How do you find the best in metro Detroit?

Well, if you're an MT staffer or fellow traveler, you keep your eyes peeled through the year for the new shop, the new trend, the odd observation, the old corner of our four-county neighborhood that could use a little more attention. And you ask your friends. In fact, you pester your friends to let you in on the little discoveries that they share with their closest friends. That's how many of our staff picks come about. And they're often about the little discoveries.

And then we ask you to add in what you know. And you give us a piece of your mind and share your finds. We thank you — more than 1,000 of you. And your fellow readers thank you.

This year, in our effort to continually uncover the area's absolute best, we pumped up the ballot; we asked for your opinions in eateries and in some other new categories across the four counties that we serve — Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw — from shores of Lake St. Clair to downriver, from downtown Detroit to Ann Arbor. This year's readers ballot adds more than 100 new discoveries.

And then we called in assistance, from our luchador pal, Bubba. Because in Detroit, the best doesn't come easy. You've got to wrestle for it.