Peoples Choice 2014

Daily News Peoples Choice Awards

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MOUNTAIN VIEW 2580 WEST EL CAMINO REAL PALO ALTO 369 SOUTH CALIFORNIA AVE. SAN MATEO 41 WEST HILLSDALE BLVD. SANTANA ROW 3055 OLIN AVE. L O Y A L G U E S T F O R V O T I N G U S T H E BEST "ON THE PENINSULA" 1 ST PLACE BEST BURGER, BEST LUNCH, BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS, BEST RESTAURANT SERVICE, BEST RESTAURANT OVERALL 2 ND PLACE BEST TAKEOUT, BEST NEW RESTAURANT THECOUNTERBURGER.COM www.paloaltodailynews.com 150 The Daily News Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 C1 To find the best places on the Peninsula, go with the choices of Daily News readers Kirstina Sangsahachart Palo Alto Daily News A signature "Counter Burger" is pictured at The Counter restaurant in Mountain View on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Counter was awarded first place in four different categories, including best lunch, in The Daily News' "People's Choice Awards." Kirstina Sangsahachart Palo Alto Daily News A macaron is pictured at Vanilla Moon Bakery in San Carlos on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Vanilla Moon was awarded best bakery in The Daily News' "People's Choice Awards." BY BONNIE ESLINGER Daily News Staff Writer Who needs Yelp, the Yellow Pages or a smor- gasbord of apps to find the best restaurants, bicycle Who needs Yelp, the Yellow Pages or a smor- gasbord of apps to find the best restaurants, bicycle shops, florists or even a trampoline park on the Peninsula when you can turn to the recommenda- tions of your fellow Daily News readers? In The Daily News' annual "People's Choice Awards" contest, readers selected their top picks in more than 100 categories, listed inside this section. So what makes one business stand out over the others? According to interviews with owners and managers of some of the winners, the quality of their products or service always rises to the top. Omar Lozano, general manager of the Stacks restaurant in Menlo Park, which shared the "Best Breakfast Spot" honor with its sister store in Redwood City, said his staff treats customers like family — and some have clearly made themselves at home. "Some people come here for breakfast and lunch and sometimes a quick snack, so we'll see them here three times a day," Lozano said. "They're not just patrons." Dave Prion, general manager of Bicycle Out- fitter in Los Altos, which readers picked as the "Best Bicycle Shop," said his staff knows the first names of most regular customers and runs a family-friendly business. "We have fun. We like what we do," Prion said. The Counter, a restau- rant that offers customers the opportunity to create their own "custom-built burgers," won in four cat- egories: "Best Restaurant Overall," "Best Service," "Best Restaurant for Kids," and "Best Lunch." It shared the last honor with Café Borrone in Menlo Park. The popular chain has three restaurants on the Peninsula — in Moun- tain View, Palo Alto and San Mateo. Meeting customers' needs led to an expanding menu of gluten-free food at Woodside Bakery and Café in Woodside, which tied for "Best Bakery" with Vanilla Moon Bakery in San Car- los. "That's been very popu- lar," café manager Tony Loeffler said. The "Euro- pean-style" bakery, which opened in 1981, also offers a full array of pies, cakes, breads and other sweets for people who don't mind a little gluten. Another eatery that proves a chain restaurant can be a standout is Paul Martin's American Grill, which opened in Mountain View in December and grabbed the "Best New Restaurant" prize. The sixth site of a business that began with a restaurant in Roseville, the eatery main- tains a motto of "seasonal and delicious." For those seeking a non- edible treat, a few hours spent at the Watercourse Way in Palo Alto is sure to relax and restore, said manager Nathan Hanley. One of the most popular choices at the "Best Day Spa" is the private hot tub and massage combo. "It's a place you can come and be calm and for- get about everyday bur- dens," he said. Flowers are also a nice pick-me-up; readers named Redwood City Florist in Redwood City as the area's "Best Florist." Co-owner Sheri Brown said the family-owned busi- ness offers everything from corporate floral arrange- ments to custom-made bouquets. "Anything we can do to brighten someone's day," Brown said. And when it's time to celebrate, readers picked Rockin' Jump trampoline park in San Carlos as the "Best Place for Kids Birth- day Parties," for the second year in a row. Parents appreciate that they're assigned their own party host who helps with everything from unload- ing a family's car to cutting cake, said Aaron Bakken, who heads up franchise marketing sales for the company, which started in Dublin and now has four sites Personal service can even make the best out of something bad. Scott Yea- man, owner of Yeaman Auto Body in Palo Alto that won "Best Auto Body Shop" honors, said he goes to bat with insurance com- panies for his customers and ensures that their ve- hicle repair is done right. "We will treat your car like our own," the company claims on its website. Email Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynews- group.com; follow her at t w i t t e r . c o m / b o n n i e e s - linger. Kirstina Sangsahachart / Palo Alto Daily News Kirstina Sangsahachart / Palo Alto Daily News Results ARe In Thank you 1 ST PLACE BEST BURGER, BEST LUNCH, BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS, BEST RESTAURANT SERVICE, BEST RESTAURANT OVERALL 2 ND PLACE BEST TAKEOUT, BEST NEW RESTAURANT THECOUNTERBURGER.COM MOUNTAIN VIEW 2580 WEST EL CAMINO REAL PALO ALTO 369 SOUTH CALIFORNIA AVE. SAN MATEO 41 WEST HILLSDALE BLVD. SANTANA ROW 3055 OLIN AVE. L O Y A L G U E S T F O R V O T I N G U S T H E BEST "ON THE PENINSULA"

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