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  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Pounded Yams - African Variety Food Store

    "The world was silent except for the shrill cry of insects, which was part of the night, and the sound of wooden mortar and pestle as Nwayieke pounded her foo-foo," writes Chinua Achebe in his 1959 novel Things Fall Apart. He is describing a scene as...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Dog Whisperer - Pete Stewart

    Got a pampered pooch with persistent problems? We heard about Pete Stewart's Good Manners Dog Obedience School through a friend who owns three huskies. Figuring someone with a pack of dogs oughta know, we checked it out for ourselves. Like most "pare...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Combination Pawnshop and Wedding Chapel - Kipperman's Pawn Shop

    A scratchy tape of "The Wedding March" blasts from a boom box in a room in Kipperman's Pawn Shop, the walls of which are painted pink and gold with a mural of flowers splashed across one wall in hues of Mercurochrome and MD 20-20. Owner Ted Kipperman...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Vintage Clothing - The Way We Wore

    Like connoisseurs of fine wine, vintage shoppers have their high standards. While those in search of the perfect merlot might sniff the cork, hold the glass up to the light and sip with discernment, vintage clothing shoppers must know: Are there any ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bakery - Acadian Bakers

    A few weeks back we heard a woman walk into the bakery and say she was new to the neighborhood and needed to find a good place to order a cake for her mother's upcoming birthday celebration. If there were such a thing as the dessert jackpot, this wom...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best African-Mexican Food Store - Mex-African Foods

    Here's an only-in-Houston experience that defies easy explanation. The owner dresses in authentic Nigerian garb, and the music pulses with the beat of big African drums. And the place sells African, Caribbean and Yucatecan cooking ingredients. If you...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Cheese Selection - Spec's Liquor Warehouse

    If they don't have the kind of cheese you want, and it's available in the United States, they'll find it and order some. That's one mighty big if, though, with a selection in the neighborhood of something like 500 different cheeses, with 588 ("weighe...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Stuffed Animals - Animal Creations

    Lions and tigers and bears -- oh, my! You'll find these creatures plus monkeys and turtles and alligators at Animal Creations. All sorts of fuzzy friends await you in this plush menagerie. Like the jungle, Animal Creations is home to a varied and div...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Yerbera - Yerbera Guadalupe

    From an unassuming shopping strip off Bellaire Boulevard, Francisco Garza offers customers "cures" for their heartbreaks and health woes in the best healing tradition of Mexico. His yerbera is chock-full of the teas, herbs, soaps and votive candles ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Watch Repair - Wheeler Watch Clinic

    For more than 30 years the Wheeler Watch Clinic sat near the grubby corner of Wheeler and Main. Now it's nowhere to be found on Wheeler. Don't worry. It kept the name, but moved down the street more than a year ago. Now the modest little shop sits at...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy African Clothing - Citalis

    Vitalis Onu recoils at flowing, overelaborate garments that prompt onlookers to query, "Who's that prince?" For Onu, the creator of the fashion line Citalis, the key is graceful simplicity. That principle is evident throughout the native Nigerian's v...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Rent Anime - Planet Anime

    For selection, you just can't beat Planet Anime. This Rice Village store has more than 2,500 tapes for rent, and many for sale, though approximately 400 were destroyed by the flood. Looking for Cowboy Bebop, BubbleGum Crisis, Martian Successor Nadesi...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Consumer Advocates - Houston Area Mental Health Advocates

    It's a widely held view that inadequate state funding for the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County is to blame for the steady collapse of the local public mental health system. That's certainly how MHMRA incessantly spins t...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Car Wash - Minit Man Car Wash

    This business has been in operation since 1949, a pivotal year in automotive history. It was the first year Detroit issued brand-new models after the war. Back then, the average family car was almost a decade old, and Americans finally had money to p...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Mexican Bakery - Taqueria del Sol Restaurant & Authentic Mexican Taco House

    After spending way too much money on Day of the Dead bread at a bakery inside the Loop last year, a friend-in-the-know pointed us to this bakery, fused to the side of a taqueria near Hobby Airport. Order your Day of the Dead bread early, as this popu...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Boot Repair - Herman Shoe Repair

    "We doctor shoes. We heel them, we save their soles and attend their dyeing." So goes the motto of Herman Shoe Repair, a mom-and-pop outfit run out of a converted old house in the Heights. The place, owned by veteran boot repairman Herman McCarty, is...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Pet Pharmacy - BCP Veterinary Pharmacy

    We don't know about your pets, but ours don't like to take medication. At all. We have the battle scars to prove it. Instead of buying cases of first-aid ointment to heal all the wounds received while trying to administer medication to our asthmatic ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Asian Bakery - St. Honor Bakery

    For a bakery, St. Honor is located in a weird place: inside an Asian mall that is perpetually empty, its escalators moving and moving nobody at all. Never mind, though. Just head straight to the bakery on the first floor, with the window display of ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • 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
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