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Thursday, June 29, 2023

Best of 318

Jimmy Wooten21

 Landslide Winners, Blockbuster Winners All we can say is WOW! What a turnout

We are so excited to reveal the top winners in our competition. 144 categories. 3,170 nominees in the initial part of the campaign from Feb. 15 to 31.

Fifteen winners have been featured on our cover previously: Orlandeaux’s Seafood (Best Seafood, Best Stuffed Shrimp, Best Soul Food), Southern Classic Chicken (Best Fried Chicken), Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts (Best Hardware Store), Silver Star Smokehouse (Best BBQ, Best Ribs), Mudbug Festival (Best Festival – has been on our cover 32 times!), Jimmy Wooten (Best Local Singer), Ernest Palmisano, Ernest’s Restaurant (Best Chef, Best Gumbo, Best Appetizers), Lauren Ross Simmons (Best Local Artist), Superior Bar and Grill (Best Margarita, Best Chips & Salsa), Lewis Gifts (Best Gift Store), Johnny’s Pizza – with the real Johnny Huntsman! (Best Pizza), Shreveport Little Theatre (Best Performing Arts Group, Best Local Theatre, Best Theatre Group), R.W. Norton Art Gallery (Best Museum), The Blind Tiger (Best Place Downtown to Eat), Boudreaux’s Specialty Compounding Pharmacy (Best Pharmacy).

Southern Maid Donuts received the most votes of any other contestant in any category. 2 Johns Steak and Seafood won the most awards overall with five first place awards and six Top 5 awards.

By our conclusive round of Top Five on May 22, we had 262,812 total votes, an extraordinary number. In this edition, we are profiling some of our outstanding winners. In our next issue, published on July 12, we will spotlight some of our Top 5 winners and include folks who couldn’t be included in this issue due to storm difficulties.


Best Mexican Food Best Tacos

The biggest news at Ki’ Mexico appeared on their website: “We got full power back on!”

Like most of us, they were ecstatic about being able to see and soak up some cool.

Ki’ Mexico is a family-run restaurant in the South Highland neighborhood’s old Madison Park Shopping Center. They serve their own interpretation of traditional Mexican fare like tacos, tostadas and more. For the adult beverage drinker, they also have craft beer available on tap. And you can experience al fresco dining in the outdoor area. There’s even live music if you’re there at the right time.

King’s Antiques wins Best Antique Shop by a landslide.


Best Antique Shop

A treasure trove of antiques and historic items is waiting for collectors in 12,000 feet of dealer spaces at 133 Kings Highway. You can’t miss it; it’s next to Strawn’s Eat Shop. Inside all that space, you’ll find offerings from multiple dealers in a dizzying array of categories: furniture, art, vintage and new boutique fashion, primitives, military items and farmhouse décor; if you’re looking for it, it’s probably inside.

There’s also plenty of parking; if the Kings Highway side is full, just pull around to the back lot. They’re open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Some Saturdays, they offer workshops, and you can always go next door for pie.


Best Home Design Services

Pledging to curate what they term a “simplistic, modern and timeless home,” Ivy & Stone was opened in 2014 by Brandi Sharley, who found her true calling after a career as a traveling professional photographer. They are sourcing unique and timeless pieces that stand out as they make a powerful statement to make your home captivating and memorable. They have a team of interior designers constantly finding new ways to turn your living space into something no one ever imagined in Shreveport/ Bossier City. Whether your space is established or still under construction, Ivy & Stone can turn your imagination into a reality.

Morehead Pools takes the win for Best Pool Design. This pool features a “beach edge.”


Best Pool Design

Southern summers, mild autumns and springs make a pool more than a luxury in our area, and Morehead Pools has been filling the need since the 1960s. The Moore family has been providing design, construction and service for all your swimming pools, spas and outdoor living spaces. Two locations in the SBC allow Morehead to service and maintain your outdoor spaces with their team of professionals.

If you’re beginning a new project, want to renovate an existing space, or need some help with a problem, this award-winning team will ensure you keep cool all year long.


Best Local Artist - Musician

He first appeared on the auditorium stage of Rogers (AR) High School at the age of 3. Later, he graduated to the Keithville Jamboree, where he hosted the local television show. By the time he was 10, Robin Vosbury was playing alongside some of the Louisiana Hayride’s biggest stars, like Slim Whitman.

After high school at Huntington, he and his band, the Crawdads, toured 49 states, Canada and Mexico, opening for acts like Exile and George Jones, and they worked for Randy Travis.

Eventually, Robin opened his own studio and recorded with the likes of Claude King and James Burton. Besides working as a police officer and a truck driver, he’s found time to raise a family with his wife, Karla. They have six children and six grands, and his son, Cole, has taken up the mantle as a piano man.

Landslide: Winner Jimmy Wooten was voted Best Local Singer.


Best Local Singer

Another individual of note on our list is Jimmy Wooten. He found his dream job as the bassist on Neal McCoy’s touring band. He, too, is steeped in the music industry, having grown up with parents who had a classic country group called the Gator-Dilla Band. With that kind of childhood, his sister naturally followed suit, and Wooten and sis, Laura, have been performing together for quite a while. In an article written for 318 Forum by Robert Trudeau, Neal McCoy was quoted as saying what a masterful job Wooten had done in taking one of McCoy’s biggest hits, “They’re Playing our Song on the Radio,” and turning it into a newer, fresher version of his hit.


Best Place for Live Music

Best Patio/Outdoor Seating

Located in the heart of Bossier City’s East Bank District, Hurricane Alley is an outdoor venue that was voted the attraction of the year in northwest Louisiana in 2022. Featuring live music Thursday through Saturday nights, Hurricane Alley boasts of being within walking distance of 12,000 hotel rooms, five casinos and a plethora of fine restaurants. They suggest bringing all your rowdy friends out for an evening of the best Red Dirty Country, Classic Rock, Cajun Zydeco and more. If you can still walk afterward, you can probably find one of those 12,000 hotel rooms to relax.

Dr. Holly Wall hit a home run with her Landslide Win for Best Body Sculpting.


Best Body Sculpting

She’s one of the busiest plastic surgeons in the country; Dr. Wall is part of the local family of plastic surgeons who have built the familiar Wall Center. She was trained at Stanford University Medical Center before relocating to Shreveport. During her training, she was determined not to be a surgeon because of the grueling hours and the burdens on the physician’s personal life and individual health. But when she rotated through the routine surgical training, she found a niche that captured her talent and imagination. She said she “married well” to Simeon Wall Jr. and found a love for “the variety of patients and operations – kids, adults, women, men, healthy and ill, fingers, lips, breasts and cancers.”


Best CPAs

Founded in 1946, Heard McElroy & Vestal has built a reputation as a well-known, full-service accounting and consulting firm. With a staff of over 100 professionals and locations in Shreveport and Monroe, HM&V offers audit and assurance, fraud, forensic and litigation services, retirement plan services, technology, valuation and traditional tax services, including consulting, compliance, general accounting services and wealth transfer advisory assistance. They’re large enough to be a national firm and local enough to be your trusted business advisor understanding your individual needs and goals. They pledge to work with clients to design solutions and create opportunities. Bookkeeping is a balancing act they’ve mastered.


Best Casino Restaurant

If your front door bears the name of a man who is a legend in the gaming industry, it would be a gamble to serve anything but the best prime steaks, seafood and pork chops presented with an extensive wine list featuring special reserve vintages.

It’s a good bet Binion’s will be busy, so they strongly encourage reservations because folks line up to experience prime cuts of USDAaged beef like filet mignon, New York strip, ribeye and special perks like Steak Oscar with lump crab and hollandaise or bleu cheese and applewood bacon crumble. If you

Rhino Coffee wins Best Coffee Shop by a landslide. Pictured is owner Andrew Crawford.


Best Coffee Shop

With two locations, Rhino has become the coffee drinkers’ goto for meeting friends, grabbing a freshly prepared bite, relaxing with a good book, or indulging yourself in a fascinating conversation.

These two oases of camaraderie feature baristas trained to serve up the best tea, coffee, espresso and espresso-based beverages. It’s a home-grown establishment, so your money is helping a local boy make good Coffee. Owner Andrew Crawford said, “Every day, I get to go to work and have a cup of coffee with some of the greatest people in our community. They make Rhino Coffee feel like home.”

House of Carpets and Lighting won Best Lighting, Best Flooring and Best Carpet. Pictured are “the family,” daughters Mary Oates and Laura Bray with mom and dad, Pat and Mark Harrison.

House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Carpet Best Lighting Best Flooring

Your house is more than brick and mortar.

It's your home – a place filled with love and laughter.

It's where memories are made. The Harrison family – local owners of House of Carpets and Lighting – recognizes the specialness of your home. That's why husband and wife Mark and Pat, daughters Laura and Mary, and their entire staff treat each customer like a member of their family. House of Carpets and Lighting provides outstanding, personal customer service, taking great pride in helping you select what goes into your home.

House of Carpets and Lighting carries the best of the best. From flooring to lighting, to tile and backsplashes, to ceiling fans and outdoor furniture, quality is something you never have to doubt.

Want to make sure your home is in keeping with the latest trends? The Harrison family goes to market each year, bringing home products to make your home stand out.

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current home, House of Carpets and Lighting – located at 4344 Youree Drive in Shreveport – is like visiting family.

A family that cares about you and your home.

Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake takes a Landslide Win for Best Soul Food. They also won first for Best Seafood and Best Stuffed Shrimp. Pictured is manager Damien Chapman.

ORLANDEAUX’S Cross Lake Cafe

Best Seafood Best Stuffed Shrimp Best Soul Food Best Seafood Restaurant

The atmosphere, the service and the “vibe” of the place are what the current owner-operator believes keeps Ark-La-Texans coming back to Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café. Over the past 100 years, it’s been known as Freeman & Harris Café, Pete Harris Café or Brother’s Seafood. And according to Damien “Chapeaux” Chapman, one of the current managers of the family business, the history reads a lot like the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, with plenty of family tree documentation. “Our stuffed shrimp is what we’re known for. People come from near and far to try that. Our gumbo and etouffee, our smothered pork chops, smothered goose liver and chicken liver. Those down-home southern cooking items that you got that grandmother was cooking in the day. That brings you all the way back to home.”


Best Eye Doctors

Two generations of Lusk family members have provided state-ofthe-art comprehensive eye care in the greater Shreveport area for over three decades. Using cutting-edge lasers and lens implant technology for treating cataracts, LASIK laser vision correction, glaucoma management and even dry eye treatment, eyes in Shreveport and Minden can see clear improvement. Eye surgeon James Lusk, M.D., founded Lusk Eye Specialists in 1985. Today, eye surgeons Bryan Lusk, M.D., and Jeffrey Lusk, M.D., work side-byside with their father and founder.

Whether you have the desire to explore the world of crisp, clear vision beyond your glasses and contacts or seek a cataract center of excellence to help restore your precious gift of sight, their focus is on treating patients like family – by family – and lies at the core of the vision for Lusk Eye Specialists.


Best Hardware Store

When you think of hardware in SBC, it’s hard not to think of Don Tubbs and his eponymous establishment. But amidst his reputation for offering things like Green Eggs, ExMark Power equipment and the usual nuts and bolts of the business, he’s also made a name for himself as a purveyor of baked goods. It was a savvy move to survive Mardi Gras when the parades began, the route took them in front of his Bossier location. That pretty much shot one Saturday in the foot. So, Tubbs devised a plan to bring those people who were intent on catching something into his store. Voila!

King Cakes. Tubbs used the savvy his family has demonstrated for a century to decide to go over the top with his cake. He stuffed the crust with an extreme portion of cream cheese, and the Tubbs’ Mardi Gras X-Treme Cream Cheese King Cake was baked. Legend has it the original recipe remains locked in his safe.



Best Credit Union Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Regional Bank Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Vietnamese Dahn’s Garden

Best Body Sculpting Dr. Holly Wall

Best Chef Ernest Palmisano

Best CPA Heard, McLeroy & Vestal

Best Lighting House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Place for Live Music Hurricane Alley

Best Home Design Services Ivy & Stone

Best Casino Restaurant Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe

Best Local Singer Jimmy Wooten

Best Tacos Ki’ Mexico

Best Antique Shop King’s Antiques

Best Eye Doctor Lusk Eye Specialists

Best Pool Design Morehead Pools

Best Soul Food Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Cafe

Best Oysters Oyster Bar

Best Coffee Shop Rhino Coffee

Best Local Performing Artist Robin Vosbury, Musician

Best Local Artist, Lauren Ross Simmons

Best Fried Chicken Southern Classic

Best Donuts Southern Maid Donuts

Best Margarita Superior Bar & Grill

Best Sushi Sushi Gen

Best Hardware Store Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts

(We have a total of 144 first place winners.)

Best Casino Lounge 1931 Lounge Horseshoe Casino

Best Martini 2 John’s Steak & Seafood

Best Overall Restaurant 2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Place for a Date Night 2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Steak 2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Steakhouse 2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Non-Surgical Enhancements 8445 Med Spa

Best HVAC Service & Repair Advanced Air Conditioning & Heating

Best Nursery / Garden Store Akin’s Nursery & Landscaping

Best Restaurant for Breakfast Another Broken Egg

Best Mediterranean Athena’s Greek & Mediterranean

Best Credit Union Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Regional Bank Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Place to Eat Downtown Blind Tiger

Best Plumber Bobby L. Greene Plumbing & Heating Co.

Best Pharmacy Boudreaux’s Specialty Compounding Pharmacy

Best Grocery Store Brookshire’s

Best Private School Calvary Baptist

Best Hair Salon Chemistry Hair Salon

Best Realty Company Coldwell Banker Gosslee

Best Healthy Eating Restaurant Counter Culture

Best Local Sandwich Counter Culture

Best Liquor Store Cuban Liquor

Best Thai Dahn’s Garden

Best Vietnamese Dahn’s Garden

Best Event Planner Delia Jeffcoat

Best Wedding Designer Delia Jeffcoat

Best Wedding Planner Delia Jeffcoat

Best Travel Agency Denise Evans

Best Place for a Wedding Reception Dixie Gin

Best Local TV News Personality Doug Warner

Best Body Sculpting Dr. Holly Wall

Best Physical Therapist Brewer Physical Therapy

Best Breast Enhancement Dr. Holly Wall

Best Investment Firm Edward Jones

Best Local Radio Personality Erin McCarty

Best Chef Ernest Palmisano

Best Gumbo Ernest’s Orleans

Best Appetizers Ernest’s Orleans

Best Financial Planner Evans Financial

Best Physician Family Doctors

Best Bartender Fat Calf Brasserie

Best Caterer Fat Calf Brasserie

Best Craft Beer Flying Heart

Best Local Brewery Flying Heart

Best Bar or Restaurant to Watch Sports Frozen Pirogue

Best New Restaurant Frozen Pirogue

Best CPA Heard, McLeroy & Vestal

Best Home Decor Hobby Lobby

Best Local Band Hollow Decks

Best Landscaping Hoogland’s Landscaping

Best Carpet House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Flooring House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Lighting House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Patio/Outdoor Seating Hurricane Alley

Best Place for Live Music Hurricane Alley

Best Chinese Imperial Cathay

Best Tattoo Artists Iron Horse

Best Furniture Ivan Smith Furniture

Best Home Design Services Ivy & Stone

Best Pest Control J&J Pest Control

Best Casino Restaurant Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe

Best Catfish Jan’s River Restaurant

Best Sandwich Shop Jason’s Deli

Best Local Singer Jimmy Wooten

Best Men’s Clothing Store John Pickens Clothiers

Best Pizza Johnny’s Pizza

Best Desserts at a Local Restaurant Julie Anne’s Bakery

Best Mexican Food Ki’ Mexico

Best Tacos Ki’ Mexico

Best Antique Shop King’s Antiques

Best Radio Station KISS Country 93.7

Best Mardi Gras Bal Krewe of Centaur

Best Mardi Gras Krewe Krewe of Centaur

Best Florist La Bloom

Best Local Artist Lauren Ross Simmons

Best Tutoring Service LearningRx

Best Gift Store Lewis Gifts

Best King Cakes Lilah’s Bakery

Best Blepharoplasty (eyes) Lindsey Pennington

Best Cosmetic Surgeon Lindsey Pennington

Best Face Lift Lindsey Pennington

Best Rhinoplasty (nose) Lindsey Pennington

Best Skin Care Lindsey Pennington

Best Jewelry Store Lockhart Jewelers

Best Bakery Lowder Baking Company

Best Appliances Lowe’s

Best Local College LSU Shreveport

Best Wine Selection Lucky Palace

Best Eye Doctor Lusk Eye Specialists

Best Realtor Marilyn Michel

Best Brunch Marilynn’s Place

Best Italian Food Monjuni’s

Best Pool Design Morehead Pools

Best Festival Mudbug Festival

Best Food Truck Ono’s Hawaiian Grill

Best Seafood Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Cafe

Best Seafood Restaurant Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Cafe

Best Stuffed Shrimp Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Cafe

Best Soul Food Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Cafe

Best Oysters Oyster Bar

Best Burger Papa and Company

Best Pet Services Pet Smart

Best Pediatrician Pierremont Pediatrics

Best Fitness Studio Planet Fitness

Best Dry Cleaning Porter’s Fine Dry Cleaning

Best Museum R.W. Norton Art Gallery

Best Coffee Shop Rhino Coffee

Best Local Artist Robin Vosbury, Musician

Best Fries at a Local Restaurant Rollin’ In The Dough

Best Attorney Ron Miciotto

Best Crawfish Rubba Boot Crawfish Company

Best Family Law Ryan E. Gatti

Best Summer Camp Sci-Port

Best Weight Loss Shed It

Best Dentist Shreveport-Bossier Family Dental

Best Local Theatre Shreveport Little Theatre

Best Performing Arts Group Shreveport Little Theatre

Best Theatre Group Shreveport Little Theatre

Best BBQ Silver Star Smokehouse

Best Ribs Silver Star Smokehouse

Best Women’s Boutique Simply Chic

Best Fried Chicken Southern Classic

Best Homebuilder Southern Home Builders

Best Donuts Southern Maid Donuts

Best Golf Course Southern Trace

Best Facial Spa Concepts

Best Nail Salon Spa Concepts

Best Place to Get a Facial Spa Concepts

Best Spa Spa Concepts

Best Fundraising Event St Jude Dream Home

Best Chips and Salsa Superior Bar & Grill

Best Margarita Superior Bar & Grill

Best Bar Superior’s Steakhouse

Best Happy Hour Superior’s Steakhouse

Best Sushi Sushi Gen

Best Remodeler Terry Elston

Best Childrens Shop The Moppet Shoppe

Best Assisted Living The Oaks

Best Retirement Living The Oaks

Best Hardware Store Tubb’s Hardware & Cajun Gifts

Best Skin Care Ulta

Best Veterinary Practice University Veterinary Hospital

Silver Star Smokehouse owner David Alvis. The Smokehouse took home first for Best BBQ and Best Ribs.

Ernest Palmisano is a Landslide Winner as Best Chef. Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge won first for Best Gumbo and Best Appetizers.

1931 Lounge at Horseshoe Casino was voted Best Casino Lounge.

Lauren Ross Simmons is the Best Local Artist 2023.

Twin Blends history hunters and photographers Mike and Mark Mangham stand up for hot donuts. Southern Maid is a Landslide Winner for Best Donuts. Southern Maid won the most votes in the entire contest.

The Oyster Bar & Grille undoubtedly has the Best Oysters with their Landslide Win.


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