Best of Alexandria 2008


You live here. So when we ask you to vote for the preeminent businesses in the city, it is because your perspective is vital to making our streets bustle. After receiving more than 3,200 responses, The Times tallied the votes, but the best of 2008 has been your doing. Here are the results:

Live Music Venue The Birchmere 
A blue jean joint whose walls heard Ray Charles last live show, The Birchmere is and has been Alexandrias premiere spot to hear just about any kind of music. Its kind of a dinosaur and thats good for us, owner Gary Oelze says. Although the venue is world-famous, Oleze says hes always considered it a local place. Its the intimate listening room and great food that gives the music hall its charm, the owner said.

Band Tim King & The Righteous Sinners
Based in Arlington, youve made TKRS honorary Alexandrians by regularly applauding their twangy funk n blues at King Street Blues. We just love to play in Old Town, bandleader Tim Hermes says. Theres always a really good crowd at King Street Blues, Hermes says. The group plays there next March 13.

Gallery Del Ray Artisans
Specializing in the visual arts, this 16 year-old non-profit group not only displays art at its Mt. Vernon Ave. gallery, but holds workshops en route to its mission, promoting art for the benefit of artists and the community. Says President Linda Elliff, Weve really tried to work on our outreach into the greater community this year, so this is a nice reward. The gallerys newest exhibit, The Spirit of Del Ray, begins Friday.

Automotive Sales – Jack Taylor Toyota
Car salesmen can carry a stigma, but thats unfounded for the staff at Jack Taylor Toyota, the readers choice for best car dealership. Im proud to have a good reputation in a business that has suffered from not such a great reputation, Owner Jack Taylor says. We believe good service sells cars. 

Mechanic Yates Automotive
Sometimes the speed tables around the way give your suspension a rough ride. Or maybe its the stop and go traffic while commuting to and from the District.  Whatever ails your Jag or Geo, you voted for Yates Automotive, with their storied service on Braddock Road.

Car Wash Mr. Wash
Going to Mr. Wash is like a spa treatment for your car. No mud baths, but you can watch your automobile receive a shower worthy of a Rolls Royce.

Chiropractor Dr. Nick Triandos, D.C.
We treat each person as an individual, not as a number, Dr. Triandos says of his practice, Triandos Chiropractic.  Specializing in both professional and amateur athletes, the doctor says its his personalized care that keeps people coming back. Each patient is very important, and I treat them how I want to be treated, the good doctor says.

Medical Office Mount Vernon Internal Medicine
Specializing in chronic and acute illnesses, Mt. Vernon Internal Medicine treats adults 14 years and older. Dr. Beal Lowen, M.D. founded the practice, which also treats general illness.

Surgeon Anderson Orthopedic Clinic
You voted Anderson Clinic the comprehensive place for surgical care. Home to Redskins medical consultant Dr. Jeffrey Lovallo, Anderson, Anderson is known for its pioneering research. 

Dentist  – Dr. Peter Hanna
In Old Town since 1973, Dr. Hanna has been working on your teeth since the last oil crisis. Were very gratified to have chosen for this honor, Dr. Hanna says. We will strive to continue to give our patients the best dentistry has to offer.

Leisure / Recreation Monroe St. YMCA
The Y has been a fitness leader and community leader for more than 150 years, and board members Mayor Euille and Vice Mayor Pepper help facilitate that reputation at the Monroe St. location. Innovative fitness classes, exercise rooms, and a pool coalesce, supporting effective day care and summer camp programs for the kids.

Golf Course Hilltop Golf Club
Theres no guarantee youll shoot par at this stunning nine-hole course, but with its unique layout hole three is nearly vertical along with elevated tees, full-service driving range and a laid back disposition, keeping score might be an afterthought. 

Spa Sugar House
For massage, body and skin therapy, you voted 9 year-old Sugar House the best spot to unbend and take a load off. Were aiming to provide the best customer service in town, owner Erika Szuprics says. Szurpics says its keeping up with new trends that keeps Sugarhouse happening.

Hotel Morrison House
A 4-star and 4-diamond classic slice of Old Town, Morrison House has been voted the best place for weary travelers to catch winks by you, the readers, two years in a row. A large part to our success is without a doubt due to our friends in Alexandria, General Manager James Adamson said. Thanks to the city to allow Morrison House to be your favorite hotel.

Pet Services  – Karing by Kristina
Our readers love their pets (Be honest, Scruffy eats better than you). Kristina Robertson, owner of Karing by Kristina, loves your pets too. I think our customers see the caring happening: we walk their dogs for the allotted amount of time, were a last-minute pet service, Robertson says. Our goal is to create raving fans. Reobertson says it helps to have Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique as a sister company.

Vet Del Ray Animal Hospital
This pet clinic serves the Del Ray community and beyond, having become an integral community service for pooches, felines and their owners.

Pet Supply Store Natures Nibbles
Eating organic need not be just a human trend. Owner Chris Gabriel, whose store sells all natural and organic food, says he and his staff will talk to individuals for as long as it takes about why all-natural food is better than the commercial brands for pets. Gabriel says his goal is to provide an all-natural alternative for healthier pets.

Grocer Trader Joes
The small neighborhood market has become a favorite among residents in recent years, especially this one.

Home and Garden Decorium
Its a magical fairyland, says Decoriums owner Jeff Albert of his frilly King St. store of fineries. We always try to keep our store new, fresh and exciting, so when people come in, the environment is always different. 

Jeweler Silver Parrot
This King St. jewelry boutique specializes in sterling silver and has been a staple of lower King for more than 25 years.

Specialty Store La Muse
The best specialty store two years in a row, La Muse has every random thing you can think of from arts and crafts materials to arts and crafts from local artists.

Florist Enchanted Florists
Owner Phyllis Kennedy says part of what makes her business special in her customers eyes is its great variety of fresh, exotic and interesting flowers, but its her amazing staff that has her customers smelling roses. I have the greatest staff in the world, Kennedy says. I really think thats the number one thing.

Nursery Merrifield Gardens
Apparently its worth the drive to Falls Church if youre picking up some greenery, because thats where Merrifield Gardens, your choice for best nursery, is located. Owner Debbie Worhurst Capp presides over this huge plant hangout where they specialize in gardening, landscaping and decorating.

Floor Coverings Arlandria Floors
Floors: They support us even though we walk all over them. Yet they get no recognition or respect until now. You, the readers, have given Arlandria Floors their due respect for their industry-leading standards after serving Northern Virginia since 1969.  &nb

Kitchen and Bath Harry Braswell, Inc.
Harry Braswell, Inc. handles pretty much every kind of renovation, but you deemed their kitchen and bath resources top notch. From budgeting your new room to helpful hints and product ideas, their developer team makes it happen.

Bookstore Borders
This literary wonderland is a bookworms sanctum. Its habitus come to the book superstore for the words and stay for the caf atmosphere.

Fine Dining 100 King
You voted for the relatively new French-inspired cuisine of Chef Adrian Gutierrez who says the secret is in simplicity at the elegant lower King St. restaurant. Keeping with nineteenth century history when the building at that address was a hotspot business hub, 100 King the restaurant is keeping busy.

Restaurant Los Tios Grill
Diners love to enjoy their Mexican food at Los Tios outdoors when weather permits. The Mt. Vernon restaurant has charmed the Del Ray neighborhood as it has charmed you, the readers, who dubbed this Tex-Mex and Salvadorian joint one of the best spots for a meal in the city.

Deli Perfect Pita
Finding a traditional delicatessen outside of New York isnt easy, but Alexandria has its own version in Perfect Pita. Making pita bread by hand daily, this Mediterranean American menu has something for the vegan and the carnivore.

Hotel Dining The Grillle
If you sleep at The Morrison House, you eat at The Grille. If you eat at The Grille, chances are that you liked it, because you voted it the best hotel dining in the city. I cant say how much it means, General Manager James Adamson says of the consumer response to his establishment.

Services Little Peoples Place
The little ones advantage from this once-little preschool, opening in 1974 with just six children. Dedicated to the critical early ages of two to five, Little People is anything but, with more than 300 enrolled students.

Photography Tisara
Family-owned, Tisara Photography is headed by Nina Tisara and backed by her son and daughter. Tisara began snapping photos in the 80s and quickly became known for her depiction of Alexandria scenes and residents. Tisara now does wedding, commercial and portrait photography, as well as unique artistic photography.

Mens Clothing JOS A. Banks
You are what you wear. JOS A. Banks makes sure youre dapper with a fine selection of sharp suits, ties and debonair shoes, to make a good impression on the boss.

Womens Clothing Anne Taylor
Ann Taylor is conducive to the citys style, or maybe you are conducive to Ann Taylors style. Either way, the stores influence is palpable on the streets and in the paper.

Real Estate McEnearney
McEenearney keeps tabs on the ever-fluxing housing market especially in our neck of the woods to analyze and create a strategy to buy and sell homes. Their PAWSitive Experience program acknowledges the role pets play in the home-buying process.