Enough with the pocket-size pooches. You won’t see a teacup poodle retrieving the duck you just shot, the newspaper from your driveway, nor the tennis ball you’ve thrown in the pool for the 100th time. A real man’s dog is the Labrador retriever: fiercely loyal, rugged, smart, and big enough to knock you over when it meets you at the door. For American Kennel Club-certified white Labradors, Legacy Labs is the best breeder in town. Their handsome dogs are snow white, with big, blocky heads, black noses, and kid-friendly temperaments. Terry Bradshaw gets his Labs here, and they’ve even been featured in the Neiman Marcus catalog. About $700. 9300 FM 1641, Terrell. 972-679-5720. www.legacy-labs.com.
Photo: G.K. & Vicki Hart
Carroll Shelby’s roadsters are the original American muscle machines, shaming modern-day pretenders with European lines and questionable drive train orientations. And the Shelby Cobra GT 500E Super Snake is the baddest boy of them all. Underneath the impossibly masculine and undeniably old-school curves is an aluminum 427 big block that will get you from 0 to 60 in less than 3.6 seconds. We’re talking 725 horses—only a few short of a NASCAR Cup race car. There will be only 75 of these contemporary, limited-edition Super Snakes made. $214,000. Unique Performance, 13950 Senlac Dr., Farmers Branch. 469-522-0902. www.uniqueperformance.com.
Man’s general policy seems to be: the more functions an object has, the better. Adherent to that standard, the Breguet Man’s Classique Grande Complication Wristwatch can do just about everything but stop time. Hands on the face indicate the day, date, month, power reserve, moonphase and age, and leap year. Oh yeah, the time, too. Inexpensive it isn’t, but not because it’s been gussied up with girly jewels. The price lies in the detailed Swiss craftsmanship—like the elegantly hand-carved rotor, visible through an exhibition back, which winds the watch as you move. Each watch takes up to a year to build. It won’t save you any time, but it will make you look good. $56,400. DeBoulle, 6821 Preston Rd. 214-522-2400. www.deboulle.com.
A Cut Above
For a real knife, you’ve got to go to the famed samurai sword-making center of Seki City, Japan. It is there that the KAI Corporation draws on 700 years of bladesmithing tradition to make Shun knives, the finest kitchen cutlery to be acquired. Each Shun knife is made from VG-10 “super steel,” which is composed of 16 layers of high-carbon stainless steel. It produces a Damascus-style blade that won’t stick to food. Unlike Damascus steel, though, it won’t rust. And the D-shaped Pakkawood handles are a joy to hold. The Shun 19-Piece Mega Block Knife Set includes a sharpening steel and a bamboo storage block with slots for 22 items. $1,500. Williams-Sonoma, 13350 Dallas Pkwy. 972-233-9702. Multiple locations. www.williamssonoma.com.
If the Prince of Darkness rode into Armageddon on a steel horse, this is the mount he would choose. Custom-built from the ground up by design maniacs, the Mad Clown chopper just plain radiates evil. Despite its price tag, every guy in Dallas who ever bobbed his head to “Born to Be Wild” will want the Mad Clown like Golem wanted that ring. My precious boasts a 121-cubic-inch TP motor in a Baker Six B transmission with a right-side drive, inverted Springer suspension on the front end, powder-coated chrome wheels by Black Bike, Teakwood grips, and a rear fender shaped like the Grim Reaper’s scythe. If the meticulously hand-worked evil clown engraving and paint scheme scare you, well, you should be riding on the bitch seat anyway. $75,000. Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas. 9304 Harry Hines Blvd. 214-357-0707. www.strokersdallas.com.
You’ve likely heard of Lombardo Custom Clothiers. It’s hard to go wrong there. But you’ll want to ask for Brent Lob. He’s the guy who helps NFL players across the country, including our own Julius Jones (who is more manly than you). Lob will come to your house, drop by your office, or catch a plane and meet you in New York City. He’ll offer you a selection of 5,000 fabrics. Again, hard to go wrong. But you’ll want a heavenly soft vicuna wool suit. The vicuna is an endangered llama-like creature that roams the Andes. Each animal produces only about one pound of wool per year, the strands of which are half the diameter of the finest sheep’s wool, making it not only soft but ultra-warm. And expensive. $10,000-$18,000. 17604 N. Dallas Pkwy. 214-265-8488. www.lombardocustomapparel.com.
Say you bought a painting. Could you use it to hunt fowl or, in a pinch, defend your home? The Beretta SO-10 shotgun, on the other hand, is a precision piece of sporting weaponry—and a work of art. The 20-gauge over/under is the culmination of nearly five centuries of Italian craftsmanship. Thousands of hours of painstaking, meticulous engraving and carving go into its embellishment. The Turkish walnut stock is checkered in a 30-line-per-inch point pattern. Gold side plates feature glorious wildlife scenes by Italian master engraver Dassa. Every inch of this thing is gorgeous. And upland quail be warned: once custom smithed for the owner by Beretta’s onsite gunsmiths, it’s actually difficult to miss with this beauty. $96,600. Beretta Gallery, Highland Park Village. 214-559-9800.
Flop the Nuts
Designer Pat Mulry of Lone Star Poker Tables calls his flagship card table the Widowmaker because it took him so long to build. But one imagines that its owner might also be tempted to neglect his husbandly duties. Assembled using the finest solid and veneer hardwoods, custom-made inlays, and an interior ring stained to match your room’s decor, the Widowmaker is a monument to the 52 best things ever invented. It uses the same cloth as the world’s most exclusive casinos and features six trademarked Ultimate Cupholders, complete with ashtrays, that slide out from under the table on runners. All this comes standard. The divorce attorney, however, is optional. $5,000. 469-235-6790. lonestarpokertables.com.
Orvis is fine for the average gent, but the serious fly fisherman will need to visit John Bradford in Fort Worth. Bradford has an international reputation for making the best split bamboo fly rod money can buy. Why bamboo? It’s all in the feel and responsiveness of the traditional slow-action rod. Bradford’s bamboo stock, known scientifically as Arundinaria amabilis McClure, is the finest available and grows only in a small area of China. Add high-quality cork, bronzed tungsten guides, and several coats of hand-rubbed varnish, and the trout are in trouble. Bradford’s Legacy Series Fly Rods come in lengths of 7 to 8 feet, and in either two or three sections. Sign up now; the waiting list is two years long. $1,925-$2,125. J.A. Bradford Company, 3700 Lawndale Ave., Fort Worth. 817-292-3324.
There’s nothing manly about a standard fishbowl, but Aquarium Environments can create a custom tank that’s more Captain Ahab than Finding Nemo. Take, for example, the water world built for former Dallas Maverick Nick Van Exel: a 3,000-gallon Amazon River habitat stocked with aggressive tiger oscars, Leporinus, and piranha-like pacu. Aquarium Environments general manager Paul Endtricht calls the project “the beefiest thing we’ve done to date.” Tank size and contents are limited only by the space and funds you have available; a setup like Van Exel’s will run $125,000. We’d say that’s pretty beefy indeed. 6955 Greenville Ave. 214-369-9086.
Discerning men these days pay attention to the largest organ on their body. Skin is in. And they want real service from professionals who can wax it, exfoliate it, shave it, and rub the heck out of it. Take the Groom’s Day Package at the new men-only Face Salon & Spa as primping protocol. The three-and-a-half-hour procedure starts with a signature spa facial, which includes face cleansing, exfoliation, a milk masque, and cold stone therapy. Then hop on the massage table for deep-tissue action. The signature shave may be the coolest part: mint-scented hot towels prep the skin and a barber uses an old-fashioned straight razor for a close and smooth shave. End with a pedicure and manicure complete with massage. Oh, and throughout the experience you can watch football and drink beer. $250. 3000 Blackburn Ave., Ste. 190. 214-520-1103. www.faceformen.com.
Keep Your Pants On
Jethro used a rope. But you’ll want to visit the Andreas Beckmann store on Oak Lawn. Even the Prez owns an Andreas Beckmann belt buckle. Ask for store owner Hector Alfaro. He’ll take your measurements, assess your face shape, and help you pick a one-of-a-kind design, perhaps featuring your initials engraved in platinum. Naturally, you’ll want the perfect piece of leather to complement that buckle. Take it into Gonzalo Godinez at Roma’s Shoe Repair, who will make you a custom belt to fit the buckle and your exact measurements. You may opt for ostrich or lizard, but we suggest the classic croc. Buckle: $500-$7,000. Andreas Beckmann, 4212 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-520-3415. Multiple locations. Belt: $75. Roma’s Shoe Repair, 4343 W. Northwest Hwy. 214-902-9510.
We all know what cleanliness is next to. And, good God, just imagine how you could clean up in this sleek new bathtub from Philippe Starck. The Starck X tub features a look similar to a negative-edge swimming pool, scaled down just a skosh for the loo. A surrounding overflow trough can be tricked out with a choice of wooden decking or zen-like white stones. LEDs illuminate it from below. But why, as a manly man, should you care? Simple. Chicks dig clean guys. And did we mention that the Starck X is big enough for two? Lather up, dirty boy. $14,500. TKO, 230 Decorator Center. 214-741-6060.
Any fella can run out and buy some Justins, but for the real deal, you’ve got to go custom. Ponder Boot Company’s the place. Its handcrafted custom-designed boots stick with tradition in production and form. Under the hand and guidance of master bootmaker Jose de la luz Ramirez, the last living apprentice of renowned Mexican boot maker Andreas Arteaga, each boot is crafted around a wooden mold of your foot, called a last. It takes 60 to 65 man hours to make a pair, but with periods of stretching and drying, the process can take weeks. Any leather from elephant to ostrich is available, but for those who like to trickle down, President Ronald Reagan’s Ponder boots were made of alligator. $600-$3,000. Ponder Boot Company, 2358 N. Main St., Fort Worth. 817-626-3523. www.ponderboot.com.
Guys and Grills
What guy doesn’t like manning his own grill? Especially when said grill is 330 pounds of sexy stainless steel that can be wheeled to the center of any backyard barbecue. The Hasty-Bake Hastings grill is the choice of Dallas grill-a-holics who long to be the life of the party. The unique adjustable firebox allows you to grill, bake, and smoke all on the same unit. Budweiser juggling instructions are not included. $5,795. Jacksons Home & Garden, 6950 Lemmon Ave. 214-350-9200. www.thegrillstore.com.
One of the easiest ways to pick up a chick is to cook for her. Private chef Johannes Pot will come to your kitchen and teach you how to win a woman’s heart through her stomach. He starts his Watched Pot cooking lessons by assessing your talents. If you don’t know a paring knife from a switchblade, he’ll demonstrate the basics. Then you progress at your own pace, eventually mastering a complete customized menu for two. Don’t forget to ask him for his Jack Daniels-laced dessert recipe. It does the trick every time. Two-hour private lessons: $100, plus price of food. 214-505-6104.
Dallasite Don Parr doesn’t like to bogey. Especially when the extra shot comes from a missed putt. After playing golf for 50 years, he took his background in physics to a 6-foot workbench on the balcony of his Dallas apartment and—with a drill press, a vice, and a miter saw—created what he believes to be the perfect putter. Today the IOLAR No. 4, made of stainless steel and designed to promote a pendulum-like stroke with its upright lie and heavy head, is the putter to have in your bag. By standing closer to the ball, with an upright stance, the pendulum stoke puts less stress on your back and arms and fewer strokes on your scorecard. $375 with monogrammed leather cover made by local custom saddle maker Phil Dunn. Available at Hank Haney Golf Ranch, 4101 Custer Rd., McKinney. 972-529-2221. On the Green, 3231-6 Preston Rd., Frisco. 972-668-8033. www.iolargolf.com.
Give a Shirt
Off the rack is enough firepower for most occasions, but every man should have a few custom-made shirts in his arsenal. Q Shirtmakers makes getting one simple. Get measured and pick from 15 collars, 10 cuffs, 10 pockets, and 3,000 fabric swatches in a matter of minutes. Once they have your measurements on file, you need only pick up the phone. We suggest the 300-thread-count Thomas Mason fabric (from the best shirting mill in the world) with French cuffs (perfect for showing off your Prada cuff links) and an English widespread collar. $250-$350. Q Shirtmakers, 3699 McKinney Ave., Ste. 303. 214-780-9888. Q Custom Clothier, 85 Highland Park Village. 214-780-0555. www.qshirtmakers.com.
It’s Friday night, and you want to take her salsa dancing—in South Beach. Not to worry, Casanova, Marquis Jet has you covered. Marquis card holders pay upfront for 25 hours of flight time and have guaranteed access to a fleet of more than 500 aircraft anytime, anywhere. Prices vary according to plane, but you’ll want the Cessna Citation X, the fastest nonmilitary jet in the world. Flying your hot mama to Miami will run you about $210,000. But that includes in-flight catering, and, plus, you’ll avoid the oh-so-unromantic pat down at airport security. And if you’re afraid of commitment, unlike with similar companies, you can walk away from Marquis after your 25-hour fling with no strings attached. If only your lady friend were that accommodating. 866-538-1400. www.marquisjet.com.
Reporting by Katherine Buxton, Michael Darling, Courtney Dreslin, Trey Garrison, Kim Harwell, Jessica Jones, Ryan Mendenhall, and Nancy Nichols.