Sigel's Fine Wines and Great Spirits
Smaller specialty stores have better and more thorough wine selections, and froufrou grocery stores have more eclectic stocks of microbrews, but two things count in a good liquor store: convenience and sauce. That's why you can't go wrong with this Sigel's location across from Old Town. An empty bottle's throw from Central Expressway, this ample store thankfully arranges its stock according to alcohol's two primary colors--clear and amber--making it easy to find what you're looking for. Should you require, there's plenty of mixers to be had, and for those big, bad, cherry-popping voodoo daddies who like to party like it's 1995, you can stock up on cigars as well. And perhaps best of all, it's only a short stroll from the Lovers Lane DART station, for those out there who need a designated driver during the day.

Best Place to Buy Kitchen Gadgets as Seen on TV

Sur La Table

Sur La Table
There's more than one way to juice a lemon. And watching the plethora of culinary programs on KERA and Food Network, you can glimpse them all: the old-fashioned glass citrus juicer, Martha Stewart's wooden reamer, Stephan Pyles' aluminum Mexican lemon juicer. All are available at Sur La Table, as are tons of other gadgets used daily by the celebrity chefs on the tube (and, maybe, monthly in noncommercial kitchens). The large brick store on Travis Street just off Knox houses tiny ginger graters, olive forks, steel cocktail whisks, sheets of bamboo for rolling sushi, butter warmers, pie dough weights, zesters, ice crushers, cookie presses, mandolins, mortars and pestles, dozens of sizes of pastry brushes, sake sets and even wine glass charms so drinkers can find their own glass even if they've already indulged a little. Sur La Table also has a huge selection of cookbooks and a popular culinary arts program, so you can learn to use these little gadgets you'll no longer be able to live without.

Want a stove with enough oomph to melt your pots and pans? One with a door so stout you can stand on it? Industrial-weight kitchen stuff is, er, hot, and great for reheating leftover takeout food. These guys have it in spades--refrigerators that look like they've been yanked out of catering services, dishwashers so quiet you have to put your ear up to them to make sure they're running, vent hoods that will muss your hair and suck up that two-alarm fire in your omelette pan. In short, manly machines.

Dinner parties are stressful enough without worrying whether some bozo is going to break one of the Depression glass goblets you inherited from Great-Aunt Nona. Save the worry for the menu and restock your pantry with discontinued and overstocked glassware from Crate & Barrel. The prices are minuscule compared to the chain's regular merchandise (we recently picked up some classic martini glasses for a buck apiece). We're not promising you won't be upset if one ends up broken and ground into the dining room rug, but at least you won't have to explain to Mom about the now incomplete set of family heirlooms. That is, unless the rug was part of your inheritance. In that case, Crate & Barrel carries cheap, yet chic rugs as well.

Hidden among the lox and bagels and knishes and white fish salad and potato pancakes and a dozen other dishes that are done New York-right here is a sandwich that only repeat customers at Gilbert's are menu-savvy enough to order. It's the meatloaf sandwich, and it must be ordered on rye bread with brown gravy on the side. It's tender, it's juicy, it's flavorful--it's all you could ask from a piece of meat that is not exactly steak. Add fries and try not to feel guilty. You'll be in true cholesterol heaven. The Gilbert family has been serving authentic deli delights since 1987 at its Preston Forest location. Come early next year the three Gs will be headed north to their new Addison digs on Belt Line Road. No problem for us--as long as they bring the meatloaf.

Almost every inch of the sidewalks around the tiny space inside Marioly's shop is filled with fresh cut flowers available by single stem or in bushlike bouquets. It's like a flower market scene from My Fair Lady only without Audrey Hepburn singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly." And though carnations, roses and the like are available in florist quality at about grocery-store prices, our favorites are the slightly exotic bunches featuring tiger lilies, snap dragons, spider mums and gerber daisies. At about half the price a florist would charge, you'll have enough spare change to buy a vase or basket you'd like to actually use again.

Er'Go's outlet just off Stemmons and Motor Street proves there's never enough of a good thing. Only open on Saturdays, the candle retail company's outlet offers a variety of sizes and scents at about 50 percent off store prices. Though not all scents are available on a given day in every size, it's still the easiest way to find a favorite flavor, be it a travel version in a tin cup, a free-standing pillar or ball or a poured candle in a cut glass jar. The outlet recently moved across the circle from its old location to a larger space, which means more room for browsing and, hopefully, even more candles. It still won't be enough.
Dallas Farmers Market
The downtown farmer's market has more to offer than picking up fresh fruit, browsing potted plants and gawking at expensive wooden furniture. Several of the shed vendors also sell potted herbs ready for planting in the garden or in a terra-cotta strawberry jar. From lemon mint to Italian cilantro, single pots to gallons, the herbs are healthier and less expensive than the chain nurseries. The selection's better, too. And you don't need to be Martha Stewart (or have her support staff) to grow herbs for cooking, making potpourri or just to prove you can actually nurture a plant. No hydroponics needed.
We are not talkin' anything but registered massage therapy here--the kind that can promote circulation, reduce stress and possibly build the immune system if your belief system will take you that far. Rose Ernst has been quietly plying her trade in Lakewood for the last 20 years, using aromatherapy, a deeper variation of Swedish massage--whatever works to get more flexibility in your body and greater awareness in your mind. Her $85 sessions are supposed to last an hour, but with the stress levels she sees, with the misalignments she readjusts, you're done when she's done. So shut up, lie still and enjoy it.

Barnes & Noble Mockingbird
You know how these big new bookstores do us. They open with all kinds of promise; they're fancy; they have real book people working there. That lasts about six months. Then it goes downhill; they hire idiots, and it's like everything else: Nobody knows nuthin', they ain't got it; go back to Amazon.com where you came from. The difference here is that the huge new beautiful bookstore at Mockingbird and Airline, a few doors down from La Madeleine, is a joint venture between B&N and the SMU bookstore. There's a big section at the back for faculty authors. There is some oversight by the university. Maybe the connection with SMU will be enough to preserve the store's literate soul.

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