Our annual Readers Taste Awards were full of surprises. But we weren’t surprised by the record number of ballots received, or the enthusiasm with which you completed your ballots.

Again this year, we received many replies from people who took the time not only to make their selections, but also to comment on them.

The winners of our random drawing among people who sent in ballots were Chryston Pleasants of East Dallas; Kenna Rosen of Lake Highlands; Susi Grissom of Lakewood; Mary Anne Ingram of Lakewood; and Nancy and Jim Montgomery of Lakewood.

Pleasants gets dinner for two and Rosen gets lunch for two at Massimo da Milano, the new neighborhood Italian restaurant. Grissom, Ingram and the Montgomerys will receive Advocate T-shirts.

The results are listed in this Special Fall Restaurant Guide section. Among the highlights of the voting:

  • Sweet Temptations, the European-style bistro in Lake Highlands, was the runaway winner of the Favorite Restaurant category.
  • Last year’s Chinese winner, General China, wasn’t even among the top three vote-getters.
  • Almost 30 restaurants received votes in the least-expensive category, and 24 were mentioned in the fast-food category. I’m not sure what this means, but I’m sure it must mean something.
  • Massimo da Milano didn’t win an award, but it received votes in three categories: Italian, Favorite and Fast Food. Oddly enough, the restaurant didn’t receive any pizza votes.
  • No one was more surprised than I was when Chili’s unseated Snuffer’s as the Hamburger champion. As one Snuffer’s fan put it: “Between the smoke and the cheese and the loud music, this is our favorite unhealthy place to go.” I suppose Chili’s victory says a lot about where our readers take their kids to eat.
  • And I goofed when I didn’t include a natural foods/health foods category. Many readers suggested we add the category, and I’ll make sure it’s in next year.

News & Notes

EXIT Q GRILLE: The Lakewood restaurant closed immediately after I reviewed it last month. Hope it wasn’t anything I said.

OPENING: La Francaaise, a French-style bakery and café, in the Mockingbird and Abrams’ Tom Thumb shopping center. Tigerbulls, an upscale hamburger and sandwich restaurant, at the Abrams-Meadow intersection south of Forest and LBJ. Phone number is 343-2855.

EXPANDING: Szechwan Pavilion, currently in Casa Linda, will open another restaurant in the Vickery Park shopping center on Greenville Avenue near Walnut Hill.