Best Place to Get Your Deaf, Dumb and Dork On

Entertainmart

Entertainmart

Not gonna lie: If you've never been, the idea sounds both sketchy and cheesy. Says the Web site, it's "the country's crunkest place to buy and sell new and used movies, music, videogames," where, so happens, they buy and sell used Wiis for $260 without pocketing a dime. Right, the Wii—still hard to find—retails for more than $300. But their salespeople are upfront about their Wii empire: They buy high and sell low in order to attract folks to the inventory of videogames, new and used, which are but one small piece of an enormous, glorious puzzle that, no kiddin', might just be the future of idiocracy in the best possible sense. Really, imagine: GameStop meets Tower Records meets Blockbuster meets Collectors Records meets CD World meets Apple Store meets Movie Trading Company meeting a former Michaels location also stockpiled with rock T-shirts, posters and, no kiddin', cheaply priced vinyl through which collectors sort through every weekend. Sorry if that's a bit rambling, but we spent a recent weekend in there, and the mind still reels just as the ears still ring from all the videogame demos and screening stations and classic rock coalescing into a single, impenetrable wall of noise.

Best Place to Go If You Insist on Feeding Your Animals

The Lucky Dog Barkery

The Lucky Dog Barkery

See, we don't want to tell you too much about our animals—four cats, let's say, and an aging yellow Lab once overcome by a stroke mid-stride. We don't treat 'em like we do the boy; ain't our children or nothin'. But, sure, they have special dietary needs—cats especially, little furry mess-makers. Vets never do right by our brood, even the best. So the other day we stumbled across The Lucky Dog Barkery, a lumberyard's worth of general store catering solely to cats and dogs and anything else that'd like to gnaw a tusk-sized rawhide or a flatted pig's snout that lands to the floor with a tinny thud. Owner Marsha Lindsey recommended changes to our cats' and dog's diets—steered from the vet's dry grains and toward a wetter, more organic diet. And, yeah, the gadgets are fun, but we come for the food in barrels and bags that make our animals like us just a little more than they loathe us.

The Labyrinth Metaphysical Herbal Apothecary

As you step onto the porch of the old purple house nestled at the edge of a residential area on Bell Avenue, the smell of strong, sensual incense wafts over you. When you enter the house, you will find all manner of aromatherapy/ambience items: candles, stick incense, sprays, and even smudge bundles and sweetgrass braids. But what will really bowl you over is the selection of herbs and herb mixes in the back room. No need to search the Internet for an obscure ingredient for that full-moon ritual you're planning—The Labyrinth has more than 400 types of herbs and blends (including one that's marked "smoking blend") to suit the needs of any maiden, mother or crone who comes through its door.

In last year's best-of issue, we awarded Billy Reid's sole Dallas location, in NorthPark Center, the award for Best Dressy Men's Clothing Store We Can Afford. Sorry, we were so totally wrong about that. Because, see, that was before we finally got our sorry, retail-paying asses over to the Billy Reid warehouse sale, which occurs, more or less, every February and August, when the clothes go for pennies on the pennies on the dollar. Boots for which we once paid $395 walked out the door for less than a hundred; a $500 sports coat we once eyed longingly went home with us for $95, hot damn; and pearl-snap shirts that usually go for somewhere 'round the $165 mark were priced to move, move, move at $38, which doesn't even take into account the $24 cashmere sweater and $18 tie and $38 linen pants also hanging in the closet, lucky us. Don't tell, but the prices were so good we picked up doubles of our fave shirts, in case one gets ruined by all the drool. And ladies, this goes for you too—double, actually, because Billy Reid's women's clothes are even better than the men's. Paying retail—why didn't we listen to our grandfather? Jeez.

Should your running shoe feel soft and cushiony or firm and supportive? What's the proper way to lace up? This shoe feels snug—should I go up a size, or do I need a wide width? Good luck getting answers from the teen working in shoes at your local department store. "Uh, Nikes look cool," is about what you should expect in the way of running shoe advice until you go to Luke's Locker. A visit to the second-floor shoe department at Luke's begins with an analysis of your gait, in which the salesman determines how your feet pronate (i.e. how your foot impacts the ground). Based on that information, a measurement of your foot size (we were surprised to find out we should be wearing both a half-size larger and a wider width) and other info, several pairs of running shoes are presented. You can test these out on the faux indoor track at Luke's. We stretch our arms over our head as the crowd cheers, and the finish line ribbon breaks against our chest like a scene from a movie. Re-enacting scenes from Chariots of Fire may draw strange looks from the clerks, but we'll gladly buy shoes from a store that makes us feel like champions.

Looking at recreational vehicles under a hot Texas sun is no treat. So you'll probably be attracted to FunTime RV first of all because they have a large, air-conditioned showroom full of fifth-wheels and travel trailers. But while you decide how much you can afford to blow on a rolling home, you're sure to notice airplanes dogfighting with velociraptors and other nearly life-sized dinosaurs towering over rows of RV plumbing parts and trailer hitches. There's also a mural that depicts, among other things, a dino eating a shark (how badass is that?). If you don't dig on the 'saurs (God help you), there's also a huge fish tank with bass and other monster fish. And, oh yeah, don't forget about the RVs; the salespeople here are helpful and low-key.

Sam Moon Trading Company

From its early incarnation as a knock-off bazaar, Sam Moon has evolved into a stylish, impeccably managed and maintained retailer, still offering great stuff at even lower prices. Sam Moon now has centers in Frisco, Fort Worth and The Woodlands north of Houston, as well as the recently expanded Dallas center. The main Sam Moon store just north of LBJ Freeway offers piles of purses, belts, jewelry, scarves, wigs, headbands and other accessories at the best prices this side of a back alley in Hong Kong. Only rules: $30 minimum purchase (which they don't strictly enforce) and no strollers on Saturdays. Other outlets at the Moon-owned Dallas location are Anne Klein, Jones New York, and Fitz and Floyd. There is even a Sam Moon Starbucks-like coffee emporium that could give the real thing a run for its frapps. We knew Sam would satisfy all of our cravings sooner or latte.

Index Skateboard Supply

On the surface, sure, it's a skateboard shop. The walls are lined with decks and apparel bearing the standard labels like Girl, Plan B and Zero, but this is no run-of-the-mall Zumiez. Look closer, and you'll find a selection of shoes, necessities and rarities that is absolutely unmatched. More important, you'll see that the patrons are regulars, and it's the Index label that they sport with pride. Local, independent and run by lifelong skateboarders, Index has become a refuge of sorts for North Texans in the skateboard scene. From the little kid picking out his first board to the seasoned vet on the Index team, owner Dameon Rowe looks after everyone, welcoming them into the family and immersing them in skateboard culture. It's the idea of teaching a kid how to build a skateboard rather than just selling him one, of having a team of legit local skateboarders put on a demo and then hang out with the kids that look up to them, that sets Index apart.

Elm Street Tattoo

Tattoo artist Oliver Peck of Elm Street deserves a big hand—and a bare arm and maybe most of a back—for earning a Guinness World Record for 24 consecutive hours of tattooing earlier this year. Not only does the guy inspire, create art and make bodies his canvas with his artistry, he does so with humor and perseverance. But Peck doesn't do it alone. Fellow Elm Street tattoo artists Dean Williams and Mark Galvan work alongside Peck, and the team, on the whole, is a bang-up crew with diverse specialties. From sailor styles to scary skulls, Elm Street Tattoo is ready to draw indelible designs. With Deep Ellum in transition (again), the buzz of Elm Street's tattoo guns are still a reliable way to make one's mark on personal expression.

Nothing can slap you in the face like a bad stink. And nothing can soothe you into submission like a fantastic aroma. For five years, Gary Stone has been perfecting the art of long-burning, hand-poured candles with a virtually endless assortment of scents. Our favorites include lemon cookie (a light, fresh-baked number) and vanilla jasmine (an understated warm floral), but whatever your nose desires, Stone has it. He's expanded his operation to include public and private parties (we enjoyed ourselves at his summer soiree at Kenichi) and fund-raisers and is moving product into local boutiques, but his passion is still the personalized order. Reasonable prices, clean-burning soy blends and good old-fashioned attention to customer service mean Make Scents is one of our favorite gift-giving options...oh, and we also dig the ability to cover up our many culinary mistakes with a handmade treat that was meant to be burned.

Best Of Dallas®

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