March is here and with it comes the annual reader’s poll sponsored by Pittsburgh Magazine – your opportunity to weigh in on all things awesome about Pittsburgh.
Here are the rules
- In order for your ballot to be counted, we ask that you vote in at least 10 categories.
- No individual, business or event should be named more than three times on any one ballot.
- Businesses are eligible if open by March 30.
- Include the full name of the entity as well as the location, where applicable, or your votes cannot be counted. Some companies have similar names, such as the various Vincent’s and Tambellini’s restaurants. So please be specific.
- Editors reserve the right to accept or reject suggestions based on response and space.
- Categories may also be removed if voting appears to have been stacked.
- Voting ends Thursday, March 31 at noon.
- When voting, please name only Pittsburgh-affiliated individuals, businesses and events. For the write-in fields, please include the suggested category along with the business, event or individual’s name.
So here are the nominees that I am supporting. Please note that in some cases I am very much affiliated with the business as a customer, consultant, good friend with the owner, etc. I am, however, not affiliated with Pittsburgh Magazine. I deleted the categories where I have no opinion.
So click on over to the ballot page and cast your vote. I’d appreciate if you supported the people that I support.
Bakery – The Priory Fine Pastries (Northside)
Breakfast – Eat ‘n Park (I’m a traditionalist and it is good food for a good price without the fuss)
Brunch – Drag Brunch with Kierra Darshell at the James Street Tavern
Family-Friendly – Cambod-ican Kitchen. Hear me out – have you ever spent time there with young kids? The owners LOVE kids, even the rambunctious crawl on the floor and be a little stubborn kids. They strive hard to tempt kids into trying something new. They talk with them, not at them. They think kids deserve respect and choices, just like adults.
Food Truck – the Cool Beans Truck
Frozen Treat – Antney’s Ice Cream
Italian (non-chain) – Legends of the North Shore. Just try the dinner special and you’ll be happy.
Japanese/Sushi – Royal Myanamar in West View has the most delicious sushi in the region and it is very affordable
Mexican/Tex-Mex – Los Cabos on Penn Avenue
Pastries – isn’t this the same as bakery? Anyway, I still pick the Priory Fine Pastries.
Pizza (non-chain) – Giorgio’s on the Northside.
Thai – Nicky’s Thai Kitchen on the Northside
Local Coffee Spot – Crazy Mocha
Cinema – SouthsideWorks has good shows, nice venue, ample & affordable parking, and high marks in terms of accommodations.
Theater company – I pick Off The Wall/Carnegie Theater for their challenging works, commitment to sustaining the arts and more. Free parking, nearby restaurants, etc. But it is mostly the philosophy and integrity of founders Virginia and Hans Gruenert.
Benefit Bash – Celebrate! Art benefitting Persad Center. Because art is still one of our most important tools to remember the most vulnerable and demand public accountability.
Sports Team – I pick the Pirates for their philanthropy and being a pretty good neighbor on the Northside
Write-in – Most Wanted Fine Art as Best Gallery. Sort of shocking they don’t have this category. Galleries are not museums. MWFA is doing interesting, engaging work throughout the region and using art to do all of the things.
Meteorologist – Jon Burnett just because.
News Anchor – David Highfield because breaking new ground
Street Reporter – tie between Lynne Hayes Freeland and Brenda Waters for professionalism, background knowledge that comes with experience on lots of issues AND for grace under fire when looking amazing in the midst of snowstorm coverage.
Blogger/Columnist – John Chamberlin at YaJagoff because he’s humor and he uses his power to do lots of good in the region.
Write-in – Jason Sauer for Artist. Art is changing Pittsburgh and people like Jason who invested in a gallery in Garfield that he built himself, added a job-training program for ex-offenders, hosts everything from traditional exhibits to plus sized fashion shows to music performances that can’t find a home elsewhere and are on the street every week cleaning up litter – are rare. His art ranges from derby cars to beautiful pet portraits that capture the Americana nature of our relationship with our critters. Jason is not engaged in permanent self-promotion; he’s too busy helping build a stronger community.
Hair Salon – Veraldi’s Salon in Oakland
Florist – K.S. Kennedy Distinctive Floral on the Northside. The ‘Mayor of Western Avenue’ always delivers – around the country now thanks to some creative changes. He’s always going to find a solution. And it will look good.
Pet Services – Your Critter Sitters which offer pet sitting, dog walking AND pet massage. They made the final years of our dogs lives 100% better.
Record Store – Sound Cat (This is Laura’s pick, but I like this space.)
Beauty Products/Makeup Store – Merle Norman New Kensington
Toy/Game Store – The Flying Squirrel in Carnegie
Take a few moments to cast your vote. If you think the same places win each year, your investment of a few minutes can make a difference – especially if you ask your friends to vote. And the business owners really appreciate the support.
You’ll find the official ballot here.