Best Shop Cat 2003 | Dallas Costume Shoppe | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
During a serious costume crisis, we visited the Dallas Costume Shoppe. We got great help and quite a bit of kitty lovin'. Skutr, a beautiful mix who looks part siamese and part short-haired Himalayan, greeted us at the door with a meow and a stretch. He accompanied us on our wig hunt, cutting figure eights through our legs and pawing for a scratch of the ears. The human assistance was quick and thorough, solving our costume woes, but it was Skutr who made us wish we had 10 more characters to dress, just so we could spend the day with the soft little affection-giver. Skutr is a master of promotions, making us determined to call again on the feline-friendly costume shop.

Put those hands up for the team of experts that can mend them like no one else. Doctors David Zehr, Arnold DiBella and Paul Rosco Ellis III compose said team, and it seems there's nothing they can't hand-le (sorry about that, but we just had to). These talented doctors/surgeons tackle trauma, sports injuries, pinched nerves, wrist injuries, vascular and nerve injuries, amputations, tumors and arthritis. And we thought we did a lot in a day. The special thing about these guys (Dr. DiBella is truly outstanding in this area) is that they explain things to patients until they understand. There's no quick diagnosis and exit, leaving the nurse to take over. The doctors take the time to show models, diagrams and demonstrations of injuries and are completely up front about what it will take to fix the problem. With parts as important to daily life as hands, that frankness and understanding are invaluable.

Usually, in Best of Dallas, we tell you where to find the good deals. But sometimes we just gotta tell you, look, these folks are the best, but it's gonna cost you. Pay it. It's worth it. That's the case with Silks Abloom. They're not the cheapest in town--far from it. But if you want a distinctive, stunning faux flower arrangement or greenery for your house, it's hard to do better than these folks. So don't blame us when you get the credit card bill, but do give us credit when your purchase earns you ooohs and aaahs.

Gotta love the work shirt. More specifically, we love the random name patches that adorn the work shirt. Vintage or new, the shirt should fit, but that's all we really require of it. It is, after all, all in the name. Petey, Mike, Renaldo, Tito, Leroy, Jessie, Martha. We found all of those and more at the little hole in the wall called Hollywood Five & Dime, located a few doors down from Bar of Soap on Parry Avenue. We've used them for place settings, party favors, gag gifts and on our clothing. While there, check out the teen pulp memorabilia, vintage-style sundresses and creeper shoes. The store holds enticements for those into tiki, rockabilly and punk (we still want those Sex Pistols magnets). But back to the patch. If you were born with a name you've struggled to hide for years, stop by Hollywood and pick out a new one to test out. After all, a seam ripper is a lot cheaper than a legal fee for the mutation of your moniker.

This one is as easy as it gets, since it appeals to the smallest subgroup out there: gays and lesbians who read comic books. Not too many people cater to that particular market. But Richard and the rest of the crew at Zeus not only do just that, they do it in style, with regular get-togethers at neighboring Mexican restaurant Ciudad for rainbow-flag readers. Both places work fine on their own (Zeus is one of the best comics shops in town, especially for people just getting into reading them; Ciudad's food is flip-out fantastic), but they're even better together.

We heard about one mom who was so desperate to cut her 2-year-old's hair that she took the scissors to him while he was asleep. Given that she wasn't a trained professional, and it was dark, and half the kid's hair was under his head pressed against the mattress, the result wasn't so great. We're not sure what happened after that, but someone saw a woman with a hair-impaired toddler buying knit caps at Baby Gap. Too bad she hadn't heard of Kids Kutz, started by two single moms who knew a thing or two about desperation themselves. Jackie Ricks, a licensed cosmetologist, and Martha Rehfeldt, a licensed barber/stylist, found themselves out of work in 1998 when Dallas' Little Things went out of business and their children's hair gig there was gone forever. Necessity being the mother of invention, Ricks and Rehfeldt opened their own place. Even if your kiddo isn't afraid of the haircut experience, there is still the "wriggle" factor to consider. Ricks and Rehfeldt put their moms' ingenuity to work with their scissors skills, providing elephant and tiger chairs for their small clients, and movies. "We instinctively feel the kids out," Rehfeldt says, "and decide how best to approach each one. We see the brave and boisterous, and the shy and scared. We've never had a bad experience yet." Word-of-mouth gets Kids Kutz most of its clients, and even some of PBS' Barney kids get coiffed there. Rehfeldt says the trend among 6- to 10-year-olds is the Harry Potter cut for boys, and the Olsen twins for girls. Kids Kutz has a regular chair for harried moms and dads who make the trip to Euless for the kids but need a quick trim while they're there.

We know you think of it as a women's shoe store, but hear us out. We recently held a garage sale. One couple made $300-plus. We saw this couple the next day. We asked them what they were going to do with their money. "We've already been to DSW Show Warehouse!" they exclaimed. Now, women who know their designer labels and who frequent this foot haven already know how great the place is, but they have super deals for men, too. Sure, you can go get your Kenneth Coles at department-store prices, but DSW is legendary for its top-name brands at below-reasonable prices. If you've got some found money, or even if you've got some cash you should spend on the water bill, consider making the trip to Lewisville. You'll go head over heels.

Say you and your pals have decided to go out for a night on the town. Say you've decided to drink responsibly and have opted to utilize one of the city's cab services. Then say that particular cab company proceeds to stand you up--twice. What do you do? Well, first you delete the company's number from your cell's phone book, then you check out Revolution Bike Taxi, a free-of-charge service offered in areas such as Deep Ellum, the West End and Lower Greenville. You'll get a free ride (tipping, of course, is encouraged) to the next watering hole, and you'll see parts of the city you never knew existed. Consisting, basically, of a bicycle with a cart attached to the back, Revolution taxis take the roads less traveled, the back alleys and the routes you couldn't find again if you tried. They're quick, economical and environmentally friendly, and their hospitable drivers help put the "joy" in joyride. (We love you, Bryan K.! And thanks for not splashing us in that puddle...)

We'll admit we went overboard when furnishing our kid's nursery, especially considering he won't be using it for, oh, the next six months to a year and won't even be able to see it clearly for the next little while. But, let's admit it, we deck out babies' rooms not for the post-fetal, but for the parents, who like to spend time in the prettiest, coziest room in the house. So, yeah, we could have gone to Babies "R" Us and got us one of them functional cribs and economical changing tables, but nothing was too good for our boy--and for his parents, who were tired of looking at that spare room and figured what the hell. We drove to Plano, damn near to Frisco, because we heard Be-Dazzled has a lovely assortment of furniture (we wanted a Bratt décor crib, and this is among the few stores in the area to carry them) and a great selection of fabrics from which we could design everything from blankets to bumpers to rocking chairs; our handiwork's now on display in the Louvre, by which we mean our house.

Founder Harry Coley isn't about to give up the secret ingredients passed down by his mother. Suffice it to say he's been whipping up his rich, creamy and mouth-watering custards since 1996, using more egg yolks than any recipe you've ever heard of. On the rotating menu are 48 flavors with eight specialties of the day, from the standard vanilla and chocolate to peanut butter, peppermint, green tea and Kahlua. Don't be surprised if you have to stand in a line that stretches outside the door; the wait's worth it.

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