Amid all this we managed to publish nine editions of Best of Miami, our once-a-year respite from the usual fare of political shenanigans, public corruption, and ecological devastation. The first issue was a saucy 176-page look at the finest in the subtropics. In the years that followed, we grew in girth and made increasingly impressive choices. Among them: Stephen Talkhouse was our best concert venue. An American Place Waterside Restaurant at the Jockey Club was our best new restaurant. Les Violins was our best glitz palace. All closed. Then there was Wayne’s World, chosen as best day trip. This place was never even built.
Now here we are at number ten. In this issue you’ll find our choices for classic topics like best cover band (the Clap), best new band (Chlorine), and best band name (Ho Chi Minh), and you’ll also discover some untried categories: best way to stick it to your pet (an acupuncture vet) and best place to watch fish while dining on one (you’ll have to read on for this). You’ll also encounter readers’ preferences for everything from best hotel (the Delano) to best local girl made good (Gloria Estefan — tenth time’s a charm).
Although this is a transient, ever-changing place, one thing seems constant: the urge to cheat. Readers have always tried to stuff the ballot box. Some of this year’s miscreants hail from a stylish and well-known Lincoln Road eatery and its next-door neighbor. A hot dog vendor even asked two of our reporters to stuff the box.
But enough of that jazz. Welcome to Best of Miami 1999. Sit back, soak up some South Florida sun, and enjoy.
In addition to the New Times staff, the following people contributed to this year’s issue: Robin Shear (coordinator), Greg Baker (section editor), Alan Diaz, Carla Diaz, Laura Esguerra, Fred Hernandez, Sara Kaplan, Lee Klein, Rebecca Muller, Jen Osorio, Victoria Pesce Elliott, Alex Salinas, and Christine Tague.