BEST OF HOUSTON® 2004:

Big Dig
The rest of the country can nip and tuck, but Houston is getting a full-body overhaul. In the past year, light rail finally got up to speed, Mayor Bill White began reconstruction on his newly adopted city government, downtown’s heart and soul got its groove back, and our very own “big dig” got under way at U.S. 59 and Shepherd. And we’ve braved the dust cloud to unearth the city’s best City Life, Arts & Entertainment, Goods & Services, Sports & Recreation, Dishes & Drinks and Restaurants for 2004’s Best of Houston edition. It breaks down everything from the city’s best new construction to its best demolition — not to mention the best road trip away from all the racket, the best reason to stay in Houston during the summer, and the best reason to live downtown amid all the plowing, hauling and guys in orange vests. Our heavy-duty guide to Hugetown includes loads of new and improved highlights, like the practical — yet pimpin’ — best place to get a tint job and a taco. Our Best of Houston team has scoured the sprawl from Stafford to the Heights, from Needville to West U, for every bit of best there is, and we haven’t skimped on the time-honored stuff you really need to know, either: best pizza, best margarita and, of course, best bar. We’ve also asked construction-weary Houstonians how they survived the tangled traffic and messy streets, so take a detour and read about Jimmy Coronis, whose deli feeds the work crews, or the Zotos brothers of St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin, whose downtown business survived light rail construction. Push up your sleeves and tug on that hardhat. Pick up a shovel and rev up the tractors. All signs point to a big, brawny 2004 Best of Houston up ahead. -- Wendy Gilmartin
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