Best Of 2005


Personal Best:

“Café Ponte is indeed the place! Polished service, surroundings, fabulous and innovative food and one of the most amiable chefs around — a true ‘master’ — Chris Ponte!”

The Eriksens chose Café Ponte for Best Waitstaff, Best Chef and Best Martini.
Café Ponte, 13505 ICOT Blvd., Clearwater, 727-538-5768.

Personal Bests: As part of our Readers’ Poll this year, we gave voters a chance to expand a bit on their favorites. In 25 words or less, they were invited to tell us...

Personal Bests

As part of our Readers’ Poll this year, we gave voters a chance to expand a bit on their favorites. In 25 words or less, they were invited to tell us more about one of the people or places they voted for, or write about something that should have won — if only we’d included a category for it.

The following enthusiasts wore their hearts on their sleeves, or on their ballots, so effectively that we gave them tickets to our Best of the Bay Beer Fest on Sept. 24 — and we’re printing their comments here.

Honorable mentions to Amalia Royals, who chose the White Caddy Escalade as the “Most Popular Unnecessary Car in South Tampa”; Kirk Curtiss, who said the Best Bike Ride was “from Coffee Pot Park to the Pier, along the water, passing the docks, beautiful homes, and the smell of red tide!”; Douglas R. Haggerty, whose ballot arrived in the best-decorated envelope; Ruth Lemley, who loves Young’s Sushi; Lee Campbell, who likes to spend Thanksgiving at the Columbia Restaurant; and Norma Caltagirone, who wrote eloquently about Stageworks, her favorite theater company (no wonder — she’s president of their board of directors).


Personal Best:

“When the waitstaff will approach you in the grocery to ask about your kids BY NAME, that’s the best. Dennis, Rosemary, et al are AWESOME!”

Heather cited Papa Joe’s for Best Waitstaff, Outdoor Dining, Cuban/Spanish and Cheap Eats.
Tangelo’s Grill, 226 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-894-1695.

HEIDI SUMNER: Papa Joe's Country Cafe

Personal Best:

“If you have not experienced a sub and Latin salsa at Papa Joe’s Country Market in St. Petersburg — you have been deprived!”

Heidi chose Joe’s for Best Cuban/Spanish and Best Vegetarian.
Papa Joe’s, 2498 13th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-327-0296.

PATRICK MENTRY: Emily Robson and EMILY ROBSON: Emily Robson

Personal Best:

Patrick voted for his mom as Best Mom, Emily voted for herself as Best Mom, and they both added a bonus vote for Clearwater’s Los Mariachis as Best Mexican.

ROXANNE MOULTON: Salvador Dali Museum

Personal Best:

“The Dali Museum is an international treasure. I’m a Friday afternoon docent and I’m fun and cool and not boring! Locals should check it out!”

Roxanne voted for the Dali as Best Kept Secret — and is that also a vote for Best Docent?
Salvador Dalí Museum, 1000 Third Street S., St. Petersburg, 727-823-3767.


Personal Best:

“I’m crazy about the El Cap — St. Petersburg’s best all-around ‘everything.’ The clientele there range from newborn to senior citizen. Once there, you will be a regular. ‘Boom Goes The Dynamite.’”

Sylvester chose El Cap for Best Cuban/Spanish and Best Waitstaff.
El Cap, 3500 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-521-1314.