Back in the day, Xpress rewarded its reader-voted Best of WNC winners with (curb your enthusiasm) a plaque. That's cool and all, but most of us would agree that nothing says "Congratulations!" quite like a big fat party. So, last year Xpress got thinking, not only is the Best of WNC winners circle populated by talented folks, but when we're talking musicians, artists, dancers, chefs, bakers and brew masters, we're pretty much talking about a ready-made celebration. Food, drink and entertainment: The only missing ingredient is an audience to enjoy the revelry.
You might want to grab a cup of coffee from Izzy's (this year's winner for Best Coffee Shop) before you begin perusing the Xpress 2009 Best of WNC results, because there are a whopping 194 categories to check out. We’ve added categories to our Drinks section, our Arts & Entertainment section, our Uniquely Asheville section — to practically every section. And we’ve created all-new regional categories to better emphasize the “WNC” in our Best of WNC roundup.
Needless to say, there are a lot of new winners, though many old favorites remain just that. Congratulations to all the winners and a special shout out to new Hall of Famers (winners who have won their category for four consecutive years) — you all help make WNC the special part of the world that it is.
Many thanks to all of you who voted. Perhaps the additional categories sparked more interest, or maybe the purple wigs in this year's Best of WNC advertising piqued your curiosity; whatever the case, more Xpress readers voted in this year's Best of WNC poll than ever before. Read on to find out who won what — and to see some of this year's winners in purple wigs!
And don't forget to come on out to the Best of WNC Bash at the Orange Peel (incidentally, the club honored here as the Best Place to Hear Live Music) this Sunday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 11 p.m. to help celebrate the very best of WNC! There will be food from a dozen or so of best-restaurant category winners, winning local brews, an expansive raffle of local goods and services coordinated by East-West Collective, and entertainments from arts-category winners Firecracker Jazz Band and Skinny Legs and All, the Montford Park Players and LAYLAS. All proceeds will benefit MANNA FoodBank (which was voted Best Do-gooder Group — good going, MANNA). Visit www.theorangepeel.net for party details.