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2011 Index of Winners

BEST WTF garage band BOA Award Winner

Black Lips

Best bike lanes for aiding traffic flow BOA Award Winner

Decatur's new bike lanes

Best middle school BOA Award Winner

Samuel M. Inman Middle School
774 Virginia Ave., 404-802-3200, www.inmanmiddleschool.org

Best sign of old-school media relevance BOA Award Winner

AJC's coverage of APS cheating
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimatemore...
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimate example of the kind of dogged, day-in-day-out investigative reporting that no blogger, TV news crew or online journalist is equipped to do. The paper overcame school system stone-walling, public skepticism and pressure from powerful business interests in uncovering what has been revealed to be the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. And, to its credit, the AJC managed to bring this widespread fraud to light without sensationalizing the story or overreaching in its conclusions. Rather, it methodically backed up each new discovery with enough evidence to trigger a state investigation of unprecedented scope. Daily newspapers may be dinosaurs, but there's nothing on the new-media landscape that can duplicate their T-Rex bite when it comes to complex stories like this. ajc.com. less...

Best urban wilderness refuge BOA Award Winner

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babblingmore...
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babbling creek and waterfall, deer and more than 150 native plant species. Moss-covered pathways lead to an outdoor education center. Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the former Creek Indian settlement includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes. The preserve could use some TLC, i.e., trail markers, historical plaques and some replacement boards on a bridge near the waterfall. But you have to admire the rugged, semi-forgotten feel of the site, which was also once the scene of the Battle of Utoy Creek, in which Gen. Sherman's Union forces suffered heavy casualties. 2852 Cascade Road. 404-546-6744. atlantaga.gov. less...

Charity BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Community Food Bank
732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., 404-892-9822, www.acfb.org

Local blog BOA Award Winner

Quick and Dirty Dirty

Neighborhood for yard sales BOA Award Winner

Virginia-Highlands

Overall neighborhood BOA Award Winner

Virginia-Highlands

Underrated thing about Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Food and dining

Best CDs BOA Award Winner

Criminal Records

Best lingerie BOA Award Winner

Victoria's Secret & PINK
And other metro Atlanta locations

Best thrift store BOA Award Winner

Value Village Thrift Store
And other metro Atlanta locations

Best candyland fantasy BOA Award Winner

Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co

Best designer kitsch BOA Award Winner

Jonathan Adler

Best farmers market BOA Award Winner

the Peachtree Road Farmers Market

Best shoes you can't afford BOA Award Winner

Epitome
Cher Horowitz famously quipped in Clueless, "You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet." We couldn't agree more. Shoes make or break every outfit. Roll out of bed in sweatpants, put on a hot pair of kicks and you'll look like a million bucks. Epitome, the new shoe boutique inmore...
Cher Horowitz famously quipped in Clueless, "You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet." We couldn't agree more. Shoes make or break every outfit. Roll out of bed in sweatpants, put on a hot pair of kicks and you'll look like a million bucks. Epitome, the new shoe boutique in Buckhead, puts luxury on its toes with its carefully curated selection of sneakers, heels and accessories. The store, which opened in July, is a culture clash of hip-hop high-tops, preppy boat shoes, indie gladiator sandals and party-girl pumps. Out-there selections like American flag platforms next to biker-chick heels may seem at odds, but somehow the mashup makes sense at Epitome. The lighted Plexiglas walkway gives the store a space-age vibe while sunglasses rest on pads of Astroturf. The future's so bright, we got to wear sneakers. 252 Pharr Road. 404-869-8700. epitomeatl.com. less...

Best breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Roswell
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Candler Park
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best evolution for Decatur BOA Award Winner

no. 246
OK, we get it Decatur: You love beer. You love food that goes with beer. We love beer and beer-related bites as well. But variety is the spice of a neighborhood, and No. 246 has provided you with some much-needed diversity. Of course, Decatur has long been a bastion for upscale food, from (the closedmore...
OK, we get it Decatur: You love beer. You love food that goes with beer. We love beer and beer-related bites as well. But variety is the spice of a neighborhood, and No. 246 has provided you with some much-needed diversity. Of course, Decatur has long been a bastion for upscale food, from (the closed and moving out of the 'hood) Watershed to Cakes & Ale, but 246's modern, mature Italian has gone a long way toward making Ponce de Leon Avenue feel like a real restaurant row that could justifiably be referenced as one of the most exciting culinary areas in town. Lunch at 246 is a special treat, particularly the juicy indulgence of the porchetta sandwich, which may be our favorite thing between sliced bread these days. No. 246 didn't put Decatur on the culinary map, but it sure made it a destination that's harder to miss. 129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 678-399-8246. no246.com. less...

Best new (old) restaurant BOA Award Winner

Cakes & Ale
We were slightly aghast when we learned that Cakes & Ale was moving from its original storefront location on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur to a newly renovated spot on the square. But as it turns out, the new, airier space has actually made one of our favorite restaurants even more welcoming.more...
We were slightly aghast when we learned that Cakes & Ale was moving from its original storefront location on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur to a newly renovated spot on the square. But as it turns out, the new, airier space has actually made one of our favorite restaurants even more welcoming. In fact, the addition of a bakery next door, plus the brilliant move of bringing former Dynamic Dish owner David Sweeney on as master of lunch, has heightened C&A's offerings significantly. Remember those brilliant Dynamic Dish sandwiches and quinoa salads? They're baaack. In the dining room, chef Billy Allin continues his legacy of melding simplicity and creativity. A recent playful take on tuna salad was a study in textural contrasts, pairing meaty cured tuna with soft potatoes, waxy pole beans and the snap of cooling cucumber. Cocktails come in the coolest vintage glassware around, and the wine list is both ambitious and affordable, with many selections available by the glass, carafe and bottle. Cakes & Ale 2.0 lives up to and surpasses its predecessor, much to our relief and delight. 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-377-7994. cakesandalerestaurant.com. less...

Best service BOA Award Winner

La Grotta

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