Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23, 2020. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23, 2020. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Thank you for celebrating the Best of Federal Way | 2021 winners

See the list of winners below

One of my favorite Federal Way photos from the past year shows East India Grill owner Kabal Gill standing in the doorway of his restaurant, but at a distance, with gloved hands holding takeout orders in plastic bags while standing next to a handwritten sign reminding people to stay 6 feet away.

The March 2020 photo by Mirror reporter Olivia Sullivan captures the tenor of the times — a new way of socializing, eating and living in our city of nearly 100,000 people.

The photo shows more than just a standup guy who serves amazing food. The photo shows a longtime local business owner who had to innovate in order to survive.

Just like other local businesses, the Federal Way Mirror has faced similar challenges to keep the doors open. We temporarily suspended our print edition for nearly two months, starting in mid-March, and made some painful reductions in staff. The Mirror and our sister newspapers in the region continued to report breaking news on the pandemic during these historic times. Mirror sales manager Cindy Ducich’s creativity in the midst of all this uncertainty is a big reason why you’re still able to read these pages today.

Local readers and businesses have stayed with us through the pandemic, allowing us to return to print and deliver news that matters in Federal Way — and for that, we are grateful.

The following pages feature the businesses and people who were honored by readers as being the Best of Federal Way. Highlights include our Citizens of the Year along with a recap of each of the Mirror’s monthly Hometown Heroes from 2020.

Thank you for reading this special section and helping us celebrate the Best of Federal Way for the 23rd year in a row. Please support the local businesses listed here, whether they are winners or finalists.

BEST OF FEDERAL WAY 2021 WINNERS

FOOD CATEGORY

Asian: Panda Express (Winner)

Asian: Thai Bistro (2nd)

Asian: Jasmine Mongolian Grill (3rd)

Asian: Akasaka (4th)

Barbecue: Jimmy Mac’s (Winner)

Barbecue: KC Dees (2nd)

Barbecue: Billy McHale’s (3rd)

Barbecue: L & L Hawaiian Barbeque (4th)

Breakfast: Biscuits Cafe (Winner)

Breakfast: Browns Point Diner (2nd)

Breakfast: Black Bear Diner (3rd)

Breakfast: Village Inn (4th)

Coffee Shop: B&R Espresso (Winner)

Coffee Shop: Gravity (2nd)

Coffee Shop: Dutch Bros Coffee (3rd – tie)

Coffee Shop: Jump Start Espresso (3rd – tie)

Deli/Sandwich: Panera Bread (Winner)

Deli/Sandwich: Marlene’s Market & Deli (2nd)

Deli/Sandwich: Chopped Leaf (3rd)

Deli/Sandwich: Joe’s Deli (4th)

Family Dining: Azteca (Winner)

Family Dining: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (2nd)

Family Dining: The Rock (3rd)

Family Dining: Panera Bread (4th)

Ice Cream: Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream (Winner)

Ice Cream: Cold Stone Creamery (2nd)

Ice Cream: Menchie’s (3rd)

Ice Cream: Baskin-Robbins (4th)

Indian: East India Grill (Winner)

Indian: Can Am Pizza (2nd)

Indian: Maharaj Cuisine of India (3rd)

Italian: Mama Stortini’s (Winner)

Italian: Vince’s Italian Restaurant (2nd)

Italian: Pop’s Pizza & Pasta (3rd)

Italian: Olive Garden (4th)

Lunch: JP’s Tavern (Winner)

Lunch: Panera Bread (2nd)

Lunch: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (3rd)

Lunch: East India Grill (4th)

Mexican: Azteca (Winner)

Mexican: Puerto Vallarta (2nd)

Mexican: Cafe Rio (3rd)

Mexican: Los Bigotes de Villa (4th)

Pizza: Mod Pizza (Winner)

Pizza: The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen (2nd)

Pizza: Round Table Pizza (3rd)

Pizza: Pizza Pizazz (4th)

Salad: Chopped Leaf (Winner)

Salad: Panera Bread (2nd)

Salad: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (3rd – tie)

Salad: Marlene’s Market & Deli (3rd – tie)

Steakhouse: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (Winner)

Steakhouse: Black Angus (2nd)

Steakhouse: Tokyo Japanese Steak House (3rd)

Steakhouse: Cliff House (4th)

Take-Out: Panera Bread (Winner)

Take-Out: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (2nd)

Take-Out: East India Grill (3rd)

Take-Out: Burger Express (4th)

LIVING CATEGORY

Bar/Nightclub: Brickyard Pub (Winner)

Bar/Nightclub: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse (2nd)

Bar/Nightclub: Time Out Ale House (3rd)

Bar/Nightclub: JP’s Tavern (4th)

Chiropractor: Ball Chiropractic (Winner)

Chiropractor: Wolf Chiropractic & Massage (2nd)

Chiropractor: Life & Health Chiropractic & Massage Centre (3rd)

Chiropractor: NW Sports Rehab (4th)

City Leader: Susan Honda (Winner)

City Leader: Jim Ferrell (2nd)

City Leader: Dave Larson (3rd)

City Leader: Rebecca Martin (4th)

Community Volunteer: Shelley Pauls (Winner)

Community Volunteer: Betty Taylor (2nd)

Community Volunteer: Linda Kochmar (3rd)

Community Volunteer: Steve Mayer (4th)

Educational Facility: Pacific Christian Academy (Winner)

Educational Facility: Sylvan Learning (2nd)

Educational Facility: Brooklake Christian School (3rd)

Educational Facility: Federal Way Community Center (4th)

Local Arts Group: Centerstage Theatre (Winner)

Local Arts Group: Rosebud Children’s Theatre Conservatory (2nd)

Local Arts Group: Federal Way Symphony (3rd)

Local Arts Group: Federal Way Chorale (4th)

Local Charity/Non-Profit: FUSION (Winner)

Local Charity/Non-Profit: Multi-Service Center (2nd)

Local Charity/Non-Profit: Greater Federal Way Kiwanis Club (3rd)

Local Charity/Non-Profit: Historical Society of Federal Way (4th)

Massage: Toni Johnson @ You’re Wellness Massage (Winner – tie)

Massage: Life & Health Chiropractic & Massage Centre (Winner – tie)

Massage: Massage Envy (3rd)

Massage: LaVida Massage of Federal Way (4th)

Senior Living Facility: Village Green Retirement (Winner)

Senior Living Facility: Brookdale Federal Way (2nd)

Senior Living Facility: SHAG – Celebration Senior Living (3rd)

Senior Living Facility: Mill Ridge Village (4th)

Tutor: Sylvan Learning (Winner)

Tutor: Kumon Math and Reading Center of Federal Way (2nd)

Tutor: Treehouse Learning Center (3rd)

Tutor: Birth To Three Developmental Center (4th)

SERVICE CATEGORY

Adult in-home care: Comfort Keepers (Winner)

Adult in-home care: Home Well Senior Care (2nd)

Adult in-home care: Just Like Home AFH (3rd)

Bank: Columbia Bank (Winner)

Bank: Chase Bank (2nd)

Bank: Banner Bank (3rd)

Bank: Heritage Bank (4th)

Credit Union: BECU Credit Union (Winner)

Credit Union: Qualstar Credit Union (2nd)

Credit Union: Red Canoe Credit Union (3rd)

Credit Union: Sound Credit Union (4th)

Day Care: Pacific Christian Academy Early Education (Winner)

Day Care: Brooklake Childcare & Learning (2nd)

Day Care: St. Luke’s Daycare & Children (3rd)

Dentist: Dr Stacy Kanda (Winner)

Dentist: Dr Jonathon Einowski (2nd)

Dentist: Dr. Graham Eggar (3rd)

Dentist: Dr Ken Brossel (4th)

Fitness Facility/Location: #BestHour Fitness (Winner)

Fitness Facility/Location: Federal Way Community Center (2nd)

Fitness Facility/Location: Temple Fitness (3rd)

Fitness Facility/Location: Curves (4th)

HVAC: Allred Heating & Cooling (Winner)

HVAC: Federal Way Heating and Cooling Services (2nd)

HVAC: AAA Heating & Air Conditioning (3rd)

HVAC: Benjamin Heating And Cooling (4th)

Insurance Agent: Brady Nelson / State Farm (Winner)

Insurance Agent: Michelle Morales Farmers Insurance (2nd)

Insurance Agent: Jack Stanford / Stanford Insurance (3rd)

Insurance Agent: Carol Aliment Carr / Aliment Insurance (4th – tie)

Insurance Agent: Farmers Insurance – Soutsakhone Soukphaly (4th – tie)

Mortgage Agent Company: Jodi Longley, CMG Financial (Winner)

Mortgage Agent Company: Qualstar Credit Union (2nd)

Mortgage Agent Company: BECU (3rd)

Mortgage Agent Company: Fairway Independent Mortgage (4th)

Property Management: Byron Hiller – Coldwell Banker Danforth (Winner)

Property Management: Haven Property Management (2nd)

Property Management: Mark Freitas CCIM Commercial Real Estate (3rd)

Property Management: Targa Real Estate (4th)

Real Estate Agent: Vickie Chynoweth (Winner)

Real Estate Agent: The Goelzer Home Team – KW Puget Sound (2nd)

Real Estate Agent: Cheryl Presleigh (3rd)

Real Estate Agent: Cari Franklin (4th)

Residential Painter: Five Star Painting (Winner)

Residential Painter: Federal Way Painters (2nd)

Residential Painter: Brush N Roll (3rd)

Storage Facility: Public Storage (Winner)

Storage Facility: GarageTown (2nd)

Storage Facility: Century Square Self Storage (3rd)

Storage Facility: Life Storage – Federal Way (4th)

Teacher – Elementary: Kiersten Stimets, Pacific Christian Academy (Winner)

Teacher – Elementary: Myrtle Dickson, Pacific Christian Academy (2nd)

Teacher – Elementary: Illeane Taylor, PCA (3rd)

Teacher – Elementary: Elsa Aguilar, PCA (4th – tie)

Teacher – Elementary: Mandy Eldridge, Twin Lakes Elementary (4th – tie)

Teacher – High School: Renita Hall, Pacific Christian Academy (Winner)

Teacher – High School: Helena Cho, Pacific Christian Academy (2nd)

Teacher – High School: Lauren Hamilton, FWHS (3rd)

Teacher – High School: Wes VanDuyn (4th)

Teacher – Middle School: Rachel Johnston, Pacific Christian Academy (Winner)

Teacher – Middle School: Dee Cantellay, Pacific Christian Academy (2nd)

Teacher – Middle School: Yvette Gregg, Illahee Middle School (3rd)

Veterinarian: Cascade Veterinary Hospital (Winner)

Veterinarian: Banfield Pet Hospital (2nd)

Veterinarian: Crestwood Animal Hospital (3rd)

Veterinarian: Twin Lakes Veterinary Hospital (4th)

SHOPPING CATEGORY

Auto Detail: Jim’s Detail Shop (Winner)

Auto Detail: Brown Bear Car Wash (2nd)

Auto Detail: Pro Touch Auto Detail (3rd)

Auto Detail: Northshore Auto Repair (4th)

Auto Repair Shop: Northshore Auto Repair (Winner – tie)

Auto Repair Shop: Les Schwab (Winner – tie)

Auto Repair Shop: Eagle Tire and Automotive (3rd)

Auto Repair Shop: Federal Way Collision (4th – tie)

Auto Repair Shop: Sparks Car Care (4th – tie)

Doggy Daycare/Groomers: The Soggy Doggy (Winner)

Doggy Daycare/Groomers: Bath, Brush & Beyond (2nd)

Doggy Daycare/Groomers: Biscuits (3rd)

Doggy Daycare/Groomers: Petsmart (4th)

Jewelry Store: Federal Way Custom Jewelers (Winner)

Jewelry Store: Jeffery’s Jewelry Design Studio (2nd)

Jewelry Store: Fred Meyer Jewelers (3rd)

Jewelry Store: Kay Jewelers (4th)

Pet Store: Mud Bay (Winner)

Pet Store: The Soggy Doggy (2nd)

Pet Store: Petco (3rd)

Pet Store: PetSmart (4th)

Tire Store: Costco Federal Way (Winner – tie)

Tire Store: Les Schwab #378 (Winner – tie)

Tire Store: Federal Way Used Tire City (3rd)

Tire Store: Eagle Tire & Automotive (4th)


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To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

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