Tired of the red meat are you? What’s that, you say? You’ve never tried meat? Interesting. Perhaps you, like English crooner Morrissey believe that Meat is Murder (Aside from naming one of his albums from his days with the Smiths Meat is Murder, he has famously stormed off of stages mid-set upon simply smelling some form of meat being grilled in the vicinity of his performance).
Well, if you find yourself looking for food that never had a face, then Texas isn’t really that bad of a spot, even with it’s reputation for all things butchered. So, for all of the vegetarian’s and vegans out there, who might be new to the state, or new to the meatless movement, below are a few highlights from some of our major cities in case you find yourself wondering where you can get a killer stack of vegan flapjacks…
- Spiral Diner & Bakery- Speaking of vegan pancakes. Check out either the Dallas spot or the Ft. Worth location.
- Bliss Raw Cafe and Elixir Bar - Takes the vegan experience to creative, new levels.
- Cosmic Cafe - The grand old dame of the vegetarian dining experience in Dallas.
- Counter Culture - Food trailer with a conscience.
- Veggie Heaven - A plain-jane spot, lacking any pretense near the campus, it’s seemingly been around forever.
- Conscious Cravings - Another trailer that shows how Austin just gets it. you know what I mean. They just do.
SAN ANTONIO –
I can only hope that this post doesn’t find you residing in a scenario where you have yet to take part in one of the most holy, quintessentially Texan of all traditions. Tubing the Guadalupe, or Comal for that matter, is an experience that few other states can offer.
Simply put: If you haven’t yet. It’s about time to get to it. Below are some resources available to help you in your quest for the spirit of Texas summers…
Gruene Texas - It’s kind of crazy how one small town can have just about everything you need for a fun day of tubing. River outfitters, great restaurants and, in case you haven’t made the connection yet: The legendary Gruene Hall. Texas’ grandest and oldest dance hall. If tunes are blaring from the open widows that line the walls of this hollowed palace, than it’s time to get on in and grab a cold one.
- For Tubing: Rockin’ R River Rides
- For Shopping: Lone Star Music
- For Dining: The Grist Mill
- For Live Music: Gruene Hall
- For More Drinks and Live Music: Tavern in the Gruene
Also, check out the Comal River for tubing good-times…
- For Tubing: Comal River Tubing
- For Good Times, Brew and Tunes: River Road Ice House
- For Cabin Rentals: River City Resorts
OK, that’s enough to at least get you started. Believe us, it’s almost a deal where you will have a hard time convincing other Texan’s that you’re a real Texan if you can’t say you’ve tubed the river. It’s kind of like saying you haven’t seen Willie Nelson live in-concert, or paid your respects at the Alamo…wait, you have done those things, right??
Obviously, when talking about Memorial Day, we want to remember the real reason for it (check back here on Monday for more of that), but it’s also fair to talk about the fun that can be had, as we all enjoy the freedom that so many brave men and women have sacrficed for over the decades and even centuries our country has been in existence. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, give the below options a look and hit one up…
Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie: On Monday, the beautiful racing park will be turned into an all-purpose fun-time center. Not only will the horses be running, but Harleys will be given away, a chili cook-off will take place and the stakes will be as high as they will be all year for those who are lucky enough.
Fiesta Texas – San Antonio: All kinds of new shows are getting started, including a laser light show. Not to mention the usual family-fun and thrill seeking that’s typically available.
The National Polka Festival – Ennis, TX: For 45 years, this has been the preemminent Polka festival in Texas, if not the entire US. There isnt any way a family could make their way to this party and not find something for everyone.
99.5′s Wolfdance 2011 – Ft. Worth Stockyards: Each year, this Sunday-before Memorial Day party is one of the better showcases for Texas Country music. While we’re scratching our heads on how acts like Casey Donahew and Josh Abbott have somehow earned top-billing over the likes of Wade Bowen, it’s still an all-day affair that gives many of the up-and-coming names (that deserve such a title) a fantastic showcase. In fact, take our advice and get there around 1pm for John David Kent and then catch Rob Baird, John D Hale and Brison Bursey, the leave before you have to hear Johnny Cooper make another lame attempt at working his lame beat-boxing into his set.
I know that we still might technically be still in the midst of Spring, but the temps are beginning to suggest otherwise. Each year, as our energy bills rise, so to does the list of concerts we all circle on our repsective calendars. Below are a few of the top tours and festivals hitting the state. Some you may know all about by now, and others on this list may be hitting your radar for the first time, perhaps. Regardless, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something for almost any taste in the list below…
Austin Psych Fest (April 29 – May 1) - As much of an oddball grouping as your likely to find all year. This intense, all-weekend bill will be filling the Seaholm Power Plant with all sorts of industrial noise and racous bad/good times. Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez group, along with A Place to Bury Strangers, No Joy and even Texan-goup This Will Destroy You, lead a sonic assult that will likely leave any attendees few questions as to why their ears are bleeding.
Wilco (Houston May 6, Denton May 7) – Not much to add to the simple fact that Wilco will be hitting a couple of places in our state. Word has it that some sort of release is nearing completion, but even if Jeff Tweedy and crew dont play new tunes, their classics are just that – classic.
Editor’s Pick! Homegrown Festival (Dallas May 14): What began last year as a relatively humble gathering of local bands, some of which had outgrown the city limits a tad, has become a full-fledged destination festival, this year. the name of the all-day shindig rings true, still though. Headliners such as Slobberbone, Neon Indian, Astronautalis, and School of Seven Bells are widely known around the country, but all started here in North Texas. The still-new and beautiful Main St Garden is an ideal location that soon might be too small for this budding festival.
Editor’s Pick! Mogwai (Dallas May 15, Austin May 16, Houston May 17) – Perhaps the band that gave real wings to what so many term as “post-rock”. The Scottish outfit has now been together for over a decade and a half, and after three years, they’ve just released an insanely anthemic studio album album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, which is their best effort since their debut record, 1997′s Young Team. Similar to a band like Austin’s Explosions in the Sky, who clearly adore Stewart Braithwaite and his crew, Mogwai has always looked to create moving soundscapes that escape simple categorization. The former Matador stars, now working with Sub Pop have had this American tour planned for a while, actually. The Granada Theater in Dallas announced this show back in November, giving fans plenty of time to brush up on their air-guitar and shoegazing skills. A Pitchfork review of the new record, while not glowing, summed up a feeling that has seemed to evident in the band’s recent performances by suggesting, “ On Hardcore, Mogwai sound like they’re enjoying being Mogwai again.” I can only imagine that us Texans will enjoy them just fine.
Editor’s Pick! Twilight Singers (May 30 Dallas, May 31 Austin, June 1 Houston) – Another Sub Pop act that has been around for a while will be making their long-awaited way through Texas. This project is a bit differnt, however. Greg Dulli, formerly the leader of Afghan Wigs, made this his secondary group, therefore output from this act was scarce until his main act disbanded in 2001. After that, releases havent exactly been prolific, but they have at least bore the mark of a real band and not merely a one-off side project. Case in point: Twilight Singers latest album, Dynamite Steps. An all-out alt-rock album that features agressive rock, with agresive melodies and a real sense for drama. Afghan who?
Houston Free Press Summerfest (June 4-5) - Talk about a line-up that doesn’t need much further explanation? The annual festival, held in Eleanor Tinsley Park, has really topped their already impressive acts from previous years. Weezer, Big Boi, Cut Copy, Yeasayer, Jason Isbell, and Beirut headline a line-up that has really strong support from Lower Dens, Hayes Carll, The Black Angels and Those Darlins, among many others.
Adele w/ Wanda Jackson (Austin June 12, Dallas June 15) – Hello, Girl Power! The current darling of the UK and the US album charts pairs herself with the Queen of Rock and Roll? Yes please! That’s a serious amount of soul to put onto one stage in one night.
Hopefully, it wasn’t lost on everyone that this week marked another Texas Independance Day. Of course, that also means that another legendary and pride-inducing, albeit somber, point in history is also welcoming another turn of the calendar.
The Battle of The Alamo took place between February 23rd and March 6th of 1836. The shocking losses suffered by the forces that had held its ground so bravely for that fortnight proved to be a galvanizing force, helping propel the rebel squad, led by Sam Houston, to a resounding and revolutionary victory over the Mexican forces of General Santa Anna just over a month later.
These days, the Alamo stands as not only a moving tourist attraction in the middle of a busy downtown collection of modernity, but as a symbol of Texan pride and resilience. It is with both of those attributes that the city of San Antonio asks people from all over the country to come, learn and remember what happened during what was perhaps our state’s most pivotal two weeks.
Concerts, lectures, exhibits and remembrances will be in great supply between March 3rd and March 6th. Go to www.visitsanantonio.com/alamo/events for more information.
The average wedding today costs about $22,000. Why not save the money (and the hassle) by booking a San Antonio Texas wedding “on the fly” at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, where the resort’s carefully thought-out Elopement Package is the cure for all wedding woes?
Whether the bride is searching for a small, intimate wedding for 30 or envisions her big day with just the bride and groom in attendance, the resort has all the tiny details planned and ready so last-minute doesn’t have to be anything less than perfect.
The San Antonio resort’s new “Just the Two of Us” package features:
- A ceremony at the Sunday House, a private two-story guest residence in the intimate gated back yard or front lawn
- The officiate
- 90 minutes of continuous photography coverage with one photographer
- A bridal up-do and make-up application at the world class Windflower-The Hill Country Spa
- A bridal bouquet in bride’s choice of colors and boutonnière for the groom
- A wedding cake with matching floral topper
- A Champagne toast and wedding coordination by the resorts in-house professional wedding specialist
- A private epicurean dinner prepared by executive chef, Troy Knap, in the Sunday House dining room An overnight stay at Sunday House
The total cost is $4,200 plus tax, which, in my opinion is an absolute steal!
If a slightly larger ceremony is envisioned, the resort also offers an “Intimate Ceremony Elopement Package” for your San Antonio Texas wedding. This package is available for up to 18 guests, including the bride and groom. Included in the $1,500 fee is a spectacular outdoor ceremony at the iconic Lone Oak, overlooking the Hill Country Golf Course, as well as set-up of standard white resin chairs.
No matter the type of ceremony selected, the wedding professionals at the San Antonio resort can assist with any additional touches the bride has her heart set on.
Elgin’s Coyote Creek Farms can be found in bakeries, like Lauren Hubele’s Bona Dea Bread in Austin, but not in the way you might suspect. Dedicated to sustainable, organic farming, and ranching practices, coupled with the humane treatment of all farm animals, Coyote Creek Farm provides eggs, meats and more to locally owned and operated Central Texas businesses and farms.
But if you don’t live in the Elgin area, don’t fret, you can purchase the farm’s eggs exclusively at your local Whole Foods Market.
As they explain on their site, Coyote Creek’s claim of offering the “World’s Best Eggs” is not bragging, it is more of a classification. “Currently our eggs are very nutrient dense, higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and lower in cholesterol than eggs produced in confined conditions. One of the reasons that our eggs are more nutrient dense is that our organic pastures are treated with compost tea four times a year. Compost Tea, in simplest terms, is extracting the biology from organic compost into a water solution, multiplied with molasses, humic acid, volcanic rock, greensand and so forth. The result is a micro-herd of protozoa and nematodes that feed on the bacteria and fungi produced together in the compost tea,” says Coyote Creek farmer, Jeremiah Cunningham.
I guess the only thing missing is diatomaceous earth – sorry – just had to type one of my most favorite phrases to say. Anyway, the next time you’re shopping for eggs, so Texas. Being a farm girl myself, I can assure you that farm eggs in particular are amazing in both their flavor and color. Vibrant orange yolks and creamy texture and taste, farm eggs have no equal. And Coyote Creek’s eggs are no exception.
Give your furs back to the animals!
Starting Saturday, November 13 through Earth Day on Friday, April 22, bring your real fur apparel, including trims, accessories and shearling, to any Buffalo Exchange and let them know it’s a donation for Coats for Cubs. Since you’re donating to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), condition is unimportant.
The used furs provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife. Since 2006, Buffalo Exchange has collected a total of 5,256 used furs on behalf of Coats for Cubs.
Where Do the Furs Go?
All of the furs received by The HSUS are sent to wildlife rehabilitators, who use the furs to warm and comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. More than 200 rehabilitators from across the United States andCanada now participate in the program.
How Do the Furs Help Wildlife?
The furs are cut into an appropriate size for the animal, whether it be a bobcat, fox, raccoon, squirrel, or rabbit, and placed inside the animal’s enclosure. The furry blanket becomes a surrogate mother to orphaned animals, reducing stress and giving comfort.
One rehabilitator related a story about a restless orphaned river otter who chirped constantly. Once she was given a fur blanket, she settled right down. Turning the sleeve of a fur coat inside out, a rehabilitator can also create a warm nest for a burrowing animal such as an opossum. Some animals adopt a piece of fur as a playmate, jumping on it and wrestling with it.
The HSUS and Buffalo Exchange, an official endorser, ask you to voice support for the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2009 (H.R. 2480/S.1076). If passed, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act closes a loophole in federal law that allows some animal fur garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur is less than $150.
Participating Buffalo Exchange stores in Texas:
2904 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78705
3424 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
Houston, TX 77006
145 W. Olmos Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78212
To claim a tax deduction via mail, please mail your fur directly to:
The Humane Society of the United States
Attn: Coats for Cubs
2100 L St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation last week announced the opening of Villa Finale, the newest of 29 National Trust Historic Sites. Once home to one of Texas’ pioneering preservationists, Walter Nold Mathis, Villa Finale is the first and only National Trust Historic Site in Texas. The National Trust has spent the last five years meticulously preparing the Italianate mansion and renowned decorative arts collection, opened to the general public for the first time on October 2, 2010.
“Our first historic site in Texas, Villa Finale, is much more than a house and museum,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “It is a center for community preservation where visitors and San Antonio residents can come to discover the rich history of the surrounding historic district and to learn how preservation applies to their lives and communities.”
Construction began on the Italianate mansion now known as Villa Finale in 1876. It was a part of the then-thriving King William neighborhood, originally settled mostly by German immigrant families, many of whom became prosperous as merchants and bankers. By 1967, when Walter Nold Mathis bought the home, it was a rooming house and, like the neighborhood surrounding it, had settled into a decline. Mathis spent eighteen months restoring the home, and after the exhaustive work was done, he dubbed the house Villa Finale – his last home. In 2004, Mathis gave the 1876 home and his extensive collections to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, so the home could become the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas.
Walter Nold Mathis was a leading preservationist and businessman in San Antonio, Texas. An advocate for city and statewide historic preservation, Mathis was also a civic and cultural leader and a member of one of San Antonio’s original founding families with roots reaching back to the Canary Island settlers of 1731. Although Villa Finale was Mathis’ last personal residence, it wasn’t the last house he owned; he purchased another fourteen houses in King William and invested his own time and money to undertake essential preservation work on them before selling them to individuals who would continue their restoration. Mathis is widely recognized as the catalyst for the revitalization of the King William National Historic District.
Villa Finale is overflowing with Mathis’ 12,500 piece collection which includes distinctive examples of European furniture, ceramics, silver, and fine art. Mathis particularly enjoyed collecting memorabilia surrounding the life and death of Napoleon Bonaparte. The collection also includes a number of prominent Texas artists such as Mary Bonner, and Julian and Robert Onderdonk. Additionally, there is a wide range of Texas decorative arts, such as Bell silver, Texas furniture, and Texian campaign ceramics.
The National Trust intends to continue Mathis’ neighborhood preservation leadership by using Villa Finale as a place where visitors and residents of San Antonio’s many historic districts can learn to care for their homes and neighborhoods through hands-on training and educational workshops. The Villa Finale Visitor Center features special exhibitions, an outstanding museum shop and bookstore, along with important displays related to Villa Finale. A neighborhood cell phone tour, created by Villa Finale, features many of the properties once owned by Mathis and may be accessed by anyone with phone service.
For more information, please visit Villa Finale online.
The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will be visiting San Antonio, Texas, on September 17. Dog owners can take advantage of free heart health examinations for their furry friends at McAllister Dog Park. Heart exams will be conducted by certified vet cardiologists between 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dr. Katie Meier, a veterinarian with the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour, says the importance of diagnosing doggy heart disease as early as possible is important, “Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog’s life. By emphasizing the importance of annual veterinary examinations and early diagnosis of heart disease, we hope to help more dogs live longer and better lives.”
For doggies in Austin, the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will hit up the 8th annual Barktoberfest festival and 3K Pledge Walk for Homeless Pets, hosted by The Central Texas SPCA on Sptember 18th at the Lakeview Pavilion in Old Settlers Park. Heart exams will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Barktoberfest will also feature music, food, costume contests and more, all benefiting the Central Texas SPCA’s adoption program.