READERS' PICK: Like a neighborhood tavern in that toddlin' town for which it's so aptly named, this friendly bar and grill plays host to hordes of hops-based beverages, with some pretty fine house concoctions in the mix. We especially liked...oh, who the hell are we kidding? We'll drink anything and everything. And after we've had a couple, we like to sing along with the ESPN announcers on the tellies liberally placed around this joint on North Campbell Avenue. Nobody's ever roughed us up, and we've never been kicked out. And our kids just love the pizza and burgers, too. Someday, we may actually make it through the extensive beer list.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Wildcat House, 1801 N. Stone Ave.
MORE MANIA: Zachary's, 1019 E. Sixth St. If we had all the money we've spent at Zachary's over the last two decades on beer, pizza and overtipping, we could probably buy a house with it. That'd be a shame, though, because that'd mean we missed all the 22 oz. "'pints" of Guinness and other delicious brews enjoyed there. For the last few years, Zachary's has been under constant threat of demolition by the UA -- you never know when you go down there if you're going to see a Cat D-60 and a smoking pile of bricks, or Christie bringing you a delightful beverage. It's just a matter of time before owner Dave Ellis takes his taps and pizza ovens and trudges across the street to the former Two Doors; but in the meantime, sit at the rickety tables and enjoy one of the many regular and guest taps. Try the potent Old Bumble, made especially for Zach's by local brewmeister Nimbus, or maybe a summery Hefeweizen or one of the other American and European beers on tap. Many weeks before St. Paddy's day, Zachary's puts Guinness on special until March 17, and what a treat it is! July Fourth is ushered in by a long special on Anchor Brewery's Liberty Ale. Check out Zach's before the wrecking ball comes and it turns into another parking lot. It's a piece of local history.