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Chowdown Showdown's Top Restaurants of 2011

From Mexican food to Chinese food to best burger joints, McHenry County Patch.com readers sounded off this past year on their favorite places to eat.

Who doesn't love a tip on a great restaurant they haven't already tried in the area?

That was the idea behind the Chowdown Showdown when Patch.com editors launched the feature this past year. 

Every week, we have asked readers to tell us where is the best place to get pizza, a burger, a bowl of chili, Mexican food — and the list goes on. 

It's a feature that is meant to be fun. It's gotten competitive, at times, for some loyal customers. But the main purpose is to give people some new ideas on places to try. 

With that in mind, we decided to list out all of the Chowdown Showdown winners, as well as runners up for that week, in recent months since the Chowdown went live.

If the restaurant is in a McHenry County Patch.com town — Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Cary or Algonquin — you should see a link to that restaurant's directory listing. That listing allows readers to rate the restaurant themselves and read any other reviews left by Patch.com users. 

  1.  140 Crystal Street in Cary
  2. , 230 W. Virginia St. in Crystal Lake

Runners Up: , El Molino in Carpentersville (not in McHenry County), Del Toro's in Huntley (which recently closed), El Niagra in Woodstock,

  1.  108 W. Main St. in Cary
  2. Trio Grille, 101 Franks Road in Marengo

Runners Up: , Red Mill in Woodstock, , , ,

  1. Chen's in Lake in the Hills
  2.  and Plum Garden in McHenry

Runners Up: , China House in Cary, Chen's King Wok, Green Garden in Woodstock, Lily Garden in Lake in the Hills, New China in Fox River Grove, China Dragon in Algonquin

  1. Tom's Farm Market in Huntley
  2. Riverside Bakery in McHenry 

Runners Up: Isabel's in Woodstock, Measuring Cup in Dundee (not McHenry County), Around the Clock in Crystal Lake

  1. Trio Grille in Marengo

Runners Up:  Buffalo Wild Wings, Thirsty Whale in Algonquin, , Wings and Rings in Crystal Lake, Wool Street Grill and Bar in Cary, Chubby's in Algonquin, D.C. Cobbs in Woodstock

  1.  in Lake in the Hills
  2. in Crystal Lake
  3. and Rice Asian Fusion in Algonquin 
  4. Runners Up: Bangkok Thai & Sushi in Algonquin, Golden Rolls in Woodstock

  1. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
  2. Pinemoor Pizza in Crystal Lake

Other Finalists: Nancy's in Lake in the Hills, Napoli's Pizza in Woodstock, Riverview in Algonquin, Papa Saverios, Sal's Pizza in Algonquin, Rosati's Pizza, Georgio's

  1.  in Crystal Lake  
  2. Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks 
  3. Salted Carmel Mocha from Starbucks
  4. Peach Melba from Cafe Firefly in Algonquin
  5. Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Panera 

  1. Georgia's in Algonquin
  2. Bruch Cafe in McHenry
  3. Richard Walker's Pancake House in Crystal Lake
  4. Benedict's La Strata in Crystal Lake
  5. Burnt Toast in Algonquin
  6. Windhill Pancake House in McHenry

Other Finalists: Andy's Restaurant, Tony's in Crystal Lake, Cary Family Restaurant in Cary

Other Finalists: Rookie's Pub, Cafe 20 in Marengo, Jameson's, Red Robin, Claussens in Union, Dante's in Algonquin, Duke's in Crystal Lake, The Spot in Marengo, Fire Bar and Grill

  1. Diced Fresh in Algonquin
  2. The Texan in Algonquin
  3. The Algonquin Sub Shop in Algonquin

Other Finalists: Village Squire in Crystal Lake, Portillos, Colonial Cafe, Butcher on the Block in Lake in the Hills, Brink Street in Crystal Lake

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