Best of Eugene 2018-2019 (Staff Picks Web Extra)

Best Underrated Mexican Food 
Mama Mayra’s 764 Blair Boulevard
Apparently, not enough people know in Eugene know about Mama Mayra’s. This gem of an eatery is located in the West Jeff neighborhood of Eugene. Mama Mayra’s delivers authentic Mexican cuisine at a very affordable price, and is a favorite of all of the staff here at Eugene Weekly. This is not your typical Americanized Mexican food — rather it’s the food you would find in a grandmother’s kitchen in the heart of Mexico. Mama Mayra’s started as a food truck, then grew to a brick and mortar location, which expanded to its larger current home at 764 Blair Boulevard. The restaurant has a cozy family atmosphere, with walls covered in traditional, colorful Mexican design work. The burritos are worthy of Best of Eugene, and surely to be a winner in subsequent years. The menu is expansive, but you cannot make a wrong choice. If you’re feeling indecisive, may we recommend the fish tacos? With the delicious homemade green salsa of course! — Elisha Young
 
Best Random Flowers
Walking down Lincoln Street I paused to admire the dahlias in bloom. “Aren’t they beautiful?” a woman asked me as she walked by. “Yes,” I agreed, they were. Lane County is rife with blooms, almost all year long, and I love the gardeners who don’t hide their flowers in the backyard and instead plant them along the streets for all of us to admire. Salon St. Jacques at 11th and Lincoln brightens up the street across from the Eugene Municipal Court and hopefully brightens some folks’ days.  — Camilla Mortensen
 
Best Pizza on Coburg Road
Coburg Pizza Company 90999 S. Willamette Street, Coburg; 1710 Centennial Boulevard, Springfield
It’s easy to get frightened by the number of pizzas at Coburg Pizza Company. Dare I say, they have far too many to choose from, forcing you to return to cross off a pie from the menu in the same manner as a European explorer? Despite the ever-growing pizza menu, the place can really knock it out of the park. And it doesn’t stop there. The baked wings satisfy the carnal hunger for spicy poultry without a deep fryer — giving relief to those who might need a solid antacid to follow other wings at other pizza joints. Coburg Pizza Company is more than just another gem of Springfield and Cottage Grove. It’s American ingenuity at its finest. — Henry Houston
 
Tastiest Downtown 
Springfield has grown a lot in the last few years, specifically in its downtown sector. Now it’s gotten to the point where it’s giving Eugene’s downtown a run for its money. Along with favorites like Plank Town and Mezza Luna Pizzeria, just this year Springfield has also welcomed a multitude of new eateries such as George and Violet’s Steakhouse and Addis Ethiopian Food. Downtown Springfield has it all. Grab breakfast from the likes of Washburne Café, a great coffee spot, and Addi’s Diner, a delicious destination to eat a hotcake big enough for at least four people. Get some Thai at Noodle N Thai. Get lunch at Sprout! Regional Food Hub with a food court including carts La Granada and Pig & Turnip. There’s also going to be a secondary Cornbread Café location down there — coming soon. All I’m saying, thank god we finally have Lyft and Uber, anything to make it easier to get over to Springfield ASAP. — Meerah Powell
 
Best Campus that Looks Like Cement Blocks but is Full of Nooks and Crannies
Lane Community College’s campus is not pretty on first sight. The 1960s cement architecture looms in some spots and huddles in others, on a hill off 30th Avenue. But it’s also full of little bits of wonder, small gardens, hiking trails behind the campus, art and sculpture in hallways and walkways and even a labyrinth not far from the clocktower near the bus stop. Every college needs a labyrinth and places to sit a breathe for a moment. — Camilla Mortensen
 
Best Place to Get Hit By a Car While Riding a Bike
I think it’s the irony. Eugene likes to brag about its bike-ability. Despite plentiful bike lanes in this city, its drivers are keeping cyclists off the road. I mean, for a while Lane Transit District had to remind drivers to not cut through the bike lane to turn right (the dreaded right hook). But drivers are too busy on their phones to pay attention to a bus advertisement. Nowhere is safe from the wild driver. I guess the positive is that if a car hits you, you could land a sweet insurance payout. — Henry Houston
 
My Own Personal Pick for Best Hair Stylist
Alisha Basham (London Hair Studio) 770 Willamette Street
Up until last February, I had long dread locks. They were a big part of my life and identity for more than six years. One cold, rainy evening, for a myriad of reasons, I decided it was time for a change. Over the next six weeks, I obsessively brushed out my locks one at a time, while researching stylist after stylist. Alisha Basham came highly recommended from a good friend with connections at London Hair Studio downtown. I went to see Basham, and we instantly hit it off. Not to mention she gave me the best haircut of my life, and the most banging bangs in all of the land. I’m currently booked with her until the end of time, and will likely throw a huge fit if I am ever forced to see a new stylist again.
Basham did not grow up dreaming of being a cosmetologist; rather, she was a tomboy to the core. She found herself working for a glass shop, living in her mom’s laundry room dreaming of a creative job that she could make a worthwhile career. Basham went to get her own hair done one day, and produced a photo of David Bowie, requesting his haircut. Her stylist refused, and told her she “was too pretty” for something like that. That’s where it all began. Basham went back to school, gained her licensing and made it her mission to give clients what they asked for, while still knowing the trends and what would be complimentary. She says, “If someone wants something crazy,” she is going to give it to them. She’s been molding some of the best hair in Eugene for nearly a decade now, working most of her career at London on Willamette Street. She’s come along way from the laundry room, now working as an in demand stylist, and also an educator with Sebastion professional and Wella. — Elisha Young
 
Best Tax Breaks
If, by chance, you are a monolithic real estate developer driven by dreams of owning simply everything, or perhaps instead the CFO of a enormous corporation seeking to cut every corner while screwing everyone but your stockholders, then we’ve got the perfect place for you to set up shop: Eugene, where your capital plans can enjoy an enormous tax break by which you can simultaneously empty out the public trust while also reaping the benefits of a backdoor corporate subsidy. Win-win! It’s quite simple, really. Just make a bloated appeal to the somnolent Eugene City Council (be sure to take the city manager, Jon Ruiz, out to lunch a few times, too), promising to stimulate the local economy and create local jobs; grossly inflate your financial speculations, bringing in out-of-town construction firms and cattle-call laborers to cash in on the boondoggle; let all the money funnel upwards, like a true 21st-century robber baron; and, if you’re extra-thoughtful, leave town with the profits, sell your holding to an out-of-state corporation, flip your real estate to a Chinese firm or simply liquidate everything and fly by night, Trump style. And for the icing on the cake, you can chuckle like the devil himself as you sit back and watch Eugene’s population and political structure continue to wring its hands about failing schools, chronic homelessness, rising crime rates, cost-of-living spikes and rampant drug addiction. It’s a new world, baby, and it’s yours for the taking. — Rick Levin
 
Best Nail Salon
Mini Nails 48 W. 18th Avenue. 541-683-5269. 
I went to South Eugene High School and started doing my nails as a junior. Getting acrylics on a lunch break was no secret for many of my dance team compatriots, as it was just enough time to get a fill and a Starbucks before your next class. I have been going to Mini Nails for nearly seven years, getting consistent (if not improving) service every time. After renovating the salon recently, their new atmosphere is clean and fresh, making you feel pampered with every visit. The nail technicians are friendly and speedy, having decades of experience among them. Challenging them with new designs and ideas is a favorite of mine, as I am always excited to see what each tech comes up with that day. Be patient with the staff, get a mimosa, and you will be rewarded with beautiful nails for a great price. — Amber Cecil

Author: EW Staff