits into someone else’s Sunday best. Redoux only accepts the best of the best when it comes to hand-me-downs — which is great news for savvy shoppers — so be sure check out their guidelines. The Redoux Parlour also offers alterations and hosts two levels of sewing classes for the craftier types. Plus meet the who’s who in Eugene’s up-and-coming fashion scene and see their latest designs — tagged by some as wearable art — as many local designers are featured in this one-stop shop.

 

Best Downtown Business

photo by todd cooper

1. Voodoo Doughnut 20 E. Broadway. voodoodoughnut.com

2. The Kiva 125 W. 11th Ave. 342-8666. kivagrocery.org

3. Passion Flower 128 E. Broadway. 344-3857. passionflowerdesign.com

Since its arrival last year, Voodoo Donuts continues to hold its place downtown — and its notorious scent of sugary goodness permeates the air. The trademark pink boxes can be seen all over Eugene. The cereal-topped doughnuts continue to bring out customers’ inner children and the penis-shaped doughnuts continue to bring out the perverts. And what could be better than a fresh maple bar? How about a maple bar topped with bacon? Mmmm.

 

Best Body Modification Shop

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. High Priestess 675 Lincoln St., 342-6585; 525 E. 13th Ave., 343-3311; 2475 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis, 738-7711; highpriestess.com

2. Area 51 3585 Main St., Spfd., 747-3110, www.a51tats.com

3. (tie) The Parlour 1097 Willamette St., 345-6465, www.theparlourtattoo.com; and Black Lotus 1011 W. 6th Ave., 434-8282, www.julientattoo.com

Punch a hole in you and call it art! High Priestess will pierce and tattoo just about every part of you, whether you’re in Eugene, Corvallis or even Roseburg. All their piercers are members of the Association of Professional Piercers, and if there’s one way the Eugene locations feel, it’s clean. Tattoo artists display their portfolios online, so you can browse through their work until you find an artist whose work you feel comfortable with. Even better, the shop welcomes those with healing piercings and tattoos wondering “is this normal?” to stop by and make sure it is.

 

Best Tattoo Artist

photos by todd cooper

1. Wendy Kai, Pure Devotion 304 E. 13th Ave. 221-2048. www.puredevotiontattoo.net

2. (tie): Chris Rohaley, Area 51 3585 Main St., Spfd., 747-3110, www.a51tats.com; and

Dr. Julien, Black Lotus Tattoo 1011 W. 6th Ave. 434-8282. www.julientattoo.com

Wendi Kai, lady tattooer, inks her customers in her much-anticipated new parlor, Pure Devotion Tattoo, located inside Antrican on 13th. The space is welcoming and showcases Kai’s devotion to her art, as well as the local artistic community. When asked how it feels to finally have her own space, she says, “Besides raising my son, it is the most rewarding investment of my time and energy.” Kai has been tattooing in Eugene for the past five years and she “feels lucky and grateful to get to do this as a profession.”

 

Best Pet Supply Store

1. Mini Pet Mart 974 W. 6th Ave., 344-9603; 2636 Willamette St., 345-3399; 2775 River Rd., 688-8619; 1999 Main St., Spfd., 744-0665.

2. The Healthy Pet 2777 Friendly St. 343-3411. www.thehealthypet.com

3. Wags! Dog Emporium 485 Coburg Rd. 338-8801. www.wagsdog.com

While it may seem completely backwards for a place that promotes the health and well being of domesticated animals to sell cigarettes, we love that Mini Pet Mart does. Besides the extremely cheap smokes, though, Mini Pet Mart has everything you could possibly imagine needing for your moggies and doggies, and let’s not forget your birds and reptiles either. The scratch-off bonus cards are also a nice touch.

 

Best Glassware

The men of Midtown

1. Midtown Direct Smoke Shop 133 E. 13th Ave. 345-3337. www.midtowndirect.us

2. Cornerstone Glass 1068 W. 2nd Ave. 341-1788. http://cornerstoneglass.com

3. Glass Menagerie 980 W. 5th Ave. 344-4865.

Gorgeous swirls of color and plucky little dots decorate the pipes at Midtown Pipe and Tobacco. They range in style from Sherlocks to hookahs to one-hitters. In addition to glassware, Midtown has pipe tobacco, hookah supplies and incense. Just don’t mention any less-than-legal substances that could be smoked out of the glassware — it’s a quick ticket out of the shop.

 

Nightlife

Best Bar Food

1. Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

2. Jackalope 453 Willamette St. 485-1519. jackalopelounge.com

3. Sam Bond’s Garage 407 Blair Blvd. 343-2635. www.sambonds.com

Fried pickles, hush puppies, burgers and BLTs, Horsehead has just about everything — from fried to cheesy — to satisfy those late night munchies. And the more unique bar food is still kickin’ good — gooey mac and cheese, rice and beans, collard greens. And those nachos piled high with beans, green salsa, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole are a sure-fire way to end any night, as long as you’re down with garlic breath!

 

Best Bar

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. Sam Bond’s Garage 407 Blair Blvd. 343-2635. www.sambonds.com

2. Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

3. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804. izakayameiji.com

There are not enough good things to say about Sam Bond’s — and your votes indicate you feel the same. Monday night’s bingo night draws a killer crowd and everyone from smaller local bands to the big-timers continue to squeeze onto the small stage and jam at this Whiteaker bar. Plus the touch of serving drinks in jars (every drink is better out of an old jar) just makes Sam Bond’s feel all the more like home — well, like your garage at least.

 

Best Beers on Tap

1. The Bier Stein 345 E. 11th Ave. 485-2437. thebierstein.com

2. Ninkasi Brewery Tasting Room 272 Van Buren St. 344-2739. www.ninkasibrewing.com

3. 16 Tons 265 E 13th Ave. 345-2003. sixteentons.biz

 

Best Bouncer

photo by trask bedortha

1. Josh Finch, Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

2. Erik Hartmann, formerly of The District

3. Jason Kronk, John Henry’s 77 W. Broadway. 342-3358.

A bouncer is a true man of the people. He must be a master mediator, capable of effectively using his words, his silence, his mere presence and if need be his superior fighting skills. Josh Finch, security manager at Horsehead, is this and more. Stand-up comedian, independent magazine editor and musician, Finch is one of the friendliest big scary guys around. He views bouncing as more of a “social networking gig” than a career, and he is damn good at it. We appreciate Finch for keeping it real and representing the late night socio-sentinels of Eugene.

 

Best Designer Drinks

1. The Davis Restaurant & Bar 94 W. Broadway. 485-1124. www.davisrestaurant.com

2. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804. izakayameiji.com

3. The Vintage 837 Lincoln St. 349-9181. www.thevintageeugene.com

Davis’ drizzles out the best designer drinks, like the AZ 1070 made with jalapeño-infused vodka. Choose from a variety of delicious drinks on their bar menu or get to know your bartender like Rio, who will let you spin the proverbial — and imaginary — “Rio-lette” wheel and leave the fate of your drink in her hands.

 

Best Happy Hour/Drink Specials

1. Starlight Lounge 830 Olive St. 343-3204.

2. Granary Pizza Co. 259 E. 5th Ave. 343-8488.

3. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804. izakayameiji.com

Starlight Lounge retains its title — and appropriately so, with drink specials like the daytime happy hour’s $2 white Russians (made with Crater Lake Vodka), local microbrews and Hinman wines (4 pm-7 pm). And really, where else can you go to get a $2 shot of Patron? Plus, Starlight gets bonus points for its cozy atmosphere, complete with dim lighting and plush velvet armchairs.

 

Best Place to Sing Karaoke

1. Oak Street Speakeasy 915 Oak St. 284-4000.

2. Red Lion Inn 205 Coburg Rd. 342-5201.

3. Cornucopia 207 E. 5th Ave. 485-2676. www.eugenecatering.com

 

Best Local Brewery

1. Ninkasi Brewing 272 Van Buren St. 344-2739. www.ninkasibrewing.com

2. Oakshire Brewing 1055 Madera St. 688-4555. oakbrew.com

3. Hop Valley Brewing Co. 980 Kruse Way, Spfd. 744-3330. www.hopvalleybrewing.com/

 

Best Open Mic

photo by todd cooper

1. Hot Mama’s Wings 420 (yes, 420, you stoner) W. 13th Ave. 653-9999. www.hotmamaswings.com

2. (ménage-a-tie): Diablo’s 959 Pearl St., 343-2346, diabloseugene.com;  Granary Pizza Co. 259 E. 5th Ave., 343-8488; and Mulligan’s 2841 Willamette St., 484-1727.

Community, style and strong drinks are all that one can ask for in an open mic venue. Hot Mama’s delivers this and more. Being at the Hot Mama’s open mic feels like you stepped into a laidback party where all of your friends have the guts to get up on the microphone and throw down something special. Owner Michael Marzano and open-mic master of ceremonies Sal Salvatore have teamed up to make this weekly event a staple in the neighborhood. Whether you are an aspiring musician looking for your first bits of stage time, or a salty veteran of such affairs, Hot Mama’s on Tuesday nights is the place to be for open-mic festivities. We suggest ordering a “Weekly” (a ‘special, special, read-all-about-it’ raspberry and lemonade concoction) and sipping it slowly while you’re there.

 

Best Place to Drink Outside

photo by trask bedortha

1. Ninkasi Brewing 272 Van Buren St. 344-2739. www.ninkasibrewing.com

2. McMenamins North Bank 22 Club Rd. 342-5622. www.mcmenamins.com

3. Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

It makes perfect sense: For the approximately 12 days per year that Eugeneans can drink outdoors without our hoodies and peacoats absorbing an ungodly amount of Northwest damp, we like to sip our favorite brewery’s products on its massive patio. Whether you want a classic Total Domination IPA or something that comes and goes, like Maiden the Shade or the always charming Sleigh’r — or maybe a little bit of everything — Ninkasi Brewery is there for you. We love it especially when it’s sunny and warm, and food carts and musicians share patio space with beer aficionados. When it rains, though, as it always eventually does, you can step inside and ogle the mountains of Ninkasi swag — or drink elsewhere in town, where you can find Eugene’s favorite beer just about everywhere, in bottles or on tap.

 

Best Bartender

photo by trask bedortha

1. Ty Connor, Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

2. Don Mike, Granary Pizza Co. 259 E. 5th Ave. 343-8488.

3. Sommerfield Habener, Luckey’s Club Cigar Store 933 Olive St. 687-4643. luckeysclub.com

The best bartenders are more than just the people who bring you alcohol. They also need to be part friend and part psychologist. To achieve Ty Connor’s proprietary blend of personality, add in to the mix that he’s also a performer, gifted comedian, event host and the voice of the Emerald Valley Roller Girls. Frequently funny, always friendly, and prompt with that alcohol when you really need it. Perfect.

 

Best Place to Shake Your Moneymaker

photo by todd cooper

1. Cowfish 62 W. Broadway.

2. John Henry’s ‘80s Night 77 W. Broadway. 342-3358.

3. The District (closed)

Well, where else but Cowfish? Thinking about all the rambunctious birthdays, the spilled beer and the drunken dance floor takeovers, it’s difficult for us to remember not having fun at the Fish. There’s an eclectic mix of groovy tunes every night of the week, the drinks aren’t too pricy and the people inside are always down to show off and welcome new moves. Whether we’re moonwalking to Michael Jackson or just drunkenly stumbling about to dubstep music with strobe lights burning out our retinas, the Cowfish is always our fave moneymaker-shaker spot.

 

Arts

Best Blog

1. Culinaria Eugenius culinariaeugenius.wordpress.com

2. Eugene Bicyclist http://eugenebicyclist.com

3. That’s So Northwest https://community.nwcu.com/thatssonorthwest

Blogger Jennifer Burns Levin writes about seasonal food grown and served in Eugene and her foodie adventures around the country — most recently to Seattle for Taiwanese dim sum and the Food Network’s food and wine tasting festival in New York City. (She was there to view an art exhibition to research her book on mid-century sexuality, but a girl’s gotta eat no matter where she is.) It’s this multidisciplinary approach to food and culture that makes Culinaria Eugenius such an interesting read. She shares her own recipes and she takes appetizing food pics to boot.

 

Best Gallery

photo courtesy mo bowen

1. The Voyeur (closed)

2. OPUS VII 22 W. 7th Ave. 393-0743. www.opusvii.com

3. White Lotus 767 Willamette St. 345-3276. www.wlotus.com

Mo Bowen’s homegrown DIY masterpiece that was The Voyeur gallery was an authentic landmark in the Eugene art scene. Known for having the freshest work from new artists, The Voyeur was the artist’s art gallery of Eugene, located in the cultural hub of the Whiteaker neighborhood. The Voyeur was a gallery founded on the principles of persistence and determination, geared towards the elevation of local arts. Perhaps most importantly, The Voyeur also hosted art critiques and art talks — events that promoted the necessary ongoing dialogue of artistic contribution and strengthened the visual arts community of Eugene.

 

Best Visual Artist

photo by todd cooper

1. Jud Turner http://judturner.com

2. (tie): Claire Flint www.claireflint.com; and Jamie Burress

While Jud Turner’s sculpture is varied in form, he consistently uses found objects (plastic bones, BRING scraps, model parts) and welded steel to create sculptures with organic beauty that may take the form of fossils, skeletons that are the bicycle they are riding, or a ring of skulls that gaze eternally into each other’s soporific consciousness. Beyond the gorgeous craftsmanship are deeper meanings that reveal themselves specifically in the material he uses: Mountain bike treads become the repetitive shapes of spinal columns, a head is formed from empty psychotherapy drug capsules, lenses reflect and distort your own personal point of view. Turner is also the artist behind BRING Recycling Center’s Chapel of Second Chances, which creates a backdrop of religious solidarity for weddings or vow renewals in the middle of a recycling center. Turner creates beauty from tools with the potential to maim — grinders, saws and torches that eat metal and spit fire. That sense of irony and metaphorical essence may be the best representation of Eugene’s split personalities that we’ve yet come across.

 

Best Performing Arts Group

1. Red Raven Follies

2. No Shame Eugene

3. Lord Leebrick

Since their formation in 2009, the Red Raven Follies have grown from performing at the one-off variety show and occasional neighborhood event (such as Whiteaker Block Party) to their recent WOW Hall debut in early October. “Not a lot would happen in between our performances, but now we’re working a lot more than we ever have,” says coordinator Rachel Pietila, aka Golden Delicious. For their new show, every act corresponds to a tarot card. For instance, the Ace of Wands is portrayed in comedic fashion — “a giant hand of God comes out from the stage and shoots out things at each one of the girls,” Pietila says — but with the meaning that gifts that are bestowed upon you and you have the tools to fulfill your destiny. Clearly, it’s a message well-received by Eugene audiences.

 

Best Live Music Venue

photo by todd cooper

1. WOW Hall 291 W. 8th Ave. 687-2746. www.wowhall.org

2. Cuthbert Amphitheatre Alton Baker Park. http://thecuthbert.com

3. Sam Bond’s Garage 407 Blair Blvd. 343-2635. www.sambonds.com

It’s no surprise that WOW Hall wins best live music venue, again. No place else in Eugene has as diverse and notable talent coming through on such a regular basis. Plus, it’s an all-ages venue that has a bar for the older crowd. This year has already brought the likes of Yelawolf, The Shins and Pharoahe Monch. Future (likely to be sold-out) performances include Immortal Technique, Evidence and Macklemore (pictured at his March show at WOW Hall). We salute and will continue to salute WOW Hall for bringing premier musicians of this era through town, like, all the time.

 

Best Local Band

1. Medium Troy www.mediumtroy.com

2. Satin Love Orchestra www.satinlove.com

3. Mood Area 52 www.rocketboyarts.com/mood_area_52

 

Best Lead Singer 

1. JoJo Ferreira, Medium Troy www.mediumtroy.com

2. Tyler Fortier http://tylerfortier.com

3. Marv Ellis www.marvellis.com

 

Best Local Album

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. Space Tree, Medium Troy www.mediumtroy.com

2. Fear of the Unknown, Tyler Fortier http://tylerfortier.com

3. (tie) Tidal Wave, Rootdown www.rootdownsound.comAfter Dark, Halie Loren www.halieloren.com

Well, these categories got swept hard. We’re not too surprised to see that Medium Troy is on top of things once again this year, and with the album Bohemian Dub blasting in our CD players and iPods, we’re more than happy to support. Since winning best local artist in last year’s Best of Eugene, Medium Troy continues to cause a hearty hubbub with the dub — yep, you guessed it, “dubbub” — and we’re seriously doubting the band is gonna stop anytime soon. Let’s just sit back and watch while the beats and the hooks keep whipping up a storm and Jojo Ferreira continues to entertain crowds when he rocks the mic. Medium Troy, we’re psyched that you call Eugene your home.

 

Miscellany

photo by todd cooper

Best Local Athlete

1. LaMichael James, UO football

2. Darron Thomas, UO football

3. Ashton Eaton, UO track

LaMichael James just keeps getting better and better, and this is since he won the 2010 Doak Walker award, a prize given to best running back in the country. Even with a dislocated elbow disqualifying him from NCAA statistical rankings (from missing two games), James is still No. 1 in Ducks’ hearts.

 

Best Alternative Sports Team

photo by trask bedortha

1. Emerald City Roller Girls

2. Eugene Reign Women’s Rugby

3. South Eugene Ultimate Axmen

It doesn’t get much better than a high-speed, high-collision, high-scoring roller derby bout. The Emerald City Roller Girls bring the sport to life with their flashy uniforms and spunky pseudonyms like Alluya R. Doomed, Gasherella and last year’s Best of Eugene covergirl Bullet Brains. The next season starts in January, and fans are chomping at the bit.

 

Best Local Writer
1. Bob Welch, The Register-Guard

2. Camilla Mortensen, Eugene Weekly

3. (tie): Serena Markstrom, The Register-Guard; and Ken Kesey, deceased

 

Best EW Cover in the Last Year

1. Women’s Rugby

2. Loving Your Body

3. Sasha the Pit Bull & Women with Pit Bulls

Babes, boobs and pit bulls. ‘Nuff said.

Best Local News Person

1. Natasha Chugtai, formerly of KLSR

2. Marc Mullins, NewsSource Today TV

3. Shelley Kurtz, KVAL anchor

Oh Natasha, we hardly knew ye. Before she left us for KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa, Chughtai anchored and reported on Eugene’s FOX affiliate. But in mid-October she traded rain for corn, and Eugeneans are already missing her coffee-fueled enthusiasm.

 

Best Secret Romantic Hideaway

1. Not telling, silly!

2. Skinner’s Butte

3. Oregon Coast

What the hell? Are you people nuts? Skinner’s Butte? We’ve given blowjobs in truck stop bathrooms that were more romantic.

 

photo by todd cooper

Best Annual Event

1. Oregon Country Fair

2. Eugene Celebration

3. Whiteaker Block Party

Every July the Oregon Country Fair attracts thousands of people who are craving a unique counterculture celebration and find it in the woods outside Veneta. Over the years the fair has evolved from a crazy hippy party to a vibrant, family-friendly festival of music, education and artistic expression.

 

Best Way to Get Your Outdoors On

photo by rob sydor • digitallatte.com

1. Hiking

2. Biking

3. Get to the River

EW readers are not daunted by rain, nor are they apparently prone to making specific choices. Best thing to do outdoors in Eugene? Apparently it’s actually be outdoors — walking though, not sitting still. Lane County is littered with good spots to hike. There’s in-townish hikes such as Mount Pisgah or the Ridgeline Trail and there’s moderate to difficult hikes within an hour’s drive out the McKenzie, Hwy 58 or in the Coast Range. Drive a little further east and you can hike the Three Sisters Wilderness. There’s wildflower hikes, waterfall hikes, big tree hikes, river hikes. You name it, we have hikes.

 

Best Thing That Could Happen to Eugene

1. Fix downtown

2. More bikes, fewer cars, better mass transit

3. Deal with the homeless/street kids

Some of the more conservative folks in Eugene who are embarrassed by the Eugene Celebration and Saturday Market think of downtown as Valley River Center or Oakway. But our readers overwhelmingly want to see the heart of our city revived and bustling with people of all sorts. It’s going to take a while, but downtown is on the mend.

 

Worst Thing That Could Happen to Eugene

1. More conservatives/tea-baggers

2. Not deal with downtown

3. Do nothing/stay the same

We couldn’t agree more. As the gerrymandering of Lane County has shown, even our own little Emerald City isn’t safe from anti-tax-at-any-cost (including education, social services and our environment) flying monkeys. Dear moderate and liberal readers, tell a friend that dismantling everything loving and wise about our society is a bad idea, and maybe we can melt that wicked witch.

 

Best Thing About Eugene Weekly

1. It’s free

2. “Savage Love”

3.  Calendar/clubs listings

Well, you get what you pay for. Thanks for the support, Eugene.

 

Worst Thing about Eugene Weekly

1. Liberal bias, predictable politics

2. Advertisements, especially sleazy American Apparel ads

3. “Ask a Mexican”

We’re the children of hippies, we know. Maybe we should give the bike, bike, bike thing a rest. But we’re sticking to our flower-loaded guns on this one: Having an alt-weekly with progressive priorities — and more importantly, one that acknowledges exactly what those priorities are — is good for Eugene, a city that already has a “neutral” daily paper. No worries about the liberal bias-dislike though, all we have for you is peace, love and understanding.

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