Best Hair Salon 2007 | Richard Hayler Colour Salon | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Ignore the fancy spelling of "colour"—it's a British thing—and don't let the hoity-toity address scare you. What we like best about Richard Hayler is its perfect blend of poshness and professionalism minus the snootiness. This woman we know—definitely not our spouse, no way—swears that their prices match or beat other high-end salons, and their colorists expertly mix up just the right shades of 300 or so reds and blonds that she has carefully painted onto her hair every five weeks or so. (It's just coincidental that the missus has red hair. It's all natural! Swear it.)
Bad experiences, whether painful or unfriendly, can prevent those in need of dental care from keeping up with regular check-ups. Avoidance doesn't do a thing for your choppers. We suffered dental phobias for far too long before finding Dr. Blake Williamson. His good nature, gentle approach, positive reinforcement toward our lax flossing practices and his super-friendly support staff provide us with the best dentist office experience we've had in our history of tooth troubles. The most up-to-date technology means no aches afterward, and the How It's Made videos in the exam rooms are an entertaining distraction. Bonus: The office offers free tooth whitening for life, if you keep up with exams. Now that makes us smile.
Moms need sexy lingerie too, and this Lakewood boutique is the place to find some. The artfully arranged array of underwear made by Hanky Panky is surrounded by picture frames, candles, jewelry and cute T-shirts bearing sayings such as "Motherhood's not for sissies." Even if you're not a mom, this is a cute shop for gifts for all of the girlfriends, sisters, daughters and mothers you're constantly wondering how to please on birthdays, Valentine's and Christmas. Or just gift yourself with some sweet new undies that could invite a little hanky-panky (maybe spanky) back home.
We made the mistake once of giving this one to Home Depot, and man did we hear about that. You think Elliot's is just a hardware store? Listen, the fans of Widespread Panic (another group we've pissed off royally) aren't as noisy as Elliot's devoted shoppers, and we'll admit: They're right. If you want slightly cheaper hardware, sure, the big-box boys might be able to help you out, but God help you if you don't know exactly what you want and where to find it, because it's unlikely anyone else will. Not so at Elliot's. You say you need one of those thingies that screws onto one of those others thingies, and you can describe it, but just not very well. Someone at Elliot's not only knows what the hell you're talking about but will also take you to the aisle where it's located and help you find just the right size. We've made many, many trips to Home Depot, usually about half of them to return thingies we didn't mean to buy in the first place. At Elliot's, one trip gets it right.
Sprouts may not be as flashy as Central Market or as hippie-dippy as Whole Foods, but what they lack in pizzazz they more than make up for in price and convenience. Have you ever actually tried to shop at Whole Foods or Central Market at 7 p.m. on a weeknight? You'd be lucky to get out of there alive without being trampled by ravenous Uptowners. But at Sprouts you can pick up the same Kashi cereals, vegetarian chick'n patties and tofu cream cheeses, often for less money, and be out of there in no time. Their produce selection may not be as extensive as some of their hoity-toity competitors, but their fruits and vegetables are always fresh and cheap, and their meals-to-go and bulk departments aren't shabby either. And if you're running low on dough, check out their weekly ad at, where they let you in on all the best deals. Bartlett pears at 69 cents a pound?! Check and mate, Whole Foods.
Good fly fishing shops seem to have a hard time in Dallas. Could it have anything to do with a climate that's Trout Hell? Against the odds, TailWaters Fly Fishing has us hooked. This cool new store on the McKinney Avenue trolley line looks and feels like somebody plucked it out of Montana and dropped it here. A knowledgeable and friendly staff, good supply of flies, lots of angler tchotchkes, good range of rods, including ones by Dallas-based Temple Fork—this place has everything to help you forget where you really are. They'll also help you plan fly fishing trips and advise you where the big ones are biting. As a full-service fisherman's helper, they're very fly indeed.
We are including this for one very good reason: You're more or less paying for this anyway, what with the tax breaks and publicly subsidized dough Dallas poured into Ross Perot's piece of property years ago, so ya might as well give yourselves a pat on the big ol' back. For whatever reason—film fests, traveling friends, spa trips, dinner plans—we've found ourselves visiting the W often since its opening last year. And, yeah, hipsters love their Belmont in the Cliff and old-timers love their classy-charming Adolphus and the visionaries can't wait for their Mandarin Oriental, but the W offers just what we were expecting: sleek, cool, comfortable, the coolest swimming pool in town (even if it overlooks the minimum-security jail, ugh), the blissful Bliss spa and one of the best restaurants in town (Tom Colicchio's Craft). And we've heard about issues with hotel security being a tad over-eager on occasion, but that's how we like our fancy-schmancy hotels—well-protected to keep out the riff-raff that really oughta be staying at the Ritz-Carlton or ZaZa. Move along now. But next year, this goes to the Stoneleigh, assuming they don't screw up that multimillion-dollar renovation. They won't. Fingers crossed.
That drive down to Brownsville can be a real hassle, and they're shooting people in Nuevo Laredo a little too often to make shopping there worthwhile. Best to let La Mariposa handle the Mexican importing for you. No, they don't carry cheap prescription drugs, but they do have a lovely selection of Mexican folk art, jewelry, embroidered clothing and home décor items imported from and inspired by our neighbors to the south. Dig their Day of the Dead trinkets and sculptures, which make great gifts for those who deserve little skeletons.
Visit this fruteria for a taste of one of the best parts of Mexico. Down there colorful fruit stands dot every busy corner selling fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies. This little store in Oak Cliff is packed with boxes overflowing with fruit from Mexico, and depending on the season, from all over Latin America too. There's papaya, coconut and pineapple, mangos and even a fridge full of edible cacti. The glass counter is abloom with freshly cut fruit, including chocolate-dipped strawberries. And you can order fresh-squeezed juice and any fruit (we recommend mango) served with lime and red chili. That'll put a skip in your sip.
We counted 'em—11 different styles of boys' blue jeans, plus numerous khakis, cargo pants and camouflage jeans. Faded, un-faded; dark blue, light blue or charcoal; with or without reinforced knee patches—they come in all kinds, and the best thing is sizes. Unlike a lot of discount purveyors, Old Navy always has the slim and husky sizes you need in stock. And these clothes will have your kid looking sharp at great prices, including frequent buy-two-or-more-for-a-special-price deals. We probably don't need to sell you on Old Navy's girls' selection, because chances are your daughter is already shopping there.

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