For those who go regularly to get buffed, the occasional cheap pedicure will do. For the rest of us, with our callused heels, blistered toes, and chipped polish, the Emerge deluxe pedicure functions like a foot intervention. First, anything unsightly gets whisked away by a chamomile scrub. Feet are then dunked in a paraffin treatment that softens even the toughest soles. Technicians are meticulous when grooming cuticles and perfecting polish application, leaving ample time for you to relax and marvel at the transformation of your digits. 275 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, emergespasalon.com.
You don't have to worry about that,' says Shaw when we tell her we really need a therapeutic massage, not just a light shoulder rub. As she begins to press and knead, our concerns, and stress knots, melt away. Shaw's firm touch relaxes and revitalizes as she instinctively homes in on problem areas, leaving us free to daydream or doze. 257 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, violetskinboutique.com.
Hosing down Fido is simple at this ingenious self-service canine salon in Fresh Pond, where dog owners dunk squirming pooches into stainless-steel industrial sinks equipped with built-in leashes. Handy dryers and a choice of organic shampoos promise clean, fluffy fur. To keep patrons (canine and human) occupied while waiting, LaundroMutt offers a comfortable upstairs area appropriately dubbed the BarkaLounge. 489 Concord Ave., Cambridge, MA laundromutt.com/.
Let's face it: Your baseboards and windowsills haven't seen the swish of a sponge or the feather of a duster in forever. It's high time you called for backup in the form of the friendly, family-owned Crystal Clean. A team of three or more expert cleaners will arrive in a flurry of brooms and mops, leaving nothing behind but a fresh lemon scent and a sparkling home.
Thanks to a two-year, $68 million renovation of the former Boston Police Department headquarters, Jurys's wall of trickling water, sparkling elevators, lavish suites, and stunning marble bathrooms (with heated towel racks) are a far cry from the holding cells of yesteryear. A sizable accumulation of contemporary Irish art and a helpful staff lend European class to these very American quarters. 350 Stuart St., Boston, MA .
The man has magic hands! Nezat, a recent transplant from the now-defunct Spa on Newbury, not only releases any stress-induced tension knotting your body with the fundamental Swedish massage, he can also pinpoint problem areas and offer sweet relief with more advanced techniques. With his strong yet gentle touch, you'll leave feeling like a wet noodle. And he'll do it for a whole hour longer than your Significant Other's brief obligatory poke-and-prod. Candela Laserspa, 28 Arlington St., Boston, MA .
The deep, pink ring along the outer rim of a slice of Blue Ribbon brisket proves it's been smoked long and slow, the hallmark of authenticity. No surprise: The counterspace-only joint looks like it was lifted from a dirt road in Texas, right down to the corrugated tin walls plastered with battered license plates. Equally down home are North Carolina pulled pork, beans that smack of earthy molasses and brown sugar, and corn bread that's good enough to bring tears to a southerner's eyes. 908 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 2476, blueribbonbbq.com.
Whether it's North Carolina pulled pork, Kansas City burnt ends, Texas sliced beef brisket, or Memphis dry-rubbed ribs, the key to Blue Ribbon's success is, like all great barbecue, slow cooking at low temperatures, in this case, over oak and hickory hardwood. Whichever style you prefer, it makes for incredibly tender 'cue with just the right smoky flavor. Good prices, great sides, but no real dining room. Sit on a stool by the counter, or take your bounty home. 905 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA .
Bring a hefty appetite and anyone you want to impress for the elegant decor and sensational harbor views at the most sumptuous buffet brunch in the city. For $42 a person, we're obviously not talking about hangover grease-fest. The upscale yet down-home fare includes anything and everything you could possibly be craving — including platters of lobster, mussels and clams; grilled rack of lamb; made-to-order omelets; seasonal fruits; and decadent desserts. No heartier way to break the fast. 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA .
Meat-and-potato Brahmin cravings may explain the dearth of veggie restaurants in Boston, but The Five Seasons will convince even the most die-hard carnivore to lighten up. With beautiful, delicious dishes— including the tofu nori-roll appetizer, shrimp and vegetable tempura, and seafood kettle— this spot draws herbies for whole foods without artificial additives and preservatives. The menu includes fresh fish, free-range chicken, and locally grown organic produce. 669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA .
Everything about this tiny store-front boîte makes you wish that you, too, had bought a fixer-upper in Jamaica Plain. Chef Tim Partridge's menu is the kind of food you'd cook at home if only you had more time, with basic but tempting dishes from roasted spring lamb with fingerling potatoes and watercress to simple seared sea scallops. 597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA .
Sentimental favorite Redbones has been challenged over the last few years by a whole herd of new barbecue joints. But there's no beating the heaping portions of Memphis-, Texas-, Arkansas-, and St. Louis-style Fred Flintstone-sized ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and beef brisket; the appetizers, like catfingers and buffalo shrimp; the seemingly infinite draft beer selection; and the hillbilly ambiance. Okay, so the service is more Boston than Baton Rouge. But it makes up in efficiency for what lacks in warmth. 55 Chester St., Davis Square, Somerville, MA redbones.com/.
We wish we had thought of this—a take-home-dinner kiosk in the middle of South Station. You can peruse the daily updated online menu (marchingandchowder.com) from the comfort of your office, then pick up your meal on your way to catch the train. This year-old business offers soups, salads, gourmet-style comfort foods, low-fat and vegetarian options—even sushi. We think you'll like it; if you don't, they'll give you back your money. South Station, Boston, MA .
It doesn't hurt that Julia Child was a regular at this homey, comfortable Union Square restaurant, but what really makes eat a great neighborhood joint is the way owner Charlie Robinson welcomes diners from the neighborhood and beyond as if they were coming to dinner in his own home. Chef Pete Sueltenfuss's cuisine extends the welcome with hearty flavors and simple technique, from diver scallops stew to club steak. 253 Washington St., Somerville, MA .
Assuming the hyperfestive décor at this family-owned joint hasn't already knocked you on your heels, there's no doubt the powerful, wide-ranging flavors will. Surrounded by a rainbow of serapes and folk art furniture, diners are primed with homemade chips and salsa (and usually some high-test margaritas) before getting down to business. Mole is among the strong suits here, as is anything doused with the bright chili verde sauce. Bonus points for solid vegetarian choices, and lunch specials that pack dinnertime heft. 449 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176-3837, .