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Home / Articles / Best Of / Best of Utah /  Best of Utah 2008 | Goods & Services Page all
Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2008 | Goods & Services Page all

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // April 2,2008 - width=285
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BEST HEAD MASSAGE
Andrew Valtal
The worst part about growing out short hair—besides suffering through the awkward in-between phase—is having fewer opportunities to enjoy courtesy head massages at the salon. While many hair stylists have magic hands, Andrew Valtal is definitely a cut above the rest. Regular clients describe his massages as “orgasmic” and confess they often struggle not to moan when he tosses their locks.
Salon RZ, 1307 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-4700

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BEST POOL PREP
Pool ‘N’ Patio
Thinking about shaking up the old fitness routine? Try lap swimming. The first couple of sessions might be rough, with you floundering about in a bikini or board shorts that scream amateur to the many Masters sharks zipping past. No worries. Just amp up your game at Pool ‘N’ Patio, a local shop that specializes in home spa items and affordable swimming gear. At first, you might feel a bit like Albert Brooks shopping for jogging gear in Modern Romance—the fool stocking up on everything from a one-piece swimsuit to earplugs, chlorine-removing shampoo and a neat mesh bag—but you’ll return to the pool feeling like the next Amanda Beard or Ian Thorpe. Olympic podium, here you come!
2171 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-485-5550

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BEST NEW LOCATION
Blue Boutique
After being nestled comfortably in the Sugar House district for many years, the Blue Boutique suddenly became a menace when it moved four blocks east, near Highland High School (1383 E. 2100 South). What parents don’t recognize, however, is that any exposure to sex information is probably better than the abstinence-emphasis lessons in our Utah schools. For, as bawdy as some of the items may be, their mere presence helps kids answer a few questions. Plus, the store sells safe-sex products lines and provides information about them. And have dildos really ever hurt anyone? (Not unless they’re used as a weapon … which is pretty hilarious.)
Multiple locations, BlueBoutique.com

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BEST KICKS
10
Walk into 10 on any given day, and you might find an employee detailing custom-made Nike kicks with the iconic Transformers logo. It’s just one of many perks to shopping at this local clothing store, specializing in old-school and (new) retro sneakers. Founded by Salt Lake City native Annie Hawkins, the store features merchandise reflecting her fashion sense as a professional soccer player—the intersection of form, function and serious street cred.
870 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-3997, The10Site.com

BEST ONLINE ARTISTS NETWORK
Artcotic.com
Sure, MySpace and Facebook are useful networking resources insofar as they improve your chances of getting laid or staying up on Will Ferrell’s latest YouTube antics, but artists who are serious about furthering their careers need more than 300 or so “friends” to get ahead. Salt Lake City-based Artcotic invites visual and performing artists to unite, share and sell their work. The site profiles contributing artists, including John Bell and Miss Derringer, with links to their portfolios. Whether you need a unique T-shirt or a jump on your future, Artcotic is bloody brilliant.
Artcotic.com

BEST TATTOO ARTS PROMOTER
C.J. Starkey
We don’t imagine it’s easy rallying tattoo artists around the world to register, schedule flights to, book hotels near and arrive on time for the Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention. Artists are such an independent bunch. But convention founder C.J. Starkey pulls it off year after year: one of the coolest, most informative events in the state. Thanks in large part to his tireless work, tattoos are becoming increasingly accepted around these parts as a viable art form that often goes hand in hand with—gasp!— family values. It’s true. Starkey and friends go out of their way to make sure attendees’ children are safe and entertained while Mom and Dad get inked.
SLCTattoo.com

BEST SOURCE FOR NEW SOUNDS
Slowtrain
As any music fanatic knows, Tuesday is not just any other day. Tuesday means new CDs, DVDs and vinyl releases. Only at Slowtrain, customers don’t expect to find the latest Rolling Stones collection or Rhianna single. Now in its second year, the compact Broadway record store has established itself as the place to score material by more obscure artists including Panda Bear, No Age and Thao Nguyen, not to mention one-of-a-kind rareties. We asked owners Anna and Chris Brozek to order in several EPs by then largely unknown White Denim and they happily complied. Now the Austin group is all over the place, but Utah, you heard them at Slowtrain first.
221 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-364-2611, SlowtrainMusic.com

BEST BANNED-BOOKS PUBLISHER
Signature Books
Since 1980, Signature Books has been giving Mormon historians a chance to push the comfortable norms of the faith’s perception of itself, by giving authors the opportunity to publish works on LDS feminism, power, polygamy, folk magic and every other controversial element of a faith that would prefer to keep these things down to a whisper. The authors include an impressive roster of now-excommunicated Mormon scholars. From D. Michael Quinn’s writing of the folk magic of Joseph Smith or Simon Southerton’s questioning the DNA link between Native Americans and ancient Israelites, Signature Books has given ink to many a scholar who risked more than their jobs by shedding light on some dark corners of the dominant religion’s not so nifty thrifty past.
564 W. 400 North, Salt Lake City, 801-531-1483, SignatureBooks.com

BEST FILM SNOB MOVIE RENTAL
Tower Theatre
The Tower Theatre is, of course, known for debuting independent and eclectic movies. It also has a unique film-rental concept. The theater has video collections with films organized by director as well as American and world cinema genres, so you can expand your horizons when it comes to less than mainstream films. The directors section is especially great. For example, you’re a Sam Peckinpah fan, but you’ve only seen The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid? Well, peruse the Peckinpah section, and you’ll be pleased to pick up his more obscure works like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Collections run the gamut from Coppola’s gangster noir to the classic samurai films of Akira Kurasowa.
876 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmsociety.org

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
XMission
Pete Ashdown is a man of the people. From his younger days promoting Utah’s first raves to a heartfelt underdog run for U.S. Senate, the local independent entrepreneur has put his best foot forward. It’s should come as no surprise, then, that Ashdown’s company, Internet provider XMission, offers top-notch customer service to its understandably loyal customers. Small business owners are particularly grateful to chat with someone who is located right down the street (as opposed to outsourced help in India) when their computer breaks down at 2 a.m. the morning before a major deadline. Besides employing techies with stellar interpersonal skills, XMission also helps to keep Salt Lake City engaged by spreading free wireless connections throughout downtown.
XMission.com

BEST TATTOO PHILOSOPHY
Happy Valley Tattoo Parlor
American Fork’s one and only Happy Valley Tattoo Parlor might not have the world’s most renowned tat artists but they probably have some of the most conscientious. That’s because Happy Valley Tattoo is also a church, the Whole Life Ministries, where the Reverend “Doc” Lowery and wife Kita Kazoo consider tats and piercings a strong symbol of self-expression. These ministers of ink go out of their way to make sure clients feel comfortable and confident in the sometimes scary experience of getting a tattoo or piercing. “We don’t want our ministers bringing in negative attitudes that other places might have,” Lowery says. The church brings a refreshing kind of “judge not that butterfly tattoo lest ye be judged yourself” ethic to its business and the lives of its customers.
275 E. State Road, American Fork, 801-756-6642, Tat2Me.com

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BEST UPSCALE BICYCLE SHOP
Contender Bicycles
All the old-time bike shop accoutrements are there: Cyrus and Leo, the shop dogs, the casual tone, the human-powered bias. But don’t expect the typical ratty old bike store. Contender is definitely hot. The male and female sales reps are not hard on the eyes, and they know what they’re talking about. All are serious road and mountain cyclists; some are or have been serious team competitors. The bike and accessory inventory sounds like reading off a European menu: brands include Orbea, Time, Pinarello and Serotta. Top-of-the-line Spanish clothing company Etxeondo is pricey but helps you look fine. The shop offers sound advice on what to buy and fits you carefully to your new bike. Co-owners Dan Colangelo and Ryan Littlefield are always tinkering with new and brighter ways to display the merchandise.
875 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 364-0344, ContenderBicycles.com

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BEST GREEN FRIENDLY GYM
The Front Climbing Club
A day at the gym never offered so many eco-friendly ways to break a sweat and bust the flab until The Front opened. The club’s centerpiece may be the 10,000-square-foot climbing wall. It also has weights, aerobics and complete yoga and Pilates classes and free Wi-Fi, all in a facility that purchases 100 percent of its power supply from wind energy. The matching energy purchased by The Front is enough to offset 91.2 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions a year. With competitive membership rates, it’s time to go green or go home.
1450 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-466-7625, FrontSLC.com

BEST ANTIQUES
Euro Treasures
You’ve probably zipped by the Euro Treasures building off the 600 south exit without ever having thought twice. But step inside the 85,000-square-foot warehouse and you’ll be treated to antiquer’s nirvana—treasures from Europe and Africa spreading out in every direction. An upstairs room contains more than 5,000 antique chairs, while the bottom floor is filled with Victorian dressers, armoires and mirrors punctuated by tribal masks, statues, carvings and even a 7-foot-long stuffed African lion overlooking the array of vintage treasures. Drop by and lose yourself for hours in one of the country’s largest antique stores.
470 W. 600 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-6390

BEST EXTREME INNOVATION
Kahuna Creation’s Big Stick
Sometimes a good idea doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Just ask Steve McBride, founder of the Ogden-based Kahuna Creations, and inventor of the Big Stick. The Big Stick is essentially a large “paddle” that longboard riders can use to help propel themselves along flat surfaces without having to stomp and kick their way around. The Big Stick, with its patented rubber grip also gives the user a solid upper-body and cardio workout, similar to paddling a canoe or kayak. And since the Big Stick can reach up to 6 feet, it doubles as an intimidating sceptre. All the skateboarders giving you s—t for riding a longboard? Just ride softly and carry a Big Stick.
375 Stewart Drive, Ogden, 801-627-0100, KahunaCreations.com

BEST POLITICAL RANT BY A SKATE SHOP
Salty Peaks Skate & Snowboard Shop vs. The North American Union
Salty Peaks Skate & Snowboard shop has been staying out of the political fray for a long while, but finally decided it’s time to warn all its politically active clientele of the perils of looming one-world government. In a radio commercial, Salty Peaks warned of the North American Union that would open the borders of Mexico and Canada and submit us to the rule of a North American version of the European Union. Salty Peaks even offered a $2,500 shopping spree to anyone who could disprove this sinister theory and urged listeners to check out a similarly paranoid Website railing against “illegal alien anarchy” and how “bilingualism is subverting America.” No one claimed the prize as far as we’ve heard, but at least we know now where all the Minutemen’s kids get their snow and skate gear.
3055 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-8000, SaltyPeaks.com

BEST KUNG FU
Sil Lum Gung Fu Club Utah
This West Jordan martial arts academy brings to Utah a lineage of traditional Chinese gung fu dating back to the fabled Shaolin monks. Here, the emphasis is on rigor, discipline and conditioning. While the school teaches more accessible gung fu styles like Hung Gar, for the more dedicated student, lessons are offered also in Wing Chun and Hsing I—a more mystical brand that combines all five Chinese elements and 17 different animals for an advanced “internal” martial arts discipline. As tradition dictates, the Sil Lum school also performs the traditional lion dance throughout Chinese New Year. The school will relocate to West Valley soon; check the Website for details.
7879 S. 1530 West, West Jordan, 801-562-2277, SillumUtah.net

BEST THREADS
Moda Italia
Tony Sciammarella has been a maestro of the suit business for more than 50 years. And, with 30 of those years in Salt Lake City, his downtown suit shop Moda Italia offers outstanding suits, jackets and ties, direct from Biella, Italy. These aren’t your typical warehouse missionary-style suits but include the finest in single- and double-breasted as well as classic pin-stripe suits. To really go all out, you can get your suit custom tailored, so that your dress fits as naturally as a glove, and as elegantly as a work of art.
105 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-355-8828

BEST SPICY SEEDS
Zotes
Sunflower seeds—they’re not just something to spit into the dugout during baseball games. This Salt Lake City distributor is convinced that the traditional salted snack is only the beginning of the possibilities. Why not spice things up with spicy nacho, jalapeño or hot wings flavor? Or if your taste buds prefer to walk on the milder side, perhaps dill pickle or bleu cheese sunflower seeds? And if you want to take a chance on tequila lime or beer roasted—well, we won’t tell the bishop if you won’t.
722 S. 5300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0640, Zotes.com

BEST SELFLESS SOLUTION TO A NATIONAL PROBLEM
Maliheh Free Clinic
Staffed entirely by volunteer health care providers, the Maliheh Free Clinic offers impoverished Utahns free access to quality care. Named after Maliheh Abdollah—benefactor Koshrow Semnani’s grandmother—the clinic is funded by donations. Thanks to the Maliheh Free Clinic, preventive and proactive health care in Utah knows no economic boundaries. Are you taking notes, ’08 presidential candidates? Because you should be…
415 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-266-3700, MalihehFreeClinic.org

BEST PLACE TO ACCESSORIZE
Frosty Darling
Need a pair of button earrings, hip shoes or a hand-sewn apron so dainty you’re afraid to bring it anywhere near the kitchen? How about a finger puppet, a hand-painted suitcase or a cloth cupcake? If you answered yes, yes, yes, and yes, Frosty Darling is your one-stop accessory emporium. If nothing else, the granny candy on the counter is impossible to resist.
177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4790, FrostyDarling.com

BEST ARBOR ARTISTRY
Atlas Tree Service
With a degree in English from the University of Utah, Johnny Atkin is not your ordinary chainsaw-massacre tree guy. His 4-year-old company Atlas Tree Service relies on the knowledge of a certified arborist, the skills of a free-climber and the poise of a dancer—all Atkin—along with a measure of Hemingway’s “grace under pressure” when power lines are close by. All that’s lacking is a tympani-and-horn soundtrack as Atkin ascends. In the crown of the tree—Baryshnikov balanced on a branch—he one-hands a snarling chainsaw. The tree yields piecemeal, its big limbs eased to the ground with nylon rope. You pay for the rigging, cutting, dragging and chipping. No charge to watch an artist at work.
412 E. 1700 South, 801-484-8733, AtlasTrees.net

BEST FULL-SERVICE STATION
Horner’s Service
A long, long time ago—when gas was 30 cents a gallon and doctors made house calls—corner gas stations were “full service.” Check the oil, fix a flat, wash the windshield, change the sparkplugs, adjust the points—services long-since eliminated by corporate efficiency and engines with electronic components. Horner’s Chevron station, a family business dating to 1964, is the exceptional exception, a place where full service remains the order of the day. Sure there’s a self-serve pump for those who want to fill their own tank, but a Horner will happily pump your gas, fix your brakes, change your oil—whatever you need. And, like doctors of yore, they’ll come to your house to minister to your sick car.
1688 E. 1700 South, Salt Lake City, 801-466-7571

BEST SALVAGE SERENDIPITY
George’s Architectural Salvage
In the floor-to-ceiling jumble of stuff salvaged from old buildings, you’ll discover things you didn’t realize you needed. Light fixtures, locksets, lead-glass, thingamajigs, whatchamacallits—all from the good old days—packed into a storefront adorned by a faded “Boyer’s Radio & TV” sign. The dark interior is a labyrinth filled with serendipitous delights for homeowners, This Old House fans, yard-sale junkies, craftspersons, self-styled artists and idlers of every stripe. Open for exploration on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring a flashlight if you’re looking for doors.
470 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-539-1140

BEST LEAK CONSULTANTS
England Plumbing Supply
While not as urgent as a backed-up sewer pipe, a leak is like a bladder full of 3.2 beer. You can ignore it only so long. Trickles tend to turn into torrents. A better strategy is to drive to England Plumbing Supply, a Salt Lake City plumbing fixture for 60 years, where you’ll get a patient instructions on how to fix your leak along with the parts to do the job. Most of England’s business is do-it-yourself types—thrifty or intrepid or both—so they’ll stay with you from beginning to end. Unlike the wander-the-aisles Home Depot experience, the England staff engages you just inside the front door and escorts you though the small, unpretentious place, selecting parts while explaining how to use them to stop your leak.
1009 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-485-3371

BEST BASKET BOUNTY
Gift Basket Affairs
The fruit basket has become a holiday staple—but healthy though it may be, one cannot live by fruit alone. Gift Basket Affairs branches out from more conventional options to include specialized packages for new parents (plush toys, picture frame), movie lovers (candy and a movie rental gift certificate) and much more. And the Taste of Utah basket provides a terrific sampler of locally made goodies, including honey, snacks and salsa.
170 E. 800 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-1251, GiftBasketAffairs.com

BEST SKI SWAP
Rowland Hall Ski Swap
It only comes once a year, but for all you legitimate powder hounds, illegitimate wannabes or Lycra-sporting old-schoolers, this is the place. It’s the largest ski swap in the state, and incredible finds can be discovered in all types of lightly used equipment. The skis alone nearly fill a high school gymnasium, while the boards take up nearly half of a cafeteria. It’s not just for skis and boards, however—there are plenty of new and used jackets, goggles, bindings, and snow wear. Not to mention the hunky bearded mountain men and bouncy little ski bunnies. Held every October.
843 Lincoln St., Salt Lake City, 801-355-7494, Rowmark.org

BEST DIAPER DANDIES
Green Peas
We all know the reality that landfills are overflowing—yecchh—with disposable diapers. Green Peas is dedicated to baby products with an earth-friendly vibe. That means plenty of reusable diaper products from Drybees, Knickernappies and Monkey Doodlez. And they’re not just functional—look for the color or design that’s just right for your little one.
GreenPeasBaby.com

BEST UNDERGROUND GALLERY
Artopia Gifts
Sure, you can buy incense, handmade glass and even coffee upstairs, but what really makes Artopia Gifts a must-stop on downtown Gallery Stroll nights is the art and the music down below. The basement doubles as a small gallery and performance space for bands and DJs; sometimes following a theme (hip-hop for a graffiti art installation, etc.) sometimes accompanied by another band or DJ upstairs. Owner Lee Cano is all about the art, and more shops like Artopia Gifts could help Exchange Place become the next Broadway.
60 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 801-486-6175, MySpace.com/ArtopiaGifts

BEST ALTERNATIVE TO HALLMARK
Card Sharks
A soft-focus photo and a maudlin verse, or a simplistic gag—welcome to the greeting card options available at your local Wal-Mart. Aim a bit higher when you’re sending a message on a special occasion, with Card Sharks’ unique offerings. Individually or in box sets, they offer innovative designs by quality illustrators including Felix Sockwell, Steven Guarnaccia and Michael Bartalos. And while most are blank and ready for your own wit and/or wisdom, some are fairly clever in their own right (check out the reindeer series for next Christmas).
1797 Aintree Ave., Draper, 801-495-3061, Card-Sharks.net

BEST CONDUCTIVE KEEPSAKE
Bingham Canyon Mine Copper Postcards
When you visit a unique locale, you’d like the “wish you were here” message you send to loved ones to last as long as your memories. So after a trip to Kennecott Utah Copper’s awe-inspiring deep-pit mine in Magna, visit the gift shop for a chance to purchase a postcard made out of pure copper. Sure, sending it out will cost you a little extra postage—even more come May—but chances are good that the shiny item won’t end up in someone’s recycling.
801-252-3234, Kennecott.com

BEST MAGIC DEMONSTRATION
House of Chuckles
It’s really the way every business should get things done: You want to see the product in action. If you’re thinking about trying out a little sleight of hand, check out this West Valley novelty retailer and its comprehensive catalog of tricks, instruction books and informational DVDs. And if you really want a sense for how it all works, just wait for the man behind the register to show off coin, card and wand tricks. They may be moving to downtown any month now—but they’re not planning to disappear.
3528 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-966-0520, HouseOfChuckles.com

BEST UNCOMMON SCENTS
The Incense Sampler
Every aroma is unique, and you never know just which one might be in the greatest harmony with your world. And would you be surprised to learn that one of the largest lines of imported Indian incense is made right here in Utah? Quality ingredients are combined to produce more than 200 varieties of incense, with an environmentally conscious mission to recycle packing materials. All the more reason for that scent that works for you to put you at peace.
3326 S. 275 East, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3487

BEST ROCK SHOW
Rockpick Legend
Everybody needs minerals—sometimes to grow, sometimes for show. Step through the door of this lapidary’s lair and you’ll find a display case that provides a veritable museum of Utah’s mineral wealth, from malachite to gypsum. Browse through the bins of polished stones for something to create that special, unique piece of jewelry. Or if you’ve got your mind set on bigger things, outfit your own gold-panning adventure. Rock on.
1017 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-355-7952

BEST I-SPY DOG BOARDING
Dogmode
Pet owners, we know you worry about leaving your special companion with just anyone, just like a parent wouldn’t trust a random babysitter. So wouldn’t you like to peek in on your pooch while taking that trip? This boarding spot offers all the amenities and a big off-leash common area. But it also provides a Webcam so you can check out that area and feel just a little closer to your animal friend in absentia.
4030 S. 210 West, Murray, 801-261-2665, DogMode.com

BEST “FUR SURE” STORAGE
Alaska Fur Gallery
Fur is murder … on your wallet if you don’t take proper care of the pricey garments. Those who choose to clothe themselves in pelts don’t need them during Utah’s summers, and the temperature and low humidity can reduce their lifespan. Take a seasonal trip to Park City, and stash your fuzzy over-things in a climate-controlled vault, where it will stay safe until the chill returns to the air.
537 Main, Park City, 435-649-1241, AKFur.com

BEST BOUTIQUE GROCERY STORE
Emigration Market
Owner-cum-Salt Lake City Councilman J.T. Martin stocks more locally manufactured and marketed inventory in this cozy little historic store than seems possible. V Chocolates. Bath salts mined from the Great Salt Lake. Morgan Valley Lamb. Beehive cheeses. Winder Dairy products. Happy (free-range) turkeys. And of course, there’s always big baritone-voiced Jack the butcher in the back of the store cutting meat to order and sharing tips on braising, barbecuing and brining. You’ll pay more for the little extras, but sometimes you gotta have them. An on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner rounds out the neighborhood feel.
1706 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-581-0138

BEST DIRT BAG
Biograss Sod Farms
They don’t call it “Sandy” because the earth is rich and robust—and there are plenty of other places in the valley where the quality of the soil makes “how does your garden grow” less the question than “will your garden grow.” Peter Bell’s Sandy-based business designs its own combinations of soil, manure and composted bark to create a potent booster for Utah’s grim ground. When the fork lift delivers a 1,500-pound resealable bag of black garden soil, your harvest may be on its way to cornucopia-filling bounty.
9980 S. State, Sandy, 801-562-9090, BioGrass.net

BEST BIG BOX SUPERMARKET
Harmon’s
Rather like Brigham Young’s original Salt Lake City streets, Harmon’s store aisles are wide enough to turn around an ox cart. But we’ll settle for the standard Utah family-size shopping cart. Another reason this locally owned chain is outstanding: Its huge selection of fresh produce, with growing attention to organic choices. The newer stores, and those that have been extensively remodeled, feature expanded gourmet-cheese departments and fresh bread baked on the premises. Those grinning Harmon brothers have also given serious thought to busy shoppers who have little time to cook, with an extensive “to-go” section that stocks tasty choices well beyond standard potato logs and fried chicken.
Multiple locations, HarmonsGrocery.com

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CONVENIENCE STORE
Shop N Go
Maverik it isn’t. Or 7-Eleven either. And we’re thankful for that. It’s a crowded little corner shop, dimly lit and stuffed with an inventory that clearly shows an understanding of the convenience shopper’s mind. Dave Smith has owned the gas station/convenience store for 15 years and can be found daily working the counter. Over the years, we’ve found the following items just when we least expected: Salt Lake Roasting Co. beans in bulk (and at grocery-store prices). Rolls of duct tape. Motor oil additives. A variety of shoelaces. Gorilla Glue. Tasty frozen yogurt. In the summer, you’ll find regular deliveries of Alaskan salmon through Dave’s connections (you’ll find it in a metal ice chest just inside the door), pine nuts and other seasonal delights. Plus, locals are always standing around the front of the store gabbing, and the counter help will offer a biscuit to your pooch tied up outside.
1702 E. 1700 South, Salt Lake City, 801-486-3146

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BEST SUNDAY AFTERNOON DIVERSION
Moriarty’s Antiques
The eponymous Moriarty is not Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis but rather a colorful military macaw. Once in a while, the bird pals around with Holmes (an Irish Wolfhound) and Dr. Watson (a Cairn terrier). Aside from the occasional squawk and bark, here you will stumble upon 10,000 square feet of art, furniture, glass, ceramics, tools, toys and farm and garden items. Find comfort among odd items from your childhood and those from your parents’. And the climate is just right: cool in the summer and warm in the winter, hence the perfect place to walk off that Sunday brunch.
959 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7207, UtahAntiques.net

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BEST NEW BREW
Wasatch Beers’ “Devastator”
From the people who brought you Polygamy Porter with the classic slogan “Why have just one?” comes the 8 percent alcohol-by-volume Devastator, pictured with a raging ram barreling through an exploding downtown Salt Lake City with the temple and the capitol consumed in flames. Available in state liquor stores, this beer packs a whallop at 8 points but with a strong but smooth, bready flavor. The double bock variety here is not beer for any leftover Atkins’ followers, as this brew is pretty much like drinking a loaf of bread in a bottle.
UtahBeers.com

BEST FLY-FISHING SHOP
Western Rivers Flyfisher
You might find cheaper flies at a sportsman’s box store. You might even go online. But, if you enjoy the golden-hued moments of fly shop camaraderie, don’t miss spending some time at Western Rivers Flyfisher Shop. Fishing guru Steve Schmidt and his staff will spend as much time as you like rummaging through the bugs and suggesting what is hitting, what hatches are up, and water conditions throughout the West. Beyond fine service and pleasant surroundings, the shop puts 1 percent of profits into the environment, a movement started by Yvon Chouinard founder of Patagonia, a national firm featuring fly-fishing gear.
1071 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 800-545-4312, WRFlyFisher.com

BEST FLY-FISHING INSTRUCTOR
Norm Albiston
Norm Albiston teaches the fly-fishing class at the University of Utah during spring semester. Too late for this spring, but there’s always next year. The course is open to nonmatriculated folks along with degree seekers. Albiston, who pays the bills by working for the LDS Church by day, devotes much of his spare time to this sport of kings. He is brilliant in his ability to make this complex sport simple. For example, he’ll tell you, “fish where the river changes,” and “fish the foam.” Albiston takes his charges at the end of the class to the lower Provo River, where they have an uncommonly great day and get chuckles as Albiston chugs madly through the current in his waders, lifting rocks to show how flies emerge, with childlike wonder and curiosity written all over his face.
Course: Parks, Recreation & Tourism 131, University of Utah, spring semester

BEST IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY
J. Shawn Foster
In an earlier life, Foster was a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune. But he found his true career calling a few years ago after graduating from the University of Utah college of law and hanging out his solo-practice shingle. With the post-9/11 crackdown on people of Middle Eastern descent and the government tracking of their activity and whereabouts, as well as the whole rush to send anyone with brown skin packing back to Mexico, Foster keeps plenty busy. He says a full 20 percent of his immigration cases involve Muslims fighting to live and work in the United States, while everything else comes down to claims of torture victims seeking political asylum and federal cases over Latino immigration. Foster is bright and compassionate, and he speaks fluent Spanish.
10 W. Broadway, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3011

BEST EVERYMAN’S BICYCLE SHOP
Biker’s Edge
After years of working for others, Biker’s Edge owner Zach Chatelain decided five years ago it was time to take matters into his own hands and open his own place at the—almost—top of Utah. This shop carries workhorse road bikes by Cannondale and Felt, as well as popular mountain bike lines Santa Cruz and Kona. Good selection, and top-notch service, including a full range of tuning and repair plans, ranging in price from $35 to $200. The staff is well-informed, always willing to chat up favorite rides and to give advice.
232 N. Main, Kaysville, 801-544-5300, BEBikes.com

BEST “COMMIE” FARMERS MARKET
The People’s Market
The moniker of the 2-year-old summer market in Jordan Park sounds like something out of Russia before the wall came down. The attitude matches. While there might be a greater selection of vegetables at Salt Lake City’s older Farmer’s Market at Pioneer Park, the People’s Market is truly a local event. Begun as a yard sale, Peoples Market is formally dedicated to fostering local small-scale farming and small business entrepreneurs. You will find clothing made in a neighbor’s home or food grown in the back yard. The market also runs a “barter board” for people to trade needed services. It runs Sundays, June through October, at the Peace Gardens in Jordan Park.
SLCPeoplesMarket.org

BEST CUTTING EDGES
L. Lorenz Knife Sharpening
The Ronco slices and dices, but do you know where to go to sharpen and grind? File and grate? Scrape and polish? L. Lorenz Knife Shop (aka The Grinding Shop) does it all. Sprucing up everything from garden tools to yo mama’s old steak knives, to thinning shears for your thinning hair, this is the place to cut a deal. Even on new knives, too. Now nearly 100 years old (98 to be exact), there are no more of the Lorenz clan at the shop. Owner Mark Woodward takes that proud tradition seriously—he’s not at all about being dull. He’s the sharpest knife in the drawer.
29 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2821, LLorenz.com

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BEST HUMIDOR
Jeanie’s Smoke Shop
Jeanie’s might not be the best smoke shop if you’re looking to buy an ornate dragon-shaped crystal bong to smoke your “flavored” tobacco in—but if you are looking for a fine cigar or pouch of pipe tobacco, Jeanie’s Smoke Shop is your best bet. This downtown tobacco institution has been around since the 1940s purveying the city’s largest supply of fine cigars. From Romeo y Julietas to Retro Fuentes, Jeanie’s has something for every palette. Don’t be intimidated by the sprawling humidor, staff members are more than happy to match you with a cigar to fit your taste and budget.
156 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2817

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BEST PERENNIAL FAVORITE
Willard Bay Gardens
Since 1988, Barney Barnett and his wife, Della, have operated this retail nursery in Box Elder County specializing in perennials. Their catalog lists hundreds upon hundreds of perennials, including Utah favorites like ornamental oregano, aster “Monch,” helenium, heliopsis, helianthus, hibiscus, Ceratostigma plumbago, Gaura, garden Phlox, Rudbeckia, fall sedum and fall aster. You’ll also find waterwise plants, ornamental grasses and hardy plants. Every March, you can visit Willard Bay and order your flower baskets. They’ll show you your options, sell you the plants and then plant them for you (or you can if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty). Then they’ll grow your baskets in their greenhouses until you pick them up in early May.
7095 S. Highway 89, Willard, 435-723-1834, WillardBayGardens.com

BEST BREAKFAST & BRACELETS
Red Rock Inn Bed & Breakfast
Utahns have a primordial need to visit Zion National Park. It restores our sanity and reminds us why we live in Utah. And there is no place better to rest up and prepare for a day in the park than at this unbelievably cozy bed & breakfast in nearby Springdale. The inn, one mile from the entrance of Zion, features five cottages, all with Jacuzzi tubs and handmade quilts on the beds and breathtaking views of the red-rock cliffs of Zion. Breakfast baskets are delivered each morning, consisting of an egg dish, breads and muffins, seasonal fruit, juice and hot drinks. The office features a gallery with hand-crafted jewelry made by one of the owners.
998 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, 435-772-3139, RedRockInn.com

BEST YEAST FOR THE LEAST
Art’s Brewing
Lots of home brewers know about a certain shop on State Street where they can buy supplies. But not all are aware of another shop in town that keeps to itself and quietly provides just about everything needed to brew beer and wine at home. Shhhh … home-brewers are kind of a secret society in Utah. It’s OK for shops to sell brewing supplies but not OK for customers to use them to ferment grains and grapes with a license. So just pretend we never had this talk, OK? In the meantime, take a walk on the wild side to Art’s unassuming supply shop and you’ll discover why competition is a good thing. Not only is Art willing to share his expertise, but he’s a fun character to get to know and one of the city’s forefathers of brewing—after Brigham Young, that is.
642 S. Washington St., Salt Lake City, 801-533-8029, Users.Qwest.net/~ArtsBrew/

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BEST KITCHEN APPLIANCE
Tom Dickson’s Blendtec Blender
The Orem-based Blendtec corporation markets upscale blenders—and, by upscale, we mean that a home model can run from $400-$1,200. (Commercial models seem to be in the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category.) Still, before we saw Dickson cheerfully puréeing an iPhone on his WillItBlend.com Website, we had never wanted any blender so much. If Dickson’s high-powered machine can purée golf balls, glow-sticks, video cameras and Chuck Norris action figures, imagine what it could do for a banana daiquiri!
WillItBlend.com

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BEST WAY TO GET FRAMED
Framer’s Nook
Kathy Young and Gudrun Owen of Framer’s Nook, located around the corner from Carl’s Café in Cottonwood Heights, are knowledgeable about color and art trends. They truly care about what you’re having framed and take time to recommend matting and treatments to work with your image and your décor. Plus they can work with any budget. From prints and posters to shadow-boxed keepsakes, they know their stuff and can do justice to your objet d’art. With hundreds of moulding samples and matboards to choose from, the creative possibilities are endless.
2338 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-0058

BEST HAND-PRINTED THREADS
Full Spectrum Clothing
Visit Etsy, the online retailer for handcrafted goods, and you’ll meet up with Clinton, Utah-based Full Spectrum Clothing. Sonja Evans’ hand-printed clothes, kitchen accessories and pillows are getting rave reviews. She started her business by brainstorming how she could stay home and raise her daughter. She began making wrap-style baby carriers and baby clothes, naming her line “beanchild,” after her “little bean.” She taught herself to manually screen-print in her garage and stretch her own screens. Look her up and dig her “random acts of creativity.”
TheFullSpectrum.Etsy.com

BEST EASY, BREEZY HAIR SALON
Mid City Salon
At any given time of day, Teresa and her team of Mid City stylists are busy resolving bad-hair days for Broadway denizens. It’s a salon well-suited for the impulsive among us who prefer to walk-in. Getting seen for a hair or beard trim, brow wax, manicure or pedicure is often easily accomplished. No brooding stylist will rain on your parade saying there’s a two-month wait to get in. But, conversely, don’t be surprised if your stylist cuts two heads of hair while you wait for your highlights to kick in. It’s always a busy day in the neighborhood.
44 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3223

BEST AT “GOT YOUR BACK”
Stephen J. Warner, M.D.
When City Weekly circulation manager Larry Carter began experiencing chronic pain in his lower back, he went to see Dr. Stephen Warner. Carter suffered from a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord called spinal stenosis, and it required surgery. This is not a procedure any patient approaches lightly, knowing that one possible result of the surgery is paralysis. But in Carter’s view, nobody had his back better than Warner, a doctor whose specialty is spine surgery. The doctor tells it like it is, Carter says, and shines above the rest as an advocate who ensures his patients receive the best of care.
440 D St., No. 206, 801-408-2900, ESurgeon.com/Warner

BEST CLEAN SWEEP
Kellee’s
Need a housekeeper who is detailed, fearless, willing to go where no broom has gone before—even clean your windows and wash your laundry if need be? Kellee is that person. Take it from the head of a very busy household with two-working parents and two-active middle-school kids. Kellee is family tested. Better get her while you can because she’s always in demand.
801-357-9003

BEST LEGAL (?) SUPPLIERS
The Beer Nut
It’s been legal for unlicensed beer enthusiasts to brew up to 200 gallons yearly of custom suds in their own free American homes since 1978—but not so much in Utah. A bill was introduced in the 2008 Utah Legislature to finally decriminalize the act of spending months brewing a couple of gallons of the perfect pale ale in your kitchen (not exactly a bootlegging epidemic), but it was held up and eventually allowed to go flat with no resolution. That said, The Beer Nut has all the supplies you need to make a nice batch of root beer without obtaining a license and a $10,000 state bond.
1200 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-8182, BeerNut.com

BEST FIXER-UPPER
Mel Berry
A good contractor asks the right questions. He or she not only understands the drawings and the design intent, but is thorough, organized, thinks ahead, meets the timeline and payment schedules, handles change orders, listens to the client, and then says: “We’ll take care of it.” That pretty well describes licensed and insured contractor Mel Barry. So why is he the best? Because, in addition to all of the above, he shows up. Call him before the busy season kicks in.
801-455-7650

BEST SPANISH SCISSORS
Nuova Imagine
Guatemalan Abedelena Ibarra emigrated to Salt Lake City six years ago from Italy where she trained to be a stylist. Her salon is a bustling affair just off State Street, full of mothers and their children awaiting their turn. Whether it’s the Italian influence or just her own natural skills, Ibarra cuts hair so quickly, you’re done almost before you sit down. She has a way of sizing up your mop and then flowing over your scalp with her scissors with ease and precision. For those who want to practice their Spanish, Nuova Imagine offers the additional pleasure of Ibarra’s central American accent and her partner’s Mexican tones. It’s a simple, unadorned and charming establishment, lit up by the sheer passion Ibarra brings to her clients’ hair. 145 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4511

BEST ROCK & ROLL PRE-SHOWS
The Heavy Metal Shop
Whenever road-rockers like the Drive-By Truckers, Michael Dean Damron, Hell’s Belles, Kleveland, Neutral Boy and others hit Salt Lake City, you can count on an afternoon in-store appearance at the evil-peddlin’ Heavy Metal Shop on Exchange Place. And not just a sit-down-and-sign-stuff session, either: Full-on (and free) electric sets behind the shop’s counter make for loud and intimate face-time you’ll never get at Best Buy or Hot Topic. Before you go to the bar, don’t forget to catch the matinee.
63 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 801-467-7071, HeavyMetalShop.com

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // October 3,2008 at 06:28 To Best at got your back - I have to say, I have never had a better experience than we had with Dr. Steven Warner. He is amazing in his knowledge and bedside manner. You get a feeling the minute you meet this man that he knows what he is doing and that he will take your health very seriously. My son was in a serious car accident and had broken his back in four places. Dr. Warner gave us all the guidance we needed to make an informed decision as to whether we should do surgery or let the body heal naturally. Fortunately, my son was up and working out at the gym 3 months after his accident, and I attribute his success to the wonderful care we received from Dr. Warner.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // April 3,2008 at 15:51 We are thrilled to be included in the Best of Utah edition. nThank you SLWeekly and all who voted for us. nWe also appreciate the nice article Eric Peterson wrote on us recently.nWhile raising six kids and running the ministry, studio and school has kept us from attending tattoo conventions the last twenty years, I do want to acknowledge Kita Kazoo as having international status as one of the world’s great tattoo artists with grateful clients from all over Utah, Europe, Australia and the USA/Canada.nWe especially appreciate the public support we have received lately over our experiences with American Fork and Utah County Government. nThanks again,nDoc

 

 
 
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