Our Favorite Write-In Entries From the 2022 Best of Rhode Island Reader’s Poll
Do the Obamas have a secret backyard BBQ joint in Coventry? And who knew people could find so many ways to spell Matunuck?
After hours and hours of culling through more than 120,000 (!) votes in our 2022 Best of Rhode Island Reader’s Poll, we’ve finally come up with the final list of 300-plus winners.
Unfortunately, you’re still going to have to wait two months to find out who won what (shameless plug: you can purchase tickets to our Best of Rhode Island party at Roger Williams Park Zoo on July 21 here).
In the meantime, however, we thought you might get a kick out of some of the more, er, creative write-ins we came across. We know we sure did.
The mistaken identity entries.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT: “Obama’s Backyard BBQ”
We’re assuming this person meant Ohana in Coventry, but a small part of us also wonders if we have a name dropper on our hands who knows something about a secret Obama residence in the Ocean State that we don’t.
BEST BREAKFAST: “Mr. Ts”
We pity the fool who doesn’t recognize the immense potential behind a Mr. T and T’s Restaurant collab.
BEST METEOROLOGIST/FEMALE : “Kathy Bates”
We think Kathy might be a little busy with her big screen obligations to appear on local television… but hey, did you hear the great news about Kelly Bates?
The ‘Well, at least we know actual Rhode Islanders are voting’ entries.
BEST COFFEE: “Dunkin’ Donuts”
America may not always run on Dunkin’, but Rhode Island sure does.
BEST INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE: “The place next to Caf Bar in Wakefield”
We’re just surprised we didn’t get more, “the place next to the place that used to be…” write-ins.
The ‘Thank you so much for your valuable input’ entries.
BEST COFFEE: “I drink tea.”
VARIOUS CATEGORIES: “I don’t care” or “they all suck”
Then why are you here, Brenda.
BEST CLAM SHACK: “Don’t eat clams”
BEST OYSTERS: “Don’t eat oysters”
Are these demands or the confessions of an undercover non-New Englander? We may never know.
The ‘forever-in-denial’ entries.
BEST HEALTHY RESTAURANT: “The Grange RIP”
BEST RESTAURANT: “Chez Pascal :(”
BEST CONCERT VENUE: “Lupo’s. It will never be the Strand”
BEST GIFT STORE: “Benny’s”
We miss them too, folks.
The confused entries.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR: “[redacted]@yahoo.com”
Unless this person really does have the best on-tap selection at home and was just looking for some local drinking buddies to share it with. In which case, our bad!
BEST INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE: “Gary’s Handy Lunch”
Does Gary have a side hustle in book selling…?
BEST FARMER’S MARKET: “Attleboro Farmer’s Market” and “City of Attleboro”
We’ll give you that Attleboro is close to the border, but no cigar.
BEST PIZZA: “Dunkin’ Donuts”
Insert “Where’s the Pizza?!” Jennifer Lawrence Gif here.
The troll entries.
BEST HEALTHY RESTAURANT: “Weinorama”
Unless, again, the people know something we don’t.
BEST FOOD TRUCK: “Uber”
Come on, you could have at least written Uber Eats.
BEST MORNING SHOW: “Leave it to Beaver”
Apparently, June Cleaver’s still got it after all this time.
BEST MORNING RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: “Literally anyone except [name redacted]”
Geez, tell us how you really feel.
BEST LOCAL BAND: “DJ Pauly D”
We actually aren’t totally sure this person was trolling.
BEST ART GALLERY: “Hooters”
Er… No comment.
The conversational entries.
BEST LOCAL EVENT: “A nice long walk with a warm cup of coffee”
Honestly, sounds like a perfectly splendid Saturday morning outing to us.
BEST HEALTHY RESTAURANT: “In Progress”
Us too, man, us too.
BEST ASIAN RESTAURANT: “Can Indian have its own category please”
We’re taking it under advisement!
BEST LATIN RESTAURANT: “That is the language spoken by the Romans”
We mean, they’re not wrong.
BEST RESTAURANT: “Who the heck is sifting threw [sic] this data. Omg. Lol. Think of all the spelling errors…”
Hello! Nice to meet you. Thanks for thinking of us.
Speaking of spelling errors…
BEST MORNING RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: “Tamara channel 10 (can’t spell last name) she’s awesome!”
At least some people were upfront about it.
Gene Valicenti was spelled thirty-three different ways. Favorites include: Geme Vallecenti, Gene Valacenty, Gene Valecento, Gene Valincente, Gene Valiscenti and Gene Vallesentti.
Matunuck Oyster Bar got forty-two different treatments. Some highlights: Matonickut, Matunak, Mahtunik, Matlock, Matunack, Matunk, Mahtunuch and Metunic.
Pomodoro was spelled twenty-five different ways. Our favorite: Pomomfiro.
Riccotti’s was spelled thirty-one different ways (just think of all the I, C, O and T combinations).
And finally, in the Best Bar category, multiple people replaced the “o” in the beginning of “Dockside” with another vowel, making for quite the scandalous (and hilarious) nomination.
We hope at least some of these made you chuckle and that they will help make the wait for the results a little more bearable!