Best of Denver

Photos: Ten more Best of Denver categories that are tough to win twice -- and the current champs

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Number 10: Best Radio DJ -- Alisha Sweeney
Open Air debuted on Halloween 2011 at the frequency formerly occupied by the legendary KCFR, and the Colorado Public Radio-affiliated station has since established itself as one of the most free-spirited stations around. Its popularity is due not only to its programming, but also to its on-air personalities. The best among them is Alisha Sweeney, whose morning show features a well-curated mix of alternative, indie and classic artists, from Feist and New Order to David Bowie and Brian Eno, that would appeal to anyone. And her banter between songs is just as charming as her selections.
Number 9: Best Chinese Restaurant -- East Asia Garden
Some of the best cooking in Denver comes from restaurants that are completely off the grid -- those with generic names, facades as forgettable as last night's one-night stand and featureless dining rooms with clashing color schemes. East Asia Garden is that kind of restaurant. You've whizzed by it on Broadway a dozen times, never giving it even a cursory glance. And that's a mistake, because it turns out the most amazing home-style, traditional Chinese food in the city. Here, among the usual suspects, are dishes like tofu with black eggs, pig's ears and cucumbers, cross bridge rice noodles (good luck finding those anywhere else in Denver) and Chongqing chicken, which is very much the food equivalent of a firecracker: a shovel of blistered, volatile fried chiles tangled with equal amounts of Sichuan peppercorns and cubes of fried chicken, hot enough to make your mouth numb for days. But the unadventurous have an out: Along with fried pig's liver, the menu includes benign dumplings.
Continue to keep counting down ten more Best of Denver categories that are tough to win twice -- and the current champs.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts