Yes, Sophia Loren and Fabio are the best Italian dishes

Columnist Steve Lange says contest gets some creative, funny, puzzling and down-right weird answers.

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Right now, and through Nov. 30, you can go to and thoughtfully consider the categories in Rochester Magazine’s 23rd annual Best Restaurants contest.

Or, in the category of Best New Bar, you can write in "Hershey's Pumpkin Spice."

Either way.

Because every year, for the past 23 years, roughly 99 percent of the 2,000 or so voters earnestly contemplate the "Best Italian Dish" category.

But, every year, more than one of you write in "Sophia Loren." Or "Fabio."


This year, so far, is no different. Thankfully.

Here are some of the weirdest answers we've received so far.

Best New Restaurant: "We don't go out to eat. My wife is making me fill this out for the chance to win the $50 gift card."

Best New Bar: "Hershey's Pumpkin Spice."

Best Donuts: "The ones I did in the Kmart parking lot as a kid."

Best Food Truck: "The 2007 Dodge Quiche."

Best Dessert: "Gobi." "Sahara." "I can't choose just one. I love all tracts of arid land with less than 10 inches of annual rainfall."

Best Take-Out: "My tonsils, 1979."


Best Place To Take Kids: "Boarding school." "Summer camp." "Their dad's house every other weekend."

Best Chicken Sandwich: "Tuna melt."

Best Restaurant More Than 30 Minutes Away: "People drive at different speeds."

Best Catering: "Blanchett's engagement one." (We can only guess this is supposed to refer to Best Cate Ring. Maybe. We honestly don't know.)

Best Place For Vegetarian Food: "On top of my burger."

Most Romantic Restaurant: "My first kiss was in the Long John Silvers that used to be on Broadway. So I guess Long John Silvers."

Best Pizza Place: "Chicago." "Nw York." "Italy."

Best Bar Service: "I never get served when I go up to the bar. I think I'm probably really boring looking and the bartenders don't even see me."


Best Burger Place: "Between two brioche buns."

Best Italian Dish: "Sophia Loren." "Fabio." "The one holding the unleavened bread in DaVinci's 'Last Supper.'" (This may be one of our favorite answers of all time.)

Best Bar: "Pry."

Best Restaurant Service: "When they clean out the fryers."

Best Happy Hour: "Last weekend, when we turned the clocks back. I woke up at 8 a.m. but it was really 7 and I went back to sleep."

Best Cocktail: "The first one, with Tom Cruise."

Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.

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