Asheville’s not a particularly competitive city. Many locals have a kind of all-in-this-together mentality, and even when there’s some rivalry, it’s usually of the friendly sort.
With that in mind, one would think a contest that pits locals against each other for the title of “Best Of WNC” would be a relaxed, even laid-back affair.
But it wasn’t — not by a long shot. Even though “Best Of” is, in essence, a popularity contest, with Xpress readers determining the winners through mailed-in and online ballots, the competition this year was furious. In order to take home the honors, the contestants had to impress the most discerning of judges: you, our readers.
Not surprisingly, some folks wanted to hedge their bets a little. We had plenty of ballot-stuffers and otherwise questionable submissions. We had our share of rules sticklers and tattle-tales. But, most of all, we had some very intense face-offs between otherwise friendly colleagues — and all in order to be called “The Best.”
What follows are the results of more than 130 title bouts, each as passionately contested as an Olympic title. And, fittingly, the only person the winners can thank for their moment of glory is you.
— Xpress Staff