Mama always said, “Don’t play favorites.” Whatever. Here at Seven Days, we love to watch you battle it out for your favorite go-to pizza joints, your never-fail hair salons and your tried-and-true movie theaters. For the 11th year, we asked you, our readers, to pick your favorites, and nearly 7000 of you did. This year’s competition was action packed.
There were underdog victories (Sugarbush Resort knocked down longtime Daysies titan Stowe Resort); signs of the times (blockbuster-powerhouse Majestic 10 in Williston finally outpaced downtown Burlington’s funkier Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas); and good-as-sibling rivalries (Ed Rovetto’s Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge in Stowe finally bested his first cousin’s restaurant, Carlo Rovetto’s Positive Pie).
The Point’s Zeb Norris — who always seems to sound like he’s letting you in on an inside joke — took home his second Daysie this year for best radio DJ, ending the era of 95 Triple X’s shock jocks Jamie and Chantal, who owned the title for the three previous years.
Counting ballots is a full-time job. We found respite in the temporary distraction provided by best-Instagram-feed winner Oh My DOG, a South Burlington doggie-daycare provider with the cutest pooch pics ever. We scrolled through smiling Cavalier King Charles spaniels, golden retrievers sticking their legs in buckets to cool off, boxers snuggling, puppies nuzzling their mamas, puppies snuggling…
Uh, sorry. We’re back.
We marveled at the longtime, simply-will-not-budge winners: Eyes of the World, Mirror Mirror, Pet Food Warehouse, Burlington Furniture, Conant Metal & Light, LeZot Camera, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Gardener’s Supply, Yankee Tattoo and many more. These establishments must be doing something right.
This year, for the first time, we asked you to send in photos and written endorsements of your favorite bartenders, baristas, beards and more. And, boy, did you deliver. We’ve never seen a cuter crop of couples. Your tattoos inspired us — both to run out and ink ourselves up, and to thank God we never have. And we loved each and every one of your nominees for doppelgänger of our Daysies Man, the barrel-chested, blissfully nude dude who has occupied the cover of the Daysies issue for the past two years. We knew the lookalike was out there somewhere, even if we never guessed he would be, well, a woman.
Here’s to all the Daysies winners, new and old. And here’s to the voters, too — you’ll always be our favorites.
In 2011, we debuted the Daysies Man, the burly, bearded, blissfully naked dude who has adorned the cover of our Daysies issue ever since. This year, we went looking for the real-life version of the illustration. We thought the doppelgänger title would go to a beefy, bearish type. But you, readers, proved us wrong. You voted for an adorable jewelry maker who captured the essence of the Daysies Man when she posed in a sun-dappled field full of daisies. Anna Liccione, we salute you.
As for the rest of the bonus categories, we had so much fun looking through your photos. Cutest couple was nearly impossible — you’re all so freaking adorable, especially baby buddies Elijah Rajewski and Violet Mercieca, and cuddlebugs Derreck and Leslie Barse. But the Daysie went to the effortlessly cool-looking Jess Mateik and Justine Crosby.
The best facial hair and best tattoo categories were sketchier. Turns out, browsing other people’s bathroom-mirror selfies is kind of intimate. Donald O’Connell, Paul Perreault and Kurt B, your mustaches are exquisite. And Nora Townsend, Rebecca Kraemer and Paige Ely, your tattoos are truly works of art. But to find you, we had to sift through some hairy close-ups and full-chest tattoos we really wish we could unsee.
As for best dressed, Michael Gulenko and Sierra Skye Makaris made chic impressions, but the ever-fashionable Caitlin Pierce snagged the Daysie.
In the hotly contested best-bartender category, Prohibition Pig’s Kate Wise took home the title. But the competition was stiff, including Red Square’s “polite, professional, patient” Ross Meilleur, who we’re told makes the best margaritas in Burlington and, according to one voter, “works his hot little tush off!”
Chris Maloney charms at Burlington’s Bluebird Tavern. “He is the most friendly, entertaining guy around,” one voter wrote. “He can talk about everything from sports to woodworking to food. Always has a smile on his face and mixes some of the best drinks I’ve ever had!”
Pizzeria Verità’s Sam Nelis woos patrons with his extensive knowledge of booze history. “If he knows your tastes he is willing and able to go off menu to dazzle you with something absolutely amazing,” wrote a voter.
Matt Perry at the OP “gives great high fives,” one voter enthused. “Matt defines what the OP is all about — friendliness, a love of sports and local music, and most importantly, a rabid devotion to Burlington and the people who live here.”
And Scott Kerner from Montpelier’s Three Penny Taproom earned his nomination “’cause he’s fast, friendly, great at what he does and bound to take over the world.”
Vermonters love their baristas, too. Maglianero Café’s Corey Goldsmith was described as a “scientist of coffee making.” A voter wrote that Paulla Flash at Speeder & Earl’s on Church Street “is the sort of person you always want to see, no matter your mood.” And Ben Weller at Starbucks on Church Street earned this praise: “Always friendly, carries on a conversation with customers and can make a mean latte while bursting into an impromptu song about his favorite customer.”
But the Daysie went to Jim Osborn of Uncommon Grounds. Wrote one voter: “Dude has a Chemex tattoo on his arm and throws the dopest macchiatos you’ve ever smoked.”