At Soul Vegetarian, gravy cascades over the burgers and country-fried steaks and creamy cucumber sauce nestles into a gyro pocket. This picture of decadence aside, even as the chefs eschew animal products, they also avoid heavy fats or preservatives. The result is a surprisingly healthy take on classic Southern cuisine, including macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Savory protein comes in the form of tofu, lentils, and a flexible vegetable-protein roast they've dubbed "kalebone."
Even dessert has a healthy side at Soul Vegetarian. Blenders whir with fruit smoothies and soy shakes, many of which incorporate nutrient-dense foods such as coconut milk and almond butter, and even energy or protein supplements. To make perfectly creamy shakes, the restaurant's food inventors created the soy-based Dream Kream—also available by the scoop.
Bates Ace Hardware has been inspiring ambitious homeowners since 1921 with rows upon rows of home-improvement implements, household appliances, and domestic essentials. The shop’s technicians are certified to perform warrantee repair tasks for lawn mowers, power equipment, and karaoke machines from manufacturers including Stihl, Snapper, and Honda, while their salespeople are trained to answer nearly any home-improvement question their customers ask. Inside, a wide selection of hardware, paint, plumbing, and electrical supplies shares space with gifts, home decor, men's and women's clothing, and housewares. Customers can venture outside to find a variety of power equipment and a dedicating cooking area, while the garden section brims with bagged mulch and soil, along with a variety of plants from Monrovia Nursery when spring rolls around.
Ace Hardware's project people assist and advise on a gamut-running range of home- and garden-oriented endeavors. The 20-pound propane-tank refill will pump up a deflated cylinder with the energy to grill juicy burgers, cook corn on the cob, or blaze a flame that can be used as a nightlight for adults locked out of their own houses. Like a roaring campfire or a solar panel, the propane-tank refill can also be used for outdoor heating.
Sheepish stuffs its shelves with vibrant fibers, needles, and other knitting supplies, and an amenable staff stands ready to satisfy any and all string-related inquiries. A reasonably priced selection of knitting, crocheting, and weaving products is available for uninitiated and seasoned fiber-wizards alike. Brittany straight needles ($7–$9) send fingers flying through a scarf-sized skein of Cascade 220 wool ($7), and geometrically talented crafters can produce Möbius strip sweatbands by the dozen out of basic cotton yarns ($2.50/ball). Yarn wranglers seeking helpful hemming hints can procure a handy booklet ($6.50), a book brimming with sewing knowledge ($10–$30), or a panoply of premade patterns to guide their hands ($3–$7).
With humble beginnings in 1924, Ace Hardware now comprises 4,600 stores in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries, guiding everyone from seasoned do-it-yourselfers to novices through its massive inventory. Enlist the aid of a knowledgeable pro while sifting through tools, lawn and garden supplies, electrical equipment, and outdoor-living accessories that simplify the hosting of backyard barbecues and the hanging of Christmas lights on zoo animals. Holiday accessories such as 100-count lights ($9.99) and portable fireplaces ($29.99) aid and imbue celebrations with seasonal spirit. During any time of year, a hatchet ($18.49–$36.99) helps forest visionaries see the wood for the trees, and a second mailbox ($13.99–$84.99) doubles the amount of fan mail homeowners can expect to receive.