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Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Food and Dining PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30


1. Faithful Pilot Café & Spirits

2. DJ's Steakhouse

3. Antonella's Pizzeria & Ristorante

3. Granite City Food & Brewery

3. Johnny's Italian Steakhouse


Best restaurant, fine dining -- The Faithful Pilot Cafe & SpiritsBest restaurant

Best fine dining

The Faithful Pilot Café & Spirits

It can seem tough in this town sometimes for us foodies. Sure, chains are ubiquitous anywhere you go in the country. But for the Quad Cities' secret little society of gastronomes, the ratio here seems tilted a bit too far in favor of the usual, the expected, the unsurprising - the previously frozen. I have nothing against the Applebee's of the world, really. They clearly have a market hungry for their product. But give me attention to detail, attention to nuance, and above all, attention to flavor. Mix that with a locavore consciousness, fresh, seasonal menus, and something really interesting to fill the stemware. According to the voters in this year's Best of the Quad Cities poll, the place to find all of these things is The Faithful Pilot Café & Spirits in LeClaire - which won the "best restaurant" and "best fine dining" categories and placed in the top three for seafood, desserts, and Sunday brunch. After a recent date-night visit with my girlfriend (not our first, by any means), I can attest that Reader voters know what they're talking about.

Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Civics and Government PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

Local elected public official

1. Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert

2. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba

3. U.S. Representative Phil Hare


Best local elected public official

Mark Schwiebert

A bold prediction: Mark Schwiebert will not win this category next year.

The Rock Island mayor since 1989 (and a city council member for eight years prior to that), Schwiebert opted to not seek re-election this year, and his last day as mayor will be May 4. And he promises to take a "six-month sabbatical" from boards and commissions, he said last week.

Best local elected public official - Rock Island Mayor Mark SchwiebertBut you should take that with a grain of salt, as Schwiebert was appointed to Governor Pat Quinn's Taxpayer Action Board in March, and he attended its first meeting on Friday. Methinks that perhaps Schwiebert isn't the retiring type.

He's been immensely popular in Rock Island: In his first campaign for mayor, he garnered 72 percent of the vote in the general election, and since then he's never gotten less than 82 percent.

Asked about his accomplishments, the mayor cited things both inside and beyond Rock Island: the regional partnerships that advocate for the Quad Cities as a whole, public/private partnerships such as the city's revolving-loan fund and the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, and the reinvention of downtown.

He struggled when asked about things that didn't get done, but he eventually expressed disappointment that Rock Island's population hasn't grown as much as he would have liked.

He acknowledged that The District of Rock Island - formed in 1992 - might need to reinvent itself again because of the difficulty in satisfying "a constant appetite for something new."

But he stressed that city's downtown has done amazingly well for an amazingly long time. "It's really had a good run," he said.

And, of course, the same could be said about Schwiebert.

- Jeff Ignatius

Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Media PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

TV news station


2. WQAD Channel 8



Local media personality

1. Paula Sands, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Pat Leuck and Dani Howe, WLLR 103.7 FM


Local TV news anchor

1. Gary Metivier, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Jim Mertens, WQAD Channel 8


Local TV reporter

1. Fran Riley, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Chris Minor, WQAD Channel 8


Best local TV reporter - Fran RileyBest local TV reporter

Fran Riley

Raised in Boston, KWQC-TV6 reporter Fran Riley says he grew up "wanting to be a play-by-play guy" for Major League Baseball. "I realized if I wasn't going to be the next Mickey Mantle, the next best thing would be the next Curt Gowdy." Those interested in a reporting career, meanwhile, would do well to strive to be the next Fran Riley. Voted "best local TV reporter" in the Reader's poll, Riley - who joined Davenport's KWQC team in 1994, after 14 years with Rock Island's WHBF - graduated with honors from Boston's Emerson College in 1975, and has been a broadcasting success ever since: Among his accolades are a United Press International Award for "best feature sports story" and "best sports reporting in Illinois," an Associated Press citation for "best feature reporting," and, with KWQC, two awards for religion-themed stories, given by the prestigious Wilbur Foundation. "Faith, and my beliefs as a Christian, are very, very important to me," says Riley, "so it means everything to have been able to do some of these stories and be recognized for them." With daily shooting assignments for Channel 6's newscasts, there's "not a lot of time to fool around," but Riley finds the demanding job intensely rewarding. "You get opportunities to meet some absolutely fascinating people," he says, and in covering such news events as last summer's flooding, "you also see things that really cause a lot of heartache in people's lives. I'm always amazed by people's determination and resiliency, and their desire to bounce back. It's rather uplifting." As for advice for those considering their own reporting careers, Riley says, "The more you can do in terms of versatility, whether it be news, sports, operating a camera ... the more you can offer a business, the more valuable you are to them." Thank you, Mr. Riley, for being valuable to Quad Citians for 28 years and counting. For more on Riley, visit the reporter's biographical page on

- Mike Schulz

Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Recreation PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

Bowling alley

1. Bowlmor Lanes

2. Miller Time Bowl

3. Fargo Dance & Sports

3. Milan Lanes


Best bowling alley

Bowlmor Lanes

True story: During my first week of full-time Reader employment, our publisher - a truly radical guy - treated the staff to a late-afternoon get-together at Davenport's Bowlmor Lanes, voted the area's "best bowling alley." It was a great surprise and an even greater time, though you're probably already well aware of Bowlmor's charms, as the venue has been a Quad Cities institution now for nearly 70 years. "My grandfather built it in 1940," says owner Trent Lorfeld, who has worked in the family business since 1975. "You know, we just try to keep the place clean, and to keep it interesting for everyone." Mission more than accomplished. With brightly colored bowling murals above the 20 available lanes (brand-new lanes were installed last summer), and niceties such LCD screens, newly improved electronic scoring, and 10 big-screen TVs against the back wall for "media bowl" ("On Friday and Saturday nights, we'll play either sports or dance videos"), Bowlmor is a much-loved destination for all ages and talents - "families, neighborhood people, league bowlers, college kids ... everyone," says Lorfeld. (Bring your IDs, though, if you want to enjoy the warm, inviting lounge.) And whether you bowl your best in the morning, afternoon, night, or late night, Bowlmor's hours - opening at 9 a.m. most weekdays, and staying open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday - make for ideal entertainment anytime, "especially in a down economy," says Lorfeld. "You can bring your family here and have fun and not spend a tremendous amount of money." Bowlmor Lanes is located at 2952 Brady Street, and more information is available by calling (563)324-3595.

- Mike Schulz

Firefighters Set for Hockey Matchup PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 07:26

The Quad City Fire Hockey Team, composed of more than 25 firefighters from local fire departments, will play at the i wireless Center on Friday, April 3, at 3 p.m. The team will host the Chicago Fire Department in the contest prior to the Quad City Flames' 7:05 p.m. game with the Chicago Wolves. From each special ticket package sold, $7 will be donated to the Robert Juarez Relief Fund. Juarez is a 20-year veteran of the Davenport Fire Department who was paralyzed in the line of duty after falling from a ladder.

The Quad Cities Comic Book Convention will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at the Ramada Inn, 3020 Utica Ridge Road in Bettendorf. Admission is free. Dealers from three states specializing in comic books new and old, toys, and related collectibles will be on hand to buy, sell, and trade. For more information, contact Alan at (309)657-1599 or visit

Young musicians from around the Quad Cities area auditioned for judges on Sunday, March 22, as they vied for the opportunity to perform with the Quad City Wind Ensemble and earn money toward music education in the 21st-annual Quad City Wind Ensemble Young Performer's Solo Competition. For more information about the Quad City Wind Ensemble, visit

Rivermont Collegiate will present Much Ado About Will: A Celebration of the Words of Shakespeare on Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in Becherer Hall Auditorium on the Rivermont campus. Antics from A Midsummer Night's Dream serve as bookends to this journey through Shakespeare. This production will be performed by Rivermont students in eighth through 12th grades. Tickets are $5 at the door, and the event is open to the public. Rivermont is located at 1821 Sunset Drive in Bettendorf, off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club recognizes the temptation of emotional overeating and the health problems caused by it. This is particularly timely in April, Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. With support and education from TOPS, weight-loss warriors can take steps to control those emotional cravings. Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, visit or call (800)932-8677.

The novel Monster Behind the Wheel and the poetry collection Attack of the Two-Headed Poetry Monster, both written by Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty, are now on the final ballot for Bram Stoker Awards for works published in 2008. The Bram Stoker Awards are presented each year by the Horror Writers Association, an international group that includes hundreds of writers, editors, publishers, and members of the film industry.

The Moline Public Library invites teens and adults to the Creating Connections Volunteer Expo on Saturday, April 18. The free expo will be held in the library's meeting rooms from 2 to 4 p.m.

Residents and organizations in northwestern Illinois and southeastern and eastern Iowa received $333,697 in fraternal assistance from Modern Woodmen of America members in 2008. Modern Woodmen members in these areas are organized into 69 local chapters (called "camps") and 27 youth service clubs. In 2008, area Modern Woodmen members contributed 20,927 volunteer service hours to their communities.

The Musser Public Library in Muscatine will host the Iowa Egg Council's 2009 White House Easter Egg display throughout April. The 19 decorated eggs in this display were entered in the 2009 White House Easter Egg Decorating Contest, held during the 2008 Iowa State Fair. This contest invites Iowa artists to decorate an egg to depict a special feature, theme, icon, or location in Iowa. The winning egg is then sent to Washington, DC, to be displayed at the White House during the Easter season.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can register through April 10 to attend the sixth-annual Earth Week Fair on Saturday, April 18, at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 Fourth Avenue in Rock Island. The fair is open to scouts and the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scouts can visit booths and participate in activities to work toward several environmental badges. Separate workshops will also be held for Boy Scouts and Junior Girl Scouts to earn all of the requirements for their "Geology" and "Rocks Rock" badges. To register, visit and click on "Earth Week Fair" and "Scout Registration."

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