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Readers Say the Darndest Things: Goods & Services 

What You Said

Best Butcher Shop
Ver Brugge
I don't know, but I think their name is for 'cute boys butcher shop.' They really love their job, and know what the best cuts look like — AND happen to be the cutest butcher's around. — Aryana Farsai

Enzo's in Market Hall
Pre-marinated meat! — David Indart

Cafe Rouge
Hands down, best chickens for roasting and most flavorful steaks. — Gabrielle Hedlund

Best Tattoo Parlor
FTW Tattoo Parlor
Now I know what a soul looks and feels like. — Andrea Plumb

Best Tanning Salon
Do people really still go tanning? Gross. — Kristen Sbrogna

Best Travel Agency
There is only one travel agency in Oakland. Did you know that? — Jessica

Best New Business
Awaken Cafe!!!
They're doing it right — sustainably, artistically, with community in mind. — Amy Robins

Helen Eberle dog walking
She sends you an e-mail picture of your dog after every walk! — Erica Stone

The Lake Merritt Trader Joe's
One line for all the check stands — brilliant! — Sheila Addison

Best Motorcycle Shop
Bikes, tattoos, coffee & booze & cuties ... eats too! Everything you need in life. — Colette

Best Car Repair
Art's Automotive
Not weasels. — Annelisa

Berkeley Minicar
I've been taking my Hondas here for 25 years. (Uh-oh, I just bought a Prius, what do I do now?) — Nicole Magnuson

Best Full-Service Gas Station
Pay extra? Surely you jest. — Jessica

Best Lingerie
A La Folie
You walk out feeling like a vixen. — Kelly Sperbeck

Best Vintage Clothing Store
Pretty Penny
Incredible service combined with amazing selection for a wide range of sizes at unbelievably good prices equals the best place to buy clothes in the East Bay. Nothing can top it. — Emily Harrison

Down at Lulu's
It's like an art installation in there. — Elka Weber

Best Thrift Store
Out of the Closet
Cheap cheap cheap! And free condoms. — Kristen Sbrogna

Clausen House
Please don't tell a soul. — Connor Morrison

Best Record Store
Duh. — Kristen Sbrogna

Best Corner Grocer
Farmer Joe's on 35th
Best prices on produce and friendly staff. Plus, when I was a kid, they used to let me take the discarded, wilted lettuce to feed my guinea pig. — Nicolas

Keller Market
One of the only places in the East Oakland Hills you can grab a last minute can of chicken broth and there is never anyone hanging out in front of the place. — Michele Taylor

Monterey Market
It's ridiculously inexpensive, and although often crowded, totally worth it. The only drawback is that it's a corner that's kind of far from where I live. — Christa Edwards

Star Market
Talk about old school. — Shelagh

Best Barber Shop
Avenue Cuts
Chrissy is the bomb. She talks baseball and local bands while cutting your hair, do an awesome job and charge about a third as much as everywhere else. — Chris Kidd

Richie's Barber Shop
People said they liked my haircut. — Dave Lebowitz

Best Bookstore
Pegasus & Pendragon
Great staff, energy, selection. Almost the last standing independent bookstore. — Naomi Azriel

Thoughtful, informed, amusing. What more could a bookstore hope to be? — Cat

For the shear volume of books as well as their quality, display, and comfortable atmosphere. Here is a bookstore that I actually want to go to and hang out inside. — Emiko

B & N
Sorry, but it's the best. — Jennifer

The Internet
Kills bookstores dead. — Jessica

Best East Bay Product
Rooted here and still showing love exploding with fresh ideas and events. — Lee Goldhagen

Ho on the Go kit
The original overnight kit for the modern one night stand. — Sunny Merry

Our weather
Another happy San Francisco transplant. — Liz Nichols

Scharffen Berger Chocolates
Specifically that nibby bar thing: chocolate crack! — Juanita Carroll Young

Best Shoe Repair
Ed's Shoe Repair.
He does a good job, and he doesn't lose your shoes. — Dave Lebowitz

Best Comic Book Store
Doctor Comics and Mr. Games
Great selection of indie comics as well as mainstream. Plus, it is nice to walk into a place where everyone remembers your name. — Anne Ayers

Comic Relief
Best variety, best at undergrounds. RIP Rory. — Colette

Best Financial Planner
Okay, who wrote this questionnaire? — Jessica

Best General Practitioner
Dr Alfred Rothman, Berkeley
Listens well, appointments easy to get. — Ellen Switkes

Best Veterinarian
Montclair Veterinary Hospital
Just plain wonderful in every way. nonprofit care for wild animals and the best care for pets. — LaurieAnn Lepoff

Best Pet Store
Great customer service. — Will Morr

Pet Food Express
It's not often when the CEO sends you personal emails alerting you to product updates. Mark Witriol does! — Mylene vandenBerg

Best Eyeglass Shop
Focal Point Opticians
Expensive, but great frames and nice folks. — Pete

Next Eyewear
I have several pairs of funky glasses and I continue to use my "flex benefit" plan to acquire more funky European glasses. — JM

Best Assisted-Living Facility
Mercy Retirement & Care Center
My 80 year old mother lives at Mercy Retirement and is so very happy. She is eating well, social, and enjoying life! — Elisa Reutinger

Best Wedding Cakes
Sweet Adeline Bakeshop
Fresh flavors, fresh flowers, willing to customize. — Nicole Magnuson

Best Local Brew
Trumer Pils
Does Trumer count? — Sean Smith

Best Head Shop
A truly old school head shop. Who didn't buy their first bong there? — Lisa

Oaksterdam Gift Shop
I'm not a stoner myself, but I love the concept of what they are trying to do. Oakland may be getting its "there" right here. — Logan De Ley

Best Pharmacy
They make compounds. — Janet

Everything you want, 24 hours a day, while birds fly around above your head. — Melissa Garden

Best Bike Shop
Missing Link
Co-ops are kewl. — Tom Levy

Mike's Bikes
Free Wednesday workshop — great public service, less attitude. — Jen

Wheels of Justice Cyclery
Kid bike program — turn in your outgrown bike and they give it to a needy kid and the give you credit towards a replacement. — Julia Clements

Best Women's Clothing
Because things there are made to fit real women! — Anne Ayers

Garage sales
People sell the best stuff around here for really cheap. — Pete

Best Men's Clothing
Big and Tall
I'm, like, 6' 9" so it's good. — Alex Beglinger

Best Fortune Teller/Palm Reader
Rabbit is Gifted! — Jennifer

Kay Taylor
Has been the Family Psychic [yes, like 'family doctor'] for over a decade! — Julie Danger

Best Hair Salon
Peter Thomas
I've been so pleased with my hair cuts/color for the four years I've been going there. — Candy Churilla

Best Hardware Store
Ace on Grand Ave
Comprehensive, and they will deliver and assemble your fancy gas grill for free. — Jessica

Ace Ellis hardware
The angels of the hardware world. — Andee Brown

The adrenaline rush from the fear of being crushed combined with access to every item ever made. — Gwen

Bolfing's Elmwood Hardware
But they closed my favorite hardware! Bring it back! — Odette Larde

Best Furniture Store
Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire
It may not be a store, but it's the only place I want to buy things to furnish my house. — Melissa Garden

Salvation Army
Dear $49 pristine 1960 white quilted couch: I love you. — Gwen

Best Camera Store
Sarber's Cameras
At either place I have received well informed advice from pleasant people and helpful guidance in this digital age. — Marsha Lehmer

Looking Glass
What other photo store lets you use their darkroom? — Christopher Monaco Glynn

Best Retail Service
Holistic Hound
Talk about full retail service! Heidi will consult with you and your pet right there in the store. — Mardi Storm

Best Local Winery
Rosenblum Cellars
Fantastic stuff. — G C

Dashe Cellars
Why go to Napa for wine tasting when you can do it in JLS? — David Indart

Best Wine Shop
Trader Joe's
Cheaper price = more wine 4 me. — Pat McCullough

Best Board Game Store
Games of Berkeley
All the cute seventeen-year-old gamer clerks and the raucous sounds of role playing games coming from the basement. — Dave Tibbs

Dr. Comics & Mr. Games
The dorks that work there are always helpful and sweet. — Melissa Garden

It's Your Move
Friendly staff ... not too nerdy. — Tyler Larsen

Best Toy Store
Mr. Mopps
I can't get my 4-year-old son to leave! — Tom Levy

Montclair Toyhouse
Great, helpful, friendly staff who don't get all bent out of shape when their customers go a little ape. — Nancy

Best Shoe Store
Twenty Two Shoes
Prices are out of hand, but local design is cool. — Jessica

Nordstrom Rack, San Leandro
Have you been??? — Karen

Best Jeweler
Can hardly afford to go in, but I have loved their repair work on my old hard-used jewelry and I drool over their stuff. — Nancy

Best Bakery
Bakesale Betty
Fried. Chicken. Sandwich. — David Indart

Ironing boards, ironing boards, ironing boards! — Dave Tibbs

La Farine
Morning Buns, Morning Buns, Morning Buns!!! — Amy Robins

Feel Good from Alameda
OMG that chocolate pumpkin thing they make brings me to tears. — Jessica

Crixa Cakes
All of their food tastes like it was made by fairies and elves! How do they do that? — Cory Gunter Brown

Best Doughnut Shop
Colonial Donuts
Have you ever been there at 3:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. Come on, yo. And just recall the patriotic name of the establishment. — Matt

Okay, maybe they don't have that classic donut shape. But every connoisseur of fried dough should try beignets. If you can't make it to New Orleans, now you can get some right here in Fruitvale. — Logan De Ley

Best Category We Didn't Think Of (and Winner)
Best hats
Berkeley Hat Shop. — Thomas Lynch

Custom book binding
The Key Printing and Binding. — Richard Ables

Knitting store
Article Pract. I can't believe that you have best waiter's outfits and best hippie but you don't have anything for knitting store? How sad is that? — Carmen

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