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  • Article

    Best Middle Eastern Grocery - Droubi's

    Meandering the aisles of Droubi's with Arabic music in the air, one can imagine wandering through a Lebanese open market, only with air-conditioning. The aroma of constantly baking bread that is sold still warm, a myriad of bulk herbs and spices sold...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bartender - Fred Turton

    Legend has it that Fred once threw a couple out of Rudyard's because they ordered only water. All right, so it sounds a little harsh. Actually, it's comforting. The world is full of bartenders who are willing to give you free water, listen to your st...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Exterminator - Bugs & Burglars

    The founder, owner, operator and sole employee of Bugs & Burglars is Roy Law Elliot, a Houston native who has also been, at one time or another, the owner of Doctor Doom's Garage of Mystery (a legendary Volkswagen repair facility in Berkeley, Califor...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Wine Store - Christopher's Wine Warehouse

    There is nothing quite like Christopher's in Houston. The creation of the husband-and-wife team of Christopher and Donna Massie, this 6,000-square-foot, single-venue operation offers rare wines that sometimes are allocated by growers and importers to...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Russian Grocery - Moscow Market & Deli

    This cheery newcomer, way out west on Memorial at Kirkwood, is targeted at Houston's 40,000 plus Russophone community. Even if you know less about Russia than, say, a Republican ambassador to Moscow, you can still profitably explore the spiffy, well-...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Roses - Jana's Flowers

    Before Metro decided to tear up Main and Fannin at the same time, we used to like to run down to the flower district north of the Medical Center to pick up a dozen roses if we were in love, in trouble, or both. But now that the area resembles Kosovo,...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Wash-and-Fold - Fairview Cleaners

    For decades this Montrose mom-and-pop institution has been doing what everyone hates to do: your laundry. Get your clothes in by 7 a.m. and you can have them back by 5 p.m. Your shirts will be on hangers, and everything else will be neatly folded and...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Thrift Store - Value Village

    The two most important words when it comes to thrift store shopping are quality and quantity. Value Village is both. Those of you who are pros at this kind of shopping will fall to your knees and thank the thrift gods above that this store exists. Ro...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Asian Grocery - Dynasty Supermarket

    You can tell right away that Dynasty Supermarket is an authentic Asian market when you walk in, because of one telltale sign: It stinks like fish. There to the left are the fish swarming in overcrowded tanks, and in another tub crabs crawl over each ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bookstore - Bookstop

    Sure, we're the types who would tend to go for the independent bookshop over the big chains, but there's good reason to praise this subsidiary of Barnes & Noble. Unlike, say, the shopping center housing the River Oaks Borders, which ended up plowing ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Tofu/Soy Products - Whole Foods Market

    The problem with soy is that it's kind of boring in its natural state. That's why you need to get to a place that will take this brilliant source of protein and transform it into countless mouthwatering, delicious edibles. Okay, so Whole Foods doesn'...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Grocery Employee - Dawn

    Her name tag reads "Dawn," and she's always there with a smile. This very small Fiesta is in a transitional neighborhood, so the customers cross a wide income range, with a variety of demands. On one busy weekend, Dawn was working all by herself. The...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bookstore for People Who Don't Read - Menil Collection Bookstore

    All freedom-loving people would be inspired to walk into the Menil Collection Bookstore and see, front and center on the largest display rack, an art-book cover photograph of a very lifelike sculpture of an erect penis -- and directly across from the...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best African Art Store - Black Heritage Gallery

    Local artist Joan Bristow has works on display at Black Heritage Gallery, a venue she likes for its diversity. Bristow hails from Trinidad and paints images on silk. She is having some framed at the store, which is how we learned about the small spac...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Tattoo Parlor - Miss Fortune Tattoo

    So, your boyfriend went back to his wife? Your shrink's out of the country? Someone else won your Pulitzer Prize? For every reason you have to get a tattoo, there's a place in town that can do it. But if you wanna get inked right, we suggest you head...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Used CDs - CD Warehouse

    God only knows who would sell their copy of End on End by Rites of Spring, but aren't you glad somebody did? Because CD Warehouse had this kick-ass Washington, D.C., rock band priced at only $3.99, just one of the many treasures buried in this chain ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Newsstand - Globe News

    Mega-stands may come and go, but Globe is forever. In business since 1961, Globe News is not only the best, it's also the oldest. And it has the musty smell that a newsstand should have. Its selection covers the waterfront of publishing from newsweek...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Auto Repair - Montrose Tire & Automotive Center

    On the front end of the Honda Civic, at least a mid-'90s model, there is a splash guard that rides very low to the road. It frequently hits the pavement when being driven out of parking lots or up to concrete parking blocks. After a couple of years o...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Houston Astro - Octavio Dotel

    When Octavio Dotel came to the Astros from the Mets in 1999, he saw himself as a starter, not a reliever. As he kept getting driven from games by opposing batters last season, he still saw himself as a starter simply going through a rough patch. And ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Hear the Crack of the Bat (and of the Bones) - Harris County Senior Softball League, Bayland Park

    Beyond the well-manicured youth diamonds of Bayland is the always reliable Field of Dreams: the domain of the Harris County Senior Softball League. These participants, of course, also are kids, ranging from the tender age of 50 upward into the octoge...

    on September 20, 2001
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