The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington may have changed the voting process for the 2014 Rammy Awards in a move to lend more credibility to the trophies, but the trade group has not forgotten about you, the diner who ultimately pays the bills in the hospitality business.
This year, the public will select winners in four categories, including a new one, "favorite fast bites," which was RAMW's effort to extend an olive branch to the food truck industry after a bitter battle over vending regulations. Alas, the new voting panel did not see fit to include a food truck among the five finalists (although, admittedly, the judges had to select from a narrow list of candidates: Only four mobile vendors are RAMW members, a prerequisite for a Rammy).
Instead, the finalists for the favorite fast bites award are all bricks-and-mortar types, some of which haven't even been around as long as a few veteran trucks. Take a look at the nominees:
The other categories up for public vote are "favorite gathering place of the year" (nominees include Bar Pilar, Bistrot du Coin, Cashion's Eat Place, Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle and Tune Inn) and two separate ones for brunch.
Finalists for upscale casual brunch of the year:
Finalists for "everyday" casual brunch of the year:
You can vote in any or all categories at the restaurant association's Web site or at Washington City Paper through April 27. The winners will be announced on June 22 at the Rammy Awards Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
To encourage support for the brunch finalists this year, RAMW has introduced a new contest, the Best Brunch Passport, which asks diners to visit a nominee each weekend from March 29 to April 13. If you tweet a photo of your brunch using the Twitter handle @RammyAwards or the hashtag #RammysBrunch will automatically be entered into a contest to win two tickets to the 2014 Rammy Awards Gala.