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The Fiesta grocery store on Ross Avenue in East Dallas bursts at its Hispanic-targeted seams at all hours of the day and night, a taqueria-and-carniceria wonderland of everything needed to make a spicy, south o' the border meal. (Or, you know, it's also a good place to buy toilet paper and cat litter.) But what many don't know is that it's not just a fine place to pick up taco makin's—Fiesta also has the best selection of British, European and Asian imported foods in town, and yes we are looking at you, Certain Giant And Pricey Grocery Store On Lovers Lane. Three kinds of Weetabix? Check. Spaetzle out the wazoo? Yes, please. Looking to fashion a homemade saag paneer? Party on at...Fiesta.
Every bathroom in every workplace, in every restaurant, in every home, needs a spray bottle of Poo-Pourri. The magical potion is to be sprayed on top of the toilet water (as opposed to around you in the air) to provide an aromatic barrier of essential oils and natural fresheners...and, apparently, magic. As in, the stank goes in the water and never comes back out. As in, everything smells nice and fresh before you even bust a move. As in, if you have one bathroom, this will help sustain that teeny shred of romance left in your relationship. Based in Dallas, and run by CEO and founder Suzy Batiz, the company launched its first product in 2007, after a long R&D process. These days there are many varieties of the before-you-go bathroom spray (we like the bergamot, lemongrass and grapefruit of the original), as well as auto aromatherapies and Pooch-Pourri Pet Odor Remover.
A little hard to find (take Walnut Hill east from Stemmons, turn north on Ables, back west on Merrill) but well worth the search. A respected custom sail maker since 1976, Mariner now offers a spacious showroom full of really neat kayaks by a variety of makers. The staff brings deep expertise on the boats but also on bodies of water in the region and beyond. Mariner is also sort of a neat place just to visit, with the big sail-making room in the back. Very nautical. They do boat demonstrations every Thursday evening at White Rock so you can try a boat before buying. It's free, but you do have to call ahead for a reservation. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
So you want your ride to shine but you don't have the time or energy to do it yourself. Don't bother with one of those gas station assembly-line washes when, for a few bucks more, you could not only get a hand-polished gleam on the outside, but have the interior vacuumed as well—without having one of those automated brush wheels snap off your antenna. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this Oak Cliff and West Dallas franchise offers $11.99 inside-and-outside washes. Not only that, but most days it offers oil changes for less than $20. Combine that with the discount wash and you can get out for just over $30—which would only get you one or the other almost anywhere else.
Ladies, this Best Of award is for you. Not to sound like a corny late-night infomercial, but are you tired of always adjusting your bra or having the four boobs problem because your brassiere doesn't quite cover the top part? Well, the bra fit stylists at Intimacy can help you with your undergarment-related problems. The women's store offers a free bra fit makeover with an expert to see what bra size fits your body best. The bra experts will teach you how to properly wear a bra (yes, there is a proper way to wear a bra other than just strapping the thing on) while still being comfortable. Intimacy also offers more than 90 sizes to choose from in all different styles and colors like sexy red lace or plain Jane white. Who even knew bras came in 90 sizes? Intimacy did.
We should probably just throw in the towel and call this one Best Used Bookstore of All Time on Northwest Highway East of Central and be done with it. If you purchase more than one book a year, you already know about this heavenly, musty smelling place with shelf after shelf of half-priced (or less) paperbacks and hardbacks. You know it's the biggest and best-stocked bookstore, used or new, and includes a good choice of vinyl records and cheap software. If you're like us and read two or three books a week, you also know that Half Price might not have exactly the volume you want, but will certainly offer something you didn't know you wanted. Book-wise, even the consolation prizes are gems, so there's no losing at Half Price. (Unless, perhaps, you use the men's room. Seriously, Half Price, fix that.) Consider this fact: Between reselling what we had read and careful shopping, we were able to stretch a $50 Christmas gift card through almost three months of reading this winter. That's a hint, by the way.