BEST & WORST

General WeirJnese’

FAKES

Bad: The imitation elephant dung at the new “Wilds of Africa” exhibit at the Dallas Zoo stretches the “habitat” concept a bit far.

Worse: A man claiming to be a member of the rock band Starship bilked a Dallas woman out of thousands of dollars. He turned out to be an oft-convicted felon who had married a dozen times using 15 aliases.



Best: DART’s special busesto the Paul McCartney concert at Texas Stadium werecalled “Ticket to Ride”buses.

Worst: DART vastly under- estimated the number of McCartney riders. Some fans got a “Ticket to Ride” very, very late; some went nowhere, man.



WOULD-BE CENSORS

Silly: Tiny nude statues on display at City Hall were briefly fitted with fig leaves after a city worker protested. The artist surmised that it was due to the painted-on pubic hair. “My guess is that if you look like a Barbie doll, it’s okay, but when you look like a real human being, you get in real trouble,” she said. Self-serving: Assistant DA David Pickett, running for district judge, got some free publicity when he filed obscenity charges against Sound Warehouse for selling 2 Live Crew’s album As Nasty As They Wanna Be.

Sinister: A Piano city council member called for the removal of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer on the grounds that the books reinforced racial stereotypes.



CONFIRMATION OF YOUR WORST FEARSBad:On a KERA pseudo-debate, Clayton Williams

self-destructed when he revealed he didn’t even know about the constitutional amendment he had voted for-he thought

Worse: John Wiley Price, in a three-day lunatic outburst, threatened that blacks would take M-16s to the streets.



PROOF OF GULLIBILITY



Good: You believe that Tom Landry just couldn’t find time to be inducted into the Ring of Honor this year because of scheduling conflicts. Better: You believe that Landry, a famous Christian, couldn’t possibly be motivated by malice or desire for revenge. Best: You believe that Jerry Jones really isn’t madder than hell about the whole thing.



WAY TO PUMP UP YOUR AUDIENCE



Best: A KHYI-FM contest awarded a breast augmentation to the woman who gave the best reason for wanting the stuff mammaries are made of.

The winner sang a parody of “If I Only Had a Brain,” from The Wizard of Oz.



UNLIKELY SOURCE OF AMUSEMENT

Good: Federal Judge Jerry Buchmeyer moonlights by cracking lawyer jokes on KRLD. Example: “Why does New Jersey have more toxic waste dumps, while California has more lawyers?” Punch line: “New Jersey got first choice.”



TIE THE KNOT STORY

Best: A Euless couple made a splash by getting married while water-skiing across Marine Creek Lake. The minister was on the boat.



RECORD BREAKERS

Sweetest: The Guinness Book of World Records honored Arlington’s David Brett for baking a 180-pound pan of fudge.

Hardest: Fort Worth’s Jeff Liles set the Guinness mark for free throws made in a 24-hour period: 17,227.



WHILE MILLIONS STARVE STORY

Best: Highland Park High School’s stadium got new artificial turf at a cost of just under $1 million.

SCROOGE IN THE BURBS STORY

Tight: Grand Prairie insisted that a woman resident pay a tax bill of 83/l00ths of a cent. They rounded it up to a penny. Tightest: During field day activities on a sweltering May day. Mansfield PTA members actually charged kids 25 cents a cup for water. Thirteen were treated for heat exposure.



Good news: The Dallas

Good news: The Dallas school board planned a DISD . newsletter that would carry only uplifting

press.

Bad news: A Texas prisons survey showed that the most poorly educated crooks had attended DISD schools.



ROUGH TRANSLATIONS

Best: An exhibit of Russian culture at Fair Park included a human hair engraved with the words “Long Live Peace.”

Worst: A Soviet ambassador, touring the Sixth Floor exhibit on JFK, looked out the window and asked: “is this the suspi- cious bush?”

He was referring to the grassy knoll.



DALLAS EXPORT

Worst: In a Bay City-wide prayer vigil. Pastor Larry Lea, of the Church On The Rock, tried to “exorcise” San Francisco’s gay community on Halloween night.

SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL STORY

Bad: On the day of the most lurid testimony in the Sharon Green sex murder trial. Paradise High School sent government classes to observe the justice system firsthand. worse: After a rash of weapons scares, airport-style metal detectors were installed at W.W. Samuels High School. Worst: A Dallas teacher, apparently enraged, called students “faggots.” taped one kid’s mouth shut, and threatened to toss another out the window.



TALES FROM THE LITIGIOUS SOCIETY

spicy: Pig Stands and the Hard Rock Cafe chopped each other up over the rights to the “pig sandwich” name.

Slow: A federal judge ordered two brothers who embezzled $5 million from a Grand Prairie bank to pay back the money-at the rate of $200 per month.

FOUL PLAY STORY

Worst: After the lewd rap group 2 Live Crew refused to perform at the Longhorn Ballroom, their tans screamed obscenities, broke furniture, and threatened violence. None, however, were awarded record contracts.



PROOF THAT PATIENCE PAYS OFF

Good: When her next-door neighbor’s house was bulldozed, a University Park woman found a ring she’d lost 44 years before.

Better: DART finally broke ground on a rail line after five years and $80 million.



MUSICAL MESSAGE

Best: KVIL’s Jody Deancreated a Dallas version ofBilly Joel’s ’We Didn’t Startthe Fire.”

In a world shaking with change, D’s annual Best & Worst issue is a comforting symbol of continuity. Some things go on forever, It seems-including, after a brief hiatus, the Cowboys. If you had told us last January that Jimmy Johnson’s team would shake the metallic blues and climb out of their 1-15 mausoleum, we’d have offered to sell you part ownership in an S&L with a dandy collection of Renaissance paintings.

Yes, some things endure. That’s why we’ve got the best wedding service (mar- riage goes on), the worst politician’s quote (gaffes go on), the best dance lessons for kids (childhood goes on), the worst radio ads (hype goes on), and the best massage (alas, stress goes on).

Hard to believe, but D’s Best & Worst turns 15 years old this time around. Ah, the prime of adolescence. If you think about it, Best & Worst is like a lot of teenagers: loud, rowdy a touch crude, but full of rambunc tious energy, eternally

optimistic-and, certain that if ] we can keep on i laughing at ourselves, things will usually turn out okay.

Trinks



LOCALLY BREWED BEER



Best: West End Lager, a robust European-styled beer, was declared by our sloshing panel, after several steins, to be “a fine breakfast beer.” The runner-up: Texas Bluebonnet, a light lager {115 calories). Both beers are available at Marty’s. 3316 Oak Lawn, and Simon David, 6770 Abrams Road.



COFFEE BAR

Best: Late on weekend evenings at La Creme’s 1683, 8220B Westchester in Preston Center (368-4188), you’ll find couples lingering over espresso and conversation, reveling in the quiet and the caffeine.



MARTINI

Best garden-variety:

Along with the usual vodka or gin, the tasty Gardentini($4.25) at Chaplin’s, 1928 Greenville (823-3300), is made with the addition of three spicy pickled string beans, two fat onion-stuffed olives, a pearly white cocktail onion, and carrot sticks. We don’t even miss the sleek martini glass; the veggies require a deeper receptacle.



DRINK TREND

Best: Grab a chair. This startling revelation could make your knees weak-but it’s true. 1990 was the year when not drinking became cool. High-profile, formerly heavyweight imbibers went cold turkey. We’re not naming names, but you know who you are-and we applaud you.



WINE EVANGELIST

Best: A bus tour of Texas wineries with Jean-Pierre Butter of Tony’s Wine Warehouse, 2918 Oak Lawn (520-WINE), will convert you to the gospel of vino. After four wineries and multiple glasses of wine, the bus ride home is a revelation.



AFTERNOON TEA

Best: Play hooky with mom at Messina’s Restaurant & Culinary Center, 3521 Oak Grove (559-0857), located in a historic home. It’s such a civilized thing to do.

Entertainme



COMEBACK

Best:The hands-down winner is Ed Bernet and The Levee Singers, who won our hearts 25-odd years ago at the old Levee on Mockingbird. Now Big Ed’s back, performing Fridays and Saturdays at the Levee at the Pontchartrain restaurant, 13444 N. Preston Road (385-1522).



SPORTS BAR

Best: Chris’s Sports Club, 9400 N. Central Expwy. (691-8819), provides that shot-and-a-beer atmosphere that sports fans love.



MOVIES ON LOCAL TV

Best: For years, Channel 27 has presented its bottomless collection of B-grade films with few-sometimes no-commercial interruptions. We were thrilled when “VCR Theater” expanded to five nights a week. With a keen eye for theme programming (a whole night of monster bug movies, or a night celebrating the Barrymore family), 27 has us scrounging for spare tape at least once a week.



BLUES SINGER

Best new: Cricket Taylor has a voice that screams with potential. Right now she’s using it to shout blues, but she could expand into jazzier music and make more of an impression. Her miniskirted gyrating on stage is great dirty-old-man stuff.

Best venerable: We’ve Said it before, and we’ll say it again: Shirley McFatter is a local treasure who can belt out the blues better than anyone has a right too. Shirley was born to wail, but boy does she get better with age.



THEO PUB

Best: Don’t drop out, but tune in and turn on to the church-social ambience of Uncle Calvin’s at Northftrk Presbyterian Church. 9009 N. Central Expwy. (363-5457). Calvin’s coffeehouse ministry provides fabulous folk entertainment on weekends, succeeding with a strictly non alcoholic point of view.



NIGHTCLUB BATHROOM

Best: Unlike most nightclub bathrooms in Deep Ellum, the ones at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. (744-DADA). are clean and consistently stocked with the essentials. The acerbic, even existential, graffiti is worth the visit even if you don’t have to go.

GESTURE OF LONE-STAR STAR HOSPITALITY

strangest: After not one but two giant cockroaches crawled up the arm of a woman seated in the audience at Poor David’s Pub on Greenville, she complained to a bartender. The response: “Smooth out, lady, This is Texas, you know.”



OLD LOCAL BAND

Best: Brave Combo has been around for years, and they still go anywhere and play anything-that’s anything with a capital A; these guys are musical Renaissance men, dabbling in polka, jazz, even big band.

NEW LOCAL BAND

Best: The reformulated Cafe Noir has a cast of characters guaranteed to keep the group name from being a too deadpan reflection of its sound. As the saying goes, it ain’t what you play, but the way you play it.



LOCAL COMEDY TROUPE

Best: “4 Out of 5 Doctors” is the local comedy group most likely to cure what ails you. Current and contentious, they help you fight back at the lunacy that passes for civilization. The comedy is improv style, created on the spot from suggestions by the audience. Mondays at the Improv, Corner Shopping Center, 9810 N. Central Expwy. (750-5868).



VENUE FOR LIVE MUSIC



Best: Could it be Starplex?Yep, it could, and it is.Starplex is like a fine Swisstimepiece. Clean and on time.Never in the history of theworld has a rock concertstarted on time-except here.Parking is a breeze, tickets areeasy to get. and the open-airconcept works just fine.(Okay, maybe we’re gettingold or something.)

best of dallas 90 BARBECUE ROUNDUP



Rating barbecue is a treacherous business, but we couldn’l resist. And, while “where’s the best ’cue?” may be the most frequently

asked food question in town, we knew the answer wouldn’t be easy. Our solution? We rounded up a bunch of barbecue aficionados and made them decide.



The Cue: Plain, sliced beef sandwiches and several containers of sauce were anonymously obtained from Baker’s Ribs (2724 Commerce), Peggy Sue’s (6600 Snider Plaza). Sonny Bryan’s (2202 Inwood), and Little Bob’s (4607 Village Fair).



The Plan: In a blind taste test. our judges were instructed to rate the barbecue in terms of its flavor, the quality of meat, and the sauce.



The Judges (shown here, from left): Don Gay. eight-time World Champion bull rider; James Jennings, Mesquite Rodeo announcer; Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, morning disc jockey, KSCS-FM 96.3; Frank Mcllvain, professional rodeo clown.



The Results: The winner? Well, Sonny Bryan’s and Baker’s Ribs ran a tight race, while Peggy Sue’s won the sauce heat hands down. Hawkeye particularly liked Sonny Bryan’s packaging, noting, “good barbecue belongs in wax paper” But Don Gay paid Sonny Bryan’s the highest barbecue honor judge could possibly bestow when he said of their sandwich, “I’d actually buy one.” Jennings, on the other hand, thought Baker’s Ribs was real Texas-style barbecue. And as Hawkeye so eloquently put it, “It’s too bad that it has to be served with bread.” Here’s how the results stacked up:



THE FLAVOR:

First: Sonny Bryan’s; Second: Baker’s Ribs; Third: Peggy Sue’s; Fourth; Little Bob’s



THE QUALITY OF

MEAT:

First: Sonny Bryan’s; Second: Baker’s Ribs; Third: Peggy Sue’s: Fourth: Little Bob’s



THE SAUCE: First: Peggy Sue’s: Second: Baker’s Ribs. Third: Sonny Bryan’s; Fourth: Little Bob’s Mixed

MEDIA

INNOVATION

Best: The Dallas Times Herald introduced a “low-rub” ink as part of a ’no-smear” campaign.

Bad: Southwestern Bell began offering “sophisticated script” listings in the white pages.

Worst: The Herald used rose-scented ink in some ads for Valentine’s Day. Hope they don’t get any sewage treatment ads.



ADVICE FROM THE MEDIA



Most condescending:

A Herald story advising career women how to dine out suggested, among other things, that aspiring females not chew with their mouths open, leave lipstick on glasses, eat directly from serving plates, etc.



USE OF MOT AIR

Best: KVIL used its copter to help dry the soaked greens at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Worst: Del Frisco’s Burns-and-Allen-style radio ads are about to drive us up a wall. The king of cornfed beef, cornball jokes.



BUST

Small-time: When Dallas Morning News reporter Pete Slover was researching a story in the Ellis County clerk’s office, he found himself accidentally locked in the building. He got the story, but was later charged with burglary.

Big-time: Exotic dancer Busty Heart, 80-MMM, expanded into ads in the sports pages of the newspapers.clearing theway for a deluge of hyper- garbanzoed copycat show-irls.

PRINT ADS

Best: John

Criswell announced his move to freedom at Channel 4 with his mouth taped shut.

Grossest: For Purina Hi Pro dog food: “The more nutrients a dog digests, the less passes through his system-and onto our sidewalks.” Yecch.



QUOTE FROM A HIGHLY PLACED SOURCEMost graphic: Al Lipscomb described the city’s fair-housing settlement as a “laxative” we should be thankful for.

Most Luce-Id: As he was crushed by Claytie on the night of the primary election, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Luce quipped: “Well, we haven’t heard from Box 13 in South Texas yet.”

VICTORY



Deserved: Singer Tom Waits claimed that an imitator illegally ripped off his voice in a radio ad for Frito-Lay. He sued and won.

Dubious: After sign-waving protestors chastised Channel 8 for showing a three-second clip of a pregnant black woman at Parkland Hospital, WFAA’s Michael Grant apologized. The protests continued anyway.



QUOTE

Most vivid: A new biography of H. Ross Perot described him as “a fierce bird of prey” when angry.

Most self-serving:

Channel 8’s Dale Hansen joked on the air about suing the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where his finger was damaged in an accident. “They’ll be calling it the Royal Hansonian,” he quipped.

FOOd



CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK

Best: In the middle of nowhere, in the triangle between Red Oak, Palmer, and Ferris is Rockett, Texas, home of the Rockett Cate {617-8634), home of chicken-fried steak cooked to authentically sinful perfection. Take 1-45 south, go a few miles beyond 1-20 to Ferris, then meander to the southwest along Farm Road 983 till you get to Farm Road 813: go west for a piece to Rockett. population 124.



ETHNIC ENCLAVE

Best: In Richardson’s Chinatown, especially the blocks ranging north and west from the intersection of Belt Line Road and Greenville Avenue, is some of the most authentic (and cheap) Chinese cuisine to be found in the Metroplex. Here are the highlights:

Best chow mein: Canton, 400 N. Green-. ville Ave.. Suite 25 (238-1863).

Best dim sum: Big Wong, 400 N. Greenville Ave. (437-1668).

Best barbecued duck: First Chinese B-B-Q. 111 S. Greenville Ave. (680-8216).

Best place to order a meal dirt cheap: Topaz House, 110 S. Greenville Ave. (234-3887).


HANDMADE MEXICAN FOOD

Best: The revival of handmade Mexican food is a happy one in a town that prides itself on its Tex-Mex. Superb new emporia like Matt’s Rancho Martinez (best chile rellenos), 6312 La Vista (823-5517); authentic havens like El Asadero (best tamales), 1516 Greenville Ave. (826-0625); innovative spots like La Suprema Tortilleria (best appetizer, the ceviche tostada), 7630 Military Pkwy. (388-1244); even an ambitious fast-food chain like ZuZu (best table sauces), all locations, prove that Mexican food tastes lots better (and costs less) when real people, not. machines, make it.



RED BEANS AND RlCE

Best: Believe it or not, the most authentic Nawlins-style red beans and rice is at Popeyes Fried Chicken, all locations.

RESTAURANT COUPLE

Oddest: When Guy Calluaud closed his French bistro Brasserie Calluaud to join George Toomer as a copartner in Joey Tomato’s Atlantic City, 3232 McKinney Ave. (754-0380), we were aghast. Guy. the epitome of the French chef, in business with the King of Kitsch? We wondered: Would George give up his Hawaiian shirts? Or would Guy start wearing them? So far, no change on the fashion front, but we’re still watching.



LATE NIGHT PIE AND COFFEE

Best: ’”Twin Peaks” agent Dale Cooper would love the coffee shop at the Park Inn Plaza. 1914 Commerce (747-7000), which may be the safest place to sip a late-night cuppa. Cops flock there for the apple pie a la mode and the strong, black coffee.

PAD THAI

Best: Thai noodles at Thai Soon. 2018 Greenville Ave. (821-7666), is likely to transcend cultural barriers as a universal soul food. Mama Soon knows her stuff. We like ’em best with tofu instead of shrimp.



BREAKFAST SPECIAL

Best: At Bagelstein’s, 8104 Spring Valley (234-3787), $2.99 gets you perfectly cooked eggs, a choice of ham, sausage, or salami, tasty hash browns, your favorite bagel toasted, and a whole basket of fresh, homemade Danish slices.



NEW YORK-STYLE PIZZABest: It is New York pizza atCarmine’s, 7615 CampbellRoad at Coit (248-8810), byvirtue of the ingredients’ EastCoast origins, the hand-tosseddough, and the hefty BakersPride oven. A slice withcheese is all it takes to take usback to Brooklyn.

best of dallas 90 WHAT EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES KNOW

No task is too big or too small. No need too great, For executive secretaries, anything is possible. Our selected panel of experts has more than 80 years of experience among them, which probably came in handy considering all the questions we asked.



The Panel: Even though Del Dixon Moore jokes that she’s “still on probation,” she’s worked for Dallas attorney Sid Stahl for the last 25 years. Lola McKinney has been a secretary since 1953, and most of the time she’s worked for David Hitt, formerly of Baylor University Medical Center and now CEO at Methodist Hospitals of Dallas. Shirley Booth has been a member of TYPOS (Texas Young Presidents’ Organization Secretaries) since 1969 and has worked for several YPO members, including former mayor Bob Folsom and Carl P. Wallace, as well as her current boss, big time banker Gerald J. Ford.



Their answers:



Beat Place For A Business Breakfast:

Beau Nash at the Crescent (871-3240).



Best Florists:

To Pick Up/Carry Out: Dr. Delphinium Designs (696-3000).

To Deliver: Preston Florist (691-7561).

With a Personal Touch: Florist Carol Garner’s personalized service (526-4205).

Best Lunch Catered In:

Paradise Bakery-Arlington (817-467-5228); Downtown (761-1662); NorthPark (692-8499); Prestonwood Town Center (980-7749); Town East Mall (279-3557).



Best Place To Discuss Business Over Drinks:

The Palm Restaurant (698-0470).



Best Couriers: It’s a tie. Wingtip Couriers (222-0222) and Dial-A-Messenger (630-2921).



Best Copy Service:

Nightrider Overnite Copy Service (953-0787).



Best Travel Agent:

For general use:

Executive Travel Service (747-1922). For reservations at the place in a pinch: All Aboard Travel Inc. (521-8444).



Best Place For A Corporate Retreat:

Garrett Creek Ranch & Executive Conference Center in Paradise, Texas (680-8679).



Best Concierge Service:

The Dallas Directory (8234370).



From left: Lola McKinney, Del Dixon Moore, and Shirtey Booth.BR>The Arts



IDEA IN A BAD ECONOMY

Most innovative: Eugene Binder, one of Dallas’s top art dealers, now divides his time between Texas and Germany’s most art-conscious city, Cologne, where he tries to market American (especially Texan) painters.



CREATIVE CHUTZPAH

Best: Gallery director Kerry Freeman made the off-the-wall N NO. 0 (say North Number Zero) Gallery downtown . only the second venue in the country to host a show of paintings by David Lynch of “Twin Peaks” and Wild at Heart fame. How? He just asked, and Lynch just said yes.



ARTS GROUP

Most ambitious: The Dallas Bach Society keeps bringing in more quality out-of-town groups and keeps, improving its own local offerings, yet has stayed consistently in the black through prudent management.

Most aggressive: A tie: The Plaza Theatre in Snider Plaza offered its first season package ever this fall, with superb casts, while Dallas Repertory Theatre in NorthPark Mall upgraded its image, attempting far more ambitious works.

Most resilient: Every year, the finances bode ill for The Lyric Opera, a brave little company dedicated to presenting opera in English, but it hasn’t missed a season yet.

FOREING LANGUAGE CONCERT

Best: How the Bulgarian Voices, united in song at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU, do what they do with their voices we’ll never figure out. It’s somewhere between a wail and a warble. They’re weird, but wonderful.

Worst:Bob Dylan at Starplex. Between the overpowering mix of sound and Dylan’s degenerating enunciation, even the words to his classic songs were a blur.



ARTISTIC SPAT

Worst: Nicola Rescigno’s increasing disaffection with the administrative policies of Dallas Opera, a company he helped to found and led for over three decades, forced him’ to resign.



EXHIBIT

Best: The exhibit “Black Art-Ancestral Legacy,” curated by Alvia J. Wardlaw, was an adventure into the cultural wonderland of African-American art. It was a dazzling departure for the often staid sensibilities of the DMA and a much-needed cultural unifier. Applause to Rick Brettell and staff.



PLACE TO MEET DEEPLY CULTURED SINGLES

Best: The best place to pick up a single person who can conjugate German verbs is the Dallas Museum of Art on Thursdays when the place is open until 9 p.m., and there’s usually some kind of event going on. Soup, salad, and wine in the DMA dining room is the ultimate icebreaker.



ACT OF CHARITY

Best: One dollar from everyseat sold at one of theperformances of the DallasSummer Musicals’ Cats, wasdedicated to helping homelessanimals at the Dallas SPCA.Buffy, a black and whitefeline, accepted a check foralmost $1,500.

SHOPPinG



CD SELECTION

Best: Sound Future (five locations, call 368-2700 for one near you) is a jazz haven for audiophiles. Plus, their tropical section is hot, as is their New Age area, and they slock local product. Bring your old CDs to sell or swap; regular customers get a discount. These guys even recycle the CD longbox packaging for you.



RETAIL OUTLETBest new: The Crate & Barrel Outlet Store that opened last fall is a dream come true for C & B addicts. This 2,500-square-foot store at 1317 Inwood Road (634-2277), is filled with all the good stuff we’ve come to love. And even better, the prices are decidedly lower than retail.

Mostunusual: The D&D Casket Store, 11508 Reeder Road near Stemmons Freeway and Royal Lane (520-8450), is not a funeral home, and these guys do not make funeral arrangements; they only sell caskets. But if you’re in the market, the variety is good, and so are the prices. There’s no layaway- it’s strictly cash and carry. Caskets start around $500, and they’ll deliver anywhere in the Metroplex for $10.

POTS AND PLANTERS



Best: You’ll find a tot more than pots and planters at Ideal Industries, 5000 W. Davis (331-2063), so plan on staying awhile. The place is loaded with funky ceramics, pedestals, columns, bird baths, and terra cotta.



Cheapest: G&M Mexican Imports at 2701 Ross Ave. (754-5902) has absolutely the cheapest pottery, planters, and terra cotta that can be found anywhere. Plus they occasionally have half-priced sales that are almost silly. What’s half of cheap, anyway? Great Mexican tchotchkes too.

PLACE TO BUY BASEBALL CARDS

Best: This one’s a tie between The Baseball Card Exchange, 106 E. Main, in Richardson (231-9747); and First Base, 216 Webbs Chapel Shopping Village (243-5271). one of the oldest spots in town.



NURSERY

Best: We’ve kept close tabs forthe last few years, and the yardplants we bought fromCalloway’s Nursery, all fivelocations (call 817-498-3253)are the ones that lived. Youcan get lost in the selection,and the employees actuallyknow their stuff.

best of dallas 90 THE BEST OF SAM’S

What Sears was to the homespun Fifties, Sams is to the credit-crunched

Nineties. Now in its eighth year, the discount buying club, brainchild of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, has legions of fens, and the mania is growing. So is the stock; it’s now possible to order an automobile through Sam’s: What’s next, matchmaking As one proud, proud member has said-and she’s serious-Sam’s is the American dream.

Herewith, our insider’s picks of the best of Sam’s. Fade to the national anthem.



FILM (A five-pack of Fuji color print film, 100 ASA): $19.13



BLANK VIDEO CASSETTES (A five-pack): $16.99



YSL PARIS PERFUME: $29.99



PRETTY WOMAN VIDEO: $12.99



SWEATS (in every imaginable color): $4.99 each, tops and bottoms



SPERRY TOPSIDERS: $38.99 a pair



BONSAI TREE $16.99



DOUBLE SHOT BASKETBALL GAME (like the one at Joe Willy’s): $198.99



THE CIVIL WAR, companion book to the PBS Series: $31.99

A FOUR-PACK OF BABY WIPES: $5.98

PEANUT-BUTTER CRACKERS (24 packages): $3.47

MISTER CR0ISSANT(12-piece box): S3.47



LAWLER’S CHEESECAKE (16 slices): New York-style, $8.97; Turtle, $9.98



QUICHE HORS D’OEUVRES BY NANCY: $7.98 for 40



A FIVE-POUND BAG OF MEATBALLS:$7.56



CHEESE-STUFFED PASTA SHELLS: $7.13 for four pounds



STOUFFER’S LASAGNA: 96 ounces for $10.73



TYSON BONELESS CHICKEN

BREASTS(frozen): $9.54 for four pounds



DELTA PRIDE CATFISH FILLETS $12.72 for four pounds



CHICKEN TACQUITOS $7.19 for 36 ounces



SMOKED CHICKEN FOR FAJITAS $7.76 for two pounds



CRIPPLE CREEK CHIPPED

barbecue: $7.98 for five pounds



BRAWNY PAPER TOWELS: 12-pack for $8.56

CLASSIC COCA-COLA: $6.23 for a 24-can case



GLEN ELLEN CHARDONNAY: 1.5 liter bottle, $4.13

*Editor’s note: prices and availability as of December 1 Sporis



QUOTE

Best: Bobby Valentine, on watching the ailing Nolan Ryan fail to get No. 300 on his first try: “It’s like being the director of Evita and having the leading lady come up with laryngitis…”

FEAT BY AN ELDER STATESMAN

stellar: On June II. the immortal Nolan Ryan pitched his sixth no-hitter, setting a record that will probably never be matched. ..

Celestial:. . .and on July 31, Ryan won his 300th game, making him the 20th pitcher in baseball history to reach that pinnacle.



ODD TIMING

By human: David Casstevens, longtime sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News, left for browner pastures in Phoenix.

By gorilla: Kanda, the gorilla who gained national fame by beating Casstevens at picking football winners, met an even grimmer fate, expiring in Colorado Springs.



THING YOU NEVER HOPED TO SEE

Bad: The Cowboys ended their tradition of the yearly Salesmanship Club pre-season game, the last charity game left in the NFL.

Worse: After 15 years and innumerable great moments. Ed “Too Tall” Jones retired.

Worst: Tom Landry (gulp) sang in a commercial for a motel chain.



RECEIVER DECEIVER

Worst: A con man bilked a California woman out of $29,000 in cash after claiming to be Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin. {The lady caught on when she requested a photo of Irvin from the Cowboys.)

Then, when he was caught and hauled to court, the woman revealed that she had married the imposter.



PICKBest: The Mavericks picked up Rodney McCray, Alex English, and Fat Lever to add veteran depth to the bench.

Worst: As Nolan Ryan notched his 300th victory, the television cameras caught managing general partner George W. Bush with a probing digit deep in his nose.



ACT BY JERRY JONES

Best: The new, booze-filled “Corral” at Texas Stadium brought private-club fun. music, and a terrific pickup atmosphere to St. Tom’s cathedral.

Worst: Jones cast the deciding vote among NFL owners to keep the much-hated instant replay another year.



GUTSY MOVE

Good: During a September game with Kansas City. Bo Jackson hit a hard grounder that split Nolan Ryan’s lip. Bleeding, Ryan pitched into the eighth inning, giving up just three hits.

Great: In an effort to inspire the handicapped, a man with no legs tried out for the Cowboys.

VEILED THREAT

Worst: Fearing that skimpy costumes and bouncing bods would offend our Saudi hosts, the Cowboy Cheerleaders scrapped plans to visit the troops in the Persian Gulf.

Services



LAMP SELECTION

Best: Enchanted Lighting is a place frozen in time-a time defined by delicately beaded chandeliers and fussy French lamp shades. If you need it (or need it fixed), this jampacked shop at 3121 Knox St. (521-9623) can comply.



PLACE TO FIND A HOUSE PAINTER

Best: Each morning-bright and early-painters gather in the parking lot of Texas Paint & Wallpaper Company, 4410 Ross Ave. (824-4574), and wait for contractors to sweep them up. You can, too. Ask several how much they charge per hour- the range generally will vary from $5 to $15.



PICTURE FRAMING

cheapest: A mere $39.95 gets your print (up to 24 by 36 inches) dry mounted and framed in one of three metal frames (glass included) at The Framing Concern, 3136 Routh St., Suite 100 (871-0621). For an extra $8.95, they’ll throw in a matte or let you expand your choice of frames to some 40 color schemes.

Not cheap: The prices may be steep; that Degas poster you picked up at the New York Metropolitan bookstore for $10 will cost you 10 times that to frame, but if it’s really classy framing you want, go to Fritz’s Picture Framing, 3426 Greenville (823-8974). Be sure to ask for Tim-an artist himself, he’s got a great eye.

DANCE LESSONS

Best for kids: Dick Chaplin’s Cotillion (369-9476) has reigned supreme as Dallas’s dancemeister for at least four decades. Now he’s actually teaching the children of former students how to fox trot, two-step, hully gully, and twist.



WEDDING SERVICE

Best: So you want to get married by a Tibetan yogi on a remote mountain top on the fourth of July? Before you set a date, call Pamela Robison of Faraway Weddings (1-800-882-WEDS). Robison handles all kinds of wedding celebrations in exotic locations, arranging logistics like licenses, blood tests, permits, etc.



MASSAGEBest quick fix: Stuart Bazley of Massage-N-Products, 9816 Miller Road (343-4148), will bring his magic fingers right to the workplace, where for $20 a person he will poke and probe your stressed-out bod. He needs about six of your colleagues to make the trip worthwhile.

Best quicker fix: Try the 10-minute massage at Whole Foods Market, 2218 Greenville Ave. Tom Collins is the man with the huge hands that wring the tightness from your shoulders and soften the steel cords in your aching back.

PIAON MOVERS

Best: Wray’s Professional Piano and Organ Moving, 324 S. Delaware in Irving (445-9611), is not only highly recommended by folks who sell pianos, but we’ve also seen them in action-twice. They can move a piano down a flight of stairs, up a flight of stairs, around tricky corners, and through narrow doors with nary a scratch or bump. These guys are courteous, fast, and incredibly nimble in the face of scary architectural impediments.



TIE CLEANERS

Best: Cravate, 37 Highland Park Village (526-6800), is the only place to go when your thoroughbred ties need cleaning. No shrinking or puckering here. Cravate sends ties off to New York where they’re literally dismantled, cleaned, reassembled, and flown home-looking better than new. Cleaning is $7 per tie.



WATCH REPAIR

Best: The nice people at Watches and More Jewelry, 8421 Westchester in Preston Center (369-2810), do a terrific job-often while you wait-on normal watch wear and tear (dead batteries, shot watchbands, scratched crystals) as well as more intricate troubles.



HOME WRECKER

Best; Reliable Wrecking, 642 E. Highway 80 in Sunnyvale (226-8880), is the city’s leading specialist in leveling older homes for the purpose of building anew Bulldozers are operated with surgical preci sion, bashing a lifetime of mem- ories within minutes.



AUTO REPAIR

Best: Sears Automotive at Valley View Mall, 13131 Preston Road (458-3528), gives you everything you want in a mechanic: they’re fast, reliable, and they stick to the estimates.

POOL SERVICE

Best: Limiting themselves to just eight pools each day (most companies service 12 to 15), Hollywood Pool Service (248-2485) offers personalized service-like a 24-hour answering service and pool “babysitting” that includes picking up the mail, newspapers, and feeding the dog or pig. (Yes, pig. When Bob Dedman of ClubCorp fame bought a pet pig, Hollywood employee Ryan Beckworth had his hands full. The pig, named Buddha, managed to eat part of his shoestrings before chasing Beckworth into the pool. Now “personalized service” at the Dedman house includes spreading pig food over the lava rocks to keep Buddha busy while the pool is cleaned.)



PET SITTER

Best: Pet TLC at 9002 Graveland Drive (327-7062) gives more than tender loving care to your pets. Several of the employees are also longtime veterinarian assistants, and they can provide emergency medical care. Plus they keep extensive files of your animals’ habits and needs.

PET TRAINER

Best: At Mans Best Friend, 3201 Skylane Drive (407-1704), Fido first goes in for a 10-day crash course in civilized behavior; then, unlimited lessons with the owner follow. They guarantee results-any breed, any age.

best THE CAR WASH KINGS 90 OF dall



Our car wash critiquing team

chose four car washes in various parts of Dallas.

The Car Washes: Valley View Car Wash, 5444 Alpha Road at Montfort; Vintage Car Wash, 6815 Preston Road; Greenville Ritz, 7520 Greenville Ave.; Triple D Car Wash. 5026 Ross Ave.



The Plan: After giving instructions on what to do with i the beer cans (brand: Keystone), 1 newspapers, coat hangers, |bathroom tissue (scented), and two large, duck-shaped inflatible toys, our team would (hen roam the premises and make vital observations.

The Team:

Professional nerds, Rupert and Homer Morris, and their 1960 Rambler station wagon.

The Results:

Best Car Wash: Greenville Ritz. After dousing the Rambler with a half-liter of Pepsi and several handfuls of dirt, our nerds pull into the Ritz. They receive a warm welcome. The employees son the trash correctly (the nerds recycle), straighten the newspapers in the back seat, and even turn the bathroom tissue upright. Homer and Rupert check out the bathrooms, which are immaculate. The total wash only takes 12 minutes, but( everything sparkles, even the swim toys.

Next Best: Vintage Car Wash. The Rambler gels a thorough cleaning here, but not quite as good as the Ritz. However, Homer feels Vintage deserves extra points since the manager actually knows the molecular composition of soap and because of the scenery. “I’ve met three girls, and they all like me,” he says.

Definitely Third: Triple D Car Wash. A stop at a construction site for more dirt means the nerds don’t arrive at Triple D until five minutes before closing. The staff is friendly, and the wash is fast, but the quality isn’t quite up to Homer and Rupert’s standards.

Not Even Close: Valley View Car Wash. The nerds are refused service at this establishment because half of the Rambler’s front grill is missing. The attendant on duty is afraid the broken grill means sure death for the cleaning equipment. Homer and Rupert decide Valley View is the car wash with the worst sense of humor.

Politics

ELECTION PARAPHERNALIA

Best: “I’m a Luce Woman.”

Even better: “I’d rather smoke dope with Ann than have sex with Claytie.”



MAD, MAD MATTOX STORY

old: During the primary season, a man who had run against Jim Mattox back in 1982 summed him up thusly: “An idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Macbeth, Act V.) New: A Duncanville resident attending UT-Austin found herself saddled with a phone number just one digit different from that of the Mattox headquarters. Sick of all the wrong numbers, she left a recording saying that Mattox had dropped out of the race for governor, and urged callers to support Ann Richards.



DIS-STRAUSS-FUL

Worst: When USA Tbday asked mayors of 14 cities to pick a “must see” tourist attraction, Mayor Annette Strauss picked her own son-in-law’s place, J. Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant in the Quadrangle. Caramba, Anital



ELECTION NIGHT REVELATIONS

Worst loser: After Jerry Rucker ran a muddy race for Congress and was soundly beaten by John Bryant, Rucker boasted he’d ’’scalded [Bryant’s] little hiney good” with 37 per cent of the vote.

worst winner: Gay-bashing Judge Jack Hampton, who admitted that he handed down a light sentence to a Mesquite teenager convicted of killing two homosexuals, didn’t even draw an opponent.

DECISION BY AN OUTGOING GUV

SMARTEST: Fearing witty quips, Gov. Bill Clements turned down an offer from Late Night With David Letterman to sing the state’s praises in Letterman’s series on “Gubernatorial Minutes.”

cops and robbers cops and robbers



COPYCAT CRIMINALS

Worst: Two men used a plain old copy machine to turn out $30,000 in bogus bills; they were actually able to pass several before they were caught.

HEARTLESS THIEF

Bad: A group of Dallas teachers were ripped off by their leader in a crime prevention seminar. He took their money and failed to deliver their tear gas.

Worse: A thief driving a red Mustang stole a package of food from an amputee in a wheelchair.

CRIME STORY OF THE YEAR

Weirdest: A former employee of a local porn shop came in to rob the store and wound up shooting himself in the genitals and left leg. He fled. The next day, he came back in, hobbling on crutches and wearing a bandage, and tried to rob the place again. This time he made it out before police arrived. A week later, he robbed another porn parlor and was arrested shortly after. The thief then rejected a plea bargain offer of 25 years, after which a judge sentenced him to two concurrent 40-year prison terms.

BANDITS IN OUR MIDST

By tollway: “Lane Runner No. 1,” the brazen motorist who sped through tollway lanes more than 60 times without paying, remains at large.

By mouth: A man was robbed of $60,000 in valuables by a woman who accompanied him to a hotel. He remembered tasting something bitter on her lips and then. . .adios Rolex.

By burger: A Jack-in-the-Box restaurant on Northwest Highway was robbed by a man wearing a Burger King shirt.

SUR-PRICE-ING ACT

Bad: John Wiley Price painted over billboards in an effort to protest cigarette and liquor sales in black neighborhoods.

Worse: Price called police, threatening to use an M-16 to take care of vandals who had just trashed his car.

Wretched: After a jogging cop stupidly insulted him, Price chased the officer and confronted him with either an Uzi submachine gun or a li’l ol’ pellet gun, de-pending on the version you believe,

Hideous: In a three-day outburst, Price repeatedly said that if a “good of boy” police chief was hired, blacks would take to the streets with rifles to do battle with cops and “take this city back.”

Next: We’re afraid to speculate.

CITY OF HATE STORY (NON-PRICE DIVISION)

Bad: Ricky Don White claimed that his father, a former Dallas Police Department photographer, had actually shot President John F. Kennedy. As for proof, well, the diary in which his dad admitted the deed is missing, most of the principals are dead, and White relied on memories from before his third birthday for some of his “facts.”

Worse: After a grand jury no-billed the Irving Mall vigilante, no less than Bernard Goetz praised the city as “much saner” than New York.

IDEA FOR THE HIT FILM SEX, LIES, AND MINERAL RIGHTS

Best: Seven auditors in the U.S. Minerals Management Service’s Dallas office were called on the carpet after they admitted to partying with prostitutes and taking pictures of the ladies1 topographical features.

FIRSTS

Worst: In a Dallas County first, a Mesquite man was indicted for failure to purchase the new state tax stamp for the 433 grams of marijuana police found in his home.

SEIZURES

Embarrassing: DEA agents seized $25 million of suspected drug money on a jetliner at D/FW, then learned it was legit cash being shipped from the Federal Reserve Bank.

Sleazy: Police seized 500 videotapes thought to contain child pornography-and someone had to watch them.

LIFE AFTER THE PEN

Best: Joyce Ann Brown, released after nine years in prison for a crime she says she didn’t commit, found fame (a book, talk shows) and fortune (a job in John Wiley Price’s office) in her freedom.

. best of dallas 90 THE ENVIRONMENT THING

We stopped using disposable

Styrofoam coffee cups.opting instead for

ceramic mugs. We started saying no to plastic and yes to paper at the grocery store. Then someone at the office suggested a recycling program, and before we knew it waste-reduction, non-chemical pest management, and cruelty-free products were top-of-mind. Yes, 1990 will be remembered as the year (he revolution started- the green revolution. Join us as we look back.



Best Sacrifice By Employees For The Environment:

Southwestern Bell started recycling all its paper, and the employees by and large loved the idea. But. to complete the recycling cycle, some of the company’s waste paper was converted into tissues and towels for use in the office restrooms.



Most Significant Occurrences:

The newly formed Coalition for the Earth’s Environment united ecological groups at schools, churches, and businesses; scientists and doctors who deal with the effects of pollution; and neighborhood associations and citizen action groups who share one common goal: to save the earth (691-6175).

Texans United (343-6099) decided to take action last Earth

Day when they formed the Trinity River Revival and Bucket Brigade. Armed with buckets, this group of citizens formed a human chain seriously intent on removing the polluted water from the Trinity and replacing it with clean water from the fountain at City Hall.



Eco-Bests:

Best place for organic produce: Whole Foods Market, 2218 Greenville Ave. (824-1744).

Best place for organic gardening advice: Howard Garrett’s weekly call-in radio show, “The Natural Way,” Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon on WBAP-820AM. Best place for organic gardening products: Lambert’s, 7300 Valley View Lane (239-0121).

Best organic pest control: Allied Pest Control, 2237 Royal Lane (241-1337).

Best recycling center: Western Reclamation. 7224 Burns St. (817-589-7277).



Most Feared Environmentalist:

Our pick as the person most capable of making eco-offenders cringe is Jim Schermbeck. right, director of Texans United. He’s considered dangerously well researched, aggressive, and unyielding-he’s a deep-green kind of guy.

CRiTTERS



SHELL GAME

Worst: A Domino’s Pizza deliveryman was robbed by thugs wielding a.. .snapping turtle?

PLACE TO READ STEPHEN KING NOVELS

Worst: A woman called 911 for help after a soggy, frightened squirrel came lunging out of her toilet.

REASON FOR KEVIN MCCARTHY TO WORRY

Best: Ginger, an Arlington Lhasa apso who reportedly dialed 911 twice, was a guest on Joan Rivers’s television talk show.

COMPANY FOR A SNAKE

Good: A Piano girl was bruised and bitten by a 16-foot, 160-pound python. Her mother ignored the attack at first, the girl said, because, ’”She just thought I had seen a spider.”

PROOF THAT THERE MUST BE SOMETHING IN A NAME

Good: After stealing a plastic pink flamingo from an Oak Cliff garden, thieves sent a ransom note demanding $30,000 for the “pelican.”

INNOVATION WEDIDN’T KNOW WENEEDED

Weird: “Kitty ,

video” offers an opportunity for cats to watch and listen to chirping, tantalizing birdies. Is this like kitty porn?

BRUSH-TOPPED MIDAS BIRD STORY

Best: A Ross Perot project in Austin was halted when environmentalists protested that it threatened the habitats of golden-cheeked warblers.

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