The holiday season is officially here. With Christmas only two weeks away, we want to make sure you have your plans in order.
Since the pandemic began, holidays have been a bit different. With busy grocery stores, social distancing in place and the unimaginable stress of having to make another holiday meal at home, holiday meal kits are the way to go.
Here are some Austin restaurants offering Christmas and Hanukah menus to help make your holiday a little merrier:
Stella San Jac, 5th St. & San Jacinto
Stella San Jac is offering a ready-to-heat meal kit filled with delicious goodies: oven-roasted beef tenderloin, half roasted chicken, potatoes au gratin, mashed sweet potatoes with brûléed marshmallow, Boursin-creamed green beans and a special curated salad with cider vinaigrette. You can finish off your meal with pumpkin or pecan pie and add a bottle of Chardonnay,or Merlot, among other options, for $30.
The Stella San Jac meal kit serves four guests and is $149. The meals come in oven-safe containers so you can heat it up in the comfort of your own home and enjoy your holiday with a little less work. Pickup for Stella San Jac's Christmas meal is available Dec. 22 and 23 between 11 a.m. and 9 pm. You can find more information on the Christmas menu package here.
Ruth's Chris Steak House, 107 W. 6th St.
A celebration feast is in order after the year we've all had, and that's exactly what Ruth's Chris Steak House is offering. Their "Celebration Feast" includes roasted beef tenderloin, salad, garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and personal cheesecakes. This holiday meal is $180 and serves four.
For anyone planning on having a small holiday dinner, the restaurant is also offering a Christmas Eve dinner for two. This meal package excludes the roasted beef tenderloin in favor of your choice of entrée with a side and a shareable dessert for $99. Orders must be placed 24 hours ahead of pickup time.
The celebration feast is available for pickup every day from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31, and the Christmas Eve dinner for two is available for pickup from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 24. You can find more information on the Christmas menu packages here.
Aba, 1011 S. Congress Ave.
Craving some Mediterranean food this holiday season? Order your Christmas menu from Aba. The new restaurant is offering a unique holiday meal featuring wild mushroom hummus, grilled chicken kebabs with lemon dill rice, braised short ribs, crispy Brussels sprouts, and roasted carrots with labneh. The restaurant meal also includes dessert: Stracciatella with persimmons and a double chocolate cake.
This Christmas feast costs $48.95 per person and is available for groups of two, four or six. Orders must be placed by Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. and pickup is on Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can place an order for Abas Christmas Eve meal package here.
Along with this Christmas dinner menu, Aba is also offering a special Hanukkah meal for pickup through Dec. 18.
Contigo Catering, 3709 Promontory Point Dr.
This year, Contigo Catering is offering a festive menu that will put all past holiday dinners to shame. It is $628 and serves 10 people. It features charcuterie and cheese to help start off your dinner, four different dips and spreads, four appetizers and three desserts.
Contigo Catering is also offering other packages this year, including a dinner party-themed one for $785, which includes port-braised brisket with fennel and a cinnamon-rubbed whole chicken, and a holiday cocktail menu for $732, which comes with a grazing station as well as tarts and turnovers. Both menus feed 10.
Orders must be placed four days ahead and are available for pickup or delivery. You can place an order for your holiday meal here.
Sala & Betty, 5201 Airport Blvd.
Although Christmastime is beloved for its traditions, switching up your menu might be the right call this year. Sala & Betty is offering three different types of Christmas menus: "The Feast of 7 Fishes" features scalloped oysters; salmon rillettes; citrus shrimp; tomato-poached cod; bay scallops; mussels; crawfish; tomato broth; an orange, beet and kale salad; and a goat cheese pasta. It is $240.
The restaurant is also offering two individual plate offerings: one with short ribs for $35 or the other with turkey for $30; both includes sides and dessert.
Lastly, Sala & Betty is offering a Christmas Eve turkey meal with mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, citrus salad, cranberry compote, rolls and dessert. The small order serves four to six people and is $225, while the large meal serves six to eight people and is $325.
Orders must be placed by Dec. 21 and picked up on Dec. 24 between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can place an order for these holiday meals here.
Walton's Fancy & Staple, 609 W. 6th St.
Walton's Fancy & Staple is offering pre-made dishes to make your Christmas dinner a little easier. The deli is offering a thyme-rubbed turkey breast with gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and macaroni and cheese, as well as pies and cheesecakes to help finish off your dinner. The turkey meal is available for $10 for one serving or $50 for 10. Sides range from $6 to $28.
Orders must be placed by Dec. 18 and picked up between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24. You can place your order with Walton's Fancy & Staple by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 512-391-9966.
You can find the full menu options here.
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!