Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Best of Kitsap's West, North of Central

I'm sure by now that everyone has seen "The Best of North Kitsap" which is put out by one of the TONS of "local" newspapers which we all receive. Of course we all wonder how objective this is, can't someone really stuff the ballot box? Can a winner really just be someone who does a lot of advertising with the paper? To make sure that such blatant wrong-doing doesn't always happen, I decided to give my own "The Best Of..." awards, finding a geographical area which I felt comfortable saying that I have experience in.

That area, to specifically define it, I decided to call Kitsap's West side, but it doesn't include the north end , but it is the northerly end, so I'm going to call this "The Best of Kitsap's West, North of Central". And just to be totally fair, I am going to define the area as East Of Hood Canal, West of Gamble Bay, North of the Hood Canal Bridge, and South of Water. Got that?

The business had to have been opened at least 1 week. Some businesses are so excited from just having opened that their reading is sometimes off, so we required a little time.

The business had to thank us profusely and show us how thankful they were by providing us with a lot of whatever they won with.

And are you afraid I'm going to cheat. Hey! You've been reading my stuff for how long and you think I'm a cheater?

So here, without further ado are the 2010 winners of The Best of Kitsap's West, North of Central, along with a little bit about why they won:

The Best Bookstore
The Dauntless Bookstore
Located in Port Gamble. Have you seen the Dauntless' tourist center, with more maps and postcards than any other business in the area. That's in addition to their many fine books.

The Best General Store
Port Gamble General Store
I don't remember a general store with a better selection of cards (although Kim needs to look at some from Paper Clip Art), and have you seen the TWO museums in their facility, the Port Gamble and the Shell Museums, two of the reasons kids like this place too.

The Best Yarn
The Artful Ewe
How many businesses do you know of anywhere in Kitsap County that are only OPEN three days a week because the owner has so much to do to and with her yarn before she can sell it that she barely has it ready for sale as it is.

The Best Place For Tea and Ivar's Clam Chowder
The Tea Room At Port Gamble
We chose the eatery with the most eclectic or disparate choices of food to show that they could entertain just about anyone with their cooking, providing as well an entertaining location.

The Best Place to Find Antiques
Best Friends Antiques
I like this place for a lot of different reasons, but it is so rare that one will find so many antiques placed so carefully in a garage out back of a store, that it makes searching for antiques more of a treasure hunt.

The Best Salon and Spa
Salon and Spa on Gamble Bay
This place MUST be good,  since it is so common for a customer to immediately head out of town when they are done so they can show off the "do" they received. Don't take this comment too casually, since I'm serious, they are good.

The Best Kayaks
Olympic Outdoor Center
These folks have an incredible summer program, especially their evening cruises to help get you started in your  hobby. They are second to none in helping you get started whether you own a boat or want to borrow one of theirs.

The Best Greeting Cards
Paper Clip Art
Very new to the area, the owner (me) uses the photos of his daughter, his own graphics skills, and cheap equipment to carry on a hobby/profession he had begun in his last town. As his schedule becomes more open, you will see more of his posters, brochures, greeting cards, and other creations.

The Best Place to Rent a Room For The Night
No question,  The Port Gamble Guest Houses
Leaning toward the style of a boutique hotel, they certainly have the style of any older, comfortable, classic facility. Try sleeping there one night. Talk about plush comfort!!

The Best Place To Get a Coffee
Gamble Bay Coffee
Not a surprise here, Sean has been dispensing his ware for years, and even finding new delights. Have you heard of a Tropical Jerry? It will cool you down quick.

Best Barbecue
Mike's Four Star Barbecue
Mike has some delicious choices. He recently made the bbq sauces so you can order them the way you want  them, mild, normal, or explosive!

Best Fruit and Vegetable Stand
Terrapin Farms
Where do they find so much fresh fruit and vegetables? When out of town Kris and I have tried to do what the locals do, buy locally. But it is never quite as fresh as what we see here  as "the real thing".

Best Art Studio
Best  Store Helping a Neighbor
Beverly Hooks Fine Art Studio
A winner in two categories, she was picked because of the way she helps The Artful Ewe with  weaving. My understanding is that the Artful Ewe developed the notion of renting looms by the hour, it was Beverly who should be given the  credit both for helping get the system started and for keeping it going.

The best place to buy a basket
Tango Zulu Imports
Need two reasons to buy a basket at a particular place? I've got them. First is the selection. Incredible. Second to none because of where they came from which is all over the world. And the other reason? The baskets are fair traided. You know the people making them are getting a living wage.

The best quilt store
Quilted Strait
I suppose you think I picked this one because I'm married to the owner. NOT SO. With over 3500 bolts of fabric, employees that are sharp as a tack, and a bunch of other stuff (cross stitch, wool, notions, classes, new AND USED books, and an internet site that lets you shop from your own home), who wouldn't pick it?

The best little store
Second Spring
While I've joked with these two about the size of their building (have you seen it? It's just across the street from the quilt store. Don't blink or you really will miss it.), they cram an amazing selection of home-made articles inside, like aprons, kids dresses, shirts, etc. If you drop by and see something you like, BUY IT because it won't be there  tomorrow. And ask to see their fifth floor ... you've never seen one like it.

There you have it. As honest and fair a report on The Best Of ... that you will find. You know, by golly, I just noticed a real coincidence... I'm not surprised though .... every one of these places just happens to be in Port Gamble. How strange.


Anonymous said...

I think you missed a critical category - Best Coffee.

Anonymous said...

Jerry, that was a great read!! I can see you really enjoy your new home. Talk to you soon Pete

Anonymous said...

No I saw it! Gamble Bay Coffee has the best coffee by far. =)