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  • Article

    Best Garish Ties - Tie Rack

    Like dead fish, the ties hang unhappily, wrapped in cellophane, suffocated. They look for a way out; they yearn to be bought. Every now and again, a Jerry Garcia tie -- harmless as a watercolor painting -- leaves the store. Otherwise, the ties remain...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Use of Taxpayer Dollars - Truck Enforcement Unit, Houston Police Department

    The stuff of public art, hike-and-bike paths, youth programs and parks are pleasant municipal amenities, to be certain. Even residents who don't personally partake of such things can still feel good about having them as part of life in Houston. But a...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Retro Goods - Flashback Fun-tiques

    The giant Big Boy in the window beckons, "Hello, remember me?" So you open the door and cross the threshold from modern-day Montrose into a bewilderment of decades. Old gas pumps with bulbous signs stand across the room from heavy rotary-dial phones ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Retro Furniture - Metro Modern

    That's right. Point Five no longer has a monopoly on the '50s furniture market. Jerry Gibson's new shop has all the modern classics, too: chairs by Eames and Bertoia, an Eero Saarinen table, a Paul McCobb desk, a Herman Miller sofa, a Frank Lloyd Wri...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bowling Alley - Diamond Lanes

    Of all the gall. Houston goes nuts when Bob McNair lands a pro football team for the area, or when Grand Prix racing adds the city to its circuit. But there's not even a tax subsidy or muted shout ready when Diamond Lanes operator Jimmy Young attract...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Thrift Store - Salvation Army

    Most thrift stores are dusty-musty pits that you brave in hopes of making the Big Score; that is, finding that perfect, soulful piece of clothing at an insanely low price. By comparison, the Salvation Army on Washington makes a strenuous effort to be...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Salad - Carraba's

    When Johnny Carraba wanted to pay tribute to a couple of family members, he bestowed upon them a true culinary honor in our book, the Johnny Rocco salad ($10). The name is a combination of Carraba's dad, Johnny, and good old Uncle Rocco. The salad is...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Professional Wench - Lucenden "Loosey" Crotch

    Her real name is Catherine Douglas, and she's a Florida-born actress and comedienne, making a living doing what she loves best. But when she slips on her corseted milkmaid dress, pushes her freckled cleavage up to her chin and puts on a choppy Scotti...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Banjo Teacher - Anton Ullrich

    Full disclosure: We haven't exactly traipsed around town sampling the services of the city's presumably multitudinous banjo instructors (check the Yellow Pages -- that "multitudinous" bit was a joke), but we have shopped widely for one of the semi-ar...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place for a Free Massage - The Sharper Image

    Remember when bars used to cater expansive free buffets to entice people to walk through the door? Remember how you used to go there, order a Coke and eat like a wild pig? This is the same philosophy, only with less guilt. While your parsimonious par...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Music Store - Soundwaves

    To be the best, a music store has to carry a vast selection. For those whose tastes run all over the board, you can find everything from your favorite Jello Biafra or Henry Rollins spoken-word CD to Peter Allen's At His Best. You also will find every...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place for a First Date - Mi Luna

    Dating is like ordering tapas: You try a whole bunch of different things and you hope you get something you like that agrees with you and doesn't make you sick. Mi Luna is a fun "first date" -- it's like a fancy mall food court, because you each can ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Former Soviet Union Grocery and Deli - Russian General Store

    Now that there are several stores catering to the large and growing Russophone community of Houston, it's possible to pick the best one. This little spot, located in an obscure strip center in southwest Houston, is a true general store in the America...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Random Act of Kindness - J. Mark Davis

    There's no telling where Cynthia Flood and her two children would be living today if they hadn't crossed paths with Mark Davis. Last October, Davis read a story in the Houston Press that recounted how Flood's $250-a-month apartment in the Fourth Ward...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Used CDs - Wherehouse Music

    It kills us to let this secret out, but Houstonians with good taste already know it: Not only does Wherehouse Music have the most impressive collection of used, mostly pop CDs, arranged nicely and in a customer-friendly way (in alphabetical order and...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Orange Juice - El Charro Taqueria No. 1

    Well, hell. The alarm failed you again; the sun's already long up, importing sweat through the panes and overpowering the asthmatic window unit, and somehow -- hard to remember exactly -- you're hungover. Again. You can tell even before you rise from...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Cake Shop - Goodness Cake House

    Pandan, also called screwpine leaves, is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its floral flavor and intense green hue usually enhance rice and pudding dishes. But at Goodness Cake House, pandan also makes a surprisingly good cake flavor, ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Get Impressive Art Cheap - Glassell School of Art Fund-raiser and Auction

    Well, okay, $3,000 isn't cheap. But for, say, a drawing by James Surls or a painting by Vernon Fisher -- both of which would likely fetch at least $5,000 elsewhere -- it's a bargain, to be sure. Held every spring (the next one is May 4, 2001), the Gl...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Public Make-out Place - The underground parking lot at Compaq Center

    Journey back to your junior year of high school. You just saw a movie while seated next to the crush of your dreams, with your feet propped up on the back of the seat in front of you. Your hands touched in the giant tub o' popcorn. Happiness shot str...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Veterinarian - Southside Place Animal Hospital

    The ancient house ferret, Bandit, rummages among the boarding cages filled with loved ones. Pepi, a black mutt abandoned by his owners because his hind legs were paralyzed, bounds four at a time about the premises. Kate is back for another week's vac...

    on September 21, 2000
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