This longtime establishment has been a favorite with art collectors and galleries for years. Its clientele (including Rita Clements, Lupe Murchison, the Edith Baker Gallery, and Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs) ranges from serious collectors who need to preserve their expensive treasures to everyday customers who treat their children's art like original masterpieces. No matter what the customer request, Frame Masters can fill the need. What makes them such a hit with the society set is their attention to detail and the entire staff's excellent taste. If you have no idea how to frame something, owner Terry Nelson and his staff can always provide you with alternatives that showcase your art and pictures in the best of borders. The real selling point to this shop is its competitive pricing. You can consistently get a better deal on your framing needs compared with equally tony shops. They even beat some of the lower-end mass-market frame outlets.

Ducky Bob's has been in the business of renting equipment for parties and events in the metroplex for almost 30 years. It simply provides the best amenities for a throwdown. From simple requests for tables, chairs, and large-scale outdoor tents, to full-scale kitchens and supplies, this longtime Dallas institution (which recently purchased former rival Cannonball Party Rentals) is able to satisfy many of the best event planners in Dallas and Fort Worth. Call them for an estimate, and send us an invitation.
David Day Redenta's Garden
Sure, there are places with more selection and places with cheaper prices. But for charm, service, and originality, this corner mainstay in East Dallas deserves some credit. Specializing in organics, it has a great selection of herbs and perennials, plus all the natural fertilizers and pest controls you need to unplug from the chemical factory . Many of its garden accessories are locally made, including its great heavyweight cedar arbors and trellises.

The fashions never get stale at Arden B at the Dallas Galleria. Styles are typically geared toward women ages 18 to 40. The wide variety of looks--and competitive prices--make this the perfect place to shop for formal and casual occasions.

Used CD marts abound in Dallas, and merchants ranging from Wherehouse Music to CD Warehouse to Half Price Books have selections of used product. But where do the most fervent music lovers go to locate their much-desired discs? We point to CD Source in the Old Town Shopping Center, which boasts excellent selections of jazz, folk, blues, Latin, and other genres as well as good old rock and roll. CD Source seems to defy the cardinal rule of used CD shops, which is that people trade in crap they don't want, making for crappy selection and plenty of copies of Live's Throwing Copper.

This lovely store sells all sorts of unusual items for the garden and home. We saw some angel sculptures and large-scale urns that would make almost any outdoor setting look classical. It also carries a nice assortment of iron works and other small collectibles for home exteriors.
Piled in the row of glass display cases are thongs for every occasion and to match every mood. Workday thongs in black teem from the case alongside lacy and satiny bits in lavender, cobalt, peach, or lime for color coordinating with super slinky dresses and skirts. When the time is right, pick from the fierce jungle prints or the sleek black and red numbers, or maybe one in pink lace with little bows for a very good bad girl.
Blockbuster Video locations sprout up like so many mushrooms at nearly every Dallas intersection. But where, oh where, to go for all things urban, African, and hip? We recommend Alternative Videos in Fair Park, where you can pick from a range of selections, from Thelonious Monk videos to the Roots miniseries boxed set and a huge array of classic '70s blaxploitation flicks. The store is cluttered and can barely hold three people, but it has the most variety when it comes to the African-American persuasion. Open Friday and Saturdays only, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

Best handmade tortilla, soft drink, and voodoo market

Super Mercado Mexico

Fiesta and Danals offer bigger, brighter Mexican stores, of course, but Supermercado Mexico is still mecca to people who like their markets small and messy and who need to see their tortillas being baked. Cow heads can be found here, in season, along with an excellent collection of prayer candles, some of which tend to veer off in the direction of certain ancient West African gods associated with voodoo. This is definitely not Tom Thumb, which is why you may like it.

It pains us to write about this subject. For the last three years, every "Best of Dallas" winner in this category, as soon as it receives this accolade, has had its service go from exemplary to downright unpredictable. It's almost as if some sort of curse is attached. With this in mind, we want to state that we wish no ill on Dee & Hattie Cleaners. We wish them well for all the personal and friendly service they have provided their customers. We wish them success for the fine quality of dry cleaning they provide. Most of all, we wish that they can continue to get the mustard stains out of our shirts.

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