The public has spoken and, having nominated numerous Wauwatosa establishments in 15 categories, readers say these are their favorites – the best among the best.
Old met new in a couple of ways in the Best Sandwich category. Readers liked the way North Avenue Grill put a modern, fusion twist on American lunch-counter favorites, but an equal number went with classic Italian tradition, done the right way at Fattoni's.
Best Burger – North Avenue Grill
You can always get an argument started about the category of Best Burger around, but it's hard to argue against North Avenue Grill's hearty offerings, particularly, as a number of readers specifically noted, The Chrustic. It is referenced in the menu: "Treadmill not included. A Goliath of a burger with corned beef, ham, bacon, Firefry fries, cheddar and red onion confit on grilled ciabatta."
Best Coffee Shop – Cranky Al’s
With plenty of choices ranging from international chains to metro-area groups to small, independent cafes in the Best Coffee Shop category, readers went with Cranky Al's, where your coffee drink may wash down a namesake hand-cranked doughnut.
Best Pizza – Cranky Al’s
Since Cranky Al's is a (winning) coffee shop in the morning and a pizza place at night, it is certainly noteworthy that this East Tosa haven won the Best Pizza category, too. Must be doing something(s) right.
Best Outdoor Dining – Café Hollander
Hand's down. The al fresco experience can be a delight anywhere on the right day, but when you've got the Village's Harwood Avenue footbridge, with fountain, river, cream city cornices and cupolas all around, you're bound to win the Best Outdoor Dining category.
Most Family-Friendly Restaurant – Cranky Al’s
And a familiar name, Cranky Al's, wins again (and by the way won the most categories of any nominee), as the Most Family-Friendly place around. Doughnuts in the morning, pizza at night, what could be more welcoming to the kids?
Best Pub – Walter’s on North
With choices of carefully crafted atmosphere ranging from Dublin to Amsterdam, readers went with the convivial confines of Walter's, a tried-and-true genuine Middle American bar and grill, in the Best Pub category.
Best Sports Bar – Leff’s Lucky Town
A fixture on State Street and favorite all-around Wauwatosa watering hole, Leff's Lucky Town struck reader's as our Best Sports Bar. It's also worth noting, we think, that owner Chris Leffler is one of Wauwatosa's finest citizens.
Best Steakhouse – Eddie Martini’s
While on the one hand, Eddie Martini's is more than just a steakhouse, it could well be called not only the Best Steakhouse in Wauwatosa, as readers judged, but one of the best in the Midwest.
Best Mexican Restaurant – Hector’s
After the arrival of powerhouse La Fuente, we wondered if Hector's could hang on to its long, long standing as Wauwatosa's favorite Mexican Restaurant. No problemo. The everybody-knows-everybody, even-if-we've-just-met atmosphere is what makes Hector's special.
Best Chinese Food – P.F. Chang’s
If you've been paying attention, this is the first (and only) case of an international chain claiming the local crown, as Best Chinese Food establishment. P.F. Chang's packs them in at Mayfair with consistent quality.
Best Seafood Restaurant – Maxie’s Southern Comfort
There are so many things for which to love Maxie's Southern Comfort, it just had to win something, and with a fresh oyster bar, why not Best Seafood Restaurant? We didn't have Best Cajun or Best Carolina or Best Grits as categories, but if we had, who'd have had to win? Red beans and ricely yours, as Louis Armstrong used to say.
Best Grocery Store – Sendik’s
Wauwatosa is, like, grocery store central. And each of them seems to strive to make the others better. But readers said that Sendik's was the best of the Best Grocery Store category. Great produce, meat, dairy, and even in the middle aisles you'll find things you can't find elsewhere.
Best Beer List or Supply – Ray’s Liquor
This category asked you to make a tough choice between those taverns and restaurants with great beverage lists and outlets with miles of aisles. Ray's Liquor, with a selection representing the whole world of beers, wines and liquor, was the readers' choice for Best Beer List or Supply.
Best Place to Get Your Car Fixed – O’Gorman’s West Towne Auto
Talk about a chain of trust. When you need to Get Your Car Fixed, it's like throwing yourself on the altar of fate vs. faith. You don't know – do they? At O'Gorman's, they do know and they're honest about the outcome, and that's why they're rated the top car shop.
And finally, a really interesting tie vote. The Best Pediatrician in Wauwatosa was a dead heat between Dr. Timothy Richer (the only individual person to win by name) and Tosa Pediatrics clinic. But Richer practices at Tosa Pediatrics. So, it seems that we have to say the Richer is the best pediatrician at the best pediatrics clinic. Nothing wrong with that, and congratulations to both!