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Tuesday, July 9, 2024




Congratulations to all our 2024 Best of 318 winners.

In this edition, we are sharing your number-one picks for the best our region has to offer. Garnering 225,606 votes and 3,147 nominees, we are thrilled with the excitement of this campaign. You turned out to vote, and our winners couldn’t be more appreciative.

Southern Maid Donuts won the largest number of votes showing out for the second year.

Southern Classic Chicken was right behind them with significant numbers. Something about the South?

Another top vote gatherer is Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café. The beloved restaurant received five number-one wins, topping out with Best Soul Food, Best Stuffed Shrimp, Best Seafood Restaurant, Best Catfish and Best Gumbo. They were all landslides. Next up, Dr. Lindsey Pennington received seven number one awards ... the most overall.

A handful of businesses surprised us — garnering top votes for Best Seafood is Kim’s Cook-House, a place we weren’t familiar with (but sure will be). They have a loyal fan base who stood up for them. Kudos to KRUE Events: A catering business also new to us came out a big winner as Best Caterer. Titles hard to take from some pretty big names — the Best Ribs and Best Barbecue categoriey winner is Louisiana Smoke House.

On the following pages, read about a few of the standouts in your selections (more next issue!) and all 139 categories. Categories that received the most nominations included Best Physicians and Best Nail Salons. You want to look good and feel good, too. Awesome.

In our July 24 edition, look for more surprises and get reacquainted with all the businesses you know and love.

What bragging rights these businesses have! You chose them to be the Best of 318. Show them your support and congratulate them on this prestigious honor. They earned it.


Best Museum — R.W. Norton Art Gallery
Best Crawfish — Rubba Boot Crawfish Company
Best Donuts — Southern Maid Donuts
Best Soul Food — Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café
Best Seafood Restaurant — Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café
Best Stuffed Shrimp — Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café
Best Gumbo — Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café
Best Italian — Monjunis Restaurants
Best Margarita — Superior Bar and Grill
Best Oysters — The Oyster Bar & Grille
Best Place to Eat Downtown — The Blind Tiger
Best Seafood — Kim’s Cook-House
Best Sushi — Sushi Gen
Best Lighting — House of Carpets & Lighting
Best Plumber — Bobby L. Greene Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
Best Casino Lounge — Celebrity Lounge at Bally’s
Best Chef — Ernest Palmisano
Best Local Band — The Hollow Decks
Best Live Music — Hurricane Alley
Best Chinese — Imperial Cathay
Best Coffee Shop — Rhino Coffee
Best Restaurant for Breakfast — Another Broken Egg Cafe
Best Steakhouse — 2 Johns Steak & Seafood

* Landslide winners received more than double the votes of their nearest competitor.

Contributions by Joe Todaro, Tony Taglavore and Jeremy Hernandez


Best Steak
2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Martini
2 Johns Steak & Seafood

Best Place to Eat Downtown
Blind Tiger

Best Local Sandwich
Doc’s Sandwich Shop & Deli

Best Chips and Salsa
El Jimador Grill Inc.

Best Appetizers
Gibbons Fine Grill

Best Pizza
Johnny’s Pizza House

Best Desserts at Local Restaurant
Julie Anne’s Bakery & Cafe

Best Mexican Food
Ki’ Mexico

Best Tacos
Ki’ Mexico

Best Seafood
Kim’s Cook-House LLC

Best King Cakes
Lilah’s Bakery

Best BBQ
Louisiana Smoke House

Best Ribs
Louisiana Smoke House

Best Fries at a Local Restaurant

Best Italian Food

Best Stuffed Shrimp
Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café

Best Gumbo
Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café

Best Burger
Papa and Company

Best Fried Chicken
Southern Classic Chicken

Best Donuts
Southern Maid Donuts

Best Margarita
Superior Bar & Grill

Best Sushi
Sushi Gen

Best Oysters
The Oyster Bar & Grille


Best Nursery / Garden Store
Akin’s Nursery & Landscape

Best Pest Control

Best Remodeler
Bayou Construction

Best HVAC Service & Repair
Bobby L. Greene Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Co.

Best Plumber
Bobby L. Greene Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Co.

Best Landscaping
Hoogland’s Landscape

Best Home Decor
Hobby Lobby

Best Home Design Services
Hobby Lobby

Best Lighting
House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Carpet
House of Carpets and Lighting

Best Furniture
Ivan Smith Furniture

Best Antique Shop
King’s Antiques And More

Best Appliances
Lowe’s Home Improvement

Best Pool Design
Morehead Pools

Best Homebuilder
Southern Home Builders Inc.


Best Local College
Bossier Parish Community College

Best Summer Camp
Camp Bethany

Best Tutoring Service
Marvkevea’s Learning Center

Best Museum
R.W. Norton Art Gallery

Best Local Theater
Shreveport Little Theatre

Best Performing Arts Group
Shreveport Little Theatre

Best Theater Group
Shreveport Little Theatre

Best Private School
Southfield School


Best Radio Station
98 Rocks

Best Tattoo Artists
Brandon Jones, Shreveport Ink

Best Casino Lounge
Celebrity Lounge at Bally’s

Best Bartender
Cheyenne, 1931 Lounge

Best Liquor Store
Cuban Liquor & Wine Co. Inc.

Best Place for a Wedding Reception
Dixie Gin

Best Local TV News Personality
Dominique Benn

Best Local Radio Personality
Erin McCarty

Best Local Singer
Haley Brooke

Best Local Band
The Hollow Decks

Best Place for Live Music
Hurricane Alley

Best Bar or Restaurant to Watch Sports
Hurricane Alley

Best Mardi Gras Krewe
Krewe of Centaur

Best Mardi Gras Bal
Krewe of Gemini

Best Chef
Ernest Palmisano

Best Fundraising Event
Holy Angels Run

Best Caterer
KRUE Events

Best Local Artist
Poetic X

Best Festival
Red River Revel Arts Festival

Best Golf Course
Southern Trace Country Club


Best Regional Bank
Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Credit Union
Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Best Realtor
Becki Bass

Best Financial Planner
Edward Jones

Best Investment Firm
Edward Jones

Best Travel Agency
Expedia, Elton Richie

Best Family Law
Kelly Long

Best Cosmetic Surgeon
Lindsey Pennington

Best Rhinoplasty (nose)
Lindsey Pennington

Best Blepharoplasty (eyes)
Lindsey Pennington

Best Body Sculpting
Lindsey Pennington

Best Face Lift
Lindsey Pennington

Best Breast Enhancement
Paul Davis

Best CPA
Mark Ford

Best Non-Surgical Enhancements
Pennington Facial Plastics

Best Attorney
Ron Miciotto

Best Weight Loss
Shed It!


Best Children’s Shop
The Moppet Shoppe

Best Facial
My Spa My Way

Best Hair Salon
Chemistry Hair Salon

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Best Nail Salon
Spa Concepts AVEDA Lifestyle Salon & Spa

Best Place to Get a Facial
Spa Concepts AVEDA Lifestyle Salon & Spa

Best Skin Care
Ark-La-Tex Dermatology

Best Spa
Spa Concepts AVEDA Lifestyle Salon & Spa

Best Women’s Boutique
Simply Chic Boutique


Best Steakhouse
2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Place for a Date Night
2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Bar
2 Johns Steak and Seafood

Best Restaurant for Breakfast
Another Broken Egg Cafe

Best Brunch
Another Broken Egg Cafe

Best Patio/Outdoor Seating
BeauxJax Crafthouse

Best Food Truck
Cajun Asian Food Truck & Catering

Best Healthy Eating Restaurant
Counter Culture

Best Vietnamese
Danh’s Garden

Best Thai
Danh’s Garden

Best Sandwich Shop
Doc’s Sandwich Shop & Deli

Best Happy Hour
El Paso Mexican Grill

Best Local Brewery
Flying Heart Brewing & Pub

Best Overall Restaurant
Gibbons Fine Grill

Best Chinese
Imperial Cathay Chinese Restaurant

Best Casino Restaurant
Jack Binion’s Steak House

Best Bakery
Julie Anne’s Bakery & Cafe

Best Wine Selection
Lucky Palace Chinese Restaurant Best

Seafood Restaurant
Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café

Best Soul Food
Orlandeaux’s Cross Lake Café

Best Coffee Shop
Rhino Coffee

Best New Restaurant
The Pearl Shreveport

Best Mediterranean


Best Meat Market / Specialty Store
Bergeron’s Boudin & Cajun Meats

Best Grocery Strore

Best Event Planner
Delia Jeffcoat

Best Gift Store
Enchanted Garden

Best Physical Therapist
Eric Weatherly Independent Therapy Solutions

Best Assisted Living
The Glen

Best Pediatrician
Gretchen Petterway

Best Realty Company
Keller Williams Realty NWLA

Best Eye Doctor
Lusk Eye Specialists

Best Jewelry Store
McCary’s Jewelers

Best Wedding Designer
Michelle Babin

Best Pet Services
Pet Smart

Best Dry Cleaning
Porter’s Fine Dry Cleaning

Best Dentist
Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care

Best Florist
The Colony House

Best Physician
The Family Doctors

Best Retirement Living
The Oaks of Louisiana

Best Hardware Store
Tubb’s Hardware & Cajun Gifts

Best Veterinary Practice
University Veterinary Hospital

Best Pharmacy

Best Fitness Studio

The R.W. Norton Art Gallery fall exhibition, "The Artist: A Singing-and-Painting Experience by Bridget and Amanda Windez.” (Bridget Winder Art, LLC Amanda Winder.) Opening Sept. 26.

R.W. Norton Art Gallery

For almost 60 years, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery has offered visitors the chance to view prestigious art collections, especially of Western art. But even though the museum has been open since 1966, it continues to evolve.

“We are always working to improve the museum and come up with new, interesting ideas for exhibitions and community events,” said Emily Feazel, designer of exhibits and special events. “The museum is not stagnant and is ever-evolving and growing. We always love introducing new artists and opportunities to the Shreveport-Bossier area.”

When you think of museums, you may think, “adults only.” However, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery not only welcomes children — parents are encouraged to bring their young ones.

“Art museums are the perfect place to bring children. People think they should not start bringing their children to museums until elementary school, but that is not true. From a young age, you can talk to your babies and children about colors, shapes, the people they see in the paintings, etc. Introducing children to art and museums early is how we breed the next generation of art lovers and museum-goers.”

The Colony House of Flowers

Kyle Loyd, Owner The Colony House of Flowers prides itself on providing personal customer service.

“We want people to walk away feeling like we are family-owned and-operated,” said owner Kyle Loyd. “We care about each one of our clients.”

Loyd adopted that philosophy from watching his parents, who owned a local veterinary business for 44 years.

“They built a tremendous business with their clientele. I watched how they built their business. I want my clients to feel the same way — that we are hands-on.”

The Colony House of Flowers handles orders small and large, for events from birthdays to funerals to anniversaries.

“We oversee every order, whether it’s a $45 arrangement or a $100,000 wedding. We are 100 percent dedicated to each client. We want them to walk away happy, and with an incredible product that is of high quality.”

Best Local Sandwich AND Best Sandwich Shop: Doc’s Sandwich Shop & Deli

Leigh Ann Miller, General Manager

Being the new kid on the block is tough, but our 318 Best Local Sandwich also garnered top honors in the Best Sandwich Shop category.

Doc’s has followed the lead of its sister business, Lowder’s Bakery. General Manager Leigh Ann Miller said she thought the outcome was “fantastic. It’s nice knowing our customers thought enough of us and took the time to vote for us as the best.”

Miller said their menu consists of premium Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, and they use only the best-quality ingredients. “We try to give everyone the best experience possible.”

For more information, visit shreveportsandwiches.com.

Best Attorney: Ronald J. Miciotto

The verdict is in, and the Best of 318 Attorney for 2024 is Ronald J. Miciotto.

Admitted to the bar in 1977, he has earned a reputation as a tough advocate for his clients. He has been a past president and member of the Shreveport Bar Association, voted one of the 10 best family lawyers by the American Institute of Family Lawyers, a past member of the Shreveport Metropolitan Zoning Board, a past member of the Shreveport-Bossier Port Commission and a member of the Bossier Bar Association. This year, he was appointed to serve a four-year term on the Louisiana Disciplinary Board by the Louisiana Supreme Court. More information is available at miciottolaw.com.

Best Healthy Eating Restaurant: Counter Culture

Jan Middleton, Owner

Since 1977, in a small location virtually across the street from Centenary College, Counter Culture has carved out a niche for itself in the healthy eating category. Jan Middleton bought the little store that could in 1984 and since then has taken her unique yogurt recipe, fresh fruit and fresh ingredients across Louisiana. Statewide, there are 12 stores, with plans to add more, plus shops in Gulf Shores and Rowlett, Texas. The secret to success, Middleton said, is, “We cook our own food, and it’s not expensive.” She said locals know who they are. “We’re a home-grown store and a Shreveport landmark.” Visit Eatcounterculture.com to learn more.

Best Veterinary Practice: University Veterinary Hospital

Megan Strickland, Practice Manager

What started as a small local veterinary clinic has grown into a regional center with a reputation for advanced technology and medical care for pets. While pets are the focus, Practice Manager Megan Strickland said, University Veterinary Hospital is driven to improve the lives of pets and their human families. “Truly, we’re in the pet business, but we’re really in the business of taking care of people through their pets. So, the fact that so many people have acknowledged us as practicing (the) best medicine is truly an honor.” What sets them apart, she said, is, “We have a set of doctors (so) that we can practice team-based medicine, so that you’re not just getting one doctor’s opinion. We do so much continuing education with our team. Smarter doctors, smarter nurses make great medicine.”

The Wellness Cottage, said Strickland, has been set up home-style, and it’s perfect “if you have a pet that’s really afraid of going to the vet. It’s just for those pets that get all worked up when they come to the vet.” For more information, go to uvhpets.com.

Best Gift Store: The Enchanted Garden

Deb Cockrell, Owner

The Enchanted Garden has been enchanting customers for 44 years, but owner Deb Cockrell still thinks that being recognized as the Best Gift Store is special.

“I feel so honored because my customers are so wonderful. Some of them have been with us for 44 years. I just really appreciate them. It’s just like family.”

She said the secret to the Garden’s success is always trying to find products and new things that customers don’t see everywhere. “We carry a lot of different and unique items. My brother, Dennis, makes beautiful Mardi Gras and fantasy masks, and we ship those all over. We carry a lot of unique Louisiana items.” Customers come from all over, and Cockrell said that Christmas is special when folks from Dallas and Fort Worth make the trek to check off their gift lists.

“People say it’s their happy place.” Visit Enchantedgarden.com to find out more.

Best Happy Hour: El Paso Mexican Grill

Javier Ochoa, Manager

These days, it’s easy to find a good Mexican food restaurant locally, but what makes one stand out? One factor is happy hour, and El Paso Mexican Restaurant scored tops in this category. Why? Manager Javier Ochoa has the answer: “Because we have the best margaritas. And we have great service. People come in here one time, and the second time, they’re becoming customers.” What makes the margaritas are the ingredients: different tequilas and techniques are used to create their crowd-pleasing drinks.

They use organic tequila, natural juices and lemons, and they even combine premium tequila. Expert mixologists have helped create their selection of margaritas, including how the drinks are served.

“When you see a great presentation, your imagination runs away,” Ochoa said. For more information, visit Elpasomexrestaurant.com.

Best Local Singer: Haley Brooke

Making it in the music business is a full-time job, and Haley Brooke has been at it since she was still wearing Mary Janes. She said she owes it to Shreveport Community Church, which she described as a “very musical church. I owe pretty much everything to the church. I grew up singing next to amazingly gifted singers and songwriters. I have been singing full-time for a living since December of 2013. It’s been a serious blessing, for sure, to get to do something I love and get paid to do it.” You can check out her work on Facebook and Instagram at iamhaleybrooke.

“I’m also on music streaming platforms … pretty much anywhere there is digital music available.” Be on the lookout for some changes coming at the end of this year, she said. “I’m trying to move more towards R & B. Ultimately, I want to be doing my own music. There’s not a whole lot of room career-wise when it comes to being an original artist. It’s such a hard business.

“More than ever, we need artists that are out there that don’t have vulgar language and it’s all about sex and whatever. I want to be a positive role model.”



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