I admit, I'm one of the millions of Americans with a fear of the dentist. Which is why when I had to choose one, I tried to find the best available to me, and I think I've succeeded. Pine Ridge Dental is, and I can't believe I'd use these words together, a wonderful dentist's office. The staff is very friendly and personable, and they do a very good job helping you keep your mind off why you're actually there. Being able to lie back and watch television with headphones on really does help you get away from that awful drilling noise. Extended hours are available for those of us who'd use work as an excuse not to go. Highly recommended.
PROS: Very good dental work in a non-terrifying atmosphere.
CONS: Traffic configuration makes it a little hard to get into.
Baubles and Blades is one of those shops which carries a selection of Eastern art and furnishing items liberally mixed with a whole lot of fancy martial-arts weaponry. It's rare that I visit the mall without stopping by at least to look at the interesting selection of items (and to wish I really had a use for that many swords on my walls). Most of the good-quality items aren't cheap, but some of what they carry is breathtaking. The store can be a little cluttered sometimes, and believe me, these are not the sort of things you want to knock off a shelf accidentally. But if you're looking for a really exotic gift, this is a good place to start.
Sugar Plum candies is one of those stores you know you shouldn't go into, but you always do. And as soon as you open the door, you know you're in for it. Candies of all shapes and colors greet you, and even an ascetic would find something calling to them. Everything is very nicely displayed throughout the store, and while the location is a bit small it's not hard to find what you're looking for. Their chocolates come highly recommended, and their fudge is a personal favorite of mine, but I've yet to try anything from this store I wasn't absolutely happy with. Prices are reasonable enough to be dangerous to anyone counting calories.
If you've driven north 27th street, you've probably seen the well-done bike and equipment displays that are a trademark of Moose's Tooth. Inside you'll find a full-service shop for biking, hiking, and lots of other outdoor activities. The staff is very helpful, and are the kind of salespeople that will actually guide you to what you need, not just try to sell the most expensive item off the shelf. I've never had a problem getting a question answered to my satisfaction here. Prices are generally good, and the selection is lacking in a few areas but they tend to carry the best. If you enjoy the outdoors and you don't already know this business well, stop in today.
Bluestem books is tucked away in the Haymarket district, but it's worth seeking out. The unassuming store is packed with a selection of books that any bibliophile would love. Throughout the many rooms all sorts of surprises lie in wait, from old rare paperbacks that have seen better days to hard-to-find editions of newer books. The organization is good, which is something kind of rare among used bookstores, and the place feels comfortable (and not musty or overly jumbled). Prices are very good, and it's in a good shopping district so you can park and make a day of it. Highly recommended.
Trade-A-Tape is a very nice comic shop for the collector - lots of back issues, including some that are hard to find these days. A very nice feature is an online inventory system - by going to their website, you can check the availability and even place orders for the specific issues you need for your collection. But that would deprive you of the pleasures of browsing the boxes and the comic wall, because you never know when you'll find something that just catches your eye. Prices are good, and the selection is enormous, especially when it comes to the big companies. Only gripe I have is the downtown traffic.
Wayne's is a great little auto repair and body shop, conveniently located in south central Lincoln. The staff is very friendly and very good at what they do - when I took a car in for a collision estimate, the adjuster brought out a palmtop computer and gave me a figure within a few minutes. The work is professional and top-notch quality, I haven't had any complaints with these guys. Prices are a bit higher than some shops in Lincoln, but I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. Definitely include Wayne's when you're considering having auto body work done.
The Pet Doctor is not the best example of a pet store. Aside from the moral objection to any store selling animals when there's already a massive overpopulation problem, the shop is usually poorly kept-up and is overcrowded. The last time I was in there, a cage of guinea pigs was being terrified by an enormous white bird lurking overhead. Animals are usually in badly overcrowded conditions, and the care is definitely lacking (water bowls instead of water bottles allow drinking water to be fouled, etc.) I'd definitely avoid this place at all costs and adopt rather than buy.
Eileen's Colossal Cookies is a small bakery in southeast Lincoln that produces some of the city's best cookies. If you've had them, you know. If not, these cookies are marvelous. Tubes of a dozen cookies come in many different varieties, and I've yet to find a kind I didn't like. The prices are dangerously cheap, to boot - it's far, far too easy to come away with a bag full of goodies every time you stop by. Large orders are available, and these make wonderful treats for your office. Traffic is a little convoluted (it's in the shopping center south of 56th and Hwy 2) but it's worth the effort, by far.
This branch of Audio Visual is more accessible for those of us living in south or west Lincoln. The selection is comparable to the north branch, lots of older movies on VHS as well as a decent selection of newer DVDs. This location is a bit larger, so the selection's a bit better here, but don't expect to find fifty copies of the latest new releases. Still, the lower traffic does lead to finding gems that you'd be waiting for at Blockbuster for weeks. And if you're hunting for some weird documentary no one's ever heard of, you might just stumble across it in Audio Visual's large stock of movies.