Best of Woodbury 2013 Readers’ Survey

by | Jun 2013

Pexels/Anna Shvets

Here’s the status update on your “likes” in our 2013 annual readers’ survey.

Best Place for Live Music
Carmine’s Restaurant and Bar
Carmine’s is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights for dynamic acoustic duos and one-man bands including Saving Starz, Terry Dubois and Mike Bruno. “Our bar works like a lounge setting, with our large round gangster-style booths and closer-in seating,” says general manager Dave Hafiz. “We give our customers the opportunity to see some great entertainment with no cover charge.” 9900 Valley Creek Road; 651.730.4500.
“What I like about Carmine’s live music is that it varies. The artists are usually a single or duo and they bring acoustic instruments to supplement some pretty good vocals. They have a lot of seating options too, so if one wants to fully enjoy the music and engage the artist, they can sit up close at the high-top tables. The bar offers background music enjoyment; the main dining area is separate and furthest away, so the music is distinctly background.”—Mike Sherman
Runner-up: Angelina’s Kitchen Italian Bistro & Catering  Third Place: Woodbury Lakes

Best Nonprofit/Charity Organization
Woodbury Community Foundation
The mission of the Woodbury Community Foundation (WCF) is to strengthen the Woodbury community by connecting people and organizations with causes that matter. “Community foundations are unique organizations, crossing different areas,” says Alisa Rabin Bell, WCF executive director. “We support local food and housing initiatives, teen organizations, schools and churches; we want to see philanthropy flourish in Woodbury.” 10040 City Walk Drive; 651.788.6586.
“A short while after we moved to Woodbury from Chicago, I found the Woodbury Citizens’ Academy through the Woodbury Community Foundation. It was an incredible experience to learn about the inside workings of my new community and helped foster important networking relationships in my community.”—Christie Denson
Runner-up: Suicide Prevention Collaborative  Third Place: Animal Humane Society

Best Breakfast
Keys Café & Bakery
For nearly 18 years, Keys has been serving up yummy, made-from-scratch breakfasts including locals favorites: eggs Benedict, Italian hash, the Mexican omelet, the “usual” (two eggs, hash browns, toast and bacon) and homemade pecan caramel rolls. “It’s like the food you grew up with,” says Amy Mahowald, Woodbury Keys general manager. “We remind customers of home, plus there’s a close-knit, family atmosphere here with our customers and employees.” 1750 Weir Drive; 651.731.5397.
“The pancakes at Keys in Woodbury are enormous and delicious. The Italian sausage wakes up your taste buds and stays with you all day. Even the oatmeal is freshly made, not instant. The food is made to family recipes so it’s as good as homemade. And if you go there more than a time or two, chances are the staff will remember you and even your food preferences ”—Roger Green
Runner-up: New Woodbury Café   Third Place: The Tavern Grill

Best Happy Hour
The Tavern Grill
Awesome appetizer and drink specials draw ‘em in to The Tavern Grill for happy hour. Tap beers (16 oz. $2.50), wine (half off) and specialty cocktails ($2 off) are enjoyed in the spacious bar, gorgeous patio and throughout the restaurant from 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close Monday through Friday. Check out the deals on Tavern-style sliders, chicken littles, seasoned waffle fries, Tavern bleu chips, cheesy jalapeno nachos, flatbread pizzas and the hearty crab artichoke quesadillas. 772 Bielenberg Drive; 651.578.3000.
Runner-up: Sunsets of Woodbury  Third Place: Ray J’s American Grill

Best Caterer
Angelina’s Kitchen Italian Bistro & Catering
Looking for a caterer for your grad party, groom’s dinner, wedding or corporate event? Angela Verrastro, owner of Angelina’s Kitchen Italian Bistro & Catering, takes pride in her custom catering. “I like to meet with my customers and do tastings; I work hard to make sure we come with a menu that is gonna thrill them and their guests,” she says. “We’re known for our popular Italian items, and we offer a heavy appetizer menu which is popular for cocktail parties and corporate gatherings.” 2170 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.998.0474.
Runner-up: Kowalski’s Catering  Third Place: Acapulco Restaurante Mexicano

Best Burger
What makes a smashburger so special? “Our burgers are 100 percent certified Angus beef that’s fresh, never frozen,” says general manager Larry Fitzpatrick. “We hand-patty the burger balls and actually hand-smash them on our flattop grill. That sears in all the juices and flavors and makes for an outstanding burger.” 9965 Hudson Place; 651.256.0021.
Runner-up: The Tavern Grill  Third Place: Champps Americana

Best Date Night
Cravings Wine Bar & Grille
It’s hard to beat the quaint ambiance, creative cuisine, exceptional selection of fine wines, amazing desserts and knowledgeable staff at Cravings. Summertime brings romantic patio dining; a gorgeous indoor fireplace sets the mood when the temperature cools. 755 Bielenberg Drive; 651.528.6828.
“Cravings is perfect for a local, Woodbury date night. The atmosphere is casual but intimate, the food is fresh and tasty with a vast wine selection, and the service is always personal and attentive. Love it!”—Renee Penticoff
Runner-up: David’s Chophouse  Third Place: Sunsets of Woodbury

Best Food Delivery
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
America’s favorite sandwich guys pride themselves not only on their fresh ingredients, but their “freaky fast” delivery service. Jimmy John’s makes it convenient with online ordering for sandwiches, box lunches, party subs and party platters. 1960 Donegal Drive; 651.738.6000.
Runner-up: Davanni’s Pizza & Hot Hoagies  Third Place: Joey’s Pizza

Best Clinic
Allina Medical Clinic
In addition to a large staff of primary care providers, Allina Medical Clinic in Woodbury offers a variety of specialists including allergy and immunology; ear, nose and throat; general surgery; psychology; ophthalmology and sports medicine. “We offer prenatal to geriatric care and everything in between, in one convenient location,” says Jennifer Wild, marketing and communications specialist. “We also have an urgent care on a walk-in basis, no appointment needed (3-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).” 8675 Valley Creek Road; 651.241.3000.
Runner-up: Central Pediatrics  Third Place: HealthPartners Woodbury Clinic

Best Pediatrician
Dr. Daniel Khoury, Central Pediatrics
Since joining Central Pediatrics in 1997, Dr. Khoury has carried out thousands of physicals and treated the top three acute ailments: upper respiratory infections, ear infections and gastroenteritis. “The patients I saw as infants are now high school sophomores and juniors; that’s what I enjoy the most, seeing these kids mature as the years go by,” Dr. Khoury says. “I love what I do, and I like the people I work with at the clinic.” 7803 Afton Road; 651.738.0470.
“Dr. Khoury makes each one of my children feel special and cared for. We have six children and he knows each of them and greets them by name when we see him outside the office. That’s amazing when you think of how many kids he sees in a week. We never feel rushed when we are with him. Also, he is incredible in making the kids feel comfortable with him, and yet isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.”—Melissa Puglisi
Runner-up: Dr. Shelly Strong, Central Pediatrics  Third Place: Dr. Paula Kelly, HealthEast

Best Eye Care/Eyewear
Associated Eye Care
Associated Eye Care offers highly-experienced providers, including the Twin Cities’ largest pediatric ophthalmology department. “We essentially serve cradle to grave: pediatrics, LASIK, dry eye, glaucoma, cataract surgery, macular degeneration and more,” says Phil Jackson, director, refractive services. “What separates us is our involvement in clinical trials with the FDA, and our ability to take those technologies and offer them in the clinic and our surgery center. That’s very cutting edge and is a huge benefit for our patients.” 1625 Radio Drive, Suite 310; 651.275.3000.
Runner-up: Mead EyeCare and EyeWear   Third Place: St. Paul Eye Clinic

Best Family Attraction
Woodbury 10 Theatre
Built in 1993 by United Artists, the Woodbury 10 Theatre has been locally-owned and operated since 2003. Price is primarily the main attraction for families. Owner/operator Nathan Block says, “Thanks to the support of Metro Transit (owner of the property) as well as the loyal patrons we are blessed with, we’ve been able to keep the same pricing structure for the last 10 years. No other first-run theatre can make that claim. Also, we put family films first. We often play bigger family pictures on two or more screens and our show times are selected to be as convenient to families as possible. Our concession prices are also very low so that everyone can afford a treat which is really fun when you’re ‘at the movies.’” 1470 Queens Drive; 651.731.0606.
Runner-up: Woodbury Days  Third Place: Central Park

Best Furniture Store
HOM Furniture
HOM is the place to go for furniture for every room in your home. Check out their sensational selection of outdoor and patio furniture, area rugs and home décor pieces including accent pillows, mirrors, lamps and wall art. 7600 Hudson Road; 651.734.2555.
Runner-up: Schneiderman’s Furniture  Third Place: Ashley Furniture HomeStore

Best Plumber
Keith Nelson Plumbing and Heating, Inc.
Plumbing runs in the Nelson family, with owners Keith and Julie operating the family business with help from their sons Dave and Steve, both full-time plumbers. “My father and grandfather, as well as several brothers and nephews, are plumbers as well,” Keith says. The company specializes in home and small business service calls. “Our goal each day is to do a great job for our customers and in return, they give us repeat and referral business because they like and trust us in their homes.” 651.739.1048.
“Keith and his son, Steve, have serviced our family’s plumbing needs for the last eight years. Not only that, they are available to answer questions and respond to service calls from our restoration company 24/7. They are reliable, reasonably priced and still love their careers after many years of service.”—Stephanie Brunz
Runner-up: A.J. Alberts Plumbing   Third Place: Pat Tschida

Best Pet Store
Posh Pooch Pet Salon & Boutique
Let’s face it: Woodbury residents love their pets. Posh Pooch carries unique items for the special pets in our lives, such as organic boiled-wool dog beds, chews made from pumpkin and potato starch, and premium food brands such as Orijen, Acana and Tiki. “We carry high-end items but also some inexpensive things like cool toys that have great squeakers,” says owner Julie Erling. 783 Radio Drive, Suite 101 & 102; 651.578.7674.
Runner-up: Pet Evolution  Third Place: PetSmart

Best High School Teacher
Bonnie Waddick, East Ridge High School (AP Language and Composition, Efficient Reading/Writing, High School Prep Reading)
Bonnie Waddick has taught language arts for 38 years in South Washington County schools: 30 at Woodbury High School, three at Woodbury Junior High, two at Lake Junior High and the past three at East Ridge High School. “I most enjoy the curiosity and optimism of youth; those energies are reciprocal!” says Waddick, who focuses on both instruction and relationships for effective teaching. “I have a passion to provide students with the power of words, the essence of my instruction. Learning how to accurately interpret text and how to persuasively write are essential for life. I also work to make my teacher-student relationships a strength; my goal is to make that relationship trusting, inspiring and fun-loving, so we can all whistle while we work.” East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Drive; 651.768.2300.
“As a teacher, Bonnie is an inspiration to her students and to the staff who are lucky enough to work with her. Simply put, Bonnie makes the teachers around her better educators. Her uncompromising dedication to her students has been a gift to the community for more than 30 years as she has helped to shape thousands of graduates from our community.”—Amanda Hestwood, theater coordinator/English department chair, East Ridge High School
Runner-up: David Crislip, Mathematics, Woodbury High School  Third Place: Joanna Lerud, Family and Consumer Science (FACS), Woodbury High School

Best Independent Place to Find Kids’ Birthday Gifts
A Whimsical Place
Cute little crochet hats. Snow globes. Little jewelry for little fingers. Adorable half-inch animal figurines. A Whimsical Place is the place to go for truly special kids gifts. Also spotted in the shop: cool items for teens such as LaLa Red belts and vintage jewelry. 1785 Radio Drive; 651.578.2979.
Runner-up: Kiln Kreations  Third Place: Club Just Jump

Best Small Business Customer Service
The ChiroWay experience is focused on the customer: flexible hours, no appointments and a membership fee which allows them to benefit from ongoing care. “We give our customers the service we’d like to receive as customers,” says Trent Schneidecker, owner of ChiroWay. Customers also have access to care at ChiroWay’s other locations (St. Paul skyway, Maple Grove and Blaine) at no extra charge. 10150 City Walk Drive; 651.675.7742.
“Everything about ChiroWay is designed to make the experience a good one, from the flexibility of open office hours/no appointments to low, monthly family-friendly fees to a warm and inviting office and staff. We have found ChiroWay to be a key part of living a healthy lifestyle for us and our four children.”—Terry Plath
Runner-up: Posh Pooch Pet Salon and Boutique  Third Place: Pet Evolution

Best Real Estate Agent

Kim Ziton, Keller Williams Realty
“Homes are my passion; I’m one of the lucky ones, as I get to do what my true passion is every day,” says Kim Ziton of Keller Williams Realty. With a good inventory of existing homes and more new construction on the horizon, Woodbury will continue to grow and flourish, and Ziton is well-poised to help buyers and sellers. “I work 24 hours a day 7 days a week and sleep with my phone, so my contact is pretty immediate—I pride myself on that,” she says. 659 Bielenberg Drive, #100; 612.987.6835
Runner-up: Wade Hanson, RE/MAX Results  Third Place: Dixie Ewing, Edina Realty

Best Skincare
Spalon Montage
When it comes to skincare, Spalon Montage is results-oriented. “Our director of spa education is monitoring the industry, looking at new trends and seeing if they deliver results; we don’t pull the trigger too fast,” says Mitchell Worley, owner. “We have highly-trained people and our turnover rate is almost none—it’s  a true career here at Spalon—and our goal is to always have an action plan for each client to help them achieve their goals.” 8375 Seasons Parkway; 952.915.2900.
Runner-up: Radiance MedSpa  Third Place: Ulta Salon

Best Place for Accessories
Charming Charlie
With fabulous, affordable accessories displayed by color families, Charming Charlie is the choice to suit any occasion or style. Their staff is always ready to help find that perfect bauble, handbag, scarf or belt to make all the difference to your outfit. 9020 Hudson Road; 651.702.0384.
Runner-up: Mainstream Boutique  Third Place: Francesca’s Collections

Best Home Décor

Pomegranate Designs
Timeless design with a blend of comfort and elegance: that’s what you can expect from Pomegranate Designs. In addition to a spectacular selection of accessories, artwork and furnishings, Pomegranate offers interior design services, regular/decorative painting and custom floral arrangements. 710 Commerce Drive; 651.738.4898.
Runner-up: Kirkland’s Home  Third Place: Pier 1 Imports

Best Bike Shop

Erik’s Bike Shop
Erik Saltvold, owner of Erik’s Bike Shop, says “Our employees are passionate about riding and we’re focused on providing same-day bicycle repair service and a huge selection of products to choose from. At Erik’s, our staff goes through the most extensive training program in the bike business to make sure that you get the perfect bike for how you like to ride.” 1825 Radio Drive; 651.259.4600.
Runner-up: Penn Cycle & Fitness   Third Place: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best Florist
Sweet Peas Floral
Great design is the hallmark of Sweet Peas, with a touch of European flair and spectacular flowers, paired with natural accompaniments such as grasses and branches. Owner Tara Carlson and her staff are also good listeners. “We take the time to understand why you are sending flowers and what the situation is,” Carlson says. “Everything we do is custom, including our weddings and events which make up about 50 percent of our business, and we work really hard to deliver what our customers want at a reasonable price.” 783 Radio Drive, Suite 111; 651.730.9115.
Runner-up: Woodlane Flowers   Third Place: Flowers on the Park

Best Place for Unusual Gifts

A Whimsical Place
“I go shopping purposely for the store to find unique, one-of-a-kind items such as handmade wood signs, beautiful painted birdhouses with old tin roofs and jewelry made from old coins,” says Sheryl Amos, owner. “I’m especially proud of our furniture. My furniture maker creates cabinets out of old doors and windows and they are fabulous.” 1785 Radio Drive; 651.578.2979.
“I love A Whimsical Place—it’s such a fun place to shop for one-of-a-kind, unique gifts, accessories and jewelry. It’s jam-packed from floor to ceiling so I take several laps around the store and see new items each time. I always leave with something!”—Sandy Hersperger
Runner-up: Kowalski’s Markets   Third Place: Francesca’s Collections

Best Place for People Watching
Central Park
With links to the R.H. Stafford Library and YMCA, skyway access to Presbyterian Homes and Services (Stonecrest), South Washington County Schools’ early childhood family education in its lower level, Central Park is the true melting pot of Woodbury, where you can spot tots to teens to seniors. The multi-use park offers free concerts, a waterfall, gorgeous plants and lots of large windows. 8595 Central Park Place; 651.714.3500.
Runner-up: Woodbury Lakes   Third Place: Woodbury Days

Best Soccer Field
Bielenberg Sports Center
If you have a soccer player in your family, you’ve spent time at Bielenberg Sports Center’s multitude of soccer fields. The city of Woodbury recreational site, along with the adjacent East Ridge High School, features up to 18 soccer fields and other multi-purpose fields between the two sites. They are always in great shape thanks to the city of Woodbury, which is responsible for the majority of the maintenance on all the fields whether they are on city or school property. The fields are mowed two to three times per week and it takes one person 45 hours to complete one mowing. Bielenberg also offers four park shelter/restroom buildings and more than five miles of paved pathways that connect the site amenities. 4125 Radio Dr.; 651.714.3741.
Runner-up: Ojibway Park   Third Place: Colby Lake

Best Architect

ARC Building and Development, Inc.
With a focus on dental and medical offices, ARC Building and Development offers in-house design and build-outs. “We have done work for a number of local dental offices, including Woodbury Dental Care, Dunn Orthodontics and Montgomery Dental Care,” says owner Greg Watson. “We were also involved in the preliminary design for the new O’Halloran and Murphy Woodbury Cremation & Funeral Services facility, as well as doing construction management oversight.” 2115 Woodlane Drive, Suite 201; 651.705.8601.
Runner-up: (Tie) Brinkman Russell, Inc., Ispiri, Michael Lee Inc., Michael Mularoni & Associates

Best Place to Take Kids on a Rainy Day
Central Park/Lookout Ridge
Whether it’s escaping the summer heat or winter’s cold, Central Park and Lookout Ridge have kids covered. The inviting garden atmosphere of Central Park is sure to please, along with its Cups ‘n Scoops neighborhood treatery. Lookout Ridge, located in the park’s lower level, is a state-of-the-art indoor playground with slides, forests, a tree house and even a cave. 8595 Central Park Place; 651.714.3500.
Runner-up: R.H. Stafford Library   Third Place: Woodbury 10 Theatre

Best Place to Go for a Walk with Your Dog
Colby Lake
Walking the path around Colby Lake is a “must-do” with your doggie. You’ll run into lots of local residents with their Fidos along the path, which includes lots of wooded sections as well as open areas.
Runner-up: Dale Road Off-Leash Dog Park   Third Place: Powers Lake


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