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Open thread: 2007 Madison's Favorites

So, Isthmus' 2007 Madison's Favorites are up. How about them Eats winners? Did Madison choose wisely?

Also, a big congratulations to Dane101, first-place Local-Content blog, and Waxing America, #2. And holy crap, thank you - Eating in Madison A to Z is #3!


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Disclaimer: I didn't vote. At all. And I haven't even been to some of these restaurants. But.

No Taqueria Guadalajara?
Famous Dave's over Smoky Jon's?
Milio's number one?! Milio's?!?


How in the world did Taco Bell make the medal podium in TWO different categories?

Sad to see no love for Antojitos el Toril.

Most of the Favorites are pretty accurate. I can't take credit for voting for Taco Bell- what gives?
I go for Wasabi over Takara too.

As a frequest Library Mall cart-eater, I say the omission of Kakilima is a big miss. Buraka is a strong choice, though. Also, the idea that Porta Bella is romantic is absurd. Porta Bella looks like the set of a David Lynch movie.

Eraserhead Lynch or Mulholland Dr. Lynch? 'Cause one's a lot more, erm, "romantic" than the other.

Once in the dark pre-blog days JM and I went to Porta Bella. Agreed, it was ... gloomy. Maybe it's coasting on its reputation from past glory?

By the way, you totally deserve such a high ranking. MadAtoZ is a real treasure for local food lovers. Thanks for the work, time, and taste buds you invest.

Since this is an open thread, can I ask where the "Reflections on completed letters" link went? Without having it, the task of getting to those reflections is not easy.

Thank you, Kathy!

Kyle, I added the "Reflections" link to the "about" page, in a fit of catalogers' pseudo-efficiency. I'll put it back - every reader his link!

Hey very congrats on the Isthmus vote. Of all the blogs in Madison, that is a huge recognition. I love your work. Keep following chowhound trail.

I really love this blog and thing you do a great job - you even get places that maybe people don't go as often - you probably bring business to places that need it. For instance, I would never have gone to Brothers Three - from the outside, it looks like a bar where the music would stop if I walked in. But it's great!

Thank you!

Also, I'm always surprised that with some many great places to eat in Madison that so many crappy ones make the "Best of" list.

I'm not a statistician, but it seems that the glaring problem with both the Isthmus (and Madison Magazine's) survey is that they only count raw vote totals. That makes it very hard for small places to compete with bigger ones. Isn't a restaurant that has an East and West-side location likely to get twice as many votes on avg? It doesn't mean it is better, it just has more customers. The solution i would like to see? Let me rank or weight my votes. The problem is that everybody is an expert in something, but most people vote in most categories. I'm an expert in Thai food (Sai Bai Odana!) but my opinion on good Italian food isn't worth much. Nonetheless, i voted in both categories. If i could rank the relative strength of my opinions (say by giving 10 of my votes special weight by ranking them 1 - 10), i think the results would be more meaningful. This way, small, lesser-known places with fewer votes, but more dedicated customers could bubble to the top. Hmmm, i didn't really explain that so well... really, it's simpler then it sounds :)... gotta run!
Keep up the great work!

Congrats on your #3, it's well deserved.

Thanks for reading! And stu, maybe you and JM could work out a more statistically meaningful ballot. :)

sigh. I guess I'm just more picky about categories than your average Madisonian. But to me, an ice cream shop is not a restaurant where you can get dessert. it's just... an ice cream shop. So, as much as I like their product, I do not think that The Chocolate Shoppe should win in the dessert category.

Also, I may be the only person in Madison who thinks that the Mediterranean Cafe is ok, but not that great. Give me the Caspian Cafe any day.

I also prefer Nattspil's late night offerings over those of Taco Bell. The sandwiches category was apparently interpreted to mean take out, which is fine, but something I don't really know much about. For sit-down sandwiches, though, you just can't beat the creative-yet-trusty menu at Cafe Soleil.

The breakfast category was spot-on. yum!

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