Tucsonans, you have your work cut out for you.
We here at the Weekly are pleading for help: We want you to decide the Best of Tucson™.
That means we're expecting you to go shopping, take hikes, enjoy staycations at our resort hotels, read books, listen to bands, visit parks, get your car washed, get your dog washed (maybe even at the same place you get your car washed) and do a whole lot more to help us learn our town's best.
And you're going to have to eat. A lot! Chinese food, Indian food, Middle Eastern Food, Italian food, comfort food and just about every other type of food imaginable, because our town is full of restaurants representing just about every international cuisine (though we're still holding out for a great Burmese joint so we can have a decent tea-leaf salad without traveling to San Francisco). And, of course, Mexican food is such a big thing here that we broke it out into its own category.
Let us hasten to add that you don't have to do all these things, even though it all sounds like fun to us. It's your choices that make Best of Tucson™ such a great project, but we don't want you thinking you can't vote unless you have an opinion in every category. We're just asking that you vote in a minimum of 30 categories this year. (And really, if you can't manage that, maybe it's time you get to know the town a little better?)
As with any election, there's a lot of suspense. Will Golden Pin Lanes pull out a win in the Best Bowling category before Pima County takes over the building and transforms it into office space? Will newcomers such as Baja Café or Welcome Diner unseat a longtime establishment in the Best Diner category? Will Tucson Weekly columnist Brian Smith win the coveted Best Author award?
And don't miss some of our new categories, like Best Signature Dish, which includes Cup Café's baked eggs, El Charro's carne seca, Café Poca Cosa's El Plato, Mama Louisa's Joe's Special and Seis' tacos al pastor. Or Best Restaurant to Dazzle Out-of-Town Visitors, where the competitors are Café Poca Cosa, El Charro, Hacienda del Sol, La Cocina and Vivace.
You've probably voted in Best of Tucson™ before, but just in case, here's how it works: In our first round of voting, which wrapped up last month, y'all nominated anyone you wanted for all our categories. Since the balloting closed, our new web editor, Tirion Morris, has been sorting through your votes and narrowing down the field.
Based on your primary votes, we have finalists in every category. And now, with the ballot live here, it's all up to you!
1. One ballot per person, please. We're watching IP addresses, so be honest!
2. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5.
3. Ballots without a full name and an email address or a phone number will be thrown out and NOT counted. We check these things. Really! These email addresses and phone numbers will be used ONLY for ballot-verification purposes. Ballots using fake email addresses or phone numbers will be deleted.
4. You must vote in at least 30 different categories for us to count the ballot. Don't have an opinion on at least 30 categories? Maybe skip voting this time and make a resolution to experience more of Tucson before we vote again next year.
5. If you have no opinion in a category, please LEAVE IT BLANK.
6. Ballot-box stuffing is a no-no. You can do simple campaigning—i.e., put up a sign encouraging readers to vote for you, or you can link from your website to ours—but anything beyond that is forbidden. Any businesses, groups or individuals suspected of stuffing may be disqualified at the discretion of the editor. If you have questions or a tip regarding suspected ballot-box-stuffing, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!