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Best Group for “Pudding” Charity First: Totally Tapioca
Vocal quartet Totally Tapioca is singing to make the world a better place: All the money they raise goes to charity. It isn’t always easy to find time for music when you’ve got day jobs and families, but group member Nancy Fitzpatrick says it’s well worth it. “We all sing for the love of it and try to use our talents to better our community,” she says. The Susan B. Komen Foundation, American Lung Association and Lambda Community Center are just a few recipients of Totally Tapioca’s totally selfless mission.
Best Sports Hero With a Cause: Adrian Ross
Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Adrian Ross may be retired from pro sports, but he’s now tackling an even bigger playing field: enriching the lives of local youths. Through his Maddbacker Foundation, this Elk Grove High export pours his passion into the cause, hosting an annual charity celebrity basketball game with a star-studded roster that has included everyone from NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice to rapper Master P—inspiring kids, he hopes, to follow their dreams.
Best Concrete Example: I–5 Fix
It seemed like the impossible dream: finishing the largest freeway fix in the region’s history in less than two months. Rehabilitating the drainage and roadway systems on Interstate 5 downtown was originally thought to be a 114-day job. But that was before Caltrans brought on board Rancho Cordova contractor C.C. Myers, the state’s go-to guy for fast freeway and bridge repair. Construction crews worked ’round the clock, only briefly derailed by a heat wave that prevented concrete from setting properly, and on July 28-—less than two months after work began—I–5 reopened in both directions. Apparently, miracles do happen.
Best Relief From Parking Grief: SABA Valet Bike Parking
Need a place to stow your Specialized, a spot to stash your Schwinn? No worries: The folks at Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, better known as SABA, have come up with a savvy solution: valet bike parking. The free service is offered at a number of local events, including Earth Day festivities in the spring, Friday night concerts at Cesar Chavez Plaza in the summer and the Salmon Festival at Nimbus Fish Hatchery in the fall, where last year the nonprofit checked in nearly 1,000 bikes.
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Our subscribers have spoken, telling us what they think is tops in the Sacramento area. From best TV reporter to best rock radio station, best place to get a massage to best place to get a tattoo, best local sports team to best locally owned women’s boutique, it’s all here and more. Our editors have chimed in, too, with 30 picks that help make the region reign supreme. Read on to discover this year’s very best of Sacramento.
Food & Drink
Best Restaurant Name You Gotta Love: Pizza & Chicken Love Letter
You might think you’re lost in translation when you read the sign for Pizza & Chicken Love Letter. But it’s a Korean restaurant, and in Korean culture, according to Dr. Brian Lim of Sacramento State, this isn’t a joke but a normal name. And what exactly are Korean-style pizza and chicken like? So spicy they scorch the tongue? The answer is no, says restaurant owner Patty Coyle, who adds that her best-selling item is sweet-potato pizza. 2990 Bradshaw Road, Sacramento; (916) 369-2009
Best Tea Service: Turkish Tea at Anatolian Table
Turkish culture comes alive when you order Anatolian Table Restaurant’s Turkish tea. Derived from the Black Sea region of Turkey, the black tea is served hot in dainty, tulip-shape glasses and is brought to your table on a traditional Turkish serving tray. Rocklin may be miles away from the exotic city of Istanbul, but this tea will give you a taste of what life in Turkey is like. 6815 Lonetree Blvd., Suite 105, Rocklin; (916) 772-3020; anatoliantable.com