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Home / Articles / Best Of / Best of Utah /  Shop Pt. 2
Best of Utah

Shop Pt. 2

Best of Utah 2007 Consumer Goods & Services

Posted // June 11,2007 -

BEST HIGH-ALTITUDE PRICK
tttPark City Ink Tattoo & Piercing
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If you think that getting tattooed up in Park City lessens the machismo of it, remember this: You produce more blood at higher altitudes. Park City Ink has already become a welcome addition among the high-priced restaurants and tourist shops that populate Main Street. Now, families can return from their ski vacations with matching “Best Snow on Earth” tattoos. 255 Main, Park City, 435-649-4972, ParkCityInk.com

BEST PRICE BIKE GUY
tttFuzzy’s Bicycleworks
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Rider-owned and -operated, here’s where you’ll find local friendliness and small-town service. Owner Fuzzy “the Bike Guy” Nance is the area’s bike go-to guy who will help you trick out your mountain bike. Why fight the tourists in Moab? Support someone living the dream who wants to share his wild adventure with you. 640 E. Main, Price, 435-637-2453

BEST CANINE COUTURE
tttiPaw
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This not your average mutt’s store. Not by a long shot. iPaw has all the accoutrements for the fashion-conscious pooch. Looking for a nice rhinestone-studded collar or a dish of doggy bon-bons? This is the place, so to speak. Pricey it is, but it’s also oh so cute. It does have items for the, ahem, bigger dog, but frankly, iPaw caters to the little yippy (yuppy) pups. 2146 S. Highland Drive, 355-0820

BEST WAY TO PAMPER WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE
tttFinnish Touch Day Spa Brazilian
tt
The best part about getting a Brazilian is that you’ll want to show it off. Better yet, give one as a gift to a friend, and they’ll want to show off. Plus, men, pay attention: Have you noticed how women don’t like hair down there? Do you think they hate their bits and pieces being furry, but love your hairy buttocks? Wrong. Certainly there are advertisements aplenty for people who will yank your chain and pull out your hair. I just felt very comfortable in the prone position letting it all hang out with Lisa at Finnish Touch Day Spa. 2100 E. 1301 South, 582-3467, FinnishTouchDaySpa.net

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BEST BLUE (& YELLOW & GREEN & POLKA-DOTTED) RIBBONS
tttThe Lace Place
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Whether it’s for wrapping up a package or decorating your little angel’s pigtails, the right color matters. If your local gift store’s selection leaves you unimpressed, trek to Sugar House, where there isn’t a color in God’s creation that you won’t find on a spool. Snip off your favorites by the yard, in plain colors or a variety of patterns. 2682 S. Highland, 474-2697

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BEST RUSS MEYER BOOKSTORE
tttRed Light Books
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The pioneer of American exploitation cinema would feel right at home in this brand-new downtown shop. The selection of books and magazines leans towards material that wouldn’t exactly make the cut at Deseret Books'the walls sport more cleavage than a Porky’s movie. With plans afoot to screen vintage B-movies in the back room, this is one risqué business that understands its roots. 179 E. 300 South, 355-1755

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BEST TICKET OUTLET
tttSlowtrain Music
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Even though the tickets that actually make it onto their menu board are limited at best, those that do surely make the trip into the hip music store well worth any extra expended energy. The Ticketmaster wars of the ’90s brought the issue to the forefront of the music industry'not to mention the egregiousness of various services fees that can quickly add up to a whopping 50-percent plus of actual ticket prices'and Slowtrain’s underlying philosophy toward ticket retailing is a surprisingly fresh and fairly revolutionary response. Charging a mere $1 per ticket, Slowtrain provides another good reason, as if one more is even necessary, for consumers to shop local and take one more stab at sticking it to the man. 221 E. Broadway, 364-2611, SlowtrainMusic.com

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BEST REARVIEW CAPTIONS
tttMegaplex 20 at The District
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It’s not easy for the hearing-impaired to keep up with current theatrical films, and the few that do make it into theaters with open captions don’t appeal to hearing people who prefer their movies without words on the screen. The new Megaplex 20 in South Jordan helps out with regular weekly showtimes in an auditorium equipped with rear-view captioning'essentially, allowing hearing-impaired patrons to view captions projected backwards in the projection booth onto a mirror that fits into the armrest cup holder. The theater’s other patrons might never even realize that they’re watching a film with value added. 11400 S. Bangerter Hwy., South Jordan, 304-4020; MegaplexTheaters.com

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BEST SUBLET
tttNobrow Coffee & Tea Co./Kenny Riches
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It’s hard out there for a pimp, even harder for a Salt Lake City gallery owner whose attempts to support local art are foiled at every turn. Last summer marked the deaths of The Unknown Gallery and Kayo Gallery, the latter of which also served briefly as an all-ages music venue. Down but not out, owner Kenny Riches resolved to restore Kayo when funds allowed. To keep his big-city space out of corporate developers’ hands, Riches subletted it to Joe Evans, who needed a new home for NoBrow Coffee & Tea. Brown barely remodeled, adding only a slim espresso station. He also hosts art shows and free music showcases, preserving Kayo’s spirit until Riches brings back the real deal. 315 E. 300 South, 364-3448

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BEST PLACE TO SCORE A TOM
tttBackbeats Drum & Backline
tt
Local drummers choose this independent music store over corporate peddlers largely employed by annoying sales staff whose unwarranted suggestions taint the shopping experience. Backbeats’ Kelly, Shawn, Nate and Meter offer advise when requested'and each tip is gem. They’ll even address minor malfunctions for free. Whether you pound skins or simply love someone who does, stop in. They’ll make it worth you’re while. 6089 S. Highland Dr., 274-8400, BackbeatsDrumAndBackline.com

BEST FILL-IN-THE-BLANK PARTY FAVOR
tttMonster Mural
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Private parties, street fairs and public gatherings around the country have been singing the praises of this unique Web business launched by Salt Lake City resident Collin Surles. Monster Mural creates massive tarps and wallpapers (up to 20 feet by 6 feet) and table-size sheets that can be selected from standard designs or customized for any occasion. The giant pieces then become participatory art projects for kids, who can bring them to life with paint. Here’s a monster no child need be afraid of. 296-6644, MonsterMural.com

BEST BIBLICAL PUPPETS
tttPuppet Partners
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Sesame Street teaches plenty of important lessons'secular lessons, that is. When retailers across North America want to provide character puppets with a spiritual bent, they turn to Utah-based puppet-maker Carolyn Frank. Established in 1994, her Puppet Partners business expanded in 2000 to include products that represent biblical figures from David and Goliath to Daniel and the lion. The collection grows annually and can be ordered online or purchased at The Quilted Bear in Sandy. 1343 W. Flint Meadows Drive Suite 4, Kaysville, 877-262-4117, PuppetPartners.com

BEST BUILD-A-BABY WORKSHOP
tttBountiful Baby
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The days of the slightly stylized baby doll are no more. In the 21st century, your artificial tot must look straight-outta-the-birth-canal authentic. This Salt Lake City-based online-only retailer offers not only fully completed one-of-a-kind sculpted newborns'some complete with umbilicus'but also do-it-yourself kits and spare parts for repairing existing dolls. The results are either breathtaking or creepy'and probably a little bit of both. 746-4438, BountifulBaby.com

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BEST FREE PAINT
tttSalt Lake Valley Household Hazardous Waste Reuse Centers
tt
That splash of color you’ve wanted to add to a room needn’t cost you a dime. People bring cans of unused paint to the Health Department’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Centers, and if it doesn’t belong in a landfill and still has some life in it, Reuse Centers make it available to the public for free. Check it out as well if you’re in the market for pesticides or fertilizers. Why buy something that you’ll just be taking to a disposal center some day? 6030 W. California Ave.; 4646 S. 500 West; 10873 S. 7200 West; 313-6697, SLVHealth.org

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BEST BARBERSHOP
tttRay’s
tt
City Weekly’s “Best Barber” find of 2006 just keeps getting better. Success of his barbering over gimmicks has required Ray Francom to add two additional chairs. The happy result is something of a multi-ethnic flare. Chair 2 is occupied by a recent arrival from Jamaica; Chair 3 by a woman. Both are equally skilled as the shop’s namesake at forgotten arts like a shave with a straight razor or a fade cut. Ray’s isn’t a leftover from an earlier generation but a resurrection. 1328 S. 2100 East, 583-7297, RaysBarberShop.com

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BEST DOG MASSAGE
tttCloud 10
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“Loving, healing touch is beneficial to all beings,” touts the Website for this Park City-based massage therapy center. While they serve two-legged customers, Cloud 10 also offers unique services for canines, whether working dogs, show animals or lay-about family pets. In-home services are offered primarily to Summit County residents'travel surcharges may apply to out-of-area calls'but those fortunate enough to live close by could be proud owners of the most relaxed pooches in the state. 435-602-9379, Cloud10Massage.com

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BEST IN-HOME BABY SIGN LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION
tttBrilliant Bundles
tt
Just because your baby can’t talk, that doesn’t mean he/she can’t communicate. And just because it’s sometimes tough to get out of the house, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. This Bountiful-based operation offers courses for pre-talkers to learn American Sign Language'and if you can gather three or more friends, they’ll come out to your residence for your own personal “signing party,” with free instruction for the host. What’s ASL for “sign me up?” 2727 S. 625 West, No. C304, Bountiful, 750-5327

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BEST QUAINT MALL
tttLamplighter Square
tt
Why can’t all malls be like the one affectionately known to east-bench residents as “liquor store square?” Small, quaint, and anchored by a state liquor outlet, the two-story stores of Lamplighter have balconies and look like small, peak-roofed houses. It feels like a neighborhood gathering place, and all the necessities are represented: a funky sushi place, Thai restaurant, salons, a chiropractor and an Indian food and gift store. What more could anyone want? Maybe the great Indian restaurant Bombay House, which has moved to a new location. 1615 S. Foothill Drive

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BEST ORCHIDS
tttThe Orchid Dynasty
tt
Owner Shelly Huynh Lewis and husband Clinton Lewis grow many of the orchids they sell in a greenhouse at the back of the store that also specializes in bonsai trees trained by the couple. To ensure customers remain happy with spendy purchases, the owners educate buyers on how to care for the temperamental plants. They spent the last two years developing their own formula of orchid food designed to work best with Wasatch Front water. Orchid Dynasty also sells cut flowers and makes arrangements for weddings, but even in the more traditional florist role, they specialize in the exotic, from tropical arrangements to ikebana, traditional Japanese flower arranging. 1344 S. 2100 East, 583-4754, OrchidDynasty.com

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BEST HANDMADE GIFTS
tttBlue Cockatoo
tt
Before giving a present purchased at Blue Cockatoo, be sure to make up a story about the charming street fair or art festival where you found it. Much of the merchandise has, in fact, come from such digging, but the store’s owners have saved you the time by scouring nooks and crannies'many local'to find unique, handcrafted pieces. 1506 S. 1500 East, 467-4023

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BEST SLC SOURCE FOR NATIVE LANDSCAPING
tttGrow Wild
tt
The water-sucking West continues to be a haven for Kentucky bluegrass lawns and plenty of other flora with no real business being here. Your suburban yard can be a showcase for plants that belong in Utah, and you don’t need to go far to find them. This seasonal nursery (open March-October) offers literature on designing the optimal water-savvy landscape and a wide collection of shrubs, trees and grasses. Turn on your mind, and turn off the sprinklers. 372 E. 2100 South, 467-8660

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BEST SURVIVAL INSTINCT
tttSpotted Frog
tt
Keeping an independent bookstore alive in pricy Park City can’t be easy. But Spotted Frog has found a way. Named for another endangered species, Spotted Frog is also a wine bar with its own resident sommelier trained at the American Sommelier Association. The store brings ’em in with wine classes, occasional open Scrabble games, and, of course, books. Redstone Shopping Center, Kimball Junction, Park City, 435-575-2665, SpottedFrogBooks.com

BEST WHISKEY STILL IN THE MAKING
tttThe High West Distillery
tt
During prohibition, whiskey came to Park City hidden in the bottom of coffins. Now the city is set to be home to a legal still, likely the first ever in Utah. Parkite David Perkins has secured federal and state permits to set up a large pot still imported from Germany. He beat out other contenders in a competition, winning the right to use historic property on Park Avenue near the Town Lift. He plans to make bourbon, scotch, vodka and rye at The High West Distillery, where patrons can judge results in person. Stay tuned.

BEST RECYCLED SKI FURNITURE
tttRhinebeck’s
tt
When the slopes are bare and the mountains are green, how do you stay in that downhill state of mind? Maybe your living room should sport a coat rack made entirely from skis. Or maybe you’d enjoy decorating your deck with an old lift chair. Take a trek to Kimball Junction, and let the spirit of winter be with you all year long. Redstone Shopping Center, 6400 N. Hwy 224, Suite E2, Kimball Junction, Park City, 435-655-3110

BEST KNITTING BEE
tttPiper’s Quilts & Comforts
tt
Unless you have mounds of blue hair and the ability to trace your lineage to the pioneers, it’s difficult to find a knitting spot in Utah to feel comfortable. At Piper’s'located inside a charming renovated home in Sugar House and run by a team of mother, daughter and daughter-in-law'everybody’s welcome. 1944 S. 1100 East, 484-5890, PipersQuilts.com

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BEST FURNITURE SALES PEOPLE
tttCampo Home
tt
There are few experiences worse than trying to pick out a couch and feeling like you’re on a used car lot with slimy high-pressure salesman at your elbow. At Campo, customers are free to stroll through the store’s mazelike rooms in peace, examining furniture imported from India, Asia and Mexico. A helpful and knowledgeable employee will be there when needed, but not before. 2855 Highland Dr., 474-1240, CampoHome.com

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BEST SMELLS
tttScentsations Lotions & Oils
tt
The store sells every manner of body-care products, which customers can have custom scented from a long bank of bottles along the back counter. Scents can also be bottled by themselves for use in aromatherapy. Scentsations is great shop to find gifts for women that can’t be found anywhere else, like goat’s milk soap or boiled wool slippers imported from Peru. The store has a girly interior but carries lines for men as well. 1316 S. Foothill Drive, 364-0168, ScentsationsLotionsOils.com

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BEST BIG BOX BUSTER
tttBetsy Burton, King’s English
tt
The mild-mannered owner of the cozy book lovers paradise King’s English at 15th & 15th, is also the feisty public face of Local First Utah, an organization dedicated to banishing chain stores from our midst, helping locally owned small businesses survive, and letting all of us enjoy a life more fulfilling than bad food, bad architecture and goods indistinguishable from Anytown, USA. Burton helped launch Local First after national book chains set up shop in Salt Lake and nearly put her out of business. King’s English has bounced back since, proving the battle can be fought. 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100, KingsEnglish.com; P.O. Box 576, Salt Lake City, 828-0676, LocalFirst.org

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BEST O2 INFUSION
tttCactus & Tropicals
tt
Wandering the winding paths of C&T, breathing in tropical scents while lingering over water fountains, is like a mini island vacation. The store also has a perfect setup for those who want to bring the island home with them but lack a green thumb. Employees will come to your business weekly to water, clean prune and fertilize your plants. The store also offers classes in feng shui, orchid care and Xeriscaping. 2735 S. 2000 East, 485-2542; 12252 S. Draper Gate Dr. (1325 East), Draper, 676-0935, CactusAndTropicals.com

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BEST STICKING IT TO THE MAN
tttFree Speech Zone
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Ask most in Sugar House about Joe Hill, and you’re likely to get a blank stare. Never mind that the American labor hero was executed around the corner at what was then the state pen, now SugarHouse Park. No such problems at Free Speech Zone. Store owners know their history and will sell you posters commemorating Hill and other labor martyrs made, sweatshop free, in the most left-leaning enclaves of the country. More than a store to buy clothing to label yourself one of the goodies, Free Speech Zone is the spot to plan protests, screen progressive films and generally plot the revolution. 2144 Highland Dr., 487-2295, FreeSpeech-Zone.com

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BEST CHICKEN WALKER
tttKaren Bayard
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The specialty of Bayard’s Heart 2 Heart Pet Services is dog walking. The New York transplant takes dogs on off-leash hikes year-round in the canyons, but her pet-walking and -sitting service is seemingly open-ended.She also cares for house plants and, recently, chickens. A trained masseuse, Bayard is now looking for ways to incorporate animal touch therapy into her sitting services. 2981 S. 2300 East, 487-0263, H2HPets.com

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BEST SILK
tttSakura Saigon
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The artisans working for this Utah operation are largely in Vietnam, creating silk fashion accessories for import. The Sugar House showroom shows off handbags, scarves, shoes and ties beautifully and intricately embroidered. In addition to silk, the store features wooden jewelry boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl and bamboo curtains. Sakura Saigon also will customize orders to meet customer requests for color or design. 2682 S. Highland Dr., 466-3853, SakuraSaigon.com

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BEST LEGAL UPPER
tttThe O2 Oxygen Spa
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Go in for a simple pedicure, and you’ll get at least a contact high'the oxygen spa is so filled with the stuff. Better yet, plop into an anti-gravity chair for a 20-minute oxygen session, or one of the many other services, ranging from massage to B12 treatments, hot-stone therapy and herbal body wraps. Soon, the inversion will take over the valley for good, and we’ll all walk around in pressurized bubbles. Until then, O2 is your best bet for a spot of fresh air. 2150 S. Highland Dr., 428-3020, TheO2SLC.com

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BEST BUILDING MATERIAL
tttGreen Building Center
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If you must build a McMansion, at least build it using products that won’t destroy the environment. The Green Building Center sells soy- and organic-based paints, paint thinners made of citrus peel, recycled glass tile, beautiful artisan-made sinks, bamboo lumber and floors made of salvaged wood. There, now you can sleep at night after you make the 30-mile commute home in your SUV. 1952 E. 2700 South, 484-6278, GreenBuildingCenter.net

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BEST SPICES
tttIndia Unlimited
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The name is truth in advertising. India Unlimited is a one-stop shop for everything Indian from groceries, to dresses, to precooked and frozen meals, to videos from Bollywood. Indian music is always wafting through the store mixing with scents from cooking. The best thing about India Unlimited, however, is the collection of hard-to-find spices, curry pastes and oils. If you are working from a recipe that calls for ingredients that can’t be found anywhere else, they are probably here. 1615 S. Foothill Drive, 583-3300,

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BEST DOORKNOBS
tttSilver Star Hardware
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The last stop for your home remodeling, here you’ll find bathroom towel bars shaped like tree twigs, plus hinges, outdoor art and nice knockers in baroque and lion head varieties. The store additionally carries odds and ends like a collection of vintage plastic motel keys. Silver Star is also the only hardware store we know with a coffee bar and a “peace” section, featuring peace symbols in stained glass, rusted metal, banners and flags. 2327 E. 3300 South, 487-1117, SilverStarHardware.com

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BEST MY-KID-IS-SMARTER-THAN-YOURS TOY STORE
tttTutoring Toy
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Ever see a kid playing with something that looked like it would be more fun for an adult than an 8-year-old? Well, Tutoring Toy is probably where it came from. Ignoring the action figures and video games of the chain stores, they specialize in toys specifically designed to help kids learn while they play. With a knowledgeable staff ready to answer any and all questions, it’s one of the friendliest stores around, too. 1400 Foothill Dr., No. 108, 581-1060, TutoringToy.com

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BEST RACE TUNES
tttSports Den
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There aren’t many places where you can get a real race tune for your skis, but Sports Den in Foothill Village sports two World Class ski techs. Mark (Ho Ho) spent time on the World Cup circuit, tuning skis for the U.S. ski team racers. Brother Matt opened the well known Arcs ski shop in Park City. But the two are artists of the edges, not businessmen, so they ended up closing their shop and coming to the valley. A race tune will improve your skiing exponentially, even if you don’t race. Skis will be easier to turn and control. Get the job done by Matt and Ho Ho before you hang ’em up for the season; you will thank yourself when the lifts start again in the fall. 1350 Foothill Dr., 582-5611, SportsDen.com

BEST SHRINE
tttSuper Saigon Market
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Look to your right as you walk in. A gold leaf Buddha sits in an alcove on the floor, surrounded by fresh flowers, fruit and burning incense. Feel free to take a stick, light it and place it into the sand-filled container. Then, stroll around the overflowing shelves. Fresh sesame oil is cheaper than in the supermarkets. Try some of the many fish sauces and pastes, especially the sour fish paste and holy basil paste; they’re addicting condiments. There’s a large selection of beautiful Oriental dinnerware at very low prices. Best food buys: whole barbecued duck, $11; traditional Vietnamese sandwich of mystery meat and veggies on a crispy hoagie roll, $2, also addictive. 1850 W. 3500 South, 975-7244

BEST OGDEN BOOKS & GAMES
tttThe Bookshelf
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As the 21st century matures, it’s abundantly clear that books are unfortunately becoming more and more the domain of online retailers and chains. It’s immensely refreshing, then, to come across a store where science fiction and fantasy titles thrive among games, comic books, obscure VHS titles for rent, and a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. That’s the Bookshelf of Ogden, your one-stop shopping for used Philip K. Dick titles, more than 14,000 cult and specialty movie titles, and even a tabletop game and Frank Miller graphic novel if you so choose. After more than 25 years in the business, some 80 percent of book titles here are used and therefore highly affordable for word hounds of all types. 2432 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-4752

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BEST AFFORDABLE ALTERATIONS
tttDouble Save
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Got a pair of pants you want shortened? A skirt to be hemmed? A jacket you want taken in? Here’s a place that does superb alterations at great prices. Shortening or hemming a pair of men’s or women’s pants is only $7, doing a full skirt will cost just $10. Of course, there are always drawbacks to such a good deal. The owner does not speak great English. She talks in a kind of fast yelling tone, as if angry; and if she’s on the phone when you come in, she will ignore you until her conversation is finished. So what? She can tailor your jeans to make them fit perfectly. 1839 W. 3500 South, 972-5397

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BEST LAYTON MUSIC STORE
tttMusic to the Maxx
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Aside from the Hill Aerospace Museum and the wondrous “PorcuPig,” (see the March 12 issue of Weekly World News), the distance between Salt Lake City and Ogden may be dotted with precious few roadside attractions. But Layton does have one fine music store in Music to the Maxx, especially in light of the dwindling offerings of Salt Lake City music merchants. Though cast in the grand strip-mall tradition, this is a store that seemingly has it all, from karaoke to country and classical and Christian to pop and rap. A coming expansion will see its offerings branch out into Apple products as well. 763 W. Antelope Dr., Layton, 801-776-1642

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BEST REASONS TO BUY A BIKE
tttTaylor’s Bike Shop
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At this family-owned business of 20 years, you’ll find an astonishing inventory of competitively priced Diamondback, Giant and Raleigh brands. You’ll get five free tune-ups with every new bike purchase, and any purchase over $350 includes an accessory kit. Plus, Taylor’s repair shop services all makes and models. But why listen to us? On its Website, you’ll see “10 Incredible Reasons to Make Us Your Choice.” No. 8 includes: “Studies have shown that people who purchase our bikes live longer, have brighter smiles, are promoted quicker, encounter fewer red lights, are 17 times more likely to win the lottery, produce smarter children and, of course, are infinitely more physically appealing.” 3269 W. 5400 South, Taylorsville, 969-4995; 1520 N. Freedom Blvd., Provo, 801-377-8044, TaylorsBikeShop.com

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