1998 Readers Poll
1998 Critics Picks
Best Alterations

Seams are strongest when they have been torn and then mended. OK, so that's an adage about heartbreak, but it's a truism of clothing, too. No doubt Ace gives a darn about service as, for the sixth year running, they've sewn up this category as your favorite clothing therapist every year since this category's inception in '93 leaving readers no time for hemming (or hawing). Capitol in second and Primo in third.

Express Alterations by Ace Custom Tailors
916 W. 12th

Best Appliance/Tv Repair

Must-See TV repair guys? Must get over to reigning champion, Mr. Wizard. Their fine-tuned explanations of what's wrong with your CD player or turntable are neither condescending nor requiring a degree in advanced electronics. Mr. Wizard just keeps on winning, and winning, and winning, and -.

Mr. Wizard's Electronics Service
1507 W. North Loop

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Auto Body/Paint Shop

The increase in bumper-to-bumper traffic has surely led to an increase inbumper-to-bumper crunchin'. No wonder we need a winner on either side of theriver, helping you not to get bent out of shape even when your car does.

Southwest: 1804 S. Lamar, 444-6411; Fix-a-Wreck: 6820 Guadalupe, 454-8621; 111 E. Woodward, 448-3433

Best Auto Mechanic

Sorta like the pink plastic variety is to lawns, these guys are to the readers poll - they just keep cropping up year after year. The shop is always so tidy and all the mechanics are dressed impeccably, all of which is nice but says nothing of their service. We can tell from experience that our readers are right on. Joe & Co. will take care of your car and tell you realistically what they can and will do for it. Sometimes that type of truth hurts. Our readers seem to appreciate the candor, however. So popular is Flamingo, in fact, that the waiting list has been known to rival that of Mezzaluna's on a Saturday night.

Flamingo Automotive
3512 Guadalupe

Best Barber Shop

For the winner of this mane-stay category, a haiku:Boys and men lined uphead, neck, meet massage machinesideburns disappear

Wooten Barber Shop
2106 Guadalupe

Best Car Wash

When our readers aren't exploiting child labor and having neighborhood kids wash the wagon, they take it to Genie, the three-time first-place winner in this category. Finish Line and Doc Holliday's get pine-scented honorable mentions.

Genie Car Wash
1311 S. Lamar, 512/444-9274
7320 Burnet, 512/451-9274
1021 W. William Cannon, 512/416-9274

Best Dry Cleaner

Rick's $1.59-per-garment charge has freed the masses to own rayon and other dry-clean-only fineries, and our city is all the more beautiful for it. Hmm, Rick's takes the competition to the cleaners for the third year running. Only this year, the official name is One Dollar Fifty-Nine, as opposed to One Dollar Thirty-Five in \'96. You do the math. Let Rick do the laundry. Reid's gets runner-up honors and Jack Brown wins Miss Congeniality.

Rick's Cleaners
3652-D Bee Cave Rd., 512/327-6846
7435 Burnet Rd., 512/454-7425
110 N. I-35 #250, Round Rock, 512/244-4363
5324 Cameron, 512/452-2200
850 N. Bell Blvd. #304, Cedar Park, 512/258-4990
11126 Jollyville, 512/346-8845
900 N. Austin Ave. #603, Georgetown, 512/930-0666
500 W. William Cannon #404, 512/462-3868
12218 RR 620 N., 512/257-0057
8400 Brodie #101, 512/291-1588
3810 Gattis School Rd. #102, Round Rock, 512/244-3733
13011 Shops Pkwy. #200, Bee Cave, 512/263-1588
3411 N. Lamar, 512/323-0188
2614 S. Lamar, 512/433-6666

Best Fitness Club

Once again strong-arming its way to the top of the list, World Gym is clearlyrun by the opposite of dumbbells. Get taut by the experts while taking in some of the local scenery at the Littlefield building on Sixth Street downtown or at any one of six Austin locations.

World Gym
115 E. Sixth

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Florist

The high-class-sans-pretentious service, quality, and ambience of this floristspurred readers to use this category for gallop poll purposes. Run, don't trotto C&F for bunches of flower ideas.

Cowgirls & Flowers
508 Walsh

Best Hair Salon

There's lots of contention in this category - you're loyal to your hairdressers like Robert Goulet is to his hair gel. Avant's royal treatment is what keeps our readers in the chair. Aside from executing the latest and greatest "'do's," and helping you get rid of those pesky "don't's," Avant rubs it in with a post-op massage and pampering. As winner for the last three years, they brush past two-time winner Maximum FX. Aziz also gives you lots of bang for your buck - they take third.

Avant Garde Studio Salon Spa
318 Colorado St.

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Home Repair

Size apparently does count in some instances, and this is one of them. Votershammered home their approval for this mambo-mart of everything including thekitchen sink. For the second year in a row, the vertigo-inducing behemoth Home Depot is the most popular spot to re-create the experience of being in your father's garage - and you can be sure your clerk is drug-free! David Wolfe Roofing places second - not bad, considering the enormity of the competition.

Home Depot
7211 N. I-35, 512/458-8012
1200 Home Depot Blvd., Sunset Valley, 512/892-3035
10515 Mopac N., 512/338-1001
3600 S. I-35, 512/693-9811
13309 N. I-35, 512/989-6650
8801 S. I-35, 512/291-0153
7900 FM 620 N., 512/258-7914
2551 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/238-0820
11301 Lakeline Rd., 512/331-4436

Best Kennel/Vet

Breaking their own tie with Hyde Park Animal Clinic in '97, Brykerwood pullsto the front of the pack. Drs. Gregory Beile and Tom Riggan have offered Austin 25 years as top-dog/top-cat docs, not to mention exotic pets as well. Drop-ins (not droppin's!) are welcome. Let them play with your poodle.

Brykerwoods Veterinary Clinic
1501 W. 35th

Best Laundromat

We sense a theme here and that would be - Can you say "multi-tasking?" In afast-paced world where those who don't do two things at once get lost in theshuffle, both of our winners offer twofer opportunities. At Clean and Lean youcan break down nasty clothing stains while building up your body. Not everyone knows that no gym membership is required just to clean your clothes. Rookie phosphophobes EcoMat ties for first, threatening Clean & Lean's reign for the first time. The drycleaning portion of this laundry/drycleaner uses non-toxicchemicals - you can simultaneously clean up your threads and the planet while you type-up that term paper on their computers for hire.

2915-B Guadalupe

Best Pharmacy/Drugstore

Readers declare: "Just say yes to drugs. As long as they're from Peoples." Is it the last bastion of socialism in Austin? Maybe a surge of pinko, single-payer minded folk voted for them for their name; more likely it's the non-corporate, cornershop feel of their five locations that won them their first title this year, edging out the Heeb and the old-fashioned soda-shoppe Nau's, which tie for second.

Peoples Rx
4018 N. Lamar, 512/459-0845
3801 S. Lamar, 512/444-8866
13860 Hwy. 183 N. Ste. C, 512/219-9499
4201 Westbank, 512/327-8868

Best Photo Lab

Wethinks one reason HEB is the big winner here is practical. Since most HEBsare now so huge it takes at least an hour to get from one end of the store tothe other, using their one hour photo lab service offered at many locationsmeans you don't have to leave and come back. Hell, if you shop at the newHancock HEB, you can drop your photos for less-expensive overnight developing,head for the dairy department, and by the time you find your way back tophoto, it is the next day. Seriously... print prices and quality are excellent.

7015 Village Center Dr., 512/502-8445
2400 S. Congress, 512/442-2354
2701 E. Seventh, 512/478-7328
10710 Research #200, 512/794-8221
6900 Brodie, 512/891-8900
11521 FM 620 N., 512/249-0558
2508 E. Riverside, 512/448-3544
201 FM 685 N., Pflugerville, 512/251-0002
1080 E. 290, Elgin, 512/285-4168
500 Canyon Ridge Dr., 512/973-8143
5808 Burnet, 512/453-8864
7112 Ed Bluestein #125, 512/926-1491
9414 N Lamar, 512/835-5400
600 W. William Cannon, 512/447-5544
6001 W. Parmer, 512/249-0400
5800 W. Slaughter, 512/301-9770

Best Printer/Copy Shop

We received votes 24 hours a day in this category, though we assure you noneof them were photocopied. Whether you need a copy of your dissertation or your ass (well, they might have a no-pants/no-service rule, but you know what wemean), Kinko's has it covered for the second year in a row; Ginny's and Abel's trail behind.

FedEx Office
327 Congress #100, 512/472-4448
2901-C Medical Arts, 512/476-3242
327 Congress, 512/472-4448
330 Bee Caves Rd. #715, 512/314-2300
6406 N. I-35 Ste. 1210, 512/452-3600
5601 Brodie #1210, 512/892-1992
9222 Burnet #101 & 102, 512/339-1191
13729 Research, 512/331-0800

Best Public Health Clinic

The people have spoken: People's wins for the third year running; this time Planned Parenthood shares the top spot with the not-for-profit, sliding-scale clinic where, insured or not, you will not be turned away. Because some agencies still recognize that even the poor and/or uninsured need health care, affordable birth control, and immunizations that may sting an arm and a leg but shouldn't cost one ... we take off our hats (and everything else, and put on this paper gown ....) and salute both PP and PCC for offering us all a chance to get and/or stay healthy within our budgets.

People's Community Clinic
1101 Camino La Costa

Planned Parenthood
201 E. Ben White

Best Recording Studio

The most stalwart of our local bands take residence at Music Lane: Spoon, the Scabs, the Damnations. They come for the 20ft.-high ceilings, the state-of-the-art equipment, the digital editing, the spaces large enough to hold five Vallejos, and the gold-brick Wall of Fame, but they stay for the engineers.

500 San Marcos, 476-1567

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Shoe Repair

Get those pumps patched, stat! ER meets shoe repair - new on NBC this fall? Anyhoo, when your gaiters lack gusto and your clodhoppers need care, Austin Shoe Hospital has the medicine for your moccasins - and "stat" is where it's at with their next day service for many shoes at any one of their 12 locations! The neon-booted Rowell's is the second favorite boot bandager.

Austin Shoe Hospital
3106 Windsor, 512/477-6515
720 Congress, 512/477-5078
3300 Bee Caves Rd., 512/329-8104
1911 W. Ben White, 512/440-8788
8211 Burnet, 512/453-1961
5114 Balcones Woods Dr. Ste. 301-B, 512/345-8663
6781 Hwy. 290 W., 512/288-6386
1316 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock, 512/244-9124
306 S. Bell, Cedar Park, 512/219-8387
3932 RR 620 S., Lakeway, 512/263-4630
12119 Hwy. 290 W., 512/827-3398

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