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Greensboro’s Ten Best ten best

by Brian Clarey

Ganache Bakery & Café

403 N. Elm St.; 336.230.2253

We’ve seen all sorts of ’em come and go in the past year in this regular feature, but there were a few businesses that made it on to the rolls more than others because of their excellence, variety and, in some cases, clean bathrooms. Ganache Bakery & Café, the amazing spot on Elm Street with the huge pastry case, made it on the Ten Best list six times ‘— for best power lunch spots, best places to drink outdoors, best brunch restaurants, best sandwiches (the grilled chicken wrap), best desserts and easiest jobs (because who wouldn’t want to be a quality control worker here?)

Green Valley Grill

622 Green Valley Road; 336.854.2015

The Green Valley Grill, located on the ground floor of the swanky O. Henry Hotel, also made the Ten Best list six times: best brunch restaurants, best fries (accented with rosemary) best power lunch spots, best desserts, best restaurant to eat at the bar and best holiday drinks (for their sparkling wine flight). Also, rumor has it that they’ve recently hired a highly placed New Orleans chef who was dislocated by Hurricane Katrina, so this is a great time to check it out.

Bert’s Seafood Grille

4608 W. Market St.; 336.297.4881

Everybody loves Bert’s. At least I do. Drew and Mary Lacklen made the page four times, for best hush puppies, best desserts (the banana bread pudding), best restaurants to eat at the bar and best fries ‘— they serve corn fries with a jalapeño ketchup that tastes just a little bit like Fritos.

Lucky 32

1421 Westover Terrace; 336.370.0707

Lucky 32 restaurant has consistently served up adventurous and elegant fare all year long. They also made regular appearances on our Ten Best page, for best power lunch spots and best brunch (with a menu that changes with the seasons). We also named them one of the best places to watch the Grimsley fireworks, something that people from Greensboro have been doing for generations.

Liberty Oak

100 W. Washington St.; 336.273.7057

The food is so good at Liberty Oak that you’d expect it to be a bit more stuffy, but this downtown bistro serves a fine menu in an atmosphere of casualness and comfort. Their brick patio scored as one of the best outdoor drinking spots downtown, and their artsy dining room garnered praise as one of the best places for a power lunch. They also ranked among the ten best downtown bathrooms which, we understand, has become the source of some concern for the people who have to keep them clean.

Café Europa

200 N. Davie St.; 336.389.1010

We gave Café Europa the nod for best brunch, best fries and best downtown outdoor drinking spot. But it’s also the best place to drink half-price wine, the best place to watch CNN, the best place to see a Russian flag, the best place to see young professionals who have had a couple too many and the best place to shoot the breeze with the bartender.

Red Oak Brewpub

714 Francis King St.; 336.299.3649

With aromas of malt and roasted hops in the air, the Red Oak is the best-smelling joint in town (I could make a joke here but I won’t). According to this year’s Ten Best pages, they also qualify for the best wings, the best place to eat at the bar and the best holiday drinks ‘— that would be the Blackbeard Bock, a sexy little double bock that, at 8 percent alcohol, has the capacity to make your nose red like Rudolph’s.

Yum-Yum’s

1219 Spring Garden St.; 336.272.8284

With the exception of the actual color of the hot dogs they serve, there is nothing we don’t like about Yum-Yum’s. We love the simplicity of its onomatopoeic name and the utilitarian menu (hot dogs, with or without). But what we love the most is the ice cream, made by hand right there on the premises. They hit the list for best ice cream, naturally, and best dessert places. We also put them on there for best cheap lunch, because the hot dogs are delicious and you can’t see how obnoxiously red that are when they’re covered with chili and slaw.

M’Couls Public House

110 W. McGee St.; 336.378.0204

We didn’t have a page devoted to the coolest business names in town, but this one would be a shoo-in if we had. M’Coul’s, named for the Irish folk hero who brought honor and courage back to the Ersin knighthood, made our lists for the best places to spend St. Patrick’s Day (they start the morning off with a lone bagpiper at 6 a.m.), the best downtown outdoor drinking spots and the best place to watch the fireworks from the ballpark on the Fourth of July.

Fincastle’s Diner

215 S. Elm St., 336.272.8968

We love Fincastle’s. We love the fried pickles and the butter steak sandwich. We love the burgers slathered with pimiento cheese. We love the Cokes with peanuts. They made the lists for best late night eats, best fries and best downtown bathrooms. It’s also the best place in town to put on ten pounds.

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