You will not want to miss shopping the aisles at Twin Oaks Market's grocery store in San Marcos.
Don't get enough dairy in your diet? Dairy products from this store are sure to deliver all the nutrients you need.
People can't get enough of the drinks here that take refreshment to the max.
When you're in the mood to bake, remember to add a dash of extra sweetness. It will make your creations come alive like never before.
Don't have time for breakfast? Quick and crunchy, cereal is a great way to start your morning no matter how late you're running.
Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
You'll be able to save time with any of the TV dinners available here. Five minutes is all that's stopping you from total relaxation with these delicious meals.
Find all of your deli favorites, such as sandwich meat and cheese, at Twin Oaks Market and plan your lunches for the week.
Get your grill fired up and grab your tongs! The meat here is perfect for the grill any time of year.
Need something quick for lunch or dinner? Stop by Twin Oaks Market and pick up a sandwich for the road.
Do you have a new pasta recipe that you've been dying to try? Pick up some noodles and treat yourself to a tasty dish.
Here you can find a wide selection of oil and vinegar for all of your cooking needs, such as sauces and dressings.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
Spices and seasonings make every meal more flavorful, so expand your horizons and try some new ones.
What's better than soup on a rainy day? Be sure you have some on hand.
When you're looking for a caffeine fix, Twin Oaks Market has the best coffee and tea to get you going.
When you're looking to eat something delicious but have literally no time, you'll want to try the delicious frozen food here. It's a shortcut to perfectly scrumptious food.
Pick up a loaf of bread from Twin Oaks Market and get creative with your breakfast, lunch and dinner meal planning.
Water junkies can get their gulp on with a swig from Twin Oaks Market.
When you don't have time to grab lunch or dinner, these tasty snacks will hold you over until you can take a break.
Drivers will find quick and easy parking just around the corner from Twin Oaks Market.
Make sure your cabinets and drawers are filled with only the best food when you shop the shelves at Twin Oaks Market.
Take a table at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina in San Marcos and look forward to your next meal.
Tired of the same healthy meals? Come to Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina for healthy, innovative eats.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this restaurant's full bar.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Make sure to check out Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina's happy hour for a great way to decompress from the workday.
Take a great restaurant, add perfect party food and a fun group of people, and get a night for the ages at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina.
Wifi access is totally free at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Bask in the sun and enjoy a fresh meal outside at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina.
Pull your partner onto the dance floor — the restaurant provides more than enough room to twist the night away.
Weekend visitors to the restaurant are well advised to take advantage of the reservation system — crowds tend to pack the place on Fridays and Saturdays.
Don't spend time or money shopping for a new dinner outfit
Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina's laid-back vibe accepts jeans, T-shirts, and everything in between.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Catering from Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina will take your party to the next level.
For drivers, a nearby lot is available for use.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina.
Expect to spend less than $15 per person at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina.
Conveniently charge by major credit card when cash isn't an option.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Cantina is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pizza Nova's piping pizza is just as hot as its ratings, and customers call this tasty spot one of the best around.
Eat healthy and feel better with Pizza Nova's low-fat and gluten-free plates.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This pizzeria also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Tots are more than welcome to dine with their parents at this pizzeria.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Pizza Nova's wifi.
Wanna soak up the sun? Come grab a bite at Pizza Nova and sit out on their gorgeous patio.
Take advantage of the pizzeria's reservation system, and book a table for your party.
Folks tend to dress down at Pizza Nova, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the pizzeria.
This pizzeria offers convenient carryout and delivery, so diners aren't limited to the pizzeria space.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Pizza Nova will ensure that it is delicious.
Pizza Nova is located near endless parking options, allowing diners to find quick and easy parking.
Pizza Nova is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
A typical meal at Pizza Nova will set you back less than $30.
So come taste the pizza at Pizza Nova for yourself and see what all the ratings buzz is about.
Find out how many slices you can eat! Pizza Nova's pizza comes with high ratings and a low-key vibe, so take your time enjoying your pie.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Pizza Nova a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
When you are feeling hungry, pay Pizza Nova a visit and enjoy a hot and fresh pizza filled with endless flavors.
High-quality Italian food awaits you at Pizza Nova!
If you're looking for some fine Italian cooking, you'll definitely love Pizza Nova.
For top-rated Mexican fare that customers rave about, head to Old California Mining Co. for a meal packed with bold flavor.
Old California Mining Co. is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering both low-fat and gluten-free items on the menu.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
Bigger groups gravitate toward Old California Mining Co., which offers a private section for your next get-together or celebration.
Eat outdoors Old California Mining Co. (weather permitting) with their beautiful patio seating.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Old California Mining Co., which embraces a casual vibe.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
For the tastes of Old California Mining Co. from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
The parking lot next to the restaurant offers quick and free parking, allowing drivers to park with ease.
Old California Mining Co. offers various parking options, including bike parking.
Old California Mining Co. offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
Experience the flavorful traditions of Mexican cooking at the highly-rated Old California Mining Co.
If you're looking for a delicious taco or burrito, you'd definitely be wise to head to Old California Mining Co.
When you are ready to taste the latest flavor trends of Mexico, make your way over to Old California Mining Co.
For tasty American fare, head to San Marcos Brewery and Grill for a sandwich and side.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Dine out in the open during San Marcos Brewery and Grill's summer season when patio tables are available for use.
San Marcos Brewery and Grill is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Don't be the last one waiting! Reserve a seat so you can eat when you're ready.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at San Marcos Brewery and Grill is all about comfort.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
San Marcos Brewery and Grill will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Drivers will love the easy parking options just steps away from San Marcos Brewery and Grill.
Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of San Marcos Brewery and Grill.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at San Marcos Brewery and Grill and taste test your way through the menu.
The best American dishes are cooked up by the great crew at San Marcos Brewery and Grill, and they're waiting to serve you!
So enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at San Marcos Brewery and Grill and indulge in some America-inspired cuisine.
You deserve an excellent meal, so head on over to San Marcos Brewery and Grill and enjoy some of the highly-rated American fare.
With a quick trip to San Marcos Brewery and Grill's brewery, you'll quickly find new brews to add to your favorites.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
Cheesy pizza is not the only menu item that will make your mouth water — the pizzeria is known for its pasta, too.
Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a gluten-free friendly restaurant that serves up tasty eats.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at this pizzeria with its kid-friendly fare.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Dress is typically casual at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, so leave the fancy duds behind for the evening.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Sammy's Woodfired Pizza will ensure that it is delicious.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Heading to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza for a tasty meal? Drive on over and park in a matter of seconds.
Sammy's Woodfired Pizza offers various parking options, including bike parking.
Prices are reasonable, with a typical meal running under $30.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Sammy's Woodfired Pizza's pizza say it is the absolute best.
Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be great. Delicious pies await you at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza (along with star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings), so grab a seat and dig in.
So enjoy a casual night out this weekend and treat yourself to a tasty pizza pie from Sammy's Woodfired Pizza.
No matter what type of pizza you are craving, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza has you covered.
For a gluten-free feast, head to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza.
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of
A dainty sweet-potato bourbon cake (seen above). A deconstructed cheesecake topped with a sphere of fruit purée. A crème brûlée decorated with delicate, edible flowers. Ceviche plated to look more like a frothy cocktail than a bite of raw fish. These are just a few of the dishes that Chef Roque Heidler has conceptualized, plated, and posted to Instagram over the years.
Jump to his five tips for food photography.
This Tulsa chef is a bit of a Renaissance man. First and foremost, he works at The Chalkboard, an elegant New American restaurant where he does triple-duty as chef de cuisine, pastry chef, and resident plating expert. There, he quickly earned a reputation for his immaculate desserts, which helped him win the Sweets category in the first annual Taste of Groupon Awards. But that’s just his day job.
Over the years, Chef Heidler’s explored all sorts of facets of the art world. He experimented with street art in his youth, and, early on in his career, he took a two-year hiatus from the food industry to work as a tattoo artist. Today, he’s using those art skills to create the stunning desserts that first caught our attention.
We had the chance to chat with Chef Heidler after he won his award recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Turning dining into an adventure
A video posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:00pm PST
For Chef Heidler, cooking is all about balancing the familiar and the surprising. “I generally like to do a take on my childhood favorites,” he explained. He starts with these classic dishes and infuses them with “some sort of whimsy” while maintaining their approachability.
Frequently, that whimsy he talks about comes in the form of some sort of sneaky molecular-gastronomy trick, be it dessert gels made with agar or fruit purées transformed into delicate spheres that crack open with the whack of a spoon. Or, consider his take on chocolate pie:
“I got ahold of some methylcellulose and I did this crazy, crazy mad-scientist chocolate pie … that had this strawberry-buttermilk foam and this methylcellulose chocolate filling. [The filling] would be liquid at 70 degrees, but once you heated it up to 140, it would turn into that custard state.” The resulting dessert balanced different temperatures, textures, and flavors—subverting the diners’ expectations about what a classic chocolate pie could be.
How his unique background inspires his food
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT
An artistic eye pervades everything Roque Heidler does. Though it’s been years since he did any street art or worked in a tattoo parlor, those experiences still give him a unique outlook on food: “I’ll look at flavors sometimes as colors, if that makes any sense. And I plate them out like that. Sometimes I’ll base a whole dish on a color and search for those flavors that go with it,” he said.
But over the years, he’s learned to let the flavors shine as much as the aesthetics. “Like, I mean, if you dig back a little deeper in [my career] ... you’ll see more of that really, really modernistic art on the plate, and I’ve dialed back from that a lot. I kind of learned, you know, you’ve gotta plate to the crowd.”
Working under the constraints of a traditional Lebanese restaurant helped him strike the right balance even more. “I just would take their classic flavors and would try to just distribute it out in that street-art form, like, layers and different takes and elevating it with different textures. But working under that [chef] taught me a lot about not detracting from the flavors so much that you couldn’t tell where it was from.”
Plating food like a pro
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 8, 2016 at 9:26pm PDT
Now that he’s traded in no-frills Lebanese cuisine for fine dining at The Chalkboard, Chef Heidler has a lot more room to experiment with his food’s presentation. But even though he knows that many of his diners will rush to snap and post photos of these beautiful plates, he tries not to let that Instagram culture shape what he does too much.
“I don’t think about 6 o’clock. I don’t think about any sort of clockwise on a plate. I more or less look for that overall balance from a bird’s eye view,” he said. That’s because when a plate is placed in front of a diner, that’s the first perspective they get. And this first impression is important—even if the guest immediately drops down to plate level to snap that perfect piece of food-porn photography.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so moments like these are vital to a restaurant’s success. But last impressions are just as important as first ones at The Chalkboard. “I love doing the plate ups on desserts because it’s gonna be the last thing that sticks in your mind when you leave,” Chef Heidler said.
Five tips for improving your food photography
When his knack for plating, arts background, and love of Instagram, Chef Heidler is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food photography. That’s why we took the opportunity to ask him for some of his best tips.
1. Find the best lighting.
Natural light is your friend.
2. Shoot on neutral backgrounds.
Chef Heidler works on gray tables at The Chalkboard, but he recommends photographing your own food on “anything black or white—that’s always going to give another element to your photo.”
3. Combine different textures.
Varying textures form the most interesting compositions. “Try to provide three different textures, be it a purée, be it a frozen element, be it something crunchy. ... That’s what’s going to give you that depth in your dish.”
4. Add some acid to boost the colors.
This is especially true if you’re photographing a dish you cooked yourself. “[Acid] will give you those bright, vibrant colors everybody tries to achieve,” he suggests. This usually means adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a dish to bring out its natural green, purples, or reds.
5. Try different angles.
He explains, “Take a step around, even if it’s like, I don’t know, 6 inches from where you were just at. You might capture a cooler way.”
Don’t roll up to the bar trying to stump Brandon Phillips. Brandon knows his cocktails. And he likes a challenge. As the bar director at Chicago’s The Duck Inn, he’s had more than a few. As he told us:
A neighborhood guest was positive I couldn’t make him an old-fashioned that tasted like a prime-rib dinner. A little beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, rum, and voilà, the Prime Rib Old-Fashioned was born.
In the video below, hear more on craft, cocktail culture, and good old-fashioned hospitality directly from Brandon, the winner in our inaugural Taste of Groupon Awards for the The Drink Award for the Advancement of Potent Potables.