Best Bar in Scappoose:
The Wigwam, "a ramshackle Harley haunt that takes only cash, mostly serves Miller High Life and looks at you funny if you're new—although if you talk about fishing for catfish, you'll bond in no time."
Best of the Mega-Selling Albums of the Early 1990s:
No Fences by Garth Brooks, "a quiet, brooding album about unavoidable failure, unearned success and a sense of loss that lingers so long because it's mixed with fear." We called it better than Nevermind and maybe even the Chronic.
Upright Engelberg Pilsner, which is "made in a tank that's never seen another beer. And as in Germany—and unlike those macro lagers shipped between continents—it's found only within a few miles of where it's brewed."
Best Punter in College Football:
Portland State's 27-year-old Kyle Loomis, who was signed by the Seahawks after the NFL draft.
Best Deer Ever:
Pot-eating deer Sugar Bob "eats that bud like it's kale, and then he gets really sleepy." Obviously, this is Oregon's stoned spirit animal.
Best New Band:
Divers, who sound like "Bruce Springsteen and Paul Westerberg took over as the house band at a blue-collar bar somewhere in the Rust Belt—then robbed the bar, ran from the cops and wrote songs while on the lam."
Best Parking-Lot Party of the Summer:
The Drinking Lot, a pop-up beer bar in "that screwed-up used-car lot at the east end of the Burnside Bridge. The one by the mattress store and the 'Cash for Cars' Subaru, under the creepy Coors Light sign that says 'Feel the Rush of Refreshment.' The car lot you've driven past hundreds of times and thought, 'Does anybody actually buy cars there?'"
Best Goddamn Hot Dog Matthew Korfhage Has Ever Had:
The Olympia Provisions frankfurter "is like a European sandwich: simple and pure, meat and bread perfected."
Best NBA Rapper:
Damian Lillard, who was told by a genuinely impressed Sway, "You're spitting better than these rappers, man."
Best and Busiest Bar in Downtown Vancouver:
Loowit Brewing, where everything is "cocked, locked and ready to rock, as the locals may or may not say."
Kachka, which is "like a party at Mom's house—if your mom grew up near Minsk and had a weird thing for Lenin."
Best Reason to Drive to Eugene:
Ryo Toyonaga's "deliciously pervy sculptures and paintings at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art."
Best Food Cart:
Holy Mole, whose title dish "is every bit as complex, rich and flavorful as the moles you'd find at Oswaldo Bibiano's upscale Autentica, or other lauded spots such as Nuestra Cocina or Oregon City's Loncheria Mitzil."
Best-Tasting, Most Beeflike Veggie Burger in the City:
Pause diner's is "smoky and mushroomy, covered with Tillamook cheddar and housemade zucchini pickles and nestled in a pillowy bun smeared with chipotle mayo."
Best 108 Seconds of Music Released This Year:
"I remember," by Nashville quartet Bully, "a visceral gut punch that justifies ditching work to listen to it 10-plus times in a row on the drive home."
Stammtisch, a German-stley beier bar serving "German-made beers shipped through the Panama Canal and served in their native glassware, little-known Bavarian schnapps specially ordered through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and a food menu that goes far beyond sausages and pretzels."
Best. Simpsons Episode. Ever:
Season 25, episode 13 "The Man Who Grew Too Much." "It ends with the final appearance of Edna Krabappel, voiced by Marcia Wallace, who died [in 2013]. In the clip, Flanders (who you probably forgot married Bart's teacher) tangos passionately with his love, only to awaken on his recliner, staring longingly at photos of both his lost wives. "Sure do miss that laugh," he sighs, only to be greeted by a guffawing Nelson, who somberly follows with "I'll miss her too. We all will."
Best Times We've Found to Go to HK Cafe, Home of Portland's New Favorite Dim Sum:
11 am or between 2 and 3 pm.
Best Standup Comic, as Voted by Peers:
Sean Jordan. "A tall, decent-looking white dude, perpetually clad in jeans and a hoodie, he looks like a skater bro who never grew up."
Best Mexican Food in Woodburn, the State's Best Place for Mexican Food:
Los Laureles Taqueria, whose tlayuda was a "16-inch rustic corn tostada griddled to a crackly crunch and topped with refried beans and a magical elixir called asiento, which is the drippings and bits left from making carnitas."
Best Damn Chile Verde You Could Ever Get Made by a Dutch Woman in a Bar:
By Annelies (now sadly retired), at the Standard, a little neighborhood bar just off East Burnside Street.
Best Italian Beef in Town:
Bridge City Pizza's, which "comes wetter than an otter's pocket, chock-full of meat and jus."
Best Bartenders in Town, Working From One of the Best Bar Shelves in Town:
Rum Club, which we praised for having the best boozy slushie, the Peach Blended.
Best 4/20 of Our Lifetime:
4/20/2015. Wm. Willard Greene suggests a national cannabis holiday now that weed is finally legal, with a special song, subtle weed-themed clothing and a moment of silence for the "countless men and women who have been imprisoned or killed in the U.S., Mexico and around the world in a misguided attempt to eliminate a mildly psychoactive herb that was grown in the gardens of our Founding Fathers."
Best Vegan Bowl:
The Southern bowl at Canteen. With barbecue-flavored soy curls, soul-warming collard greens, black-eyed peas, coleslaw and an earthy cashew ranch dressing, "it's pretty much everything lovable about Southern cuisine in one bowl."
Best Brewpub Eatery, Period:
BTU Brasserie, "the only Chinese spot in town
to brew its own beer."
Best Regional-Fetishist Combo:
Marionberry jam, Rogue Creamery blue cheese and hazelnuts, with smoked Muscovy duck, on buttered and grilled bread at PBJ's Grill.
Best Radler or Shandy:
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler, which "tastes like grapefruit Izze. They must've put the lightest lager they could find in this and then spiked it with grapefruit."
Best Co-Option of Weird Twitter to Sell a Product:
BK Chicken Fries. We praised "the hypnotic graphics, Bolshevik revolutionary images and bizarre chicken-potato dating commercials."
Best Water-Spritzer Dude at the Waterfront Blues Festival:
"The dancing one with the Dog the Bounty Hunter haircut and dense salt-and-pepper
Best Sex Scene: Gone Girl.
"No! Worst sex scene! Worst! Poor Doogie."