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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A Union Pacific cargo train hit a man in his 40s, killing him Thursday morning, Austin police said.
The train's driver called the police after the train hit the man at around 12:45 a.m. in the 300 block of Orchard Street, nearby Fifth Street and Lamar Boulevard.
Police have not released the identity of the man.
Over a year after they took the stage for the first time in Los Angeles, Austin FC returned to Banc of America Stadium to snatch the No. 1 spot from LAFC in a 2-1 statement win late Wednesday night.
Austin FC, which has flirted with the top spot in the MLS West this season, has now solidly reached the summit just a year after its second-to-last first season finish. The new top dogs are now 7-2-3 overall.
Here's a look at three highlights from the match:
Flashback in LA
For many Austin FC fans and naysayers alike, the match was more than a fight for the MLS West throne: it also served as a symbol of how far the team has come.
The two clubs first met on the Banc of America pitch as Austin FC saw its first game and first loss all at once in a 2-0 battle last April. It was an exciting but shaky start to the club's first season, and the loss seemed to set the tone for the rest of its inaugural year as the club dipped to second to last in the conference.
If Austin's first season was hallmarked by its first match, then its second-year success was foretold by its back-to-back five-goal victories to kick off the season.
Since then, the club has battled its own first-year shadow, claims of "bonus games" and a few unexpected obstacles—both on and off the pitch—but it has almost always come out on top.
That fight to the top was fully realized Wednesday, even as the club played its toughest opponent yet. Even with a man down in the middle due to Daniel Pereira's red card last game, the club kept its cool through even the trickiest moments of the match. Jhojan Valencia, who patched the Pereira hole in midfield, got his first MLS start and first MLS assist as Ruben Gabrielsen scored the first goal of the game.
Gabrielsen came to Austin FC as a potential hero for the team's center back position, but the club's resident Viking has already nabbed two goals in his first season with the team.
"That's center forward material," Austin FC announcer Adrian Healey said as Gabrielsen took control of Valencia's pass, paused to fake out the defense, and calmly tucked the ball into the left corner to complete the first goal of the match.
Even as LAFC dominated possession for much of the match, Austin FC saw another wide-open goal opportunity crumble as midfielder Diego Fagundez's shot hit the corner goalpost in the 23rd minute.
But Fagundez wasn't finished. The midfielder was short on his Verde hair dye but full of surprises as he nimbly sunk a shot over LAFC defense to make it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go.
Fagundez, who has spent more time setting up goals for his teammates (becoming the No. 1 assister in the MLS in the process), finally took the center stage with his second goal this season.
Owen Wolff, head coach Josh Wolff's own son, had a scoring opportunity of his own foiled by the goalpost as he started his first MLS match as one of the youngest starters in the league this season.
But Austin FC wouldn't score again; instead, LAFC powerhouse Carlos Vela made the win a bit trickier in the 86th minute as he got past Austin keeper Brad Stuver to cut the lead in half. The other Wolff quickly subbed in a five-prong defense as the club kept steady for the final 10 painstaking minutes to win the match.
BONUS: Stuver's career-making match
Six saves on the night in LA for Brad Stuver! 🚫 pic.twitter.com/02V6hcUd3Y— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 19, 2022
After two weeks on the bench due to a knee gash, Austin's star keeper Brad Stuver had the Stuver-iest match of all time (yes, we're making it a word) as he pulled off six saves to help his team to No. 1.
Stuver looked like a pinball machine as he pulled off save after save with his feet, hands and body to keep it nearly 100% clean on the back end.
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