They've made substantial improvements to the parking at Best Buy Southridge over the last several years, though the city has annoyingly restricted the exit to right turn only. Still, it is a frustrating location and a bit of a pain to get to. The parking lot is separated into a small main lot by the front door and a huge side lot that turns into a mess during the holidays.
It used to be conveniently located across from Circuit City, which made it somewhat nice to visit, because what you couldn't find at one, you could usually find at the other. Unfortunately, CC is now closed.
The service at this store seems to be highly variable. There are some bright and knowledgeable folks, but also some that aren't. We found some pretty good people in the camera department who were able to demonstrate a somewhat obscure feature of one camera that we were considering about a year ago. From a consumer's point of view, that's one of the main purposes of salespeople, but unfortunately, it isn't always what you find. I hesitate to give them even a "satisfactory" rating because I'm often frustrated or annoyed by the time I walk out the door, and I kind of wonder why - with the prices they charge - they can't retain more knowledgeable salespeople.
The old Best Buy was horrible. Bad lot, bad building, bad service.
The new one... (much) better parking lot, nice looking building, but ... the same old service.
Crossing Hwy 100 is a rough challenge at any point, but at least they're now conveniently located at a light with a good sized parking lot.
Visited here to find a hard drive one day, showed as available and in stock on the web site at this store. Employees were completely unhelpful. One indicated that it would be out on the shelves. So I spend time looking for it. It wasn't - not even a spot for it. Ask another. He does a stock check, sees it in stock, and .. says to look on the shelves. Apparently too busy doing other stuff. It doesn't help that the shelves are rather disorganized and it isn't easy to determine where they're supposed to be, but again, look through the shelves, not finding a spot for it. Ask again, noting that it's supposedly in stock but that I've looked twice and haven't found it. Get shrugged off, "well, maybe we're out of it."
Get ticked off and leave. Later: it's still listed as in-stock by the website.
Best Buy can be a good source or it can be very frustrating. I've never really had good luck at this store, whether in its old incarnation or this one, and I think I'll be visiting other stores in the future.
The breakfast at Original Pancake House is very good.
We visited on a windy day, and unfortunately the door closers didn't do a real good job of keeping the doors closed while we were waiting. There was a constant stream of people in and out, and the outside door would tend to hang open, making for a cool breeze inside.
Our wait wasn't too terribly long, although apparently it gets bad enough that they've made arrangements to queue people somewhere else (if I overheard correctly, a business next door) where they've got a radio intercom to page people.
The fresh squeezed orange juice is fantastic, but also about $4 for a large glass. The bacon is great, although over a dollar a strip. The syrups are very good, and the pancakes are done well. The overall atmosphere was pleasant.
However, spending $28 on breakfast for two puts it in the very pricey range, and we're not likely to become repeat customers when there are other pancake houses charging less nearer.
This is a crowded little gas station on the corner of 99th and Oklahoma. It's inconvenient to get into, and the placement on Oklahoma near a busy freeway intersection means that you'll probably fight a little traffic to get into the small lot, which offers little space to wait if the pumps are busy. The one thing to recommend this station is that the prices typically trail other stations by a bit, so if prices are going up and other stations have already jacked up prices, this station often has the better pricing for another day or so. I probably wouldn't stop here otherwise.
This is quite simply the best delivery pizza in the area.
I'm pretty sure this store moved from 98th and Oklahoma, which was a good location until it closed, pretty sure this one opened right around the same time.
Great pizza, great toppings. Thin crust is excellent, the sauce is superb. Usually they'll include a coupon for free garlic pizza dough strips on your next purchase, also highly recommended.
Main downside is that they're bloody expensive, but sometimes that's something you can ignore. In this case, you can ignore it, the pizza's great.
Radio Shack has changed a lot in the last 25 years. At one time a respectable store for electronics and computer hobbyists, with other useful gear for audiophiles and related things, it has swung heavily in the direction of mega-cell-phone-kiosk, GPS, and radio controlled toy store.
Problem is, cell phone kiosks do that better, Best Buy does GPS better, and K-Mart does R/C toys ... well, maybe not better, but substantially cheaper.
I tire of commission-driven salespeople hovering over me and looking at me strangely if I go back to the electronics area and look through the drawer bins for something. I do occasionally find that Radio Shack is useful as a store of last resort, but the prices are ridiculously marked up on almost anything I would buy.
Bring back the TRS-80 display in the front of the store, haha :-)
Elliott's in Elm Grove is home store for the Elliott's Ace chain in the area. You know that great cool hardware store you remember as a kid? Here it is, it hasn't been eaten up by Home Depot yet.
Experienced and knowledgeable staff who have made a career out of the business, rather than kids working their way through college, make a head-and-shoulders-above-the-rest difference here. Not only are the staff helpful, but you can tell from the selections offered that these guys are really in touch with what a hardware store ought to be, and what their customers need.
Unfortunately, Elliott's is not a home improvement store. If you need lots of wood, or drywall, etc., you might be better off at Menard's. However, you have an unusual fastener need, or an odd switch in a lamp that needs to be replaced, Ace will probably have what you need.
This Ace is more or less on the tail end of my search list because of its distance, which is unfortunate because it is extremely comprehensive. Our local store is, I think, the smallest of the Elliott's.
There seems to be an influx of Asian style chain restaurants lately, maybe not a bad thing, though I like unique locally owned places.
Stir Crazy is another in the influx. It reminds me very much of Big Bowl down in Illinois, and their selection is good. It's a menu-or-make-your-own format that has a nice menu, and we wanted to see what they felt they were good at, so we ordered off the menu.
The service was nothing that distinguished itself, I could comfortably call it average. We visited during a slower time, and our server was occasionally absent for periods of time. The food was adequate, it's hard to mess up a stir fry too badly, and the spice was nice.
I would have given this an average rating, but the overall visit was expensive, and I didn't think that it offered the sort of value that I want to see.
I can respect that a lot of people think highly of Renaissance. There is absolutely no question that they have a huge, huge, huge selection of books.
Built inside what feels like a rat's maze of feels-like-they-might-be-condemned-any-day-now buildings on the river's edge, Renaissance breathes a last whiff of life into some buildings that have seen better days. Ooh, did I say whiff. There's a vaguely foul odor that I've typically attributed to the proximity to the river, but makes it somewhat unpleasant. The buildings themselves look potentially unstable. Inside, the floors are ancient, uneven, sagging, and unrepaired. It feels vaguely dangerous to venture inside.
That might be fine, since it seems likely that the arrangement allows them inexpensive rent.
Unfortunately, the rest of the book store is about the same. There are shelves, tall shelves, everywhere. They are filled with books. Many books. Feels like billions of books. So many books that they're piled on the floors, piled in boxes, making already narrow aisles narrower. The light is highly variable, many aisles are dimly lit. It looks like their attempts to keep up with the incoming batches of books gave up the ghost a few decades ago when they ran out of shelf space (I don't know if that's actually the case, just trying to describe the feeling I get). The place is dusty (bad for allergies), disorganized, the employees are typically just sitting around (not like they could be shelving books, etc).
I guess I can see why some people like the place, because if you were just coming to browse and buy, you could probably find many interesting things. However, when I'm going to shop for books, I am almost always looking for specific books, and if not, then I am looking for specific authors. Renaissance makes this a nightmare, and at this point, I'm only visiting every few years, usually when I've failed to find something at Downtown Books over on Wisconsin, which is smaller but extremely well done.
Good, solid food, nice service, nice variety, pleasant servers, just ... somewhat empty. These guys could be very successful if they had more business.