Thursday, March 19, 1998
Rainbow Cleaners269 Bonifacio Pl., Monterey, 372-6743
Captain Best-Of is sure to dry-clean his cape here as CW readers voted Rainbow, once again, the best. The trained, knowledgeable staff will greet you warmly, treat your clothes as if they were their own, and pay close attention to doing the job right the first time. They'll even sew on your buttons and make alterations. When you pick up your clothes at Rainbow, you know they can be worn, straight from the bag.
Runner Up: Pacific Grove Cleaners, Pacific Grove
Best Car Wash
El Estero Hand Car Wash590 Fremont Blvd., Monterey, 373-1801
Why do it yourself, when you can have it done for you, fast and efficiently while you wait? El Estero's full-service car wash offers several deluxe packages for your car's needs. Whether your lemon needs to shed a few layers of dirt or your new car needs its beauty buffed up in time for a night on the town, El Estero will make sure it's done, and done safely, 'cause they don't use abrasive brushes. The cleaning process is so gentle that Captain Best-Of even uses El Estero to shine his chrome dome on occasion.
Runner Up: Del Rey Oaks Car Wash, Del Rey Oaks
Best Health Club for Men/ Best Health Club for Women
Garden Health and Fitness CenterMultiple locations throughout Monterey County
With locations in Monterey, Marina and Carmel (sorry, Captain, the latter location is for women only), there's every reason to join MoCo's best fitness club. If aerobics is your thing, choose from more than 80 classes. If that's not enough, Garden boasts all the equipment you need and the trained personnel to teach you how to use them. Afterwards, cool off in the pool, steam clean in the sauna, or chill out in the hot tub.
Runner Up: Monterey Sports Center, Monterey
Best Hair Salon
Danielle's Hair Design230 17th St., Pacific Grove, 372-5848
'Do lookin' blue? Perhaps you should listen to CW readers this time as they voted Danielle's the best again. It's a full-service hair salon with professionals who can do your nails, give you a facial or a massage. They even wax away unwanted hair, like Captain Best-Of's unsightly monobrow. Moreover, they are friendly and offer a pleasant, clean environment.
Runner Up: Supercuts, multiple locations
Best Place for Photo Developing/Printing
Longs Drug StoresMultiple locations throughout Monterey County
Longs isn't only good for refilling your prescription or for buying your Easter candy on sale the day after. You can finally get all your holiday pictures developed, because Longs no frills photo department will do it quickly and at a reasonable price. Other services include reprinting, Kodak imaging blow-ups and custom greeting cards.
Runner Up: Costco Wholesale, Sand City
Best Place for Computer Service
PC People534 Abrego St., Monterey, 649-5900
If you're anything like Captain Best-Of, you don't know one bit about computers, except that you need one. Fortunately Captain has PC People to help him out. From parts to units, from software to hardware, PC People has the experience to help you meet your digi-needs. They take pride in being local PC yokels with the best stock and personal treatment for layperson or business wants.
Runner Up: PCI Tech, Monterey
Best Local Internet Provider
Red Shift Internet Services411 Pacific St., Monterey, 655-8710
Purely local, always expanding phone lines, adding new services and keeping up with all the latest technologies, Red Shift provides unlimited access to the Internet and a 5MB web page for one competitive fee. They'll set you up for no charge and help you get started. Experiencing problems? Don't worry, Red Shift's staff is there to help every day.
Runner Up: Monterey Bay Internet, Monterey
Best Local Website
Monterey's Gay Websitewww.mbay.net/~wes/monterey/index.html
The QueerRing online guide to Monterey's gay, lesbian and bi living, Monterey's Gay Website offers local links to The Paper, a calendar of events and nightlife, chatrooms on JAVA, roommate listings and news stories. Additional features are local tourist attractions, business listings and announcements.
Runner Up: Stowitts Museum and Library
Best Pet Hospital
Ocean View Veterinary Hospital109 Central Ave., Pacific Grove, 649-4111
Great medicine and a caring, professional staff makes Ocean View the best hospital for your small pet. Ocean View specializes in dogs and cats, though they take a few rodents too. Emergency care, house calls and chemotherapy are just a few of their services.
Runner Up: Animal Hospital of the Crossroads, Carmel
Best Auto Repair Shop
Tom's Auto Repair870 Abrego St., Monterey, 372-5854
Tom's prides itself on a clean environment and a clean personality. Six professional mechanics are on duty to give you the honest truth about your car. Whether you need an oil change or a new transaxle and CV joint, no job is too large for Tom's. Plus, they'll keep you updated on how long the job will be and how much you're in the hole. They're even Captain Best-Of's choice for tuning his jet-powered Bestmobile.
Runner Up: Rose Automotive, Seaside
Best Real Estate Company Tie:
Del Monte RealtyMultiple locations throughout Monterey County
Pacific Grove Real Estate667 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 375-3121
Neither CW readers nor the super powers of Captain Best-Of could decide between these two. Del Monte Realty has the national reputation of Coldwell Banker to back it up, while keeping a local profile--a trait Pacific Grove Real Estate has perfected. Friendly and knowledgeable, you'll find personal attention from both when buying or selling your home.
Runner Up: Greg Shankle Real Estate, Monterey
Best Place to Buy Home Furnishings
Furniture Mart280 Reservation Rd., Marina, 384-4884 425 Pacific St., Monterey, 372-7766 1740 N. Main St., Salinas, 442-7520
Quality, value and selection define Furniture Mart. With 20 years experience on the Monterey Peninsula, they have everything you want and need to furnish your home. They feature different showroom floors at each location to give you a better perspective on styles to make your decision easier. Plus, after a hard day of fighting off the jokers of the world, Furniture Mart can put in one of a hundred different La-Z-Boy recliners.
Runner Up: Furniture in the Raw, Pacific Grove
Best Garden Shop/Nursery
Griggs Nursery1021 David Ave., Pacific Grove, 373-4495 9220 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel, 626-0680
Color, color, color radiates throughout Griggs nurseries in Carmel Valley and Pacific Grove as spring is here. CW readers agree that Griggs offers the best selection of living plants and flowers, not to mention all the extras like pots, soils, exotic plants and gardening gifts. Not much in the way of green thumbery? Griggs' experienced staff can help. Plants and gardens are their business.
Runner Up: Orchard Supply, multiple locations
Best Place to Buy Building Supplies
Home Depot1800 N. Main St., Salinas, 443-9600
Remodeling your kitchen or bath? Adding on a new bedroom? Building a tree house for your kid? Need some help? "Our low prices are just the beginning" is Home Depot's standby. A huge product selection and about 200 experienced employees are on hand to serve your every do-it-yourself building need. Home Depot genuinely gives back to the community too, as it gave free disaster relief this winter. If you want to learn a few things, Home Depot offers free clinics every weekend on a multitude of building/remodeling subjects, like tile laying or roof repairing.
Runner Up: Orchard Supply, multiple locations
Best Landscaping Service
George DiPeso Landscaping1497 Highland Pl., Seaside, 394-4664
Since 1977, DiPeso has been serving local residents in making their green spaces more pleasant. George DiPeso is an award-winning residential, commercial and city park landscape designer. From designing to installation of irrigation systems or landscape maintenance, they'll get the job done right, and with some style. It was DiPeso who Captain Best-Of called to repair the damage when a band of marauding aliens from the planet Mediocrity left unsightly circles on his lawn.
Best Plumber to Call in a Crisis
Wilson's Peninsula Steam and Plumbing307 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove, 375-4591
Toilet backed up again? Your plunger just doesn't seem to do the job anymore? Captain Best-Of's off fighting white-collar crime? Perhaps it's time to call a professional.quickly! Family-owned and operated for 58 years, Wilson's 25 experienced employees offer up-front, flat rate pricing, free inspections, extended service warrantees and a lot of care for your most taken-for-granted household system.
Runner Up: Roto-Rooter, multiple locations
Best Place to Buy Carpeting/Flooring
Western Floors527 Ramona Ave., Monterey, 646-0976
When you've forgotten what color your carpet was when your originally bought it or if you can't remember why you did, maybe it's time to go down to Western Floors to check out their showroom and discount warehouse; they have an unbelievable selection. All their installers are screened, bonded and insured, and service doesn't end as soon as they walk out your door.
Runner Up: Millers Carpet, Seaside
Best Place to Buy Tile
Monterey Tile and Marble1314 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 899-3222
Perhaps it's time to get rid of the lime-green linoleum you've had in your kitchen, bathroom, hallways and bedroom for more than two decades. Monterey Tile is family operated. Select from the best ceramic tiles, natural stones and glass at the best prices because they have the largest showroom and they set their own prices. Monterey Tile has the experience and knowledge to effectively work directly with contractors and architects--or with first-time home buyers.
Runner Up: Salinas Tile, Salinas
Best Brokerage House/Investment Management Firm
Dean WitterDel Monte Shopping Center, Monterey, 373-1861 115 Cayuga St., Salinas, 757-4311
Dean Witter has been in Monterey County since 1962 and their recent merger with Morgan Stanley&Co. makes them one of the largest investment firms in the country. With a top-notch reputation, combined with full financial services, high quality researchers and the best in the latest technologies, Dean Witter can help to safely and productively manage your financial portfolios.
Runner Up: Charles Schwab, multiple locations
Best Bank for Personal Checking
Bank of AmericaMultiple locations throughout Monterey County
B of A offers several checking services to accommodate your needs, whether you're a student, a professional or a senior. They have banks conveniently located everywhere you turn, all over the country if you need to make a deposit or speak to an agent. If you need to make inquiries about your account, call the 24-hour, bilingual banking line.
Runner Up: First National, multiple locations
Best Bank for Business Accounts/Best Place for Small Business Loans
First National26380 Carmel Rancho Ln., Carmel, 626-2900 495 Washington St., Monterey, 373-4900 307 Main St., Salinas, 757-4900
It's a double whammy! Don't be misled by its name, First National is local in Monterey and Salinas counties. And because they are locally owned, they are personal. You'll never get routed around a tedious phone system, you'll always talk to a real person. Business accounts are their specialty, offering all the usual products and more, like a courier service and computer banking. For small business loans, you have an advantage with First National because all their banks, agents and management are local, so decisions are made locally and personally from beginning to end. The people who make the decisions will have met you and will have understood your business needs.
Runner Up Business Accounts: Bank of America, multiple locations
Runner Up Small Business Loans: Monterey County Bank, multiple locations
Best After-School Program
Boys and Girls ClubMultiple locations in Seaside and Salinas
Open until 6pm Monday through Friday, Boys and Girls Clubs are conveniently located in Seaside and Salinas, giving your kids a safe place to hang out, surrounded by people who care about them. Boys and Girls Clubs offer educational enhancement services to help them do their homework, and learn about arts, crafts and music. The boys and girls can also blow off a little steam while partaking in sports activities. It's a great place for budding super heroes.
Runner Up: YMCA, multiple locations
Best Institute to Shop for a Mortgage
Home Savings of AmericaMultiple locations throughout Monterey County
Home Savings makes getting a mortgage easy. From the beginning they'll come up front and let you know what your options are. They'll help you look at your credit and pre-qualify your loan, so you know what to expect. Home Savings offers several products to help a variety of people, giving you as much information you need to make an educated decision.
Runner Up: Network Mortgage, Carmel
Best Day Care Facility
Ryan Ranch Children's Center2 Justin Ct., Monterey, 647-9556
This is the place to drop off your kid and feel comfortable the rest of your day. Ryan Ranch has eight separate classes for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, ages 3-5. Your child will take part in art, music, gym, French or even computer. Your child will learn by experience from 25 staff members; with a daily maximum of 113 children, that's a ratio you can't pass up.
Runner Up: Miss Barbara's Child Development Center, Monterey and Marina
Best Retirement Facility
Park Lane, a Classic Residence by Hyatt200 Glenwood Cir., Monterey, 373-0101
Hyatt-trained chefs provide meals of unsurpassed quality at Park Lane to ensure that not only will you never go hungry, you will never lose your good taste. Transportation is available to all tenants and a variety of social activities including outings, in-house speakers and GenTrain services are available for the 325 residents. A nurse is also on-call 'round the clock and present five days a week. Captain Best-Of is already saving his pocket change so that when he retires, he can retire in style at Park Lane.
Runner Up: Canterbury Woods, Pacific Grove