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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
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Sports and Fitness
Best Heavy Hitter: Dustin Pedroia
Woodland’s Dustin Pedroia made the “Who’s Hot” section of The Sacramento Bee sports pages so many times this year that even his fans lost count—and here’s why: In just two years with the Boston Red Sox, he’s risen to the top as one of the best hitters in baseball. Last year, Pedroia set a major league record for the highest batting average by a rookie second baseman, helping him to win American League Rookie of the Year honors. He also was the second player in baseball history to lead off the World Series with a home run. This year, the 25-year-old 2008 All-Star kept the momentum going with one of the highest batting averages in the league. And all this from a guy who once was dismissed as being too small (5 feet 9 inches) to make the majors.
Best Homegrown Olympians: Stephanie Brown Trafton (gold, track and field, women’s discus); Stephanie Cox (gold, women’s soccer); Gabe Gardner (gold, men’s volleyball); Kara Lawson (gold, women’s basketball); Gina Ostini Miles (silver, equestrian eventing); Casey Weathers (bronze, baseball); Mary Whipple (gold, rowing women’s eight); James Williams (silver, fencing, men’s team sabre)
For those of us who have a hard time just dragging ourselves to the gym every so often, the idea of winning an Olympic medal is just plain incomprehensible. (Heck, even the idea of training for such an event is incomprehensible.) So imagine our immense admiration for the eight local athletes who did the near-impossible, bringing home so many medals from the Beijing Olympics that we wonder how they got through airport screening on the return flight home. To all of them, and all the locals who competed or coached this summer, our hats are off. Way off.