(map) What better way to celebrate Texas Independence than all month long? And with $1 Lone Star beer? Starting March 1st, Rudy’s Bar-B-Q does just that. Cheers!

Rudy’s Bar-B-Q website

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(map) Next Saturday the 28th is Spicewood Vineyards’ 7th annual chili cookoff. $20 gets you a chili-tasting wristband, as well as a souvenir glass of Spicewood’s Cabernet Claret. Judges will decide which chili pairs best with the claret and the competition gets plenty hot! From 1 to 6 pm, with live music and food trucks. Find ticket info and team entry forms here.

topographical sandbox at the new Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City, TX

(map) This new museum geared to kids (and the kid in us all) just opened and is already a huge hit. Housed in a renovated 1880′s grist mill, the exhibits are sourced from all over the world to entice kids to explore the fascinating mysteries of science. Opening day, children of all ages were having a literal blast, See More »

Mad Batter

In: Eating

16 Feb

The new Mad Batter bakery in Johnson City, TX

(map) Brand-new bakery Mad Batter serves up tasty treats like donuts, cupcakes, kolaches, pies, scones, cookies and muffins, all baked fresh every day. Local owners Matt and Shelton run two other restaurants (Lot 102 and 290 Diner) in Johnson City, and felt the town needed the sweet treatment. Go early, because they run out of goodies fast.

Mad Batter website

Next Thursday the 19th marks the beginning of the Chinese or Lunar New Year. According to the zodiac, 2015 is the Year of the Ram. Celebrate by going to Pao’s Mandarin House and ordering off the secret Chinese menu (story here). Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time – the celebration lasts for 15 days!

Pao’s Mandarin House blog

S. C. Gwynne

In: Stuff

11 Feb

(map) Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author Sam Gwynne will be at the Lake Travis Community Library next Tuesday, February 17 as part of the Lake Travis Reads series. Mr. Gwynne is the author of the bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon. His newest book is Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. Free, at 7 pm.

Lake Travis Community Library website

It’s a tradition leading up to Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 17): throw a King Cake party where everyone eats, drinks and makes merry. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby hidden inside buys the next cake. The authentic Cajuns at Stuffed Cajun Meat Market are baking fluffy and delicious king cakes complete with baby and Mardi Gras beads, $26.99-29.99. Stuffed’s variation introduces, naturally, stuffed cakes filled with apples, cherries or cream cheese. Who dat say dey gonna eat dat cake?

Stuffed Cajun Meat Market website

Stuffed Cajun Meat Market & Specialty Foods on Urbanspoon

Sweet! From restaurants and wineries to shindigs in Luckenbach, all kinds of Valentine’s events are taking place out West. Just click on the links below for more info. Note: Most places say reservations are a MUST. See More »

(map) The ultimate way to toast your Valentine’s Day may be this ‘rita from Iron Cactus. Dubbed “Vision for Valentine’s,” the drink is crafted from Patron Platinum, Grand Marnier Centenaire and freshly squeezed lime juice. But what sets it apart is what’s served on the side: A sparkling pair of earrings designed by Zoltan David, made up of 260 flawless diamonds weighing 3.75 carats. Should you already own a pair of dazzlers, feel free to order the drink by itself. Cheers!

Iron Cactus website

Luvcakes

In: Eating

6 Feb

(map) This month, Hey Cupcake! launches their special Valentine’s Day cupcake. The Luvcake is a delectable confection of chocolate cake covered with fresh strawberry and cream-cheese frosting. A delicious way to show that special someone (or yourself!) how you feel. Available now through Valentine’s.

Hey Cupcakes! website

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