Runner-up: Don Porter, The Depot, Long Beach, Wash.
Honorable mention: Michelle Pierce, Doogers Seafood & Grill, Warrenton
Kendall Padgett-McEuen, who works at Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro, is repeating as Reader’s Choice’s Best Server.
Padgett-McEuen won last year as a server at the Bistro’s younger sister restaurant, Carruthers, where she worked since its opening in August 2016 and her husband Wade was sous chef. For the past nine months, she has exclusively been with the Bistro, where her husband is now head chef.
“It’s very surprising, and I’m incredibly honored and grateful,” Padgett-McEuen said of the honor. “I don’t suppose any of my tactics have changed.”
She shares the winner’s circle with Cory Teubner, who took home Reader’s Choice’s Best Bartender honors. Padgett-McEuen credits she and her coworkers’ popularity with the owners allowing employees to be themselves.
“I believe that the encouragement to be ourselves and interact and react is unlike a lot of other establishments,” she said. “There isn’t a script. It’s very candid. I think people can see that and appreciate that there are real people interacting with them.”
Padgett-McEuen moved to Astoria as a teenager from Santa Cruz, California. She moved to Seattle for several years before returning about 11 years ago to Astoria, where she met her husband. Before Carruthers, she worked at T Paul’s Urban Cafe.