BENTON -- The results of the second annual "Best of Scott County" online poll are in.
"The Best of Scott County" is based on an unscientific online poll which allows visitors of the county's Web site to weigh in on everything from the county's best pizza to the best annual event in the county, according to County Developer Joel Evans.
Throughout the month of December, anonymous ballots poured into the Office of County Development, Evans said.
This year's edition of the "Best of" was expanded from last year's 10 categories for a total of 15 for 2007.
"As you think about where to eat, where to go, or where to shop this year, think about the Best of Scott County," Evans said. "Treat yourself and try to visit them all this year. Tell them you saw them in the 'Best of Scott County.'"
Many of last year's winners defended their title by bringing in the most votes for 2007.
Winning the title of "Best Burger" for the second year, Kirby's Sandwich Shop is truly a part of Sikeston and Scott County culture having sold its burgers since 1907, according to Evans.
Also holding on for a second year, Personal Expressions was named "Best Place in Scott County to Pick up a Gift" for 2007.
Confirmed with an overwhelming majority, Dexter BBQ is once again home of the "Best Barbecue" in the county and Lambert's Café retained its title of "Most Family Friendly Dining."
"Best Annual Event" again goes to the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo beating out a strong contender, the Sikeston Cotton Carnival.
Returning as "Best Fine Dining," is Ray's of Kelso and Jay's Krispy Fried Chicken once again earned the honor of "Best Breakfast."
Narrowly upsetting 2006 "Best Place to Take a First Date" winner RiverRidge Winery, Ray's of Kelso also took this honor.
In the new categories added for 2007, "Best Place for Family Fun" went to Begg's Family Farm near Blodgett for its Fall Harvest, Strawberry and Easter Festivals.
While "Best Pizza in Scott County" votes were split between voters thinking of a quick lunch or tasty boxed pie and those thinking of a truly gourmet meal, exceptional quality earned Ray's of Kelso this award, too.
"Ray's of Kelso is obviously a favorite across the board in Scott County earning an unprecedented three of the 15 titles," Evans said.
The "Best Ethnic Restaurant" award went to the south-of-the-border dining of El Tapatio of Sikeston while Rodchester's Deli, also in Sikeston, was selected as the place to get the "Best Lunch."
"Rodchester's Deli not only earned 'Best Lunch' honors but was also runner up in the 'Best Family Dining' category," Evans said. "Owners Mark and Shawdi Williams are the epitome of the successful family-owned business."
The "Best Grocery Store" honors went to a business with the selection of a superstore and convenience of a neighborhood market: Food Giant of Sikeston. "Jerry Callis led his team at Food Giant to two titles including the coveted "Best Customer Service in Scott County," Evans noted.
In a stiff competition, Helen's was named as the "Best Florist" for 2007.
"Looking through the list, you see lot of family-owned businesses with long histories in the county. The Beggs began cultivating land near Blodgett in 1895, Kirby's served their first burger in 1907, and Lambert's opened for business in 1942," Evans said. "More than just farms, stores, and restaurants, for many of us they are part of our childhood and have shaped the culture of our communities."
Suggestions for next year's "Best of Scott County," please e-mail them to email@example.com. A complete list of winners and runner ups are available on the county's Web site at www.scottcountymo.com.