Litchfield Independent Review 2020 Readers' Choice

Who’s your favorite … ?

The people have spoken.

This special edition turns the spotlight on winners of the Litchfield Independent Review’s first Readers’ Choice Awards.

In August, the Independent Review began asking readers to vote for their favorites in more than 50 categories — from hamburger to chicken dinner, and bank teller to bartender — and readers were pretty eager to share their opinions.

More than 2,000 votes were cast in the more than 50 categories. Voting was conducted online at www.independentreview.net, as well as in print in the Meeker County Advertiser.

The top two (more if there were ties) finishers in each category are listed on following pages.

Several businesses earned top finishes in more than one category.

When he and his wife opened Herradura Family Mexican Restaurant in January 2017, Luis Alvarez told an Independent Review reporter he wanted the restaurant to be one of the best within a 45-mile radius.

“I think the freshness of the food will make it stand out,” Alvarez said then.

And voters in the 2020 Readers' Choice Awards balloting agreed that Herradura does, indeed, stand out. They named the restaurant their Favorite Mexican Resaturant and Favorite Date Place in the Meeker County area.

Meanwhile, Alvarez himself earned recognition as Favorite Bartender, which might not surprise many who have met the outgoing, energetic man, who prior to opening Herradura had been managing restaurants for a decade.

“I like to be around people,” Alvarez said. “I like to know people, to take care of people. I have always like serving others.”

Litchfield American Legion also was a top vote-getter in multiple categories, winning for Best Hamburger and Favorite Sports Bar.

Swan’s Café was another multiple winner among hospitality categories, taking a top finish in for Favorite Breakfast with its breakfast skillet, and Favorite Pie.

McDonald’s in Litchfield landed three first-place finishes, for Favorite Fast Food Restaurant, Fastest Drive-Thru Service and Favorite French Fries.

Top-notch service also was called out in the voting, where Family Fare Supermarket received recognition for Favorite Customer Service. Darwin Municipal Liquor Store received honorable mention recognition in the category.

Family Fare also earned a top finish for Favorite Place to Buy Groceries, in addition to an honorable mention for Favorite Meat Market, where Ziegenhagen Meats earned top spot.

On the following pages, you can read what many of your friends and neighbors proclaimed as their “favorite.” And you can use it as a guide to choosing a restaurant or service provider.

And, of course, you can disagree with the voters — and remember to cast your ballot in the Readers' Choice Award voting next year.

Everyone has their favorites. So without further ado, find out who the Litchfield-area favorites are in the 2020 Readers' Choice Awards below. The results were culled from online and print voting in more than 50 categories in the Independent Review's Readers' Choice balloting.

FAVORITE ACCOUNTANT

Winner: Karen McCarthy, Accountant

Honorable Mention: Christensen, Nicholson

FAVORITE ANTIQUE STORE

Winner: Sibley Antiques

Honorable Mention: Lost & Found, Eden Valley

FAVORITE ASSISTED LIVING

Winner: Ecumen of Litchfield — Gloria Dei

Honorable Mention: Meeker Manor Rehabilitation Center

FAVORITE AUTO BODY SHOP

Winner: Davis Auto Body Shop

Honorable Mention: Northland Body & Paint

FAVORITE AUTO MECHANIC

Winner: Andy Miller, Miller Automotive LLC

Honorable Mention: Randy at Randy's Repairs

FAVORITE BANK TELLER AND WHERE

Winner: Bev at Center Bank

Honorable Mention: MidCountry Bank

FAVORITE BARTENDER AND WHERE

Winner: Luis at Herraduras

Honorable Mention: Cheyenne at the Litchfield Eagles Club

FAVORITE BINGO PLACE

Winner: Muddy Crow, Litchfield

Honorable Mention: Litchfield Eagles Club

FAVORITE BOWL OF SOUP AND WHERE

Winner: Wisconsin Cheese at the American Legion

Honorable Mention: Wild Rice at Parkview Grille Grill

FAVORITE BREAKFAST AND WHERE

Winner: Breakfast Skillet at Swan's Cafe

Honorable Mention: Omelets at Tavern on Main Street

FAVORITE CABLE/INTERNET PROVIDER

Winner: Nuvera

Honorable Mention: Meeker Cooperative Light Association

FAVORITE CAR WASH

Winner: Central Counties Co-op Cenex

Honorable Mention: Speedway

FAVORITE CELEBRATION/FESTIVAL

Winner: Litchfield Watercade

Honorable Mention: Twine Ball Day, Darwin

FAVORITE CHICKEN AND WHERE

Winner: Peter's Ribs and Catering, Litchfield

Honorable Mention: V's Grill, Darwin

FAVORITE CHIROPRACTOR

Winner: Patten Chiropractic Center, Litchfield

Honorable Mention: Tim Kinsella Chiropractic

FAVORITE CHURCH DINNER

Winner: Church of St. Philip

Honorable Mention: Cornerstone Church

FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP

Winner: Bikes by Bob Coffee Shop

Honorable Mention: Mimi's Cafe

FAVORITE CONVENIENCE STORE

Winner: Speedway

Honorable Mention: Casey's

FAVORITE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND WHERE

Winner: Family Fare Supermarket

Honorable Mention: Darwin Municipal

FAVORITE DATE PLACE

Winner: Herradura Family Mexican Restaurant

Tie for Honorable Mention: Sonora's Mexican Restaurant

FAVORITE DENTIST

Winner: Drs. Solbrack, Swenson, Haugo at Litchfield Family Dental

Honorable Mention: Dr. Amber Cziok at Sibley Dental

FAVORITE EMPLOYER

Winner: Peter's Signs

Tie for Honorable Mention: Custom Products

FAVORITE EYE CARE PROVIDER

Winner: Katie Tancabel O.D., Litchfield Eye Center

Honorable Mention: Dr. Nagel, Fischer Laser Eye

FAVORITE FAMILY FUN SPOT

Winner: Starlite Drive-In Theater

Honorable Mention: Lake Ripley Campgrounds

FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT

Winner: McDonald's

Honorable Mention: Taco John's

FASTEST DRIVE-THRU SERVICE

Winner: McDonald's

Honorable Mention: Culver's

FAVORITE FISH FRY

Winner: St. Philips Catholic Church

Honorable Mention: American Legion

FAVORITE FLORIST

Winner: Essence of Flowers/ESSENCE BOUTIQUE

Honorable Mention: Stockman's Greenhouse & Garden Center

FAVORITE FRENCH FRIES AND WHERE

Winner: McDonald's

Honorable Mention: Muddy Crow

FAVORITE FROZEN TREAT AND WHERE

Winner: Mint Oreo Blizzard at Dairy Queen

FAVORITE GARDEN CENTER

Winner: Stockman's Greenhouse & Garden Center

Honorable Mention: Runnings

FAVORITE GOLF COURSE AND HOLE

Winner: Litchfield Golf Course

Honorable Mention: Island Pine Golf Club, Atwater

FAVORITE HAIR STYLIST/BARBER

Winner: Brenda and Debby at Shears to You

Honorable Mention: Emily at Backyard Salon

FAVORITE HAMBURGER AND WHERE

Winner: Litchfield American Legion

Honorable Mention: Parkview Grille

FAVORITE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL

Winner: Dr. Cassie Bulau at Meeker Memorial Hospital

Honorable Mention: Bridley Boese, RN, CNP at ACMC

FAVORITE INSURANCE AGENT

Winner: Jason Tibbits

Honorable Mention: Anderson Insurance

FAVORITE LAW FIRM

Winner: Dolan & Besser

Honorable Mention: Wood & Rue PLLP

FAVORITE MASSAGE THERAPIST AND WHERE

Winner: Michaella Nelson at Kneaded Relief Massage

Honorable Mention: Colleen at Heavenly Hands

FAVORITE MEAT MARKET

Winner: Ziegenhagen Meats

Honorable Mention: Family Fare Supermarket

FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Winner: Herradura Family Mexican Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Sonora's Mexican Restaurant

FAVORITE NAIL SALON SPA

Winner: Da-Vi Nails

Honorable Mention: Backyard Tan

FAVORITE PIE AND WHERE

Winner: Swan's Cafe

Honorable Mention: Rhubarb Pie at Mimi's Cafe

FAVORITE PIZZA AND WHERE

Winner: Pizza Hut

Honorable Mention: Pepperoni Pizza at Jimmy's Pizza

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY A VEHICLE

Winner: Davis Motors Inc

Honorable Mention: Litchfield Chrysler Center

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY APPLIANCES

Winner: Sear's Hometown Store

Honorable Mention: The HomeSource Store Inc.

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY FLOORING

Winner: Huikko's Custom Tile and Flooring

Honorable Mention: Tom's Carpet Kingdom

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY GROCERIES

Winner: Family Fare Supermarket

Honorable Mention: Walmart Supercenter

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY TIRES

Winner: Binsfeld Tire

Honorable Mention: Miller Automotive LLC

FAVORITE PLUMBER/HVAC

Winner: Rick's Plumbing & Heating

Honorable Mention: Dave Johnson

FAVORITE REAL ESTATE AGENT AND WHERE

Winner: Pat Raiber, ReMax

Honorable Mention: Kim Olson, ReMax

FAVORITE SANDWICH AND WHERE

Winner: Muffaletta at Parkview Grille

Honorable Mention: Tavern on Main

FAVORITE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER

Winner: Jessie Jensrud at Hick's

Honorable Mention: Bob Powers at Hick's

FAVORITE SPORTS BAR

Winner: Litchfield American Legion

Honorable Mention: Muddy Cow - Litchfield

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