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The Best of The Best

June 7, 2012

There is only one thing on my mind today, and that’s the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region 2012 reader’s choice poll results. We collectively did a lot of work to try and make these results better than they were a year ago.

And the good news is that some of my wildest dreams came true.

Sure, there were plenty of places on the FUSSYlittleBALLOT 3.0 that failed to crack the top three. But your votes helped to propel one place into the number one slot in its category. And honestly, if I could only pick one category for us to rally around it would have been this one.

Congratulations to All Good Bakers for being declared the Best restaurant to open in the past year. Here is what the Times Union had to say about the place:

AGB’s bread is stellar, the grilled cheese may be the best you’ll ever eat, and the owners’ dedication to fresh, seasonal food from local producers is admirable. The little upstart was able to edge past the latest venture from the area’s biggest and most successful restaurateur, Angelo Mazzone, who opened a suburban sibling of his upscale Prime steakhouses. Coming in third was AGB’s neighbor Mingle, celebrated as the re-emergence of the Korean-born chef Uni-Hui Filomeno.

Other big successes? Well, Subway is no longer the region’s best sandwich! It didn’t even make the top three. And while our pick didn’t either, I’m okay with that given the strength of the winners.

Bombers isn’t our best Mexican anymore either, which is good because it’s not Mexican. Still they took two of the top three slots. But, I’m happy with small victories too. Like Pizza Hut no longer making the list of our best pizza. Which isn’t to say I endorse the category winner, but overall this is a positive incremental step from last year.

Naturally there were some disappointments. Ala Shanghai totally got robbed. I attribute that to the problem of one category for all Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants. Next year I’m going to send the Times Union a map of Asia. Because that’s just nuts. Especially given how many Chinese restaurants we have in the area, with the region’s strong taste for Japanese cuisine, only one Chinese restaurant made the list. And don’t even try to tell me that Ichiban is Chinese.

Mrs. London’s and Caffe Vero also were sorely lacking from the list.

However All Over Albany came in just behind the Times Union in the Times Union’s own poll for best local website. And frankly, that’s the best anyone who isn’t the Times Union could expect to do in this category, mathematically speaking. I’m pleased to be even a small part of that.

And no, I didn’t make the top three for the best local blogger. But you made it down here all the way to the end of the post anyway. So I must be doing something right.

Thank you all for your help once again in this quixotic effort. Next year we’ll take yet another step forward. But for now, congratulations to the winners. And an extra special shout to All Good Bakers. I’m so glad they got the recognition they deserve.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    June 7, 2012 11:19 am

    Boy, you are an optimist. I just went through the results, and I must say you are making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    • Tonia permalink
      June 7, 2012 12:19 pm

      I agree! Definitely optimistic. If those are our tops… [shaking my head]. I won’t even begin to comment. Red Robin?

      • Kerosena permalink
        June 7, 2012 2:39 pm

        Often, change is incremental. This year was a little bit better than last year, which was a little better than the year before. I don’t believe Daniel’s optimism is misplaced.

  2. June 7, 2012 11:26 am

    compared to years past I was pleasantly surprised at results from today’s polls. Although Red Robin placing high in any poll except ‘most obnoxiously loud with terrible service’ is a bit, hard to understand.

  3. June 7, 2012 12:16 pm

    Kudos to All Good Bakers. But the rest of the poll is almost universally disheartening. I feel like I am living in a parallel universe.

  4. Jessica R permalink
    June 7, 2012 1:36 pm

    Congrats Daniel! Did you know you were “social-media savvy”?

  5. June 9, 2012 12:28 am

    We want to thank Daniel and FLB readers for putting us forth as Best New Restaurant for the TU 2012 Reader’s Poll. The 3.0 Ballot did have an effect (even though some of those on the slate didn’t make the list) in that more small, local treasures were featured overall. We applaud the effort to celebrate more locally-owned businesses that make the Cap Region special and are absolutely thrilled to have made it to the top of the list. Daniel, FLB readers and voters have our deepest thanks! We are still a tiny, new enterprise with virtually no advertising budget so we are hoping this accolade brings us in contact with a regular base of people who care about the food they are consuming day to day. Thank you for believing in our vision of bringing clean, real, local foods to our community!

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