Best Nursery 2000 | Living Color Garden Center | Shopping & Services | South Florida
This nursery is so high-quality it draws landscapers from as far away as West Palm Beach and attracts celebrities like Dan Marino. But we find it the best place to unwind -- without any chemical assistance. Stroll through row upon row of hundreds of different flowers, from yellow dandelionlike Euryops to satiny magenta New Guinea impatiens. Then listen while the wind plays a symphony on dozens of chimes and water gently trickles down numerous stone waterfalls, all of which are for sale. The nursery, set on 21 acres, scours Homestead farms and plant shows for unique sprouts and orders from Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. The vegetation it can't find, well, employees concoct themselves: The nursery is awaiting a patent on a leafy plant with a white-and-pink bloom that resembles exploding fireworks (called the Brandon I, after the owner's son) There are also hand-painted clay pots, artistic metal flamingo figurines, 25-foot palm trees, sundials, and wrought iron benches engraved with roses.

Meat. Red, bloody, artery-clogging, protein-laden meat. Sometimes you just gotta have it. Grocery-store offerings are fine for feeding a hungry brood, but when you want melt-in-your-mouth meat, the kind that attracts envious stares over the fence from neighbors when you slap it on the barbecue, you need a good butcher shop. That's where Cattleman's comes in. They have all the lamb, beef, pork, and poultry you could possibly want; they know how to cut it and cook it; and they'll wrap it up neatly in butcher paper for you. The guys behind the counter even wear red aprons. But what really sets Cattleman's apart is its corner-market atmosphere. Part deli, part supermarket, part butcher shop, it looks like something straight out of a Chicago neighborhood. You could pick up a nice sirloin, a couple pounds of Belly Buster links, some fresh ground chuck, a hunk of good cheese, a bag of chips, a jar of fat deli pickles, and some good bologna, all in one place. Then you'd be livin'.
Hot 'n' Horny. Lawyer's Breath. Flamin' Balls. Acid Rain. Psycho Bitch. PMS in a Bottle. These are just a few of the more than 400 hot sauces that make up what customers at the Barbecue Superstore in Weston have dubbed the Wall of Pain. It seems manufacturers of the fiery condiment compete for the cleverest, funniest, or most fear-inducing name, and it's fun just to browse among the little bottles to see the names and the corresponding cartoonish pictures on the labels. But don't bring the kiddies. A whip-wielding dominatrix dares you to sample Pleasure & Pain, and we'll leave the illustration for Monica's Down on Her Knees to your imagination. A bowl of tortilla chips is on hand -- the better to test the hot sauces, as well as the dozens of barbecue sauces the store sells. Surprisingly they're not all as tongue-scorching as you might guess; some, like Psycho Bitch, are even on the sweet side, mixed with mango, raspberry, and other fruits. Of course, we decided to pass on the one with a skull and crossbones and the warnings "Keep Away From Children" and "Skin Irritant" on the label, as well as the one in a red firecracker-shape box, complete with wick. Call us wimps.
Jane may love cheap furniture, but she loves her daughter, Jackie, more. Otherwise she would never have financially backed Jackie's dream-that-would-probably-only-last-a-summer six years ago. After four years of book-cracking, Jackie graduated from college with a degree in social work -- and discovered that she'd rather be dealing with furniture than clients. Jackie takes well-made (real wood, not pressed wood; solid wood, not wood veneer) furniture with a past and brings it into the present by giving it a new look: tropical, seaside, cottage, Mediterranean. You never know what you'll find here: an old oak teacher's desk with a pull-out platform perfect for a computer that Jackie has given a distressed look in soft white; a two-drawer trunk, perfect at the foot of one's bed, that Jackie has hand-painted with black hearts and the words to a 13th-century love poem that begins, "In your light, I learn to love…"; a corner cabinet done in MacKenzie-Childs- inspired colors and funk. And those are just three reasons to love Jane's -- and Jackie's -- cheap furniture.
When Jerry Miles reopens his eponymous store on May 28, the name will be slightly different -- and the prices even more so. (All merchandise will be 50 percent off retail, all the time.) But the whimsy for which Mr. Miles has been heralded, on and off Las Olas, remains the same: wind-up nuns; stick-on "panic," "eject," and "duh" keyboard button covers; ballpoint pens that look like hypodermic syringes; Trailer Park Barbie dolls; and Willie Wonka T-shirts are just some of the wacky items you'll encounter here. More wild and crazy merchandise arrives weekly.
Oh sure, there's kelp and vitamins. But there's also organic wine, dolphin-safe tuna, herbal cat collars, nonaerosol air fresheners, eyestrain-reducing light bulbs, triple-milled pure vegetable soap, and eggless egg salad, as well as hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken, eggs, and milk. Not to mention an organic salad bar and produce department, packaged sushi, a bakery featuring flourless sugarless chocolate cake, and a prepared-foods department featuring turkey meatballs, Scandinavian shrimp salad, and roasted squash with fresh sage and garlic. This is Publix plus Walgreens for the health-conscious and environmentally aware but with perfectly stocked shelves and the kind of customer service normally found in chichi boutiques. "We haven't had it in a while, but I'll put in a request for it immediately," one "team member" said when a customer requested turkey salad with grapes. Prices range from a little more than average (99 cents for a can of tuna) to outrageous ($6.39 for one healthy light bulb). But then who ever said a pure body and a clean conscience come cheap?
"One man's trash is another man's treasure," is the motto here. This is the place to find everything -- including the kitchen sink (and the faucets, counters, cabinets, and appliances, too) -- at 10 to 40 cents on the dollar. So, if you've been thinking that you're stuck with a ho-hum kitchen or bathroom because it's so expensive to remodel, think again. The high-end real-estate renovation business is booming, which puts Tom Gooding, owner of Gooding's Goodies, in an enviable position. What someone no longer wanted could be exactly what you've been seeking for your home-renovation project -- but couldn't afford. Until now. Like the JennAir cook top that costs $1200 to $1400 new. Barely used in some fancy-schmancy Palm Beach manse (those people eat out), it's $225 at Gooding's Goodies. Gooding hasn't even been in business for two years, and he has had to move three times. The reason: too many goodies, too little room. Even now, with 10,000 square feet of space (up from 3800), the new place is bursting at the seams with about 80,000 items that Gooding has rescued from oblivion. It's called salvage merchandise, but that has the connotation of rusted plumbing fixtures sitting out in front of a doublewide, and this place is anything but. Gooding's store is not only air-conditioned, the merchandise is so well organized you'll feel like you're shopping at Burdines. They have drawer pulls and cabinet handles for 25 cents -- instead of $5. You'll also find oldies-but-goodies from the late 1800s to early 1900s: leaded-glass windows, carved wood doors, and a huge selection of claw-footed tubs (they're very "in" these days) from the 1920s. And what you don't find today, you'll find tomorrow. Three to five truckloads of stuff get dropped off every week.

Wear comfortable shoes and have some patience while negotiating the more than 800 stalls and stores crowded into this indoor mall. A cross between a flea market and a mall, the place is usually packed with bargain sniffers. At least 90 percent of the customers are elderly retirees, and New York accents abound (conversation overheard: "Morty, you're trailing behind me, and I'm gonna lose you -- do you wanna sit down for a while?"). It's not just the prices that draw all the customers, it's the incredible variety of goods in one place. There are stalls dedicated to everything Lucite; New York pickles in barrels, flown in twice a week; bonsai trees; cigars; leather; jewelry; incense; clocks; Russian dolls; pastries; all the latest infomercial gadgets, including the world's best showerhead; toys; sunglasses; shoes; clothes; pens; bags; and a bunch of other stuff you probably don't need. You simply will not leave without a plastic bag filled with purchases.

If you can make it past the graphic porn-video box covers and giant plastic dildos on the ground floor of the Adult Video Warehouse in Pompano Beach, the paintings and photographs in the upstairs Eros Loft won't shock you at all. On the contrary the feel up here is tastefully titillating. From nude paintings that exude a kind of curvy, Vargas-like innocence to tame but naughty Coney Island skin-flick posters from the early 1900s (such as Kuddling Kuties, $200) to artful, homoerotic black-and-white photographs, Eros Loft has something for all tastes -- except absolute prudishness.
In 1973, entrepreneur George Zimmer opened his first full-service men's clothing store in Houston. There clueless occasional dresser-uppers, junior executives, and flashy head honchos alike found a tasteful selection of name-brand suits and sportswear -- plus a knowledgeable staff to help coordinate their purchases. Men's Wearhouse now boasts some 560 stores in the United States, with outlets in Canada and Puerto Rico; it also owns the Botany 500 men's clothing line. Combine that with the company's sheer purchasing power, and you end up with prices you just won't find at department stores. (A Hugo Boss selling for $1300 elsewhere was a bargain here recently at just $700.) The friendly salespeople will help you mix and match jackets and pants into multiple configurations, giving you even more for your clothing dollar. And once you've had a suit altered, additional stitch or seam changes are done for free. The pièce de résistance: free lifetime pressing at any location.

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