Readers' Poll

specialty foods ble that some people get themselves checked in so shakes can be delivered to their rooms. But if you do have the gall to ask for a beer milkshake, no worries. CHOMP offers great mental health care as well. BEST DESSERTS Paris Bakery Cafe 1234 Broadway Ave., Seaside, (831) 3947798 271 Bonifacio Place, Monterey, (831) 646-1620 A search for John Steinbeck’s take on desserts yields precious little, but we’re hard pressed to imagine that he wouldn’t be impressed by what comes out of the patisserie case at Paris Bakery Cafe. We’re talking coffee and chocolate Eclairs, Mille-Feuille and intricately decorated Princess Cake. And then there’s the pièce de résistance—the handmade fruit tart, filled with pastry cream and topped with a cornucopia of glistening fruit and berries. If it’s enough to impress Steinbeck (we think it would be!), it’ll be enough to impress your next dinner guests, too. BEST CHEESE SELECTION The Cheese Shop Carmel Plaza, Ocean Avenue and Junipero Street, Carmel (831) 625-2272, Imagine that John Steinbeck was with us today and happened to be a scribe at a local weekly newspaper. Now imagine that his editors tasked him with explaining The Cheese Shop as Best Cheese Selection in Monterey County. We’re guessing he would lose all his eloquence and simply write “No, duh!”—leaving his editors to fill out the rest. This is because it goes without saying that The Cheese Shop is the best, with hundreds of the world’s finest cheeses, a staff well versed in curds to guide you through them, samples to introduce you to cheeses you’ve never tried before and the impossibility of leaving without just one offering. But there’s more—wines, crackers, bread, artisanal treasures and such. So we’re with our imaginary modern and quite terse Steinbeck: No, duh. BEST CATERING COMPANY Coastal Roots Hospitality 2999 Highway 68, Monterey (831) 647-1085, coastalrootshospitality. com Coastal Roots (formerly Downtown Dining) has been around some 30 years, and under the stewardship of husband-wife duo Ken Donkersloot and Mona Calis, things have really taken off. Donkersloot and Calis acquired the company and its three beloved local restaurants—Tarpy’s Roadhouse, Rio Grill and Montrio—at the height of the pandemic in 2020, hardly a boomtime for food-and-beverage vendors. But they’ve breathed fresh life into the business—evidenced not only by a revamped Montrio’s reopening last year, but also a reimagined catering experience featuring plated and buffet menus, reception spreads and “action stations” (think street tacos, scampi sautée and prime rib served right before your eyes). And to think, when Doc fed his guests, he had to make a trip to town. Not anymore. BEST FOOD TREND Blue Zones Inspired Dishes Various locations in Monterey County The Blue Zones Project has gathered years of information on places around the world where people have lived measurably longer and healthier, and the practices enabling that longevity and quality of life. That intel has been used to encourage healthier habits, with Blue Zones endorsing restaurants, grocery stores, schools, employers and other organizations that meet its standards as far as the food they serve (as well as the physical activities and practices they promote). Local restaurants and grocers approved by Blue Zones include El Cantaro, Eagle Restaurant and Elroy’s Fine Foods— proving that eating healthy can also taste so very good. 116 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 3626 The Barnyard Shopping Village, Carmel • (831) 625-2448 Join us indoor by the cozy fireplace or on our sun drenched pet friendly patio. Open for Breakfast and Lunch 8am – 2pm. Closed on Wednesday ’23 ’21 ’16 “Best Omelette” As seen on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” ’21 ’18 ’17 ’22 Thank You for voting us “Best Biscuits & Gravy” ’23 Still the Best! 433 Alvarado St. / Monterey / 372-9761 1646 Fremont Blvd. / Seaside / 394-3444 Q: What do you call Seagulls from Monterey? A: Bagels NOW SERVING BAGEL SANDWICHES You Donut know how much this means to us! Thank You for voting Red's Best Donut BEST FOOD TRUCK ’20 ’21 ’22 ’23 YOU ARE THE BEST! THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR US!