A locally owned and operated chain restaurant, Zen whips up fresh Japanese grub and Southwest-influenced fusion eats. Drop by to kick back amid the welcoming, ultra-modern vibes and percolate palates with tasty and new menu items, which include the likes of customizable rice or noodle bowls, fresh sushi, tuna nachos, and more. Unlike foot-long hot dogs or a bucket of biscuit gravy, sushi or chicken options, such as Redneck Sushi ($7.95) or Chuck Norris Chicken ($3.50), divides tasty culinary concoctions into tidbits so that the palate can better savor the tastetations. With today’s Groupon to Zen Japanese Food Fast, patrons can tickle the taste buds without tasting pterodactyl feathers or licking batteries.
Boomerang's specializes in meat pies made how they make 'em in the land down under, where women glow and men plunder. The flaky pie crust is baked fresh every day from scratch—an ethereal, hallucinogenic substance comprised largely of all-natural flour—and stuffed with all-natural ingredients for a healthy handheld meal that can go toe-to-toe with any fast food. Meat pies are $5.50 each; beef comes in a wide variety of concoctions, such as Guinness steak and potato and Texas barbecue, while chicken clucks up in Thai chicken and chicken & mushroom in a creamy supreme sauce. Despite the focus on meat, vegetarians (known in Oz as vegemites) can sink their teeth into curry veggie, southwest veggie, and spinach and mushroom pie breeds for $5 a pop. Breakfast pies ($4), small sausage rolls ($3), and combo meals (up to $9.75) are also available.
When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
Hatched from a simple creole cottage in Mandeville, Louisiana in 1996, Another Broken Egg Cafe has expanded to more than 20 locations in the South and California. The homey eatery flaunts more than 130 menu items that spotlight southern and creole twists on breakfast classics such as omelets, scrambles, pancakes, and benedicts. The Hey Ricky omelet, a Spanish-inspired creation filled with chorizo, avocado, green chilies, and house-made salsa, even caught the journalistic eye of the Dallas Observer, who named it Best Omelet in 2009. Another Broken Egg Cafe's French-country charm welcomes locals, tourists, and off-the-clock roosters from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily.
Mexican fast food is not generally known for being eco-friendly, as a poorly made taco can take centuries to biodegrade. With today's Groupon, green Austinites can make a run for the border while staying true to themselves. For $10, you get $20 worth of fresh, local Mexican fare and drinks at Changos Taqueria, the locally owned and operated little brother of Austin’s upscale, award-winning Mexican restaurant Manuel’s. This deal is good for both Austin locations: 3023 Guadalupe St. and 3005 South Lamar Blvd. Although you can buy two Groupons, you may only use one per order.
Salvation Pizza dishes up from-scratch New Haven-style pizzas in a cozy bungalow that's more than 80 years old. Every day, Salvation's expert hand-hurlers toss dough high and dice up fresh fruits and veggies with the help of an added arsenal of animatronic arms. Guests can elevate taste buds to rapturous heights with savory selections of thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas, such as the asparagus, bacon, and jalapeño pie ($12.50 small, $17 large) or white-clam pizza ($13 small, $18 large), each served with homemade sauces and dressings. A daily lunch special ($5.99) sates thrifty diners with two hand-tossed slices, a crisp, small salad, and 16-ounce soda. Salvation's adventurous staff encourages diners to propose substitutions and bring in their own gluten-free crust, soy cheese, and crushed-up Noid action figures.