Best Of :: Shopping & Services
The Briar Shoppe, a perennial Best of Houston® winner in tobacco-related categories, has all the things a tobacco shop is supposed to have: a great selection of cigars in nice humidors, a wall stocked full of pipe tobacco and tobacco for rolling your own cigarettes, and the complete spectrum of smoking supplies. But what sets this place apart is the staff, ready to tell you anything you want to know and sample just about anything worth sampling, whether you're buying or browsing and whether the store is empty or busy. On a recent trip, we wanted to try something a little different than just some cigar with a crazy name, and the saleswoman suggested nasal tobacco to snort. We were skeptical at first, but the woman walked us through the process, tapping out a fine powder on our hand and instructing us to snort. As always at the Briar Shoppe, we were steered in the right direction.
We like to think of Megaplexx North as the "Walmart" of pornography. A destination for perverts and couples the city over, this particular location in the Megaplexx chain takes its name to heart. Toys and strange apparatuses ensconce one section of the store, with a menacing swing as the centerpiece. One feature we really dig is the vintage magazine collection. They really don't make women the way they used to, and the DVD section is the stuff of legend, with everything from classic Jenna Jameson masterpieces all the way to new stuff from...you know what? We don't wanna incriminate ourselves. Check it out for yourself. Tell them "Eduardo" from the Houston Press says "Hi!"
Located in the heart of Montrose, this place is a twisting, turning, never-ending trove of antiques and furniture to fit any budget. With the relaxing sounds of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley in the background, cruise the aisles past a vast array of sofa tables, mahogany vintage mirrors, English cocktail bars and Victorian music cabinets. They've got all the usual suspects. But if you're looking for something a bit different, there's always the oversize tin pink flamingos, Scottish whiskey jugs — perfect for whistling into — and mid-century General Electric TVs for sale. The staff is ready to help you sort through the hodgepodge, and will even offer the occasional 50 percent-off sale, perfect for barely-legal folks looking to deck the apartment out with a bit of old-timey style.
Jen Payne was with another realty company when we went to her (twice, two years in a row, on opposite sides of the city), but both times she managed to find apartments within our price range that met our expectations and suited our changing needs. We had virtually no problems at either place, and the problems that did pop up were handled efficiently and with consideration. It's a gift to know how to point people toward what they want and avoid the duds, and Payne has it.
If you're tantalized by astrology but just a wee bit embarrassed about it, it's time to take your curiosity out of the realm of gypsies and freaks and go all academic. Enroll in the Houston Institute of Astrology, which is taught by a real college instructor, Kim McSherry, and structured like "higher" learning coursework: Astrology 103, etc. McSherry teaches English at HCC, and we're thinking her students there are exposed to a higher plane of thinking, just as her astrology students at HIA get a heavy dose of Greek and Roman mythology. But hey, if you're into asteroids, that's extra credit.
K&H always goes the extra mile. (Pun? What pun?) No matter the issue, owner Markus Drunk makes sure all your needs are met — even if you mention you're looking for an aftermarket stereo or a late-model, gently used European car. He's also happy to refer you to equally conscientious — and honest — business owners. Best of all, customers need not pull in with a Jag to get lavished with special attention. If you work downtown, K&H will cheerfully shuttle you to your office. If not, the waiting room is the classiest in town. You can chill on the leather couch with a flavored coffee, watch TV, or go online on the PC for customers.