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Whidbey Island businesses among the Best of Western Washington

El Cazador Mexican Grill and Catina staff are ecstatic to win Evening Magazine’s Best Of Western Washington. From left: Natasha Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez, Leo Barrera, Pepe Rodriguez and Jose Moreno. - Sara Hansen/Whidbey News-Times
El Cazador Mexican Grill and Catina staff are ecstatic to win Evening Magazine’s Best Of Western Washington. From left: Natasha Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez, Leo Barrera, Pepe Rodriguez and Jose Moreno.
— image credit: Sara Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

Several Whidbey Island businesses made their mark in KING-5’s Evening Magazine The Best of Western Washington awards.

El Cazador Mexican Grill and Catina won Best Mexican in the Great Meals category, and owner Natasha Rodriguez said she couldn’t be happier. She attributed the success to all the customers who’ve supported the restaurant all these years.

“Our long-time customers who are like family to us helped spread the word,” Natasha Rodriguez said.

El Cazador had one of the most competitive categories because 198 Mexican restaurants were vying for the title, she said.

“As an owner, seeing my dad’s vision come together is amazing,” said owner Jose Rodriguez.

This year, the restaurant partnered with Toppins, Blue Fox Drive-In and The BBQ Joint to make sure customers voted for their establishments.

Blue Fox Drive-In won for Best Indie Theater; Toppins Frozen Yogurt won Best FroYo, and The BBQ Joint was runner-up for Best Barbecue.

Other Whidbey Island businesses include Les Schwab Tire Centers, which won for Best Tire Shop; Pickles Deli won Best Sandwich Shop; China City was a finalist for Best Chinese and Whidbey Island Roller Girls was a runner-up for Best Roller Derby Team.

“We’re ecstatic and very thankful for the customers,” Toppins owner James Croft said. “It just shows what a team can do, and how Oak Harbor can do this together.”

Croft said the wins are for the town instead individuals. Now that Oak Harbor made a great showing on Evening Magazine, hopefully it will drive more business during the summer.

“Oak Harbor deserves to shine in the state too,” Natasha Rodriguez said.

Working together with other businesses was the key to success, she said.

Now that the restaurant won the title, she said her staff is energized and excited from the win.

 

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