Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Announcing Johnson County's Best of 2008

In what will certainly become the most anticipated annual "Best Of" list each year, Life in SOJOCO is announcing the Best of Johnson County Awards for 2008 especially for those of you who refuse to leave the safe confines of Johnson County. Since I am the self proclaimed (joco)Everyman of Johnson County who else is better to tell you where you are smart to show up? Actually, I did exhaustive research and polled a vast array of fellow Johnson Countians to come up with this list of the best of the best. Enjoy or write. Sometimes I crack myself up with the stuff I come up with..........

Drum Roll Please and congratulations to this year's best of Johnson County.........

Best BBQ: Fiorella’s Jack Stack. 95th and Metcalf. The signature Crown Prime Ribs top an incredible selection of standard BBQ fare but it is all done very well. And oh my the beans...They also offer a very nice wine selection.

Best Protein: USDA Prime Aged Steak. I know what you are thinking and (he he no homo in homage to TKC) not that protein. You all know my love of quality red meat. Rack of lamb gets honorable mention.

Best Sushi: Sushi House. Towncenter . Beautiful and fresh.

Best Italian: NoRTH. 119th & Roe. New this year and captured many people’s culinary imagination. Great menu of contemporary Italian. Fat Old Italian men are out. Sleek, sexy, fashionistas from Milan are in. Great outdoor eating when it is nice.

Best Steakhouse: J.Gilbert's. 95th & Metcalf. The ambiance of the old steakhouse yet still modern enough. A very good value and USDA Prime aged steak.

Best Wine List: JP Wine Bar. 119th & Roe: A satellite to their downtown location and new to the scene. Offers an excellent and extensive wine program with names you’ll know for comfort and names you don’t for adventure.

Best Wine Bar: Flight’s Wine Bar and Bistro. 151st and Nall. Quiet and swanky yet comfortable with a diverse selection of wine flights to allow you to try lots of different things. Still something of an insider’s place. Not for long.

Best Movie Theater: The newly opened AMC 30 in Olathe has my heart when it comes to movies. The Fork and Screen offers moviegoers better food, adult drink, and comfy seats. Dim the lights please and watch your hands.

Best Corporate Citizen: M&I Bank. Seems like almost every charity or community event I went to this year was sponsored by these guys most recently The Nutcracker…..not in JOCO but attended mostly by folks in the Golden Ghetto. Trust me, if I notice others do as well. Way to step up M&I and keep up the good work.

Best Coffee Shop: Black Dog Coffeehouse. 87th and something. All the things you like about a coffeehouse, even the wacko-liberal ideas, man. Art, music, Free Wi-Fi, oh and coffee made correctly. Reminds me fondly of Chicago.

Best New Restaurant: Zest. Mission Farms. How refreshing. This is a great new place. Beautiful room, nice wine list, very reasonably priced food. This place has looks of Jennifer Aniston, the substance Laura Ingraham, and the sensibilities of Sarah Palin. That quite possibly says it all. Welcome to JOCO!

Best Mexican: Maya’s Mexican Bistro. Sorry, while technically not in Johnson County they are right on the state line and require an exception to be made. Wonderful traditional Mexican and contemporary, creative culinary preparations that are really what makes them so awesome. I love the torte.

Best Live Music Bar: Raoul’s Velvet Room. A great live music venue in the middle of a sea of lame house music, cheesy piano players, and juke boxes. Really decent food, wine and cocktails sum it up as the perfect live music venue to see your rich lawyer neighbor’s garage band play with his college buddies…..and do it pretty well.

Best Patio: Sullivan’s. Food isn’t scoring so well but the patio this summer was the place to be and be seen. Love the array of furniture and they it opens up to the bar.

Best Hamburger: Grandstand. A great mom and pop stand on Merriam Drive that makes you happy you eat meat (he he no homo again in homage to TKC).

Best Wine Shop: Lukas. 119th & Metcalf (or State line if you must) As much as I’d like to tell you there is little wine shop keeper someplace there isn’t anybody who can beat their selection and price if you want to stay in JoCo.

Best Pizza: Spin Neapolitan. Creative ‘Za with fresh, quality ingredients and they serve affordable decent wine. Stone Oven baked.

Best Seafood: Bristol. 119th & Nall. An institution for fresh fish and I really like the mussels with glass of crisp white wine.

Best Breakfast: Le Peep. I love the variations on Eggs Benedict the best but everything is good.

Best Deli: Jersey Boys. 151st. Great Sammys man made the right way. Piled high and good quality.

Best Dive Bar: Red Balloon. 75th Street and west of I-35. The best compliment I can give them is to say they are Johnson County by address only. An institution and becoming a meeting spot for KC’s bloggers and many, many other weirdos.

Best Neighborhood Bar: O’Neils Restaurant and Pub. On 95th Street in Prairie Village. If you live close by or have a friend that lives close by you have certainly been in for drinks and grub. What we would all want in walking distance of our home.

Best Bakery: 3 Women and an Oven. 135th-ish and Metcalf. Carrot Cake made them famous in JoCo and while that is really good they make tons of really delicious cakes and confections in this boutique.

Best Holiday Lights: Vince & Associates. 101st and Metcalf. It might be little known that KC is a national hub of clinical research and the Vince & Associates is one of the best success stories. Brad Vince's incredible holiday light show complete with music has people, even limos, pulling in at the church next door to take it all in. Check it out if you haven't already.

Best Blogger: Contrary to what most Present Magazine readers say.....Do you even have to ask?

Best New Blogger: Kansas Sity Sinic. Very new and very clever. We'll see if she can still deliver after a couple hundred posts.....let's all hope so. Definitely something you should check out.


Kansas Sity Sinic said...

Aren't you a doll?

Couple things:
NoRTH: I've been there once for lunch and had a fantastic meal...I went back for dinner, ordered a glass of wine and walked out due to lack of service. Maybe I'll try it again now.

O'Neils: Prolly my favorite everyday eatery. The best part is the Shrimp Tomato Bisque....and all the sweet old people hanging around. One beef with O'Neils--they're not open on Sundays..and their food is wonderful hangover eatin...oh well.

Vince and Associates: I'll have to disagree with you here, because, if for some reason you don't have the correct station tuned in, you're likely to go into epileptic shock. Imjusssayin.

Spin: love it. Can't wait for Pizza Fusion to open.

Best Hamburger will always be Westport Flea Market--with amazing people watching and a faint scent of moth balls to match.

Fantastic list. SOB thinks Abuelos is the best Mexican restaurant..I actually checked it out yesterday for lunch (my territory is the Northland, pity me please) and was throughly disappointed. My favorite mexican restaurant will always be Cactus Grill, with Mayas as a close second. Holy Mole! ;-)

JOCOeveryman said...

I am a doll, actually and thanks. I love Westport Flea but I could only make one non-joco exception and I used it for Maya's.

Glad you like the list.

Kansas Sity Sinic said...

ah, yes of true elitist form.

Kansas Sity Sinic said...

oh, and of course, I do love Raouls

Anonymous said...

follwed from TKC. u have expensive taste!

jocosob said...


I Travel for JOOLS said...

Just back from Chicago land. Hard, very hard to top their restaurants, but keeping your list and checking it twice.

Happy New Year !!!

JOCOeveryman said...

Travel.....great to see you back and hope you had a great holiday.

I LOVE Chicago and her restaurants. Lived there for several years and enjoyed it very much. I agree. KC is better than most it's size....that I'm convinced of for sure.

Happy New Year!!!!

JOCOeveryman said...

Someone said I had expensive tastes.....welcome to JOCO of course. We all have money to burn don't we?

Bill the Painter said...

I haven't eaten at some of those places, but I will agree 1000% on Jersey Boyz! I been going there for about 15 years or so. Great people consistent quality. Somewhere that you actually GET what you paid for!

As a matter of fact, I think I'll go there for lunch today!