Home & Garden in Converse

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Look behind the blooms of A Rey of Flowers and you'll find Rey Rodriguez—a nationally certified florist with more than 25 years of experience. When he's not competing for the Texas Cup or supporting Battle ALS with Flowers, he's readying delivery orders at either of his two locations. He and his staff combine roses and lilies into vibrant bouquets for weddings, birthdays, and more. The staff also scatters their shops with gift ideas, and can even whip up homemade treats with some advanced notice.

1000 C St
Floresville,
TX
US

All three stores serve platters of furniture and home accents in an assortment of colors, textures, and designs. House outfitters can use Furnish 123's Create Your Own Space online service to see how the furniture might look at home or inside a private jet. For under $200, the three-piece table sets include clean lines and the classic dark wood of the Ripley collection or the softer curve of the Aspen collection. Three-piece bedroom sets keep sleeping a realistic goal and include a headboard, dresser, and mirror. Living rooms can be accessorized with bookcases ($199), recliners ($299), and more than 40 sofas ($399) plus a host of colorful, decorative pillows that are not filled with batteries.

8352 Agora Pkwy
Schertz,
TX
US

Even the best chefs have to get their start somewhere, and that somewhere is often a burger joint. This is certainly true of five-time James Beard nominee Bruce Auden. The profile in the San Antonio Express-News traces his meteoric rise from flipping burgers at a cabana to apprenticing under Guy Petit to earning Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chef title in 1988. Since then, Auden has continued to hone his culinary innovation, first at his award-winning restaurant Biga and now at Auden's Kitchen.

Auden’s Kitchen retains a local focus and serves creatively redesigned comfort food. There's buttermilk fried chicken with lemon-pepper marinade, and burgers with dijon aioli and applewood bacon. Pizzas come with house-pulled mozzarella and the hot kiss of a wood-burning oven, which also prepares salmon and whole-roasted trout. In addition to these classics, the seasonal menu saves space for a number of more lavish entrees, such as duck confit blanketed with cherry-zinfandel barbecue sauce. Diners have more than 75 wines to choose from, as well as bar offerings such as martinis and imported beer.

The dining room’s laid-back decor invites guests to relax, rather than worry about whether they’re combing their hair with the right salad fork. Wine bottles and copper pots cluster on shelves lining the dining-room walls, and diners can see right into the kitchen over a stainless-steel countertop shaded by a bevy of frying pans.

700 E Sonterra Blvd
San Antonio,
TX
US

"Funky" isn't a word typically associated with hardware stores, but that's exactly how Amy and David Doyle describe Sunset Ridge Home & Hardware. Upon opening the place in 1995, the pair envisioned a one-stop hardware and home-improvement haven that shook off the sawdust and embraced the unconventional in ways that didn't include slapping googly eyes on every two-by-four. That's why the San Antonio Express-News' $hopGirl can cite a unique selection of Curly Girl wall hangings, hooded towels, and Texas cookbooks beside traditional tools and housewares sourced from Ace Hardware. An epic spread of Benjamin Moore paints and Breville kitchen products create an ocular feast for fixer-uppers as handcrafted soaps and fragrant candles ignite olfactory senses. Seasoned staffers roam the aisles, touting talents that include knife sharpening, key cutting, and lamp repair in addition to several other services.

6438 N New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio,
TX
US

Whether showering your spouse with a dozen roses or gifting dad with a baseball-themed basket, Thousand Oak Florists' floral experts can help find the perfect gift for any occasion. As a certified FTD florist, the inventory also includes several fresh plants, in addition to the carefully constructed floral arrangements and exclusive designs. The Thousand Oak website even shares the symbolism behind each of its flowers—white daisies represent innocence and affection, tulip bulbs show one's love, and lilies symbolize purity of the heart.

19190 Stone Oak Pkwy
San Antonio,
TX
US

ARTS San Antonio, a nonprofit organization, strives to bring a diverse, globally significant realm of performing arts to the children and grownups of the San Antonio community. Performances take place in venues throughout the city, ranging from the Lila Cockrell Theatre and the Majestic Theatre to the San Antonio River and El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. Recent artists who've paid a visit to San Antonio through ARTS San Antonio include Anthony Bourdain, the Shaolin Warriors, William Shatner, and Mejia Ballet International.

200 East Market Street
San Antonio,
TX
US