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Vote for the best potty!

An online poll was aimed at finding the best bathroom with sparkling-clean, sweet-smelling potties.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 19:22 IST

Call it the Toilet championships.

A bathroom supply company sponsoring an online poll aimed at finding America's best bathroom has narrowed the field to five sparkling-clean, sweet-smelling potties.

A Michigan bistro, a Rhode Island seafood house, a New Jersey casino, an Illinois airport and an Ohio restaurant are the finalists in the contest, which will name a winner in April based on the number each receives in admittedly nonscientific online voting. "It's a big compliment, surprisingly," said contest organizer Jessica Bensten. "People get really excited."

Sponsored by Cintas Corp., manufacturer of Sanis restroom supplies, the America's Best Restroom contest was started in 2001 to spotlight businesses that maintain "exceptional hygiene, with style" in their potties. Nominations can be made by anyone, and about 30 are received annually, she said.

Organizers do research about the businesses but don't actually try out the chosen throne rooms before selecting five for the online poll. "We have nominations from all over the place. It would be too hard," said Bensten.

The nominees, in turn, put their best foot forward- assuming it does not have toilet paper stuck on the bottom- by submitting photos of their restrooms and information about the business, which are then posted on the contest's Web site along with photographs so people can vote.

To vote, go to www.bestrestroom.com

This year's fab five:

-All Seasons Bistro, in East Lansing, Michigan, which was cited for its streak-free mirrors, old-world floor tiles and fresh paint job. "This is one of a few public restrooms I would allow myself, my wife and children to use and not worry about it," the nominator said.

-Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, in Atlantic City, whose restrooms _ with their stainless steel sinks, choice of hand towels or dryers and warm wood tones _ "spare no expense."

-Hemenways, of Providence, Rhode Island, a landmark waterfront restaurant whose restrooms are clean and have "simple elegance and charm."

-Quad City International Airport, in Moline, Illinois, which has facilities that are "clean, simple, pleasant and exactly what you want in an airport washroom."

-Wendell's Restaurant, in Westerville, Ohio, whose sports-themed restrooms are "praised for being neat, clean and having lots of towels and even mouthwash."

"I've changed my menu 25 times in six years, but I don't get nominated for that, I get nominated for the restroom," joked Mike Joseph, owner of All Seasons Bistro. "But I'm flattered to the max."

Joseph, who calls his wife "the queen of clean," has his staff check on each restroom three times a night to make sure all's clean. "Have you ever been to a place with a dirty bathroom? What does it say about the kitchen?"

Michael Facenda, a spokesman for Borgata, said the hotel-casino designs its public restrooms to be "stylish and upscale." "That decor provides an element of surprise for our guests in an area that is traditionally spartan," he said.

The winner, which will be announced in April, gets a plaque for the business and a place in the "America's Best Restroom Hall of Fame."

There's no award for Number Two.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 18:54 IST