2009 Readers Poll
2009 Critics Picks
Best Alternative to Indoor Heat Stroke

Serving Austin and the surrounding area for five years now, Logic Mechanical has become the go-to company for fast fixes for air conditioners on the brink of giving up the ghost and cranky old units that have moved on to the other side. Don’t want to find yourself in this heated predicament? Sign up for preventative maintenance and bask in the cool breeze of worry-free summer relief.

Logic Mechanical Inc.
275 Ayers

Best Austin Punk Time Capsule

When a fire scorched Sweatbox Studio's original Downtown location in 2006 – twice, no less – it was a sad day for Austin punk history. Engineers Bryan Nelson, Tim Kerr, Mike Mariconda, and Mike Vasquez recorded a parade of national and local punk and garage bands since opening in 1993, putting Texas' fingerprints on it all: The Cynics, Quintron, Sons of Hercules, the Motards, etc. The venerable studio reopened in 2007 on the Eastside, and now all is right with the world again.

Sweatbox Studio
1406 Smith

Sandy Carson

Best Comfort in Our Time of Need

Losing a loved one can be devastating. It is not only the loss itself, but the added stress and pressure for all involved. The planning and expense of a funeral can seem overwhelming, especially in this economy. Austin is home to several fine funeral homes, but if you are looking for a compassionate place that will also work with you on a budget, Austin-Peel & Son is the place. Billy Peel, who started the home in Austin in 1984, will help you through difficult times.

Austin-Peel & Son Funeral Home
607 E. Anderson

Best Garden-Friendly Water Saver

The water situation has been dire this summer. On the rare day it does rain, why not save some for later? The Austin Water Utility's rain-barrel sales have been so successful, it has a hard time keeping them in stock, but if you see them advertised, run out and get some! They're easy to install, and collectively, they could ease pressure on our local water supply. Your flowers will thank you.

Austin Water
625 E. 10th St.

Sandy Carson

Best Hairy Godmother

God bless Joey Miller. With her scissors at the ready, hair that has no hope is hopeful, style long since lost is found, dull and dreary transform to volume and bounce, and the coifs and 'dos of Austin's beauties become worthy of their Lone Star legacies. The salon hums along in harmony under her direction, and a balance of chic and authenticity is realized.

Vain Salon
1803 Chicon

Best Ironic Parting Gift Rumor, 2001

Now, this is what we heard: When this online pharmacy site shut its doors and laid off the remaining employees, it had no money for severance pay … and instead gave everyone a T-shirt that said: "RX.COM: WE NEVER CLOSE."

Best Name for a Urologist, 1998

Don't be fooled by the name. He knows what he is doing. Need we say more?

Best Neurological Care

Laserlike precision. If these words alone could describe one's neurological surgical skill, it would be more than enough. But Dr. Peterson far surpasses dexterous excellency. Detection, informative analysis, presurgery consultation, and post-surgery care – all of these are taken to task with patient comfort at the core of it all. It's your brain and your spine; literally being in the best hands possible makes all the difference in the world.

Austin Brain and Spine
400 W. 15th #800

John Anderson

Best Place to Find a Shag

When it comes to wrangling home improvement bargains, we’re hardly pushovers. But the Carpet Stop knows how to treat a lady, or gentleman, with a taste for quality flooring. While the ridiculously reasonable prices would have been enough, the service puts us over the moon: Salespeople help you determine what you really need, order it up, and get it installed before the big-box dudes would have even finished your paperwork. Did we mention it's local? We’re swooning!

Carpet Stop
1542 W. Anderson

Best Slogan, 1992

Proof positive that there is such a thing as truth in advertising.

Walker Tire Co., 6926 N. Lamar, 454-8772,

Best Spa Retreat When You Can’t Afford One

When you need serenity or a stress detox, a day pass to the Crossings is a terrific deal. Arrive early and stay late, for just $35 Monday through Thursday and $55 Friday through Sunday. Way cheaper than a shrink session! Nestled in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve overlooking Lake Travis, with native-landscaped grounds and handsome architecture, the Crossings is a New Age retreat. Day pass includes lounging by a beautiful infinity-edge pool, steam room and hot tub, hiking trails, activity classes, and a healthy lunch on a lovely terrace with lake views. Got cash to spare? Book a massage or spa treatment, classes, or overnight stay. Reservations required; reopening Oct. 1.

The Crossings
13500 FM 2769

Best Thing on Wheels, 1996

The affable Fritz Blaw is the man behind the moniker, speedily hanging culture in the form of gig fliers, public service posters, and theatre handbills along a legal route all across town. Quite the boon to bands and bards, Motorblade Postering Service does the work so you don't have to. Though he's not always on his trademark 'blades to distribute fliers, Blaw is a reputable inline skating instructor in his off hours.

Motorblade Postering Service
Fritz Blaw, 5303 Aurora

Best Way for Women to Find Women

What did Austin dykes do before Diane "Kitty" Murray started calling for women to gather at area restaurants and coffeehouses to meet and mingle? They cried. A lot. This was never more evident than when Kitty, who started Foodies, the now legendary women-seeking-women group, five years ago, took some time off to focus on home and career in 2007-2008. The boo hoos of lonely lesbians became so deafening, Kitty heeded the call to resurrect the dependable series of events. Well, dry your tears and get the hell out of that well of loneliness, ladies. Foodies is back and better than ever with Wheelin' & Dealin' Wednesdays, pub crawls, and house parties out the wazoo. It's as simple as sending an e-mail to Kitty and getting on a mailing list. Actually showing up and finding that woman, however, is entirely up to you.

Diane "Kitty" Murray

Best Way to Get Your Stuff From Here to There

Generally speaking, moving sucks. It's exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive. (And in Austin, it's also often a very sweaty job.) But, it turns out, it doesn't have to be any of those things: With local, family-owned and -operated Mustang Movers, moving actually might be – ahem – fun. They're friendly, responsive, and most importantly, really affordable. With an online free quote system and prompt follow-up by one of the two owners, Nicole Williams and John Gutierrez, Mustang makes your move a no-brainer breeze.

Mustang Movers
PO Box 180634

Best-Kept Secret Mechanic

It's just a little ol' operation – a shed behind a nondescript building near the end of Manchaca Road – with one mechanic, Martin, who sometimes has a helper and sometimes doesn't. If you're in early enough, you'll probably be out the same day, but sometimes inspections can sidetrack his schedule. Rain or shine, this guy gives terrific service.

Martin's Inspections
12015 Menchaca Rd. Ste. C

Cleverest Fundraising Campaign

Your neighbors will be green with envy when a flock of brilliantly colored, plastic pink flamingos lands in your yard and inhabits it for a week. Dozens of flamingos. For any occasion. Someone need some cheering up? During the spring months, all you have to do is make a donation to the Central Texas SPCA of $50, and 25 pink flamingos will land in your yard (a donation of $75 will bring 40 flamingos), with a sign commemorating whatever occasion you want. Suzy's going to college? The wife just got a promotion? It's a birthday? Think pink. And help save our four-legged friends at the same time. Everyone wins.

Central Texas SPCA
909 S. Bagdad

Most Entertaining Radio Commerical

Amid the tension surrounding KUT's recent program changes that took beloved voices Paul Ray and Larry Monroe from their overnight spots (their flagship shows remain), listening to the station is still a pleasure. Its clever, seasonal, and regularly changed commercial spots for the vehicle donation program are refreshing and witty. Even Tom and Ray Magliozzi of "Car Talk" climbed aboard, prompting one of us to donate two cars. Give us back Paul and Larry overnight, and we'll continue to donate. Just kidding.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

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