From the exterior, it doesn't look as if much has changed about Buddy's Convenience Store, a 30-year-old stalwart of supplies and Texaco gas. The shop still sports its modest, ranch-style frame and functioning pumps, but inside it's another story. Jorge and Julie Garcia, scions of the family that spawned Curra's Grill Restaurant in South Austin, purchased the old filling station and slowly transformed it into a bastion of fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine called Señor Buddy's.
Now, in addition to the fuel that still flows from the pumps, 20 foam-flecked taps gush with draft beers to accompany a full menu of seafood enchiladas, breakfast tacos, tender cuts of pork and steak, and Curra's exclusive Oaxacan coffee. Out back, majestic trees cast cool shadows and misguided fishing lines over an expansive outdoor patio, where patrons can enjoy the soothing sounds of live music every Friday and Saturday beneath strings of twinkling lights.
The gift package you get with your Groupon will depend largely on the nature of your recipient. If your special someone lives life in large portions, treat him or her to the “Big Gift Box”—12 chocolate-dipped graham crackers touched up with pretty, palatable prints and edible pink shimmer dust, plus a 1.5-oz. chocolate-bark gift bag for dessert. If the love of your life considers variety the chocolate of life, you'll be safer with the “Some of Everything, Please” (eight chocolate ganache-filled truffles, two chocolate-dipped graham crackers, and a 3-oz. chocolate bark gift bag). Chocolate is a natural aphrodisiac that soothes the nerves as much as it stokes one's ardor, so either gift will provide adequate jet fuel for a night of romance.
Cebuana Filipino Store, a grocery within an eatery, fuses classic American culinary icons, such as the philly cheesesteak, with staples from classic and contemporary Filipino cuisine. Each Wrapino en Salada meal begins with a phillypino cheesesteak wrap, whose tomato-basil or spinach tortilla swaddles bell peppers, onion, and cheese bathed in a condiment triumvirate of banana sauce, soy sauce, chipotle mayo, and cilantro. Wraps are complemented by side salads of shredded carrots, cabbage, and chipotle mayo sauce. Two beverages cleanse palates between bites with straw-mounted power washers. Beyond the aromatic kitchen, walls painted with murals of monkeys and dragons envelop the small grocery section’s white shelves, which teem with sauces and other edible mainstays, as well as CDs and DVDs of foreign films, yoga videos, and C-SPAN outtakes.