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2006ReadersServices

Best Appliance/TV Repair
A&A Appliance & Electronics

Spent a buncha monies on that vintage range, huh? Broke again, huh? Let us introduce you to our readers' favorite repair-people, AAA. In their words, "Since 1955. If we can't save you $$, we don't deserve your business." If only all the folks who take our $$ had that kind of attitude.

A&A Appliance & Electronics, 4729 Burnet, 512/453-6126

Best Arborist
They Might Be Monkeys

Fun to watch, these guys strap in and fearlessly fly around in your treetops for the upkeep, health, and beauty of your greenage. Whether it's a yard just aching for the creative genius of these monkey-men or a necessary pruning, these certified arborists and landscape designers have been gracing Austin with the kinds of lawns that make traffic slow to get a closer look.

They Might Be Monkeys! Texas Tree & Land Co., 1414 E. Fifth, 512/445-2614

Best Auto Inspection Station
Groovy Lube

"Just kickin' down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy." OK, well, auto inspections may not be your idea of fun, but Groovy Lube's quick and thorough auto inspections will leave you feelin' groovy, knowing you've gotten honest and efficient service at a great price.

Groovy Lube, 3511 Guadalupe, 512/275-0535, www.groovylube.com

Best Auto Service/Repair
Auto Depot

Though Hondas and Toyotas are the joint's specialty, they have what it takes to take care of what's under your hood, no matter the make. Not to mention what's on your body, in your stereo, you name it. They'll even send an A/V guy to come outfit your ride with some custom-made sound systems. And for all this, they have won our readers' votes year after year.

Best Barbershop
TIE: Crestview Barber Shop, Birds Barbershop

No wonder they split down the middle: These two are from very different schools of barber. One shop boasts $15 mohawks, DJs spinning, and a venue for live music with hot stylists that back up the rock-star flamboyance. Meet Birds, the new kid on South Lamar that fuses art with music with life with beauty to give a helluva haircutting experience. Their credo? "Walk in. Rock out." The other is Crestview, a throwback to the tradition of barber shops. A good old-fashioned ear-lowering is what you'll get here, tucked away in Austin's own "Little Mayberry," where a haircut is just a haircut. Cheap, spick-and-span, and done right the first time, every time, since 1954.

Crestview Barber Shop, 7113 Woodrow, 512/451-2887

Birds Barbershop, 2110 S. Lamar, 512/442-8800, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 6800 Burnet, 512/454-1200, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 1107 E. Sixth, 512/457-0400, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 1902 S. Congress, 512/445-0500, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 905 E. 41st, 512/492-8400, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 5000 W. Slaughter, 512/758-7800

Birds Barbershop, 13219 Hwy. 183 N., 512/879-4700, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Best Bicycle Repair
Bicycle Sports Shop

We imagine that when old bicyclists retire from their day jobs, they all want to go to work in Bicycle Sport Shop’s repair shop. The pros at BSS don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need (no BS!), but do make an effort to get you back on the road quick. Best of all, the entire crew goes out of its way to not make the customers feel like dopes for not knowing how to fix their own bikes.

Bicycle Sport Shop, 517 S. Lamar, 512/477-3472, www.bicyclesportshop.com

Bicycle Sport Shop, 10947 Research, 512/345-7460, www.bicyclesportshop.com

Bicycle Sport Shop, 9900 W. Parmer, 512/637-6890

Best Car Wash
Genie

Austin has spoken. For the 10th consecutive year, you have voted Genie Car Wash the best in town. With three locations and one of the coolest neon signs in Austin, the Genie will make your every wish come true … as long as your wish is for a cleaner vehicle.

Best Computer Repair
PC Guru

As our worlds become more complex, so do the machines that we rely upon. For most of us, we would no sooner attempt a repair to our refrigerator than we would to our computer. That’s when the good folks at PC Guru come down off the mountaintop and share their wisdom, seeming genuinely concerned about your computer's health. And despite their vaunted status, they are not above giving computer lessons when you pickup your box.

PC Guru, 310 E. St Elmo Rd, 512/383-0000, www.allpcproblems.com

PC Guru, 4004 N. Lamar Blvd., 512/472-8324, www.allpcproblems.com

Best Dry Cleaner
EcoMat

Hippies and professionals agree! A laundromat and dry cleaner that's not only doing its part to save the environment, but is peaceful and comfortable enough to pummel through chapters, waiting for your darks to dry. And afterward, just smell those clothes. They're green-clean. Makes ya feel good, like when you eat organic or save a whale. Mother Nature smiles upon your skivvies. No longer does the great unwashed have to know that chemical cloud that sticks to dry-cleaned clothes. Ecomat disdains the commonly used toxic methodologies. The first of its kind in Austin, finally a laundromat that cares about the future of the planet, right down to its dirty laundry. Ecomat, our lone socks salute you.

Ecomat, 2915-B Guadalupe, 512/236-8645

Best Florist
Enchanted Florist

Painstaking arrangements, flowers of the rarest and most beautiful variety, novelty items, and Texana, Texana, Texana! Flower shops aren't just for flowers these days. Though it certainly does have the very stems that whet any long-stemmed appetite. Thinking big, this shop is more geared toward awe-inspiring arrangements and meticulous deliveries intended to wow the deliveree.

Enchanted Florist, 1616 Lavaca, 512/477-3996, www.enchantedfloristinc.org

Best Graphic Designer
Milkshake Media

This Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (The Crossings, Chanel, Nickelodeon, to name a few). Since 1999 the creamy creative agency has been shaking Austin up with techniques that freaks and shows no signs of slowing down. Milkshake's frothy know-how with regard to people and technology has helped maintain their halo and get the perfect blend. Damn right, it's better than yours.

Milkshake Media, 1315 W. Sixth, 512/474-7777, www.milkshakemedia.com

Best Hair Salon
Avant

Avant – it's not just a salon and spa ... it's an institution and probably one of the top businesses that have won more "Best of Austin" awards than any others. Do we need to go on about their excellent service, products, and multiple locations? Nah, we'll just let their fabulous reputation and a mention in the September 2006 issue of InStyle speak for themselves.

Avant Garde Studio Salon Spa, 318 Colorado St., 512/472-6357, www.avantsalon.com

Best Health Care
Austin Regional Clinic

With 14 locations in Austin and scads of health care professionals to fill 'em, ARC is a one-stop doc shop for your mortal coil. Little Timmy has the croup? Check. Cedar fever? Check. Something fishy down yonder? Check. And, speaking of checks: Leave them at home! Cash customers get a discount.

Austin Regional Clinic, 6937 N. I-35 #500, 512/272-4636, www.austinregionalclinic.com

Best House Painter
Michele Stogner & Company

A woman in a tool belt. Palpitations. That's what Michele'll give you. That, and a helluva remodel ... you know, if you're looking to repaint and make yours a not-so-humble abode. And according to our readers, she's a general contractor and house painter willing to work with each client for the creative, detail-oriented designs that a town like Austin deserves.

Michele Stogner & Company, 512/323-0137, www.michelestogner.com

Best Landscaper
Big Red Sun

Since 1994, Big Red Sun has been working on more than their big multicolored shop. Their designs for dramatic outdoor spaces include those for the Hotel San José, the roadside scenery at the Lake Travis NorthShore community, and many private residences, which have at times incorporated pools full of pet koi and tiered, circular, lily-pad-like steps down to Lake Austin.

Big Red Sun, 1102 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/480-0688, www.bigredsun.com

Best Laundromat
EcoMat

Hippies and professionals agree! A laundromat and dry cleaner that's not only doing its part to save the environment but is peaceful and comfortable enough to pummel through chapters, waiting for your darks to dry. And afterward, just smell those clothes. They're green-clean. Makes ya feel good, like when you eat organic or save a whale. Mother nature smiles upon your skivvies. No longer does the great unwashed have to know that chemical cloud that sticks to dry-cleaned clothes. Ecomat disdains the commonly used toxic methodologies. The first of its kind in Austin, finally a laundromat that cares about the future of the planet, right down to its dirty laundry. Ecomat, our lone socks salute you.

Ecomat, 2915-B Guadalupe, 512/236-8645

Best Movers
Apple Movers

Reliable, trustworthy, and professional movers are essential – especially when that box marked “fragile” is filled with your out-of-print record collection and lava lamp. Our readers appreciate Apple Moving for all that and more – like their instant online quote form, storage options, and free boxes.

Apple Moving, 9807 Brown Ln., 512/452-0399, www.applemoving.com

Best Pedicure/Manicure (non-spa)
UT Nails

You're in a hurry and your nails need help, pronto. You pop into UT Nails and those sweet ladies (and dude) scramble into action, clipping, buffing, and polishing your claws until they nearly twinkle, all for 10 smackers. You'll even have time to stop for coffee after they're done with you. And their $25 mani-pedi twofers are the best cure for a Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday), to boot.

UT Nails, 3909 N. I-35, 512/323-9900

Best Printer/Copies
Kinko's

With 13 locations around the Austin area, Kinko’s offers self- and full-service black-and-white and color copying around the clock. You can even download your document to their Web site and pick up the printed document at the location nearest you - something to consider when that report has to be on your teacher or boss’ desk first thing in the morning.

FedEx Office, 327 Congress #100, 512/472-4448, www.fedex.com/us/office

FedEx Office, 2901-C Medical Arts, 512/476-3242, www.fedex.com/us/office

FedEx Office, 327 Congress, 512/472-4448, www.fedex.com/us/office

5 more locations

Best Public Health Care
People's Community Clinic

Courteous service. A sliding scale. People who care. Since 1970, the folks at the People's Community Clinic have been providing quality health care services to the people of Austin, even if those people are without insurance or a lot of money. This nonprofit clinic is one of the places uniquely Austin, and we are lucky to have it.

People's Community Clinic, 1101 Camino La Costa, 512/478-4939, www.austinpcc.org

Best Real Estate Agent
Don Harvey

Hey. Give the drummer some! That's the ticket. Just call Don, the rock & roll Realtor. Everybody does. He co-founded the SIMS Foundation, to which he donates a share of his proceeds and has played with so many top-notchers, it'll make your cymbals spin. With the same care he uses throned behind his tubbies, Don Harvey drums up the listings for home seekers old and new, exuding a love for this city that makes 'em wanna settle down and stay forever.

Don Harvey Music Realtor, 512/587-2132, www.AustinMusicRealty.com

Best Recording Studio
The Bubble

It’s moved around a few times, but "Frenchie" Smith’s Bubble has played home to everyone from Nic Armstrong’s IV Thieves to the Arm, Zykos, and myriad other local bands. With Alex Lyon behind the board, you’re sure to get something amazing on tape for a price that won’t break the ever-dwindling bank.

The Bubble, 512/420-0170, www.bubblerecording.com

Best Shoe Repair
Austin Shoe Hospital

Repairing a pair of shoes isn't just about saving the expense of buying a new pair. Austin's own minichain of shoe repair artisans have become experts in putting a few more miles into those beloved boots, a few more business meetings in those comfy brogues, and a few extra nights teetering on those heels that are to die for.

Best Spa
TIE: Aziz Salon & Day Spa, Lake Austin Spa Resort, The Crossings

They are all at the top of their game, and each offers particular luxuries that are strictly their own. Few spas have won the international awards that Lake Austin Spa Resort has – with good reason. This 25,000-square-foot resort boasts the ultimate in luxury services and accommodations. The Crossings Wellness Spa is as well-appointed as the entire Crossings complex is. With fabulous packages and complete wellness retreats, the Crossings is superb. But so is "Best of Austin" repeat-winner, Aziz Salon & Day Spa, which is set apart from the others by offering complete skincare, hair, and make-up services so you can leave feeling as beautiful inside as you do outside.

Aziz Salon & Day Spa, 710 W. Seventh, 512/476-4131, www.azizsalon.com

Lake Austin Spa Resort, 1705 S. Quinlan Park, 512/372-7300, www.lakeaustin.com

The Crossings, 13500 FM 2769, 512/258-7243, www.thecrossingsaustin.com

Best Tailor
Ace

Listen to Stacy and Clinton! Ill-fitting garments are first on the list of "what not to wear" – any season. You need a tailor, and Austin’s Ace Custom Tailors is not only dependable, it’s convenient no matter where you are. Whether those slacks need a hem in place of a cut or your mother’s leather jacket from the Seventies needs to be let out a few inches, Ace is the place.

Ace Custom Tailors, 2707 Walsh Tarlton, 512/329-0523, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 724-A N. Lamar, 512/478-9965, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 3720 Far West #106, 512/345-7688, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 700-A S. Lamar, 512/732-2231, www.acetailors.com

Best Tattoo Artist
Karen Slafter at Southside Tattoo

She's cute, talented, and a friend to many Red River rockers. Southside Tattoo's five-year resident Karen Slafter is an artist, period. Her tattoos match her oil paintings in creativity, and more than likely, that Handsome Joel tattoo was inked by his good friend Karen. There's just something about a woman's touch when it comes to pain.

Southside Tattoo, 1313 S. Congress, 512/444-1313, www.southsidetattoos.com

Best Travel Agent
Barbara Panzer of Tramex Travel

With so many votes, we had to know what it is that makes Barbara Panzer so special. And, boy howdy, did we find out. It's not just her 25-plus years in the business, with more than half of it at Tramex. It's not just her encyclopedic knowledge of corporate and leisure travel. It's that special something that is missing from most customer service these days – a personal touch by someone who cares whether your trip goes well or not. She is someone who can be as excitied about honeymoon plans as the bride and groom. She knows how important your anniversary vacation is and sees to it that everything is perfect. And she gives great phone.

Tramex Travel, 4505 Spicewood Springs Rd. #200, 512/343-2201, www.tramex.com

Best Veterinarian
Brykerwood

Brykerwood is the place to be, if you're a dog. Or a cat. Dunno if they'll help you if you're a hamster, but we say give it a shot. Because the folks at Brykerwood, docs and techs alike, are the nicest people around, the kind that know how important a pet can be to a human. No kidding. They've got the bedside (or, in this case, tableside) manners to prove it, not to mention the heartfelt "thank you, Brykerwood, we love you Brykerwood" letters that cover the walls of the examining room, written with gratitude by happy customers and signed with paw prints in pen.

Brykerwoods Veterinary Clinic, 1501 W. 35th, 512/454-3833

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