Best Of :: Shopping & Services
We get our nails done for two reasons. First, we like to look good. We liked it in 3000 B.C., when the practice was first recorded in China, and in the time of ancient Egypt, where even low-ranking citizens felt obliged to spruce up with a modest nude coat. We like it now, willingly subjecting our hands to repeated blasts of concentrated UV light and harsh acetone soaks in exchange for two full weeks of gelled, chip-free, perfectly glossy fingertips. The other reason we get our nails done is that we love to pamper ourselves. The mani-pedi is a bimonthly ritual to which we gladly sacrifice two hours and an expense we very rarely call into question, lest we tumble down the slippery slope that is YouTube DIY nail art tutorials. Thus, finding a great nail salon is like coming home. At Venetian Nail Spa in Fort Lauderdale's Flagler Village, home is a nearly 4,000-square-foot Eden with high ceilings, arched entryways, gauzy curtains, and flatscreen TVs streaming endless episodes of Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Woman. Dedicated receptionists (not a technician juggling the phone and his next wax appointment) check you in and offer you a cold beverage as you select a polish. Walk-ins are welcome, and if you're looking to book a large group (wedding parties, anyone?), Venetian's airy space with four sectioned-off pedicure areas provides the perfect luxe, clean, and calm atmosphere without the Boca price tags. Gel manis start at $36, a basic spa pedi costs $26, and a regular mani-pedi starts at $40.
Readers' choice: Tipsy Salonbar
When it comes to buying a car, nobody likes a hustler. It's no fun to sign a deal only to realize your jalopy didn't come with floor mats. Or a stereo. Or doors. But South Florida is a cutthroat kind of place, with as many sharks in the dealership lots as there are offshore. Not, however, at Holman Honda. From the showroom floor to the service department, you'll be hard-pressed to find a dealership that competes on their level. They don't drive a hard bargain on floor mats (or doors!), and they won't upsell you on more vehicle than you can drive. That's why customers keep coming back for oil changes and tire rotations, even after they've paid off their Accords. Got a weird, oily leak in your steering column? Don't throw a fit. They'll check your warranty before sending your car off for work and give her a bonus wash while you wait.
Readers' choice: JM Lexus
Kovac Automotive has served Broward County for over 40 years; owner Joe Kovac's mother, Joan, even served as mayor of Davie in the late 1980s. Joe himself has served on the MathWorks Automotive Advisory Board and been president of the Florida tire dealers' association. That is some VIP material. This family-owned business has a loyal following because of its clean, organized shop and fair prices. Friendly staff will explain exactly what the issue is with your vehicle and be transparent about the services they perform. Become a member and you'll receive a ten percent discount, and there are always coupons available on their website. Schedule your next oil change here and have a complimentary donut and cup of coffee, and use their Wi-Fi, while you wait.
Gourmet coffee bar? Check. Cozy faux fireplace blazing in the background? Check. Access to an iPad and free internet to explore the World Wide Web? Check. No, it's not your best friend's living room. It's Cactus Car Wash, where customers are pampered in a Southwest-style lounge while their rides get spiffed up. An exterior-only wash will set you back only $5.95, or you can splurge on a traditional full-service car wash for $29.95. On top of that, special detailing and restoration options are available to make your car look extra showroom-shiny. Pick a package, sit back, and relax.
The first thing you'll see upon entering this little Lake Worth shop will be one of the Relentless crew bearing down on repairs in the store's work area like an alchemist bringing new life to old wheels, spokes, and gears. Intensely focused on all things pedal-powered — with awesome service, a high level of expertise, and a whole range of bikes, parts, and paraphernalia — this shop can be a bit intimidating on the casual cyclist's first visit. But the tough facade conceals a deep commitment to customer care and education. Relentless is deeply embedded in the community as a center for news of two-wheel activities throughout South Florida and a sponsor of local cultural events like the L-Dub Film Festival. Don't miss out on their annual Christmastime pig roast — and burn those calories off on the ride home.
The only thing more expensive than buying a boat is maintaining a boat. From anchors to zinc, Boat Owner's Warehouse has you covered. At BOW, they may not make the repairs, but you can bet your fiberglass they'll stock the parts you need or will have them ready for pickup pronto. They have three locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties (Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Riviera Beach) and a service division for maintaining bigger toys. Their inventory catalog is as thick as the Yellow Pages was back when landlines were a thing. Their prices are also a fraction of what competitors charge, enabling you to trim your motor but not your budget. If you walk in covered in dust from a day spent sanding your hull, they won't frown; this isn't Weekend Warrior's Warehouse. It's a store for boat folks, by boat folks.