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.
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, 512/454-1137
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.
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, 512/459-9917
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, 512/477-0109
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 512/454-3833
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.
Clean & Lean, 4225 Guadalupe, 512/458-5326
Ecomat, 2915-B Guadalupe, 512/236-8645
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.