Best Of 2011

Best Open Mic: Foam Coffee and Beer

Once a week on Wednesdays, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Ellen Cook and Langen Neubacher make everyone feel like an artist. It's not an easy feat at an open mic, but the two are as enthusiastic and encouraging as any hosts in the city, and their delightfully soul-baring contributions to every session are critically icebreaking. You might hear from a few of St. Louis' best — and most reclusive — artists, or you might just hear some new folks trying out their tentative songs, but you'll always be among open ears and a relaxing environment. Foam should be having an identity crisis, as it's equally appropriate for coffeeshop sets, bar sets and dinner music, but it handles all of the above with aplomb. (To keep tabs on the open mic, check in on Facebook:

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