May’s almost here, and with it comes warmer weather, plans for the Utah Pride Festival and, of course, our annual Most Faaabulous Awards. Out readers have spoken, and we now dutifully raise the curtain on the results. Drumroll, please!
Most Faaabulous Asian Food
Hong Kong Tea House
This 200 S restaurant specializing in authentic Chinese cuisine has done steady business for years thanks largely to its peking duck and faaabulous dim sum options including stuffed eggplant and steamed chicken feet.
2. J Wong’s Asian Bistro
3. Café Trang
Most Faaabulous Mediterranean Food
Once again this popular Mediterranean restaurant’s faaabulous kebabs and dolmas and funky decore trounced its competition.
2. Aristo’s Greek Restaurant
3. The Other Place
Most Faaabulous Mexican Food
Holy molé again! This faaabulous downtown Mexican restaurant captured your tastebuds once again. “Killer Mexican food,” indeed!
2. Betos/Blue Iguana (tie)
Most Faaabulous Italian Food
Cucina Toscana and Café Trio
This Tuscan Trattoria that specializes in banquets and this downtown restaurant offering such delights as carbonara and three cheese ravioli are two very different Italian restaurants, but they’re equally as faaabulous according to you. Looking at their menus just makes us salivate.
Most Faaabulous Animal-Friendly Food
A vegetarian café in downtown SLC specializing in organic produce, raw foods (like rawsta—‘pasta’ made entirely from uncooked veggies) and foods for people with gluten intolerances? And it all tastes amazing? Faaabulous! Once again, Ian’s other restaurant, Vertical Diner, tied for second place.
2. Café Oasis/Vertical Diner (tie)
3. One World, Everybody Eats/Evergreen Café (tie)
Most Faaabulous Surf ‘n’ Turf
Market Street Grill
Whether you want Prime New York Strip or Seafood Louis or just the city’s most amazing clam chowder, this faaabulous Gastronomy, Inc. restaurant can set you up. And omg, the Dungeness crab! It’s also no coincidence that another Gastronomy spot came in second.
2. The New Yorker
Most Faaabulous After Hours Spot
Rancheritos Mexican Food
This local chain (formerly known as Beto’s) is faaabulous because of its affordable prices, no-nonsense menu and convenient hours (i.e. all day and night). No wonder you can find one on practically every city block!
2. International House of Pancakes
Most Faaabulous Formal Restaurant
As part of Hotel Monaco, Bambara has been a tireless supporter of Utah’s gay and transgender population, from catering the hotel’s annual Red Party to advertising in our pages for years. But it wouldn’t be nearly as faaabulous without its constantly rotating menu cooked to perfection by its professional and friendly staff. Everything you can order really is delicious.
2. The New Yorker
3. The Wild Grape
Most Faaabulous Hole-In-The-Wall
As any U of U student will tell you, this off campus restaurant’s signature dish, the Gawd Awful, is actually gawd faaabulous. So are its friendly, talkative staff and many of its regulars. It’s worth a visit, whether you’re a student nearby or not.
2. The Blue Plate/Cotton Bottom (tie)
Most Faaabulous Romantic Restaurant
Reason enough for them to win: You won’t get any awkwardness at all when you tell the waiter it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend’s birthday.
Food & Drink
Most Faaabulous Burgers
Don’t feel like getting this Utah chain’s signature pastrami-piled cheeseburger? Then feel free to indulge in a beef burrito, gyro, fish sandwich or a plate of their tasty fries. In creativity and regional flare, Crown Burgers has national chains beat in faaabulousness.
3. The Training Table
Most Faaabulous BBQ
This sugarhouse eatery won our award last year, and has swept a number of other local awards for its Memphis Style barbecue, jambalaya and chicken wings. Good thing this place is open “seven days and seven nights” a week!
2. Pat’s Bar B Que
3. Salt Lake City BBQ
Most Faaabulous Sandwiches
This Salt Lake City deli has a European flair and a number of gourmet goodies for the hungry downtown worker on the go: soups, panini, bagels and, of course, toasted sandwiches. Faaabulous!
Most Faaabulous Appetizers
One look at the appetizers at this Mediterranean café and you may just fill up on prosciutto, olives, rosemary flatbread and clams before your dinner gets there. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
2. Red Rock Café
3. Oyster Bar/Fidler’s Elbow (tie)
Most Faaabulous Pizza
The Pie Pizzeria
If the tongue-in-cheek mathematical logo wasn’t faaabulous enough, one of their tasty, generously-topped pies will win you over. We recommend the bay shrimp! The live camera at the University of Utah location is also faaabulous if you want to catch some students goofing off.
Most Faaabulous Salads
Good thing it’s hard to fill up on salad, huh?
2. Paradise Café
Most Faaabulous Soup
The Soup Kitchen
Don’t let this restaurant’s traditional soup selections fool you, instead let them fill you! Their cream of tomato and clam chowder are especially hearty and faaabulous — not to mention just the kind of warming, generous meal perfect for a slow spring.
2. Big City Soup
Most Faaabulous Sushi
Once again, this fashionable Market St. restaurant snags this award from the competition. Try their unagi roll and see why!
2. Happy Sumo
3. Tsunami Sushi
Most Faaabulous Desserts
Just four words for you: cheesecake of the moment. Yeah, we’re thinking of just giving them some kind of supersized award this year.
2. The Dodo Restaurant
Most Faaabulous Sunday Brunch
Squatters Pub and Brewery and Stein Eriksen Lodge
On its Web site, this popular downtown restaurant pledges that it shops local and organic whenever possible. The Park City luxury hotel, meanwhile, offers housemade chocolates. We can’t blame you for being indecisive.
2. Café Trio/Café Oasis (tie)
Best Cheap Drinks
Gene Gieber’s charitable spirit and down-to-earth bar have won him many loyal customers over the years. His affordable drafts probably had something to do with that, too.
2. Junior’s Tavern
Most Faaabulous Wine
Too Many to List!
Our readers seem to have a diverse taste in wine—so diverse, in fact, that we couldn’t pick a winner! Some of your most faaabulous wine lists, however, can be found at Café Trio, Bambara Restaurant, La Caille and Flemming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
Most Faaabulous Beer
We’re not surprised by this at all. Given that this lively Cajun restaurant stocks nearly 300 beers, you’re bound to find something faaabulous to drink.
2. Club Jam
3. Hoppers Seafood & Grill
Most Faaabulous Martinis
The Red Door
This trendy bar’s martinis have been called everything from cosmopolitan to trendy and even crazy. We think faaabulous pretty much covers their extensive martini list.
2. Kristauf’s Martini Bar
Most Faaabulous Tea & Coffee
The Coffee Garden
With its young, hip atmosphere, extensive selections (including tasty pastries, tabouleh and sandwiches) and two locations, this gay-owned business has long been a hit with our readers, and some of our staff (we see you behind that ginormous tea cup, JoSelle!).
2. Tea Grotto/Volte Caffe (tie)
3. Coffee Break
Most Faaabulous Bargain Attire
Vintage, gothic, trendy, funky, weird or wild, this Sugarhouse used clothing store has a faaabulous outfit waiting for you. And the fun part is, you get to put it together.
2. Our Store: Your Thrift Alternative
Most Faaabulous High-End Attire
We know what you’re thinking, and no. This place only sells faaabulous jeans, undies and swimsuits. Jeeze. You perverts.
Most Faaabulous Shoes (oh my God!) Shoes
Aldo and DSW
Our readers seem unable to decide between Aldo’s stylish and colorful sandals and national chain DSW’s high end brand names. Well, variety is what makes life faaabulous, we always say.
Most Faaabulous Drag Wear
Because we all know that drag queens and kings love picking out the parts of their faaabulous outfits.
3. Blue Boutique/ Our Store (tie)
Most Faaabulous Book Store
Really, has there been a year this faaabulous independent book store hasn’t won? Even though they’re moving to a smaller location, this Salt Lake City landmark proves that the brick and mortar bookstore is still kicking, Amazon be damned.
2. Golden Braid Books
3. King’s English
Most Faaabulous Place for Tunes
Graywhale CD Exchange
This other faaabulous brick and mortar store also proves that the record/CD store is still kicking, iTunes be damned.
Most Faaabulous Place to Get a Movie
Graywhale CD Exhange
And Amazon be damned a second time!
Most Faaabulous Furniture
Forseys Furniture Galleries, Wasatch Furniture Co. & Eldredge Interiors
My goodness, what a long entry that was! You really think all three of these stores deserve our top honor. Think we should make them all hold some kind of furniture-building battle royale to see who takes home the plaque?
Most Faaabulous Antiques
European Treasures, Green Ant & Kennard’s Antiques
You guys are really indecisive this year, aren’t you? Maybe we’d better hold off on that battle royale this time, though. These things can get rather expensive.
Most Faaabulous Car Dealer
Mark Miller Toyota
Utah’s only certified eco-friendly dealership, and conveniently located in downtown Salt Lake City? We want that faaabulous pink one in the corner, Mark!
Most Faaabulous Flowers
Walking into this faaabulous Sugarhouse florist is like walking into spring, even when it’s inexplicably 40 degrees and snowing in the middle of April. A variety of healthy, gorgeous flowers and garden knick knacks make this your favorite florist.
2. Firehouse Floral
3. Cactus & Tropicals
Most Faaabulous Roses
OK, seriously. Should we just rename both categories for this place?
2. Firehouse Floral
Most Faaabulous Gifts
This favorite and faaabulous gift store has it all, from sexy lingere and naughty gag gifts to those post cards of old photographs with funny captions. We have yet to see any lingere with funny captions silkscreened on, however.
2. Mischievous Pleasures /Turiyas (tie)
Most Faaabulous Stationary
This Trolley Square shop that bills itself as a “social stationary” store boasts a gigantic collection of gorgeous paper, wax and seals, and special letterheads for all occasions, as well as unique jewelry and toiletries. Making your all-too-few handwritten letters look as elegant as possible? Faaabulous!
Most Faabulous Adult Toys
Looking for a plaything that’s fun and kinky? Well, this well-stocked adult boutique can’t help you there, but it can help you get all the lube, massage oil, fetish wear and kinky toys that you need.
3. Blue Boutique
Most Faaabulous Gym
24 Hour Fitness
Aerobics at 4:00 a.m.? Yoga before supper? Upright cycling at the ungodly hour of midnight? Pretty faaabulous, huh?
2. Gold’s Gym
3. Planet Fitness
Most Faaabulous Ski Resort
Alta Ski Area
This slow spring has been faaabulous for our ski-loving readers, who flock to this mountain resort like bunnies to snow if their votes are any indication.
2. Deer Valley
Most Faaabulous Salon
Landis Lifestyle Salon
This trendy, eco-friendly Sugar House salon has lifted your smiles, snipped your dead ends, de-furred your legs and won your hearts for the second year in a row. Keep up the faaabulous work, guys!
Most Faaabulous Mani-Pedi
Last year, this trendy Salt Lake boutique won your votes with its $15 manicures and $30 pedicures. What’s even more faaabulous than these prices? The fact they, unlike America’s economy, haven’t changed since we last gave out this award.
2. A New Day Spa
Most Faaabulous Wax Job
P.S. You can get your lip ripped for less than a Carl’s Jr. burger.
Most Faaabulous Ink Job
Koi Piercing Studio
Known also for its faaabulous piercings, this parlor on 900 E also does inking. How many times do you think somebody’s asked if they specialize in tats of goldfish?
2. Susie M’s
3. Big Delux/Good Times (tie)
Most Faaabulous Counseling
Pride Counseling, Aspen Grove & Helen Kjolby
Wow. You guys sure had diverse (and strong!) opinions on this category, resulting in our first-ever three-way tie between two gay-owned therapist offices and one very gay-friendly independent practitioner. Hey, the more services out there for people facing emotional and mental difficulties, the better.
Most Faaabulous Fido Groomer
Dogs R Us and The Dog Show
When it comes to making Fido and Fluffy (or even Kitty, in the Dog Show’s case) look faaabulous, our readers are a little torn as to which place is the best. Personally, we think they’re both faaabulous.
2. It’s Reigning Cats and Dogs/The Puppy Lounge (tie)
Most Faaabulous Realtor
Julie Silveous and Mark Barr
Realty may not be the happiest business to be in just now, but you wouldn’t know that based on this “buy curious” lady’s ads and this chic uptown guy’s colorful Web site. Stay faaabulous, you two!
Most Faaabulous Dentist
This is the second year this Salt Lake City dentist has won this award. And he’ll still drill you, fill you, and leave you smiling. Yes, we used the same blurb last year, but it was funny. And recycling is good.
2. Dr. Walter L. Bye
Most Faaabulous Doc or PA
When Dana Smith won this award last year, we wrote: “Because where would a faaabulous doc be without these faaabulous folks? And for our readers, this U of U Hospital employee is as faaabulous as they come.” Admittedly not as funny.
Most Faaabulous Back Rub
Once again, this holistic Japanese spa sweeps this category with its eight different kinds of massage, including four hands and hot stone. Faaahhhhbulous!
Most Faaabulous Attorney
Over the years, this Salt Lake City attorney has made a name for herself defending the rights of gay and lesbian parents against Utah’s anti-gay parenting laws. That’s pretty faaabulous in our book, and in yours.
2. Doug Fadel, Will Carlson and Kevin Bond (three-way tie)
Most Faaabulous Hotel
Well, duhh. It only hosts fundraisers for the Utah AIDS Foundation and a bazillion other gay-related charities.
2. Stein Erikson
Most Faaabulous B & B
Under the Lindens
A classy, restored house in the Avenues with four fully furnished, exquisite rooms that combines Victorian elegance with contemporary convenience? Check us in, please!
2. The Daisy
Odds and Ends
Most Faaabulous Radio Station
X96 and KRCL
X96 has Radio From Hell, faaabulous alternative tunes and sexy-cute DJ Portia. KRCL has RadioActive, Cranial Circuitry and feisty Sister Dottie S. Dixon. It’s probably easier to just give them both awards, isn’t it?
2. KCPW/Movin 100.7 (tie)
Most Faaabulous TV News Broadcast
KSTU FOX 13
Maybe it’s their generally even-handed coverage of gay news stories, or the playfulness of the Good Morning Utah anchors. Or maybe more than a few of you would like to Kirk to see if your new bed works. Whatever the reason, Fox 13 is your most faaabulous news station.
2. KTVX Channel 4
3. KUTV Channel 2
Most Faaabulous Lube
Gun Oil and Wet Platinum
Whether or not these are actually the most faaabulous lubes ever, their names alone deserve an award.
2. ID Glide
Most Faaabulous Pick Up Line
This is one of our favorite categories, because we get such faaabulous responses every year. Your suggestions this time included “How do you like your eggs?”, “I lost my number, can I borrow yours?”, “Do you like to dance? Then go dance while I talk to your friend!” (how mean!) and “You creep me out!” Um. Shouldn’t that last one be a response?
Most Faaabulous Queer Leader
Equality Utah is really sweeping our awards this year. We wondered if their Common Ground Initiative had something to do with it, but then realized it was probably just Mike Thompson’s faaabulous haircut.
2. Valerie Larabee/Logan Brueck (tie)
Most Faaabulous Politician
Sen. Scott McCoy
Although he has a faaabulous haircut as well, we think he probably won your overwhelming support for tirelessly fighting to pass his Wrongful Death Amendments bill that would let unmarried partners sue in the event of a provider partner’s death. That and anyone who can deal with LaVar Christensen without screaming is just, simply, beyond faaabulous.
2. Sen. Christine Johnson
3. Rep. Jennifer Seelig
Most Faaabulous Straight Advocate
Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. and Rep. Jennifer Seelig
He walked out on a limb and said that gays should have the right to get civil unioned. She authored a bill that would have given domestic partners rights of inheritance and medical powers. In the end, they’re both so faaabulous you couldn’t pick just one.
Most Faaabulous Actor
Whether playing a transvestite Berlin museum keeper in Salt Lake Acting Company’s I Am My Own Wife, playwright Martin Moran in Plan-B’s The Tricky Part, David Spencer is a faaabulous actor who has won praise from nearly every publication in Utah, and now from you, our readers.
2. Alexis Baigue
Most Faaabulous Bartender
Most Faaabulous Performer
Once again the divine Nova Starr proves that her staying power in this category is second only to that of her faaabulous mascara. Her shows (performed with the help of her always beautiful girls) and her commitment to charity are pretty faaabulous, too.
2. Lauren Wood
Most Faaabulous Social Group
They hold parties for lesbians in ties, barbecues for their volunteers, and a party for just about every holiday real and imaginable, all while striving to make Utah a better place for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. For these reasons (and for their faaabulous fashion senses and senses of humor), you’ve picked sWerve as our most faaabulous social group.
2. Queer Village
Most Faaabulous Political Group
Oh come on. Do we really need to say that it’s Equality Utah when pretty much all of you voted for them? Well, OK, we just did. And their efforts towards passing the Common Ground Initiative seem like a faaabulous enough reason to us.
2. The Inclusion Center/ HRC (tie)
Most Faaabulous Religious Group
First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City
Unitarian Universalist Churches across the nation have accepted gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members and performed same-sex marriages for years. But these aren’t the only things that make First Unitarian so faaabulous. The year-round food drive, social justice programs and regular lectures on everything from global warming in Utah to world peace make it a faaabulous place to spend a Sunday.
2. South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society/K-2 (tied)
Most Faaabulous Sports Group
The Queer Utah Aquatic Club is one of Utah’s oldest, largest and most popular sports groups. Maybe it’s all those gold, silver and bronze medals its members have won. Or maybe it’s just the sleek bods and sexy speedos and tank suits.
2. Pride Softball
3. Mountain West Flag Football League
Most Faaabulous Group to Receive Donations
Do we really have to explain why this is Equality Utah yet again?
2. The Utah AIDS Foundation
Most Faaabulous … Us!
Most Faaabulous Columnist
In the last six months, the face of gay politics in Utah has altered dramatically. But through it all, our resident cosmic trickster and all-around rabble-rouser Troy (who is also a very fine playwright and radio host) has reminded us to be hopeful as well as subversive. Harvey Milk would be proud, indeed.
2. Michael Aaron
3. Ruth Hackford-Peer
Most Faaabulous Story
Common Ground Initiative
During this year’s legislative session, Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative dominated QSaltLake for several issues and appeared regularly in every news outlet in the state. It’s no wonder, then, that our readers picked it as our most faaabulous story. Now if only we can get those bills passed before our next issue. Hey, we can dream, right?
2. The November March on Temple Square
3. Jacin Tales