Java Joes. I suppose an argument could be made for Coffee Care, but the service is too inconsistent, and I've gone a few times and they had no bean to go. Jave Joes has a good crowd, reasonable prices, good coffee, a wide selection of good desserts -- plus Rick is pretty cool. The Beans has, or moreso had, nice decor, but the coffee bites, and it is hard to be much of a cafe with lame coffee.
Best Dining Experience
I see only two candidates on this one: Cafe Urashima and Giovanni's, and I'll have to go with Giovanni's by a nose. The number one reason for that is a more flexible and bigger menu, and slightly more refined ingredients, as well as better service than Urashima.
Best New Restaurant
Magic Lamp. The chicken kebobs here are extraordinary, very tender and juicy, and this place in general offers stuff unavailable elsewhere. The lunch special is really very good, and they have Shisha pipes available, so pretty cool there.
An ocean view on a teacher's salary, with apologies to the Japanese bikini girls at Managaha and Microbeach. Honorable mention goes to the ten minute commute to work, the clean air, low taxes, low stress, access to other Asian locales, Oleai walking path and cheap car insurance -- especially after living in NJ.
Both local papers are a bit lacking on tough questions and follow through, and the Tribune is pretty fair and not as tame as I would expect given the owner, but largely due to Zaldy Dandan's offerings, and the more vibrant letters section, I'll have to go with the Variety.
Best Cheap Date
A bottle of wine near sunset at Mt. Topachao.
Best Moderately Pricey Date
Dinner Cruise on the Jade Lady.
Best Expensive Date
Don't ask me, I'm married and a teacher.
Best Underutilized Location on Saipan
Mandi Spa at Mariana Resort. This place is fabulous. It has a gym, pool, hot tub, sitting pool overlooking the ocean, and a real Balinese decor. On top of that, hardly anyone is there -- hard to believe.
Godfathers. These guys are very liberal with the free shots, so I've gotta hand it to them. On top of that, the staff consists of a few attractive Filipinas. There is a large, and pretty vibrant crowd there fairly regularly, and a number of different bands.
Best Medical Facility
FHP. Drs. Tan and Lamar really helped me out, and if you are fortunate enough not to work for the government, this is the place to go.
Best Elected CNMI Official
The Big Beats continue to do classic rock with Ripken like consistency, and they tackle stuff that is unexpected, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Rage Against the Machine with Dennis doing his best Zach De la Rocha vocals. They aren't quite the same without Lovely, and her bad dancing, on vocals, but still the best around.
Best Dive Site
There is only the Grotto, despite the inherent dangers of this sucker that should never be forgotten. This one compares favorably with any dive in Palau even.