Official results for the inaugural edition of "The Best of Scott County" are in and available on the county's Web site, www.scottcountymo.com, according to County Developer Joel Evans.
Over the past few weeks, Scott County Web site visitors were invited to vote for their favorites in several categories ranging from the most beautiful view in the county to the county's best barbecue.
"We had an overwhelming response," Evans said. "I don't have an exact count but there were dozens and dozens of responses." Results were posted Tuesday.
While the survey is admittedly somewhat less than scientific, it did provide Web site users with the opportunity to recognize those who truly deserve it, Evans said.
Sikeston locations did particularly well, taking honors in over half of the categories including four of the five that were food-related.
"I can't say I've been home until I've had a Kirby Burger," said Phillip St. Onge, a native Sikestonian who has lived in Gulf Shores, Ala., for the last eight years.
Few will be surprised to see Sikeston's most famous restaurant made the list as well.
"While traveling in England, I struck up a conversation with a gentlemen waiting for a train," Evans recalled. "I told him I was from Sikeston, Missouri, and started to do my best to explain where Sikeston was located. He stopped me before I really started and said, 'Oh yes, Lambert's Café: Home of the Throwed Rolls.'"
Tales of flying rolls bring people in by the thousands and their motto - "Treat every person who enters this building just as you would like to be treated" - keeps them coming back.
"Lambert's brings out the kid in everyone," Evans said.
For a tablecloth and candlelight dining experience, however, Web site visitors picked Ray's in Kelso. Offering American and Italian cuisine, Ray's is famous for their gourmet pizza and their USDA Prime Angus steaks, according to Evans.
The Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo was selected as the "Best Annual Event" but Benton's Neighbor Days, the Oran Picnic, and Sikeston's Cotton Carnival also did really well in this category, Evans said.
Commerce also did well in the poll by placing first in two categories.
Situated at the base of Crowley's Ridge, Commerce's unobstructed view of the Mississippi River has the best scenery in the county and the River Ridge Winery, located just north of the town up a winding country road, is the perfect setting for that special first date, according to Evans.
"Whether you prefer a dry-red or a Riesling-style white, you will find something you'll love at River Ridge," he said.
As for the county's best barbershop, that would be Everett Holder's place in the old Illmo section of Scott City.
"Sportsman's Barber Shop is the epitome of a small town barbershop where you get a quality haircut at a fair price and the latest gossip for free. If you've missed the latest high school basketball game, Everett will give you a play-
by-play that rivals that of any professional sportscaster," Evans said. "As the world around us changes, it's nice to know there is a place that seems to never change."
Unfortunately for those of us who are not regulars there already, Sportsman's is open by appointment only and isn't taking any new clients at this time.
Evans said he hasn't decided yet when to do the next edition of the "Best of Scott County" but encouraged readers to send in their suggestions for categories to firstname.lastname@example.org. "We might do one for the summer," he said.
For a complete description of each of the county's best places and events, visit www.scottcountymo.com and follow the link located near the home pages's top right corner.