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  • Best Lawsuit

    Ross Perot Jr. vs. Mark Cuban

    Conventional wisdom holds that rich guys don't like to air their dirty laundry in public, which is likely why the descendants of H.L. Hunt settled their family feud on the courthouse steps in May. It's also why we relished the opportunity to view the dirty laundry filed by billionaire Ross Perot Jr. against billionaire Mark Cuban in the form of… More >>
  • Best Make-Out Spot

    The AT&T Telephone Pole-Climbing Training Grounds

    Sure, a classy dinner, a bottle of wine and a movie says "romance," but it's not exactly the stuff of sweeping love songs. No heartbroken musician out there pens tunes about the time they had the fish at Central 214 and rented The Proposal. A song-worthy kiss comes with hints of danger, apprehension and excitement. Your heart will go pitter-patter… More >>
  • Best Wizard Gathering

    Texas Pinball Festival

    The Texas Pinball Festival will celebrate its 18th annual event this March, proving that even in the age of Wii and PlayStation, people still appreciate the craftsmanship and tactile experience of their favorite arcade games. A flat fee gets you in the door for unlimited play on a plethora of machines—for a much heftier fee, you can even take some… More >>
  • Best Fishing Store

    Barlow's Tackle Shop

    Dallas used to be dotted with little bait and tackle stores where you could acquire a little bit of equipment and a whole bunch of information just by stopping in. Now, of course, the huge category-killers like Bass Pro Shops and Academy have driven most of the mom-and-pops out of business. One of the interesting exceptions to that rule is… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Gary Fitzsimmons

    No small matter, balancing the public's right to a free and open judiciary against the privacy rights of the litigants who play within its courtrooms. But Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons has spent much of his public career trying to strike that balance. On July 26, he made court records available over the Internet, initially releasing more than 13… More >>
  • Best Scenic Drive

    Lakeside Park

    Driving through Highland Park can be a blissful experience. Something about passing by the well-manicured lawns, unbelievable houses, and beautiful women jogging behind blonde Gerber babies in strollers always takes our mind off of our car's busted air conditioner—for a moment. Tucked away in the middle of it all sits one of the area's most beautiful gardens: Lakeside Park. A… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (New)

    Borders or Barnes & Noble(Your pick)

    We tried to kindle up some way of choosing between Dallas' two national chain giants, but truth be told, deciding between them is like trying to pick your favorite leaf in the Amazonian forest. Similar discounts, similar in-store readings, similar selection of new titles. You got your coffee, your fairly limited selection of books on CDs. Oh, if only there… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Crafty

    Bows and Arrows

    It would be wrong to pigeonhole Bows and Arrows as just a craft haven. It's so much more than that. The multi-use space—owned and operated by visual artists, entrepreneurs and general Renaissance couple Adam and Alicia Rico—is at once full-service floral shop, art gallery, depot for handmade specialty gifts, and yes, a center for classes that range in topic from… More >>
  • Best Way To Avoid Tolls

    Launch Yourself Over The Gate

    On some level, 22-year-old Fort Worth-residing Yasmine Villasana had the right idea when, back in June, rather than slowing down upon approaching the exit toll booths at DFW Airport, she sped up, angled her car toward the between-booth barricades that, in her defense, kind of do look like ramps, and flew right over the tolls. Sure, she suffered minor injuries,… More >>
  • Best Skatepark

    Guapo Skillz Center Skatepark

    The days are long gone when crowds of kids gathered around a big ramp at Bachman Lake, sporting mullets and neon surf wear, to catch the city's best skateboarding stars in action. That's not entirely a bad thing, but what today's skaters have gained in fashion sense, they've largely lost in tight-knit community vibes that once coursed through Dallas' smaller… More >>
  • Best Flower Shop

    Cebolla Fine Flowers

    Luit and Jamie Huizenga or their employees are always up in the middle of the night making runs to D/FW Airport, because they import flowers directly from the bloemenmarkt, the Amsterdam Flower Market, rather than buying through broker/distributors in the United States. That makes Cebolla the place to go, not only for floral arrangements but for your own fresh robust… More >>
  • Best Way To Stick It To The Man (In Traffic Court)

    Gioffredi & Associates

    Never pay the fee for a red-light camera ticket. Just ignore it. The city can't prove you were driving the car, and all they'll do is send you warning letters. That's just one bit of free legal advice we—er, someone we know—happened to overhear in the waiting room at the law firm of John Gioffredi. That person we know had… More >>
  • Best Monday Night

    Music Movie Mondays at Good Records

    We're total music geeks, and in our DVD collection you'll find more than a few rock docs on our favorite bands, from the Stones to Wilco to Arcade Fire. The guys at Good Records are exactly the same, only they've decided to invite all of you over every Monday night to watch their music DVDs, eat popcorn and drink beer… More >>
  • Best Hydro-Spectacular

    Esplanade Fountain at Fair Park

    Dallas boasts many fine man-made bodies of water—but only one of them starts dancing when the beef song comes on. Purists will insist it's "Hoe-down," from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" suite, just one of the handful of Texas-themed songs that accompany the dancing water by Fair Park's Hall of State. The new fountains in the 700-foot pool, designed by the folks… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    Belmont Hotel

    There comes a time in the life of every relationship, be it a marriage or a couple in need of a jump start, when the two just need to get away without really getting away. Maybe the kids are too young to go too far, or Mom's got caretaker fatigue, or date night has gotten mundane. Sure, there is always… More >>
  • Homecoming Queens

    Homecoming Queens Filmmaker Israel Luna stirred up controversy with his Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, but just wait for the next two films in his “transploitation” trilogy. By Elaine Liner • PHOTO BY MARK GRAHAM With his “transploitation” indie film Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, Dallas writer-director Israel Luna earned the crown as this year’s king of underground cinema controversy. That was fine… More >>
  • Best Chocolatier

    Dude, Sweet Chocolate

    There is much to recommend about this Bishop Arts District chocolatier—from the truffles to the "Crack In A Box" bridge mix—but the "Chubby Nuts" are a good place to start: a mix of macadamias, soy nuts, almonds and hazelnuts, all candied, salted and covered in chocolate and powdered sugar. They're so much a staple of mad scientist-confectioner Katherine Clapner's repertoire… More >>
  • Best Pool

    Fraternal Order of Eagles

    You know the pool scenes in The Sandlot? The ones with the oh-so-hot Wendy Peffercorn teasingly applying suntan lotion to her sun-kissed skin from her perch above the 1960s community pool that the baseball-obsessed neighborhood kids go to only when it's too hot outside to play a game? Well, the pool at Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 3108, not… More >>
  • Best Consignment Store

    The Consignment Store

    The Consignment Store may have a generic name, but its selection is second to none. Items found throughout the 15,000-square-foot showroom in North Dallas are from manufacturers from around the world and include various dining tables, sofas, desks, armoires and beds. While most of the inventory is used and antique furniture, knickknacks and clothing are also for sale. In addition… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST SCENIC DRIVE

    White Rock Lake

    White Rock Lake… More >>
  • Best Cheesemonger

    Scardello Artisan Cheese

    You just can't rush cheese, and you're a fool if you try. Everything about cheesemonger Rich Rogers' Oak Lawn Avenue shop suggests a slower pace, from the rustic wooden tables and cheese boards to the cool light streaming in from outside. It'd take awhile to work your way through Scardello's cheese case, packed with edible science projects from around the… More >>
  • Best Small Public Garden

    Butterfly Garden

    While studying to become a Master Gardener, Janet Smith conceived of this lovely little public garden in 2005. It was completed two years later by the Dallas County Master Gardeners and garden designer Carmel Womack, and now blooms with all manner of flowers as a sustainable, year-round garden designed to attract butterflies. The plants are watered with a drip irrigation… More >>
  • Best Produce

    Sprouts Farmers Market

    If you haven't been to Sprouts, picture Whole Foods with better produce and prices. The wide aisles also allow for easy navigation of the fresh fruits and veggies, and the staff is always helpful and friendly. The Arizona-based company's business model was developed more than 30 years ago in San Diego as Henry's Marketplace, and its first store opened locally… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST OUTING WITH THE KIDS

    Dallas Arboretum

    Dallas Arboretum… More >>
  • Best Meet Market

    Albertson's

    Located right in the heart of Uptown, which, in case you didn't know, is where every pretty college coed in Texas is required to live upon graduating, the McKinney Avenue location of the Albertson's grocery chain is, without a doubt, the greatest grocery store in the entire metroplex—and not because it has a solid selection of produce and the same… More >>
  • Best Place For A Kids' Party

    Butterfly House

    The Texas Discovery Gardens now include a new wonderful butterfly conservatory that is basically a rain forest in a three-story greenhouse brimming with exotic butterflies. Elevated walkways allow guests to follow the butterflies all the way up into the tops of the trees. For $200 you can take 40 kids there for a unique and memorable birthday party. The thoughtful… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing Store

    Neiman Marcus downtown

    Taking the old-fashioned wood-paneled escalator up to the women's fashion floor at the downtown Neiman Marcus transports the shopper back in time, but only briefly. Because while she'll feel like Audrey, Marilyn or Jackie on the way up the glamorously lit moving staircase, once she spots row upon row of designer denim, edgy cocktail attire and new takes on designer… More >>
  • READERS' PICK BEST PLACE FOR A KID'S PARTY

    Pump It Up

    Pump It Up… More >>
  • Best Tourist Attraction

    State Fair of Texas

    After a tummy-full of corn dogs, fried what-have-you's and a gastro-churning spin on the Techno Power carnival ride, a State Fair of Texas patron could be forgiven for just wanting to have a sit for a minute. But that's not what State Fair of Texas patrons do. Because if you've come in from halfway across who-knows-where to see the best… More >>
  • Best Mardi Gras

    Bishop Arts Mardi Gras

    Last time around, it rained, and the Bishop Arts Mardi Gras still drew a crowd of "four to five thousand," according to organizers. So imagine what size mob will show up next year if the weather is good. Which it will be. The planning is already under way, with an evening masquerade ball slated for the Kessler Theater March 5… More >>
  • Best Tailor

    Unique Tailor

    Maybe you don't want to show up here with a big roll of tweed from your vacation in Ireland and tell them to whip you up a suit, but if your needs are more of the mundane alterations variety, Unique Tailor is the stop you want to make. It's a little place with an unflappable staff of tailors able to… More >>

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