Don't let the name of the place fool you. K&R Tire is a full-service auto shop. They'll do your oil change while you wait, often in the same amount of time it takes those other franchises that promise you oil, lube and filter in a jiff. The difference is that they don't pressure you into services you don't need. They don't have to. Business is good. You get to know the guys with the dirty fingernails, and perhaps more importantly, they get to know your car. If you're in a hurry, call first. They'll let you know if they can take you right away. And they don't pretend that 20 minutes is the same as 45. If it's going to take longer than they said, they'll come back and let you know, so that you can decide to bring your car back another time, instead of making you reread the same industry magazines in the waiting area.
Three Dog Bakery
This store is heaven for the yuppie puppy. Situated in River Oaks, it's a place where people spend $12 for a bottle of ChampPagne (which is Canadian spring water). The pastry case rivals that of Three Brothers Bakery just down the street. (Sometimes people get confused and go to the dog bakery.) They sell Scottie Biscotti, Ciao Wow Cheese Pizza and SnickerPoodles. Owners can sample the sugar-free snacks. The mini chocolate chip cookies look just like SnackWell's and are all natural (just like SnackWell's) -- but they don't taste anything like SnackWell's. (Trust us -- don't let the nice lady behind the counter fool you into thinking carob tastes like chocolate. It never has; it never will.) Not only are dogs encouraged to come into the store, they are indulged. One wall is lined with snout-high troughs of treats so four-legged customers can sniff and sample everything. The goodies are sold in pint-size ice cream containers. The owners remember every puppy's name and what treats it likes. If the pastry chef is icing a cake, she'll even let your dog lick the spoon.

Best Used BootsA pair of purple ropers from the '80s. A needle-nosed black pair with six impressive rows of stitching on the shaft. A '50s pair of toddler boots with nifty red inlays. White majorette boots with fringe. High-heeled fashion boots from the '70s. Elephant hide, rough-outs, skins from reptiles so exotic that they're probably extinct. Tony Lamas, Acmes, custom-mades and cheapo vinyl crap. Texas, distilled into its signature footwear.

SGP Racing in Deer Park isn't one of those places you drop off your car for a quickie oil change or brake check. It's the place where serious speed and performance enthusiasts might leave their cars for weeks for engine overhauls, ridiculous amounts of horsepower (600, anyone?) and new computerization systems. Their motto, "Performance, not promises," is apparently true, judging from the abundance of shiny Supras, 300ZXs and Hondas holding court in the SGP parking area any given day. SGP is as much a place to upgrade your ride as to talk noise with fellow adrenaline junkies about adventures behind the wheel. Step inside, and it's like walking into a dream world for modifying your ride-shiny rims, tight front ends and accessories galore. And if owners Mark Gust and Kyle Puckett don't have in stock what you desire, they'll order it for you. Or you can just flip through the catalogs and dream.
A pair of purple ropers from the '80s. A needle-nosed black pair with six impressive rows of stitching on the shaft. A '50s pair of toddler boots with nifty red inlays. White majorette boots with fringe. High-heeled fashion boots from the '70s. Elephant hide, rough-outs, skins from reptiles so exotic that they're probably extinct. Tony Lamas, Acmes, custom-mades and cheapo vinyl crap. Texas, distilled into its signature footwear.

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