The Reading Eagle released its annual Reader’s Choice Award results on September 17. The people got a lot of things right, came close on a few more, and had a few whiffs. Here’s my take on this year’s winners:
The People Got It Right
Best Burger: Billy Burger & Bakery
Best Chinese: Mikura Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar
Best Diner: Exeter Family Restaurant
It’s close between Exeter and Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery but Exeter gets the nod for two reasons: a larger menu and 24-hour service. Also, Wyomissing won Best Family Restaurant so both get credit in the end.
Best Italian: Mom Chaffe’s Cellarette
It’s the oldest Italian restaurant in Berks County and it’s still the best.
Best Lunch: Crave Cafe
Best Outdoor Dining: Jimmy G’s Beverly Hills Tavern
It’s the best beach in Berks County.
Best Pizza: Nonno Alby’s
Best Seafood Market: Adelphia
Best Seafood Restaurant: Coastal Grille
Best Sushi: Mikura Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar
I don’t eat seafood so I’m going to assume the people got it right.
Good Choice, but Not Mine
Best BBQ: Mission BBQ
I like love Mission BBQ. It’s a great concept with great food. I’ve purchased two commemorative cups – one supporting local first responders and one for the USO. But I don’t think that it is the best in Berks. I would probably still give my vote to Muddy’s, though both of Hamburg’s offerings (Backwoods Brothers and Smokin’ Brays) are excellent, too.
Best Breakfast: Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery
If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast or a good buffet, Wyomissing is the winner. I like it, but I love creativity. For me, Tom Cat Cafe in Sinking Spring or Letterman’s Diner in Kutztown rank higher.
Best Mexican: Plaza Azteca
Best Sports Bar: P.J. Whelihan’s
The wings are fine. The fries are the kid brother of Chickie’s and Pete’s Crabfries. But P.J Whelihan’s does have lots of sports. The Pike Cafe was the runner-up, and it would have made a better winner.
Best Subs & Sandwiches: Screpesi’s Sandwich Shop
I still need to get to Screpesi’s. Not having been there yet, I can’t argue it. I do love Lavigna & Sons though.
Best Wings: The Pike Cafe
Close, but Dino’s Wings & Things still gets my nod. Too many great flavors to choose from.
What Were You Thinking?
Best Fine Dining: Austin’s
Austin’s is amazing. Their Texas tenders and shoestring fries are a guilty pleasure of mine. But any menu that includes chicken tenders and shoestring fries shouldn’t be considered fine dining. Dans at Green Hills deserved this one.
Best Ice Cream: Way-Har Farms
I’m not arguing that Way-Har Farms has good ice cream, but it’s not the best. I’m also admittedly biased toward Lori’s Candy Station.
Best College: Alvernia University
Go KU! #ItsGoodToBeGolden