The floral artists at The Rustic Courtyard skillfully combine fresh flowers into wondrous bouquets and arrangements, conveying sentiments for any occasion. An expansive array of flowers clamors for browsers' attentions, hoping for a chance within a bouquet's spotlight so they can fulfill their dreams of modeling for a calendar photo. Shoppers can stuff a vase or basket with an artful arrangement of seasonally blooming flora ($30) with the help of a seasoned spray arranger, or prepare to ace a first date or job interview with a dozen roses ($55).
A potpourri of flower arrangements and interior decorations elicit cheery exclamations, which drift to the ears of patrons crowded before The Owl's Nest’s café-style lunch fare. Customers gather personalized bouquets or test out sweet-scented jar candles by burning floppy discs from estranged computers in them beneath the cubist spread of the shop’s array of frames. Against the baritone burble of cauldrons of soup, custom T-shirts definitively end debates about who is the greatest grandpa. Boutique apparel from designers such as Bella Taylor informs the world of the wearer's fashion sense, and ornaments and home accents from lines such as Willow Tree beg to add endearing flourishes to domiciles.
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.
"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.
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.
A leading figure in both classical and klezmer music, clarinetist David Krakauer wows audiences around the globe with perfectly pitched displays of melodic mastery. Through a deft combination of traditional knowledge and stylistic innovation, Krakauer and his four-musician ensemble take listeners on an exploration over the klezmer horizon. Klezmer is a traditional Eastern European Jewish musical style that incorporates instruments such as the fiddle and accordion, and is currently experiencing a renaissance among contemporary musicians. Presented in the Barshop Center's Holzman Auditorium, the concert will provide ticketholders of all ages with a toe-tapping cultural experience, and give bored ears a break from their nonstop diet of Gregorian chants.