A tall drink of water hailing from the original O-Town, Olympia native CHAD QUEIROLO is—to cop a line from Ray Davies—a well-respected man in the Seattle music scene. First as a booker for the late, lamented Breakroom and currently one of those guiding the Showbox, Chad is a beloved character among local indie-rock types. A natural-born collector—anything from rare Devo memorabilia to weird sideshow ephemera—Queirolo's tastes are nothing if not unconventional.
Best Place to Buy Vinyl
Earth River Records in the U District; it's kind of basement-creepy and claustrophobic, but if you ask politely (and specifically), you may get to go into the secret room that is an amazing archive of absolute finds. I found a bunch of Devo and Elvis Costello bootlegs in there. I was very happy.
Best Independent Grocery Store
Hands down, Admiral Thriftway in West Seattle is the best. I love the prime rib and the Admiral salad. It's fancy, and fancy is fun.
Admiral Benbow Inn—R.I.P.—had a great one. The closing of the Benbow is the tragedy of the year. My lady friend and I ate prime rib there almost every Friday. It was the best deal in town—$13 for a piece of meat as big as your face, a salad, mashed potatoes, and a roll.
Best Independent Clothing Store
I haven't bought a stitch of clothing since Fast Forward closed their doors. Is Barney's independent? They're apparently having a tremendous sale right now.
Best Place to Buy Boots
I decided I would once again become a dirt-bike rider and bought a very tough pair of steel-toe boots at the Army Surplus store near Home Depot. I went riding one time.
Best Tattoo Parlor
Tattoos are for delinquents.
Best Vegetarian Restaurant
Cafe Flora has great beignets and some other gems. I'd appreciate them even more, if they only had bacon.
Thai Tom in the U District is perfect. It's better than any meal I've ever had in Thailand.
Best Mexican Food
Muy Macho in South Park. Even when they were closed for six months of reparacion, they had a truck out back in the lot that was kick-ass. I always get three carne asada tacos, chips and salsa, and beer. The name alone is awesome.
Best Local Band
I listen to Minus the Bear. With song titles like "Just Kickin' It Like a Wild Donkey" or "Potato Juice and Liquid Bread," how could you go wrong? I also like Bloodhag. I just saw them at the Bellevue Public Library, and it was amazing. Buy and watch their video documentary, and you will lead a happier, funnier life.
DJ Cherry Canoe. She says I'm her "dog." She plays super songs that make people happier, just like Bloodhag. She's also taking me to an all-midget wedding this summer in California. How funny is that?