Of the five Dallas locations and three in Denton County, this Lower Greenville store is the flagship, offering the entire gamut of the hard stuff as well as 1,500 brands of wine, ranging from the best produced by Texas wineries to imports from all over the world. If it's beer you're stopping in for, reserve some time to look over the 100 or more brands, ranging from domestic to imported to microbrew labels. Bottom line is that wine is the specialty of the house, proven by the fact that Goody purchasing director Dick Rick Jr. annually travels throughout Europe, South America and Australia to buy the best of the best.

This category is about quantity. Of the rows of chocolate Super Target sells, which include your standard Halloween-sized bags of Almond Joys, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars and the like, there is one deal that will make your eyes pop out: Super Target, the bigger and more upscale version of regular Target, sells a Toblerone bar the size of a fire log for next to nothing. We're talking 14.1 ounces of pure Swiss-made, almond nougat chocolate ecstasy for $4.99. If the triangular-shaped treat isn't your taste, 3.05-ounce Lindt bars can be found for $1.79, and bigger still Cadbury bars, weighing in at a belt-busting 4.05 ounces, go for just $1.29.

Remember the scene in Mallrats where Brodie and T.S. head to the "dirt mall" for a little spiritual cleansing and wind up having their fortunes told by a three-nippled Priscilla Barnes? Well, this place is a little like that; we've never actually visited this flea market's fortunetellers, and there are several, but we're taking it on faith one's gotta have something special up her, ahem, sleeve. If not, there's still plenty o' plenty to keep you occupied from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday--when this joint is open, which means it must be special--from rows of "retailers" peddling "leather" apparel to the dude selling samurai swords (fun for the kids!) to the furniture outlet loaded with stuff we might actually buy, were this 1994. Our fave destination here is the guitar shop--prices so reasonable we bought a National steel and don't know how to play it--but we're also fond of just spending a day without spending a dollar, though the booth selling retro bumper stickers for stoners did get us to cough up a quarter. The dust here got us to cough up a lung.

Listen up, fatty, you've had a lifetime of hard work hefting longnecks and munching chicken-fried anything, so why not put that well-earned gut to a little use and try your hand at the Japanese art of sumo wrestling? (That is, if you can call two really big guys bumping bellies an art form. We would, at least to the wrestlers' faces.) Thanks to this game-rental company, even svelte folk can get in on the action. Texas Sumo provides padded vinyl fat suits--complete with helmets with top-knots--mats and referees for pretend sumo bouts, popular for birthday parties, corporate gatherings and the occasional church group. (Must come in handy for settling those thorny doctrinal debates.) The company also rents a wide array of inflatable carnival games, climbing walls and such (see www.texassumo.com). But for our money, bumbling around in fat suits promises the most fun--just perfect for that big formal wedding reception.

The folks at Zeus have taken issue with our fondness (OK, fetish) for Titan Comics; see only the short piece on its bossman, Jeremy Shorr, to confirm their suspicions. But, see, we love Titan for the comics; it's a fanboy's paradise, a wet dream for those whose erotic fantasies find Power Girl going at it with Black Cat, and meeeeee-ow. Zeus isn't that kind of place, and it just took us awhile to get past that; it's the dork's privilege, if not birthright, to be a little...nitpicky. Actually, we love Zeus, especially come Christmastime or whenever a friend's birthday rolls around; we hang out with people who like comics- and movie-related action figures and board games, and Zeus has plenty, alongside the latest issues of Alias and Detective Comics. We've dropped plenty of coin here on old toys, too--that Captain Kirk doll we had when we were 12, for instance, which now sells for a week's salary (worth every penny...and $20 bill).

Remind us again: What exactly makes Dallas the "buckle" of the Bible Belt? Granted, when it comes to vice we're no New Orleans--our food isn't nearly that good--but when you consider the availability of nudie bars, porn shops and illicit slots here, it ain't exactly Vatican City either. Case in point: Dallas-based Mutuals.com Inc. this summer launched its Vice Fund (www.vicefund.com), a mutual fund devoted to investing exclusively in tobacco, alcohol, gaming and defense stocks--i.e., the growth industries. We can't speak to the wisdom of their investment strategy, but their honesty, at least, is refreshing.

Whole Foods Market

We begrudgingly part with our secret: When we're headed out to a party and don't have time to cook, we stop by Whole Foods, race to the deli, grab a large container of traditional hummus, book it over to the bakery, snatch a large loaf of rustic Italian bread and head for the checkout line. For $10, you get a classier version of potato chips and French onion dip and something less expected than tortilla chips and salsa. Even when we've splurged for the large sizes, we still have never made it back to the car with leftovers. Unless you count smudges of chickpea in the corner of the bowl and a few crumbs in the bag leftovers.

Beading Dreams

If you've ever found the perfect bracelet, but it just wasn't the right color, or a pair of earrings that matched the new dress you bought, but they weren't the right style, then you know how frustrating jewelry-buying can be. But at Beading Dreams, no such problems exist. Here, you choose the color. You choose the style. You even choose how much each particular piece of jewelry will cost. And you make it yourself. So you not only get a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, but you get the sense of accomplishment that you created it with your own hands. But if your particular hands are more like two left feet, don't worry; Beading Dreams offers classes on everything from basic jewelry-making to stringing on silk to advanced wire wrapping and forming. Classes change with the seasons, though, so call or go by to get a complete schedule.

The Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, allowing us to keep in up-to-the-minute contact with friends, family and associates around the globe. The only downside to all the instant chatter is its lack of intimacy. For those who still enjoy the old-fashioned art of writing by hand, a good pen makes the experience all the more pleasurable. In Dallas, Penwright is the best place to find a quality pen. Of course, Penwright sells the Rolex of pens--Mont Blanc, but informed pen connoisseurs appreciate the store for its wide selection of elite brands, which include Waterman, Parker, Delta and Stipula.

Best Place to Buy an Accordion and, uh, Food

Fiesta

Fiesta

There are plenty of reasons to shop at this grocery store, not the least of which are the fresh tortillas for which regulars line up from dawn till dusk. But we come back here for all kinds of reasons: the fresh tomatillas (we make a superior home-cooked salsa; you can't have any), the various Mexican ingredients for which Stephen Pyles pines (he doesn't use brown sugar, only canella), that authentic vibe of a store where whitey's too dumb to tread. And we love a place where you can buy an accordion from the merchants up front; we went shopping one day for a little mole sauce and came home sounding like Flaco Jimenez without the talent.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of