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.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
It was a fateful night in January 1999 when the bellies of college sophomores Leon and Tiffany started to rumble. The two UT Austin students convened at Leon's apartment, where they whipped up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in his oven. As they chewed on the warm, gooey fruits of their labor, the pair was struck by the idea to sell these freshly baked cookies to their fellow students. They began delivering treats to their peers during evening study breaks before expanding their customer base to include parents and Austin residents, all the while renting the back kitchen of a local restaurant to accommodate the growing demand.
Thirteen years later, the indulgent lure of Tiff's Treats has helped Leon and Tiffany open 12 locations throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Within these bakeries, kitchen crews sculpt fresh dough into 10 types of cookies, supplementing the gooey morsels with decadent brownies and signature Tiffwiches—vanilla Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies. Bakers hand-deliver batches every day, pulling them fresh from the oven instead of the overheated engine block of the delivery car.
Dr. Emily Craft and her staff keep gums glistening with thorough preventative care at Pecan Park Family Dentistry. The polishing procedure begins with a cleaning to remove accumulated gunk and plaque, polishing pearlies to a blinding sheen. Then Dr. Craft embarks on a comprehensive spelunk through unexplored mouth-caves, searching for any issues with their native calcium formations and mapping out an oral-health plan for patients. Four bitewing x-rays visualize the posterior teeth to find cavities and bone loss, followed by two periapical x-rays to expose each tooth's root and making sure its periodontal potatoes are free from blight.
Dr. Joyce Lee Wong brings her friendly demeanor and a doctor of dental surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry to her practice at Avenue Dental. Aided by a pair of dental assistants, she maintains and enhances smiles with basic check-ups, implants, cosmetic treatments, and braces. Her modern studio comes equipped with advanced technologies such as low-radiation x-rays, sedation options, and chair-side screens for displaying mouth images or viewing cable's latest reality programs about cheating, backstabbing gums.
Rolling In Thyme & Dough dishes out a savory menu of flavorful bistro fare concocted from a sunny spread of fresh ingredients. For breakfast, rouse porcine sleepers by ordering up a pig in a blanket ($3.50), or down the smoky chipotle baguette, with a fiery combination of egg, cheese, turkey bacon, and peppers that allows you to roar cartoon flames in the sun's cackling face ($5.35).