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Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010 Readers Choice

Feb 21, 2016



Fairbanks readers voted on the best of the best businesses in Fairbanks.
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Page 1: 2010 Readers Choice

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Page 2: 2010 Readers Choice

T h a n k y o u , F a i r b a n k s ! For voting Fairhill Christian School as your third favorite school in the area!

Fairhill Christian School Now accepting applications for

the 2010/2011School Year for all grades, K–12.

101 City Lights Blvd. • 457-2167

18366664 5-16-10RC

THANKS to all my Fans!

You’ve made my year!

It’s been my honor to serve you & I look forward to helping more folks in Interior Alaska find their way home in 2010-2011!

Helen Holland (and Tippy, the dog) Re/Max Associates of Fairbanks

452-6387 590-5152

57365736 5-16-10RC

2 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010


List of winners ......................................................................... 4-5

Best veterinarian ......................................................................... 3

Best sporting goods store ............................................................ 7

Best physical therapist ................................................................. 9

Best hardware store .................................................................... 8

Best nonprofit organization ......................................................... 11


List of winners ...........................................................................12

Best sports team/events .............................................................12

Food & Drink

List of winners .......................................................................... 15

Best ice cream ......................................................................... 17

Best Mexican food .................................................................... 18

Best overall restaurant ............................................................... 16

And the winners are ...Surprises highlight Readers Choice categories

The first thing people want to know when visiting a new

city is “what’s good around here,” whether it’s the best place

to grab a bit to eat, grab a cocktail, take in a sports game, get

their hair cut or get the oil in their RV changed.

Making a “best of” list for Fairbanks is no easy task. Read-

ers sent in stacks of ballots giving us their choices, and we tal-

lied them up — one by one — to give you a guide to the best

of the best.

Thanks to all who took time to vote. From naming the

area’s best waiter to salad bar to dentist and doctor, none of

it could have been done without you. If your favorite didn’t

make the list, don’t worry. There’s always next year and plen-

ty of time to debate about who offers or has the best of what.

In the meantime, go out and try something new from the list.


Page 3: 2010 Readers Choice

3480 College Rd. • 479-2494 • Fairbanks, Alaska 99709




L • S


H •


WA •




• O



• C


CS •



L • S


H •


WA •




• O



• C


CS •



L • S


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• MO












Locally ow ned and operated for over 35 years

C onven ien t C entra l Location • K now ledg eable E xperienced S taff


B e s t S p o r t i n g G o o d s S t o

r e

3Readers Choice 2010


Jeanne Olson doesn’t know exactly why News-Miner read-ers voted her the best vet in the Fairbanks area, but she’s honored by the recognition.

“I was very happy when I heard that. I said, ‘Wow, that’s interesting,’” she said.

If anything, Olson said she would have voted for Aurora Animal Clinic, where she directs patients if she’s unavailable.

But there’s something about Olson’s North Pole clinic, Raven Veterinary Services, that keeps people and dogs and cats coming back. When contacted May 7, Olson said that she was booked solid with patients for the next two weeks.

Olson, who has been practic-ing in North Pole since 1988, said she could never under-stand why veterinarians were taught in school that owners shouldn’t be with their pets.

She gives owners complete access to their animals at her

Pets and people both dig veterinarian Jeanne Olson

Sam Harrel/News-MinerVeterinarian Jeanne Olson, seen with her dog, mrs. peabody, was selected best veterinarian.Please see OLSON, Page 7

Thank you, Fairbanks, for voting Hot Licks

your favorite

ice cream!


3433 College Road & Chena Pump Plaza

(907) 479-7813

Open Daily 12–10 p.m.

Page 4: 2010 Readers Choice

Performances made possible in part by the Alaska State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and City of Fairbanks Bed Tax funds.


A Top 3 Best Theatre Production: 2006-2010Featuring more than 70 dancers from local schools

Thanks for Your Vote 5 Years in a Row!


o by

J. A





The Holiday Tradition that’s Always the Best Show in Town

4 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Auto Mechanic/repair shop1 — Kendall Auto of Fair-

banks2 — Simard Automotive3 — Lithia Motors

Banking facility/financial institution

1 — Mt. Mckinley Bank2 — Alaska USA Federal

Credit Union3 — Denali State Bank

Barbershop/barber1 — Alaska Barber Shop2 — Team Cutters3 — Just Haircuts

Bartender1 — Rae Ann, Red Fox Bar

& Grill2 — Sheri Rother, Ivory

Jacks3 — Angela Foster, Club


Carwash1 — Splash & Dash2 — Bentley Car Wash3 — University Truck &

Auto Car Wash

Cashier/retail clerk1 — Patricia McCarty, Fred

Meyer West

2 — Vickie Baker, Red Couch

3 — Cindy Whitmer, Safe-way University

Daycare1 — Open Arms2 — Fairbanks Montessori3 — Room to Grow

Dentist1 — Dr. Dirk Menard,

Nanook Dental2 — Dr. James Cerney3 — Dr. Ryle Radke

Doctor1 — Dr. Jean Tsigonis,

Tanana Valley Clinic2 — Dr. Marvin Bergeson,

Tanana Valley Clinic

3 — Dr. Don Ives, Laser Vein Center of Fairbanks

Fire department1 — University Fire

Department2 — Fairbanks Fire

Department3 — Steese Volunteer Fire



Sam Harrel/News-Miner

Daily News-Miner readers voted University Fire Department their favorite battalion of Alaska firefighters for 2010.

Boating and Drinking

DON’T MIX Please be responsible;

don’t operate any motorized vehicle if

you’ve been drinking.

A public service message from the Alaska State

Troopers and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

21367139 5-16-10RC

Page 5: 2010 Readers Choice

5Readers Choice 2010

Florist1 — College Floral2 — Santinas Flowers and

Gifts3 — Safeway Bentley Mall

Gift shop1 — Riverboat Discovery

Gifts2 — If Only ... a fine store3 — The Knotty Shop

Hair salon/stylist1 — Charlotte Rouge Hair

Spa, Charlotte Rouge2 — Chris & Company Hair

Design Team, Michelle Wilber3 — Hair Palace, Dawn


Insurance agency/agent1 — Allstate Insurance, Jim

Ozimkoski2 — Kenneth A. Murray

Insurance, Inc.3 — State Farm, Jack Ran-


Jewelry store1 — Bishop’s Jewelry Gal-


2 — Taylor’s Gold N Stones3 — Larson’s Fine Jewelers

Massage/physical therapist1 — Wendy Bratt, Willow

Physical Therapy2 — Jim Pasek, Advanced

Physical Therapy3 — Edith Desmond, Red


Nonprofit agency1 — Love INC2 — Fairbanks Community

Food Bank3 — United Way of the

Tanana Valley

Nurse1 — Colleen Kowalcheck,

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital2 — Katie Sanders; Fair-

banks Memorial Hospital Women’s Center

3 — Tie: Connie Williams; Tanana Valley Clinic Pediat-rics; and Laurie Muth, Bassett Army Community Hospital

Nursery/garden center1 — Holm Town Nursery

2 — Risse’s Greenhouse3 — The Plant Kingdom

Optometrist1 — Dr. Chad Personnette,

Clear Vision2 — Dr. John Lounsbury,

Sam’s Club3 — Dr. Damien Delzer, Eye

Clinic of Fairbanks

Optician1 — West Valley Vision

Center2 — Golden North Optics3 — Image Optical

Pharmacy/pharmacist1 — Safeway Bentley Mall2 — Fred Meyer East3 — Fred Meyer West

Principal1 — Shaun Kraska, West

Valley High School2 — Tim Doran, Denali

Elementary School3 — Tie: Jeffrey Mann,

Woodriver Elementary School; and Jeanette Hayden, Hutchi-son High School

Real estate agency/agent1 — Russo Realty, Joe &

Jane Russo2 — Tie: Re/max, Helen

Holland; Riverview Realty, Susan Rainey

3 — Madden Real Estate, Wes Madden

School1 — Nordale Elementary

School2 — Woodriver Elementary

School3 — Fairhill Christian


Server/waiter1 — Jon Bradish, UAF

Wood Center Pub2 — Bonnie Port, Sam’s

Sourdough Café3 — Jessie Desmond, Red


Sporting goods store1 — Beaver Sports2 — Sportsman’s Ware-

house3 — Sports Authority

Teacher1 — Jenny DeGeorge, FNS-

BSD substitute teacher 2 — Don Kardash, Hunter

Elementary3 — Tie: Suzanne Richards

Woodriver Elementary Schoo; and Sean McKenzie, Hutchison High School

Teller1 — Suncha Dutton, Spirit

of Alaska Federal Credit Union2 — Autumn Musgrove,

Northrim Bank3 — Marsha Villalva, Spirit

of Alaska Federal Credit Union

Tools/hardware store1 — Sentry Hardware2 — Samson True Value

Hardware3 — Lowe’s

Veterinary care1 — Dr. Jeanne Olsen,

Raven Veterinary Services2 — Mt. McKinley Animal

Hospital3 — Aurora Animal Clinic


Page 6: 2010 Readers Choice

The Binkley Family and the Riverboat Discovery would like to thank you, Fairbanks,

479-6673 • 479-6673 • for tour information or reservations for tour information or reservations

1-866-479-6673 1-866-479-6673

for voting us the

Best Place to Bring Tourists and for voting the

Discovery Trading Post the

Best Alaska Gift Shop.

Fairbanks' Premier


El Dorado Gold Mine El Dorado Gold Mine

18366688 5-16-10

6 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Page 7: 2010 Readers Choice

By REBA LEANFor the News-Miner

Beaver Sports is unique to Fairbanks and can answer just about any local adven-turing needs.

Located on College Road just down the street from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, it is the grown-up product of a family’s love for sports.

Beaver Sports sells tents, clothing, camping gear, bicy-cles and nearly every sport-ing need under the sun.

It wasn’t always that way, though.

When current owner Greg Whisenhant was just a boy in 1972, the family sold canoes and skis to locals.

His dad, Jim Whisenhant, was a running and skiing team coach.

As a way for his athletes to stay fit in the summer, he had some canoes shipped up to him to sell. The inter-est in the canoes extended

beyond just his team. Greg remembers watch-

ing from the window of his house on Wolf Run, and when a car would pull up to check out some canoes, there was much excitement. “Somebody’s out in the driveway!” they would call. They sold the lightweight boats from a huge trailer that fit about 30 inside. It was driven up from the states by some relatives and it took up much of the drive-way.

When canoes were not enough, and the family wanted to expand a bit, they moved to a little shed down the street from their current location.

In the early days there were just three or four cus-tomers a day that would come in to buy just a paddle or lifejacket.

Greg found himself mow-ing the lawn quite often. Eventually, after about five additions to the little shed,

the store needed a bigger location.

In 1987, the current store opened.

Now, the store sells top-of-the-line brands in just about every sporting category. Historic sports photographs from Fairbanks and other Alaska towns line the walls, while the newest bicycles line the racks.

It has always been a fam-ily affair, and even today, Greg’s three siblings all take part in running the store. Greg is now the owner, but sometimes misses being down on the sales floor.

“There’s always experi-ences to share, stories to tell,” he said.

For him, one of the best things about the store is learning from his customers’ experiences.

Another quality of Beaver Sports is its staff.

“Customer service is one of the big things,” he explained. “Everybody’s involved in the sport itself,” and they know how to use the equipment they sell, he said.

Its uniqueness to Fair-banks is not only imbedded in its origins, but also in its effort to involve the com-munity.

In the past, Beaver Sports used to host running, biking and canoeing races.

Greg regrets it, but has had trouble recently with their insurance company allowing them to sponsor these races.

He hopes this summer to start canoeing races again.

Beaver Sports is a family affair

The readers of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner have named Northrim Bank Assistant Branch Manager, Autumn Musgrove, as one of the best tellers in the city. Join us in congratulating Autumn on her award in the 2010 Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

CLICK | CALL 455-1111 | COME IN 360 Merhar Avenue

Thank you, Fairbanks!

T h a n k Y o u , F a i r b a n k s ! T h a n k Y o u , F a i r b a n k s !

5200 Aeronca (near Fbks Int’l Airport) 451-9529

“Keeping Champions on the Road since 1997”

for making us a favorite. We are your local Dealership Alternative!


7Readers Choice 2010

small clinic, which she shares with six dogs, a cat and a pig.

And she keeps owners as informed as possible about how their pets are doing after a procedure.

“I think people come here and they realize that’s the way it should be,” she said.

In addition to the usual veterinary services, Olson offers a variety of alternative treatments, including homeo-pathic remedies, acupuncture and chiropractic services for dogs.

Next month she hopes to have an underwater treadmill for dogs installed. The whirl-pool-like device allows dogs of all sizes to walk in the tank while the treadmill increases resistance at a steady rate

The treatment is great for older dogs, Olson said.

With such innovative treatments only available at Olson’s clinic, it’s likely she’ll remain the reader’s choice for some time to come.

Contact staff writer Chris Frei-berg at 459-7545.

OLSONContinued from Page 3


College Road

Wedgewood Dr.



t Ave


Bear Lodge




Visitor Center

Advancing the appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birdsand their habitatsthrough research and education.

Our gift shop carries unique items for the nature lover in your life. Your purchase

helps fund the Alaska Bird Observatory's educational and research programs.Mon-Fri. 9:30-5

418 Wedgewood Dr. • 451-7159 Please visit us at

Page 8: 2010 Readers Choice

Thank You! Thank You!

488-6973 • 981 Risse Rd. (off 6.4 mi. Chena Hot Spring Rd, first left after Nordale)

New Hours: Beginning May 19 Monday- Saturday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Sunday 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

18366663 5-16-10RC

We're thrilled to be voted one of your favorite greenhouses in Fairbanks! Thanks for supporting our business and buying

Alaska Grown!

We're happy to assist you in any way

we can with your greenhouse or


Corner of Airport Way & University Ave. Fairbanks, Alaska 99709

“For Jewelry as fine as she is”

Teddy Bear Plaza 456-8369

A Special Thank You A Special Thank You A Special Thank You for once again

recognizing us as one of the top

jewelry stores in Fairbanks!

11365149 5-16-10RC

12366519 5-16-10RC

570 Riverstone Way, Suite 3 • 479-4700

Thank you for



us the best opticians in the


Not pictured: Jim Rothmeyer

8 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010


Sentry Hardware may not boast the biggest or cheapest selection of tools or hardware in Fairbanks, but it has the best.

For the second year in a row, Sentry Hardware was voted the top hardware store in Fairbanks, according to the News-Miner Readers Choice Awards.

Sentry Hardware beat out runner-up Samson True Value Hardware and third-ranked Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

General manager Mike Lund, who also is part owner, said the store’s customer-first service is what sets it apart from the competition.

“We’re independently owned and operated,” Lund

said. “We don’t carry as large of an inventory as a lot of places, but we can get stuff pretty fast. We had UAF here last week, and they needed 30 sticks of aluminum and we had it for them in a week.”

Fairbanks’ hardware aficio-nados know where to find Sen-try Hardware. The store has been in the same underground location in the Gavora Mall at the corner of Third Street and the Old Steese Highway for all of its 17 years.

“People know we’re here,”

Lund said.Sentry Hardware carries

the largest selection of nuts and bolts in town, he said.

“We’re known for our nuts and bolts and fasteners,” he said. “That’s a big category for us.”

The store increased its inventory five years ago with the addition of Frontier Out-fitters in the space above the hardware store. The move allowed the store to move its sporting goods department upstairs, which meant more

space for hardware.“We were getting cramped

with sporting goods down-stairs,” Lund said. “(The addi-tion of Frontier Outfitters) allowed us to expand in a lot of areas.”

Frontier Outfitters comple-ments Sentry Hardware and vice-versa, Lund said. The two stores are separate entities but they each complement the other, which has brought more customers into each, he said.

Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

Sentry Hardware bags top spot for readers’ needs

Eric Engman/News-Miner

Sentry Hardware was named the favorite hardware spot in Fairbanks for 2010.

Page 9: 2010 Readers Choice



From all of us at Taco Azteca & Mayan Palace: Thank you for making us #1! Without you we couldn’t have made it. 455-8226 • 3401 AIRPORT WAY in Washington Plaza • 455-6292

Exquisite Tableware • Vera Bradley




e •




• Handcrafted Jewelry • Pens • Journals •

• Gifts for Grads and Dads • Wedding and Baby •


locally owned and operated in the heart of downtown Fairbanks

215 Cushman Street • 457-6659 Mon.–Sat. 10–6 p.m. • Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Thank you, fairbanks! for voting us

BREWSTER’S “great food, great alaskan spirits”

TWO LOCATIONS : 3578 Airport Way Teddy Bear Plaza


354 Old Steese Northgate Square


11366205 5-16-10RC

#1 Best Steaks in Fairbanks #1 Best Steaks in Fairbanks #1 Best Hamburgers in Fairbanks #1 Best Hamburgers in Fairbanks S t e a k s

H a m b u r g e r s

9Readers Choice 2010

By REBA LEANFor the News-Miner

In an all-female clinic, Wendy Braat is recognized as the matriarch and an excep-tional physical therapist.

Her business, Willow Physical Therapy, is located in the Medical Dental Arts Building, next to the Fair-banks Memorial Hospital.

Braat has been in the physical therapy business since 1983.

Before then, she was working as a home health aide with a paraplegic who had tuberculosis.

She spent a lot of time helping with household chores and the home health nurse. Braat was interested in what the nurse did and asked a lot of questions.

Soon enough, she found

herself convinced into going back to college for a physical therapy degree. Since 1983, she has spent all but two years in Fairbanks, treating those in need.

In 1988, she opened Wil-low Physical Therapy.

Today, she has a devoted staff, many of which have been with her for more than 10 years.

“Wendy is a wonder-

ful boss,” Cathy Cady said. Braat worked on Cady at one point, so Cady knows from personal experience that Braat is good at what she does.

Sharon Richards is one of five physical therapists at Willow and has gotten to know Braat pretty well. “Wendy is a kind person,” she said, “she’s very con-cerned about giving her patients good care.”

Richards has been with Braat the longest of all the employees and agrees that she is a great boss. “You can tell that because I’ve worked here 17 years.”

“I don’t know if you’d call her a workaholic, but she’s very devoted to her business,” Richards said. She is always making plans to improve Willow Physical

Therapy and improve her own education.

Braat finds it very impor-tant that she and her staff “continue to learn and con-tinue to grow” in their pro-fession.

She is a huge advocate of continuing education courses, and has taken many herself.

“Seeing people actually get better” is Braat’s favor-ite part of her job.

People’s visits to her vary on injury, and could be any-where from twice to several months’ worth of visits.

For the most part, she always sees improvement.

“That part is really enjoy-able,” she said. “Our goal is always to help them be inde-pendent.”

Braat strives to create specific programs to treat

her patients. Physical therapists at her

practice work on injuries like whiplash of the neck, multiple sclerosis and even migraines.

They have exercise areas and private examination rooms to cater individual problems.

Richards is very confident in her boss’s ability to treat patients.

She says that her patients always have good outcomes, and that is why she won the Best Physical Therapist Award.

Braat said she might be getting old, but retirement is not on her horizon yet.

She still has time left yet, and will continue to help her employees improve and treat her patients for many years to come.

Wendy Braat is boss when it comes to physical therapy

Page 10: 2010 Readers Choice

I am honored to have been chosen

"Best Physical Therapist" Wendy Braat and Staff






M a n y t h a n k s F a i r b a n k s !

456-5990 •

10 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sam Harrel/News-MinerThe Riverboat Discov-ery I, left, leads the Riverboat Discovery II, right, and Riverboat Discovery III down the Chena River during an anniversary cruise celebrating the busi-ness. The Riverboat Discovery was named the best place to take visitors to Fairbanks and also recognized by News-Miner read-ers for having the best gift shop.

18366655 5-16-10RC


Dr. Menard and his staff at Nanook Dental

would like to thank you for voting us #1 Dentist.

3706 Swenson Ave. (off S. University)

452-NOOK (6665)

New patients always welcome!

Aviators Steak House “Come Fly Away With Us, For The Best Steaks In Town.”

Come to the BEST KEPT SECRET in Fairbanks...

Thank you, for your votes!

“Favorite Steaks” “Favorite Prime Ribs”

Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. 10% discount to Military, Pilots, UAF Students & Seniors

Reservation recommended • Restaurant available for private parties

731 2nd Ave. Fairbanks • 456-7597


Page 11: 2010 Readers Choice


111366175 5-16-10RC 1867 Airport Way, #150-A Fairbanks, Alaska (next to Wendy’s)

– Dr. Chad Personett

I am honored to have been selected

as your favorite


Call for your appointment 452-2131

O p t o m e t r i s t

Pam Gajdos 1867 AIRPORT WAY

(Next to Wendy’s) 452-2024

Thank you,


We appreciate

your support!

11366176 5-16-10RC

Pick-up • Dine in •

Restaurant & Pizzeria

701 College Rd. • 452-2299

Thank you, Fairbanks, for voting us among the Best Restaurants in the Interior! 12366521-5-16-10RC




11Readers Choice 2010


As Love INC marks its 25th year in Fairbanks, the faith-based clearing house for the needy celebrates anoth-er milestone: best nonprofit agency for 2010.

Love INC stands for Love In the Name of Christ.

Incorporated in 1985, the agency links people in need to a local human service agency or a network of 52 churches with volunteers willing to help.

Love INC helps fill needs great and small, such as coun-seling, paying utility bills, providing a ride, snow shov-eling or purchasing a package of diapers.

“It’s wonderful to see

churches really connecting with people in need,” Execu-tive Director Judy Dellinger said.

Love INC is modeled after a nationwide organization founded by Dr. Virgil Gulker in Holland, Mich., in 1977, Dellinger said.

Gulker visited Fairbanks in the spring of 1985 and

helped church members here start a branch of the organi-zation.

Dellinger said a typical day at Love INC starts with prayer and then the phones start ringing.

“Everything is done over the phone,” she said. “Volun-teer receptionists set up the client’s file and do the initial intake.”

Volunteer caseworkers call clients back to screen their request for the extent of need and legitimacy.”

The requests are then referred to another communi-ty agency that specializes in the need or to a local church.

In 2009, Love INC fielded 1,700 requests for help, Del-linger said.

Most of the requests

involved a delivery of some kind, usually a food delivery.

BJ Lehmann, a retired waitress and cashier, became a Love INC client after suf-fering a stroke in late 2008.

Lehmann said she quali-fied for a monthly box of food from the Fairbanks Commu-nity Food Bank but she had no way of picking up the food. In stepped Love INC.

“I went by Love INC and told them that I needed help,” Lehmann said.

“They’ve been picking up my food boxes ever since every month. They bring it right to my house.”

Lehmann looks forward to the visits from church volun-teers, who have become her friends.

One day, a volunteer

arrived with Lehmann’s food box along with a compact disc player. Inside the player was a disc by The Everly Broth-ers, whose song “Kentucky” is Lehmann’s favorite song.

“I just boo-hooed,” Lehm-ann said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

Love INC is located at 818 26th Ave., and the agency has three paid staff. To volunteer or express a need, call 452-3876.

“Sometimes it’s hard to discern who is the most in need,” Dellinger said, “those referred to Love INC for help or those who have the need to give help. We’re all in need. We all depend on each oth-er.”

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7544.

Love INC is Fairbanks’ favorite nonprofit

Interior AlaskaGreen Star

Conserve fuel—recycle your aluminum cans

• Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.

You can make a difference! RECYCLE

urges you to

For information:;

E-mail: or

Phone: 452-4152

Page 12: 2010 Readers Choice

Reservations recommended

2190 Goldstream Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99709


12366547 5-16-10RC

Vallata the

is pleased to serve you Excellent Steaks,

Seafood, Italian Dishes & New York Style Pizzas!

Thank You, Fairbanks

Tues.-Sun. 5:30-10:30

Closed Monday

Thanks to all of the readers who voted our department #1. We are

proud to serve you . -Chief Curry and Staff-

12365358 5-16-10RC

UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.

Your Medical Home

Serving the Community for Over 50 Years

CongratulationsDr. Jean TsigonisDr. Marvin Bergeson


Voted Fairbanks’ Favorite Doctors

Thank you, FairbanksJean Tsigonis, MD Marvin Bergeson, MD

12 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Local band1 — Girls with Guitars,

Theresa Bauer2 — Searching for the Real3 — Gangly Moose

Local sporting event1 — Fairbanks Grizzlies2 — Fairbanks Curling

Club Bonspiel3 — Alaska Nanook Hock-


Local Sports Team1 — Alaska Nanooks 2 — Fairbanks Grizzlies3 — Alaska Goldpanners

Place to bring tourists1 — Riverboat Discovery

2 — Pioneer Park3 — Ice Alaska/Ice Park

Theatre/performance com-pany

1 — Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre

2 — Fairbanks Drama Association

3 — UAF Arts/Theatre

Theatre/performance pro-duction

1 — Sweeney Todd, Fair-banks Light Opera Theatre

2 — The Nutcracker, North Star Ballet

3 — High School Musical, Fairbanks Light Opera The-atre


John Wagner/News-Miner

Fairbanks Grizzlies fans attempt to catch an errant pass during an Indoor Football League game in April against the Alaska Wild at the Carlson Center.


Two teams who inhabit the Carlson Cen-ter on a seasonal basis are the recipients of the fan favorites awards for sports.

The Fairbanks Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League were voted the Favorite Sports Event, and Daily News-Miner readers gave the Favorite Sports Team nod to the

Alaska Nanooks of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The Grizzlies, the northernmost profes-sional sports franchise in the nation, are as popular for their promotions and contests during timeouts and halftimes as they are for the action on the 50-yard artificial turf field.

Grizzlies, Nanooks lead the picks for favorite sporting events, teams

Please see SPORTS, Page 13

Page 13: 2010 Readers Choice

The Turtle Club 10 mile Old Steese Highway Fox, Alaska


OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK: Mon.-Sat. 6-10 • Sun. 5-9

In the mood for the best?

It’s our pleasure to serve you. , , ,







13Readers Choice 2010

John Wagner/News-Miner

Members of the Alaska Nanooks hockey team hud-dle together prior to taking on the Western Michigan Broncos during Central Collegiate Hockey Associa-tion postseason action in March at the Carlson Cen-ter. News-Miner readers voted the Nanooks the favorite sporting team this year.

The activities can include field-goal kicking competitions or dance contests involving fans and a halftime skills competition among area high school football players. This year, some fans have watched games while sitting in a jacuzzi that sets near the north end of the field.

Ricky Bertz, co-owner of the 3-year-old franchise, said a little thought is put into each promo-tion and contest.

“It’s about entertainment with football being the basis of that entertainment,’’ Bertz said at the Carlson Center on April 24, when the Grizzlies played the Alaska Wild of Anchorage in the season finale of their intrastate series.

The same night was Breast Cancer Awareness Night, and Grizzlies fans donated about $1,900 to the Breast Cancer

SPORTSContinued from Page 12

Please see SPORTS, Page 14

Page 14: 2010 Readers Choice

11365151 5-16-10RC

“Thanks for 10 years of support

for exemplary early childhood education in a

decidedly Christian


Corner of College Rd. & Old Steese

Thank you,

Fairbanks, for voting

Bentley Car Bentley Car Wash Wash

among your favorite car washes

in town!









14 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Detection Center of Fair-banks. The team also raised money for the BCDC with a postgame jersey auction.

The Nanooks are com-ing off an historical 2009-10 season, as they played in the NCAA Division I Tourna-ment for the first time.

The Nanooks received an at-large berth into the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. Alaska lost 3-1 to Boston College in a regional semifinal on March 27, but it was the fewest goals scored by the eventual

national champion Eagles during the NCAA tourna-ment.

“I was real proud of how our guys competed for our first time in the tournament and how they handled them-selves being in this environ-ment,” said Alaska head

coach Dallas Ferguson said after the regional semifinal.

The Nanooks finished 18-12-9 overall in Ferguson’s second season as head coach.

Andy Taranto scored on a power play in the regional semifinal, and a few weeks earlier, the Nanooks right wing was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Associa-tion Rookie of the Year dur-ing the conference’s awards show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Taranto finished as Alas-ka’s second-leading scorer and third among Division I rookies with 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 39 games.

On the same night in Detroit, senior center and team-leading scorer Dion Knelsen (19-24-43 totals in 39 games) received the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor and Mike and Marion Illitch Humanitarian Award. He was also a final-ist for the national Hockey Humanitarian Award.

Contact staff writer Danny Mar-tin at 459-7586.

John Wagner/News-Miner

Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre’s presentation of “Swee-ney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” was named the best production in Fairbanks for 2010.

SPORTSContinued from Page 13

565 University Ave., Ste. 1 452-7211

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21367138 5-16-10RC

Page 15: 2010 Readers Choice

13365703 5-16-10RC

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15Readers Choice 2010

Restaurant1 — Turtle Club2 — Geraldo’s3 — Lavelle’s Bistro

Asian food1 — Thai House2 — Pagoda3 — Thai Cuisine Restau-


BBQ/ribs1 — Big Daddy’s Bar B

— Q2 — Tubby’s BBQ3 — Chilis

Breakfast1 — Sam’s Sourdough

Café2 — Cookie Jar3 — HilltopTruck Stop

Brunch1 — Pike’s Landing2 — Pump House3 — Red Couch

Chicken wings1 — Food Factory/Jay-

bird’s Wingworld2 — Chilis3 — Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q

Cocktail lounge1 — Lavelle’s Bistro2 — Red Fox Bar & Grill3 — Los Amigos

Cup of coffee1 — Sunrise Bagel &

Espresso2 — Lulu’s Bread &

Bagels3 — Starbucks Coffee

Desserts1 — Wolf Run2 — Turtle Club3 — Hilltop Truck Stop

Fine dining1 — Turtle Club2 — Vallata

3 — Lavelle’s BistroFast food

1 — Carl’s Jr.2 — McDonalds3 — Subway & Wendy’s

Hamburgers1 — Brewsters2 — Carl’s Jr.3 — Chilis

Hot dogs1 — Sam’s Club2 — Red Couch3 — Chris’ Hot Dog Cart

Ice Cream/milkshakes1 — Hot Licks Homemade

Ice Cream2 — Cold Stone Creamery3 — Red Couch

Italian food1 — Geraldo’s2 — Gambardella’s Pasta

Bella3 — Vallata

Margarita1 — Los Amigos2 — Gallo’s3 — Chilis

Mexican food1 — Mayan Palace/Taco

Azteca2 — Gallo’s3 — Los Amigos

Omelet1 — Sam’s Sourdough

Café2 — Cookie Jar3 — Hilltop Truck Stop

Pizza1 — College Town Piz-

zeria2 — Papa Murphy’s3 — Geraldo’s

Prime rib 1 — Turtle Club2 — Pump House3 — Aviators Steak House

Salad bar1 — Turtle Club2 — Safeway 3 — Fred Meyer

Sandwiches1 — Subway2 — Chowder House3 — Speedy Subs

Seafood1 — Turtle Club2 — Pump House3 — Lavelle’s Bistro

Sourdough pancakes1 — Sam’s Sourdough

Café2 — Hilltop Truck Stop3 — The Bakery Restau-


Steaks 1 — Brewsters2 — Aviator Steak House3 — Roundup Steakhouse


News-MinerHot Licks Homemade Ice Cream, a Fairbanks favor-ite, was again named the best place in town to get a scoop or three of your favorite flavor.

Page 16: 2010 Readers Choice

18366667 5-16-10RC


452-4487 Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.

23rd & S. Cushman

For Voting Us Your Favorite Barbershop


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Best Bartenders . . .


Angela Foster Congratulations

for being voted one of Fairbanks


Guitars Girls


would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to all of you that voted for us in the Readers’ Choice Awards — What an honor in this awesome field of talent!

It’s been a wonderful 11 years playing for (and celebrating with) you!! Thanks so much for your

support and friendship. We hope you continue to get out there and enjoy all of Fairbanks’ fantastic

local music and arts!

Sincerely, Theresa Bauer & Lisa Marquez

“Girls with Guitars”


Girls with Guitars Girls with Guitars

16 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010


Folks have for years said the best beer is brewed in Fox. And some are, again, also pointing to the tiny town north of Fairbanks for the best fine dining around.

The Turtle Club, down the road from the Silver Gulch Brewery, has been operating for a little bit more than two decades. It advertises a deep menu — one that includes king crab legs and Australian lobster tail — a wine list and a salad bar. Perhaps only in Fox can one find coconut

shrimp, escargot and cheese sticks on the same appetizer list.

But ask anyone about the restaurant, started in a log cabin that has since grown to

house a bar, lounge and three dining sections, and you’ll likely hear first about the

prime rib. The Turtle Club’s specialty dish, prime rib comes in three cuts — a “min-er’s” serving for those often dissatisfied with just a pound of meat, the “turtle cut” for the classic 14-16 ounce cut, and “foxy” for those with smaller stomachs.

The club’s menu and ser-vice drew it Reader’s Choice awards in 2003 and 2004 and again this year. It’s among a short list of destinations in Fox, a Steese Highway spot 10 miles north of Fairbanks that falls on the eastern edge of the Goldstream Valley and Fox also houses the brewery and bar and serves as host to a popular viewing station for the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

Turtle Club sticks its neck out to serveEric Engman/News-Miner

The Turtle Club swept many cat-egories this year, including best sal-ad bar, best res-taurant, best fine dining, best prime rib, best seafood and second place for best desserts.

Page 17: 2010 Readers Choice

#1 Barbershop

305 Eagle Ave. 452-2459

Open 7 Days a Week

133656985-16-10RC We would like to thank our valued customers for their continued patronage.

OPEN 7 DAYS 1301 30th Ave 451-8733

Thank You, Fairbanks for once again voting us #1






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17Readers Choice 2010

By REBA LEANFor the News-Miner

A “majestic purple” and “peach” (not just purple and pink) building sitting on Col-lege Road is an attractant by itself. Add ice cream to the equation, and an irresistible force guides one to check out Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream.

Not even a mile from the university, its location is the perfect walking distance for students’ favorite spring ritual. The seasonal location opens each April and lines extend beyond Hot Licks’ borders many times per week. Students are definitely not the ice cream shop’s only customers, though.

Since 1986, owner Geoff Wool has been selling his fantastic flavors to locals and tourists alike. He and his brother, Adam, entered the venture together in 1984, when Adam was between years at school. It was the height of the ice cream renaissance, according to Wool, and “we just thought we’d try ice cream.”

While Fairbanks had some ice cream places, Wool was not impressed. He wanted to try new flavors with quality ingredients, rather than the fluff that major businesses tend to produce.

They opened up shop in the College Town Pizza location, and sold coffee, pastries, soup and ice cream — the four major food groups — for the first 10 years. They then added calzones and pizza to the menu, but got burnt out on food after just two years. They sold their lease and focused on ice

cream at their current Col-lege Road location.

Adam left the business in Geoff’s hands when he opened The Blue Loon. Over the years, Geoff has had a couple franchises in Anchor-age and at Denali Park, but neither really worked. Ice cream wholesale does seem to work, though.

He sells wholesale ice cream to local restaurants including Lavelle’s Bistro,

Silver Gulch, River Boat Dis-covery and West Mark Hotel. Hot Licks wholesale makes it to Anchorage restaurants, and at one point traveled to each five of the Princess Hotels. It reaches much of Fairbanks’ tourist industry.

It is easy to see why so many want it. Using only fresh cream and milk from a dairy in Oregon and natural ingredients, Hot Licks ice cream can get a little spendy. When quality is taken into account though, it is well worth it, according to Geoff. The cows in Oregon are not treated with any growth hormones or steroids, and the ingredients (like pure bourbon vanilla; solid, pure chocolate melted down or pecans they sauté them-selves) are never artificial.

When compared to Hot Licks, everything else is just fluff — literally. Geoff said his ice cream is thicker, and three gallons of his can often weigh 16 pounds, whereas cheaper ice cream might weigh 12.

Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream flavors are endless.

“I could easily list 150 we’ve made recently,” he said.

Using a small-batch sys-tem, Hot Licks is able to create any flavor the owners want, clean out the machine and start a new batch up. Right now they are work-ing on a fourth-grader’s

“Dare Devil Heaven” idea. Although Geoff says its ingredients are not some-thing he would normally put together, he may try it out on the public anyway. Some new flavors they’ve tried out are Silver Gulch beer flavor, ginger and green tea.

Since last April, Hot Licks in Fairbanks has two loca-tions. While the quaint salm-on-colored one on College Road is the moneymaker, it is only seasonal.

They opened a new place at the Chena Pump Plaza to accommodate yearlong crav-ings.

Hot Licks has cool treats and a huge fan base

Page 18: 2010 Readers Choice

11365153 5-16-10RC

1800 Airport Way 452-5415

2301 South Cushman 452-6000

3574 Airport Way 479-8688

Thank You, Fairbanks! Thank You, Fairbanks!

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We are pleased to have been voted your #1 Preferred Sandwich Destination!

S a n d w i c h

Walmart Location 374-7817

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Michelle Wilber


HEARTFELT THANKS to my clients, Chris & Company, my family and my husband

for all of your support in my creative ideas.

~ Michelle

Member: National Association of Realtors, Alaska Association of Realtors, Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors, Local Multiple Listing Service






NorthPointe Properties, Inc. dba Russo Realty – Joe Russo, Broker/Owner • Jane Russo, Salesperson/ Owner

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Joe and Joe and

18 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010


Claiming the title of best Mexican restaurant in Fair-banks has become something of a family rivalry.

This year’s winner in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Readers’ Choice Awards is the Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca restaurant on Air-port Way, edging out Gallo’s Mexican Restaurant. The title-holder in 2009 was Taco King.

What do all of those res-taurants have in common? The Gallo family, which is

building a small Mexican res-taurant empire in Fairbanks.

Willy Gallo, the owner of Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca, moved to Fairbanks four years ago to manage the newly opened Taco King. But

he warned the owner — his uncle, Abraham Gallo — that he’d be departing soon to run his own restaurant.

After three years of tin-kering and remodeling, that enterprise was honored by News-Miner survey-takers as the most popular Mexican eatery in town. Taco Azteca offers a fast-food experience, while the adjoining Mayan Palace provides sit-down din-ner service with the option of beers and margaritas.

Gallo said he’s humbled by the recognition.

“I tell you one thing — for me personally, that means a

lot,” he said of the Readers’ Choice award.

Gallo said he has a good relationship with his uncle, Abraham, the owner of Gallo’s and Taco King res-taurants in Fairbanks and Anchorage. He said the loca-tion of Taco Azteca-Mayan Palace in West Fairbanks is part of an effort to avoid direct competition with Abra-ham’s businesses on the east side of town.

“I kind of look at him like my role model,” Willy Gallo said. “We’re family. I respect him a lot.”

Gallo said his menu of

mostly traditional Mexican food is similar to many of the dishes at Taco King, with a few twists.

He’s added a bit of Tex-Mex influence to some dish-es, and included corn dogs and chicken strips on the kids’ menu, but Gallo said he won’t stray far from authen-tic food. The restaurant’s carne asada — a grilled beef dish — is the most popular item.

“I wanted to accommodate everyone, but I don’t serve burgers, for sure,” he said.

Gallo admits that one of his other well-known menu items is a gimmick, but it’s a fun one. The Burrito Azteca Grande is an intimidating four-pound mixture of chick-en, beef, pork, beans, rice, cheese, pico de gallo sauce, guacamole and sour cream. If someone can polish off the $14.25 burrito alone, they get a free dessert — most likely in a to-go box.

Gallo said many have tried to finish a Burrito Azteca Grande in one sitting, but only about 15 percent have succeeded.

“I’m not sure if it’s the biggest in Alaska, but it’s the biggest in Fairbanks, for sure,” Gallo said.

The third-place winner in the 2010 Readers’ Choice awards belongs to Los Ami-gos, a mainstay for south-of-the-border food in South Fairbanks.

Contact staff writer Jeff Rich-ardson at 459-7518.

Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca scores fan favorite win 13365704-5-16-10RC

Page 19: 2010 Readers Choice

(Car Wash Express)

Corner of University & Airport • & Our New Location 720 Old Steese

Thanks to everyone Thanks to everyone who participated in the Reader’s Choice poll, for voting us who participated in the Reader’s Choice poll, for voting us the best car wash in Fairbanks for the 7th year in a row! the best car wash in Fairbanks for the 7th year in a row!

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for your business and votes; it's a pleasure

serving you!

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Speedy Submarine Sandwich

Val, Jim & crew at—

19Readers Choice 2010

Eric Engman/News-Miner

Owner Edith Desmond, left, serves up a cup of soup as cus-tomers browse the selections at the Red Couch Trading Post The grocery, deli and bakery is located on the corner of Sec-ond Avenue and Dunkel Street in downtown. The Red Couch scored Readers Choice nods for its brunch, hot dogs, ice cream and milkshakes, and outstanding cashier/clerk, Vicki Baker.

Page 20: 2010 Readers Choice

20 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

for voting me #2 Optometrist

Dr. John Lounsbury, Optometrist

I would also like to thank my staff at Sam’s Club Optical and Wal-Mart Optical for helping make this honor happen.












Thank You, Fairbanks!



Jay Titus Manager



Four time #1 winner!

Both Both locations locations

are are Tri-Care Tri-Care providers providers


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