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With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's the sweetest time of the year in Austin. Whether you're looking for a chocolate gift set to give your friends or a special gift for your significant other, Austin sweet specialists have you covered for an ultimate sweet treat on Cupid's day.
Here are 17 shops around town offering sweet Valentine's Day specials.
Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Co., 2626 State Hwy. 71 W.
Gift your significant other a pecan-filled Valentine's Day gift set from Berdoll Pecan Candy & Co. With four gift set assortments and different flavored pecans, the pecan specialists in town will help you find the perfect sweet treat for any pecan-lover.
You can find the different Valentine's Day gift sets from Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Co here.
Dolce Neve, multiple locations
The beloved gelato shop in Austin is providing a Valentine's Day special unlike any other in town. Dolce Neve is offering a heart shaped gelato cake you never knew you needed until now. Filled with pistachio gelato, strawberry crumble, pistachio powder and white chocolate, you can purchase this cake for $30.
You can find more information on Dolce Neve's menu here.
Zucchini Kill Bakery, 701 E. 53rd St.
Completely vegan and gluten free, Zucchini Kill Bakery has Valentine's Day specials unlike any other place in town. The bakery is offering an assortment of different cupcakes, cream and waffle pies and brownies for Valentine's Day, plus a cookie and brownie box mix so you and your loved one can make a fresh batch from the comfort of your home.
You can find more information on sweets at Zucchini Kill Bakery here.
Edis Chocolates, 3808 Spicewood Springs Road Suite 102
Edis Chocolates has everything and anything to set the spirit for Valentine's Day this year. The sweet shop and bakery is offering different box assortments including an assortment of truffles, chocolate covered strawberries, all types of chocolate and so much more.
You can find the different Valentine's Day gift sets from Edis Chocolates here.
Tiny Pies, multiple locations
Trade in the usual chocolate set box for Tiny Pies this Valentine's Day. Tiny Pies is offering a Valentine's Day menu filled with different assortments of sweets. With cherry pie, chocolate tart, creme brulee and so much more on Cupid's day, the differently curated love boxes make for the perfect gift this Valentine's Day.
You can find the Valentine's Day gift sets from Tiny Pies here.
Lammes Candies, multiple locations
Lammes Candies has been providing Austinites with sweet treats since 1885 and this Valentine's Day is no different. The shop is offering various assortments of flavored chocolates, truffles, chocolate covered strawberries and praline gift sets for you and your special person.
You can find the Valentine's Day gift sets from Lammes Candies here.
Sugar Mama's Bakeshop, 1905 S. 1st St.
Sugar Mama's Bakeshop has been keeping Austin sweet since 2008 and they don't plan on disappointing this year. The shop is offering different flavored cupcakes, cookies, macarons, hot cocoa bombs and chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine's Day, plus much more on their regular menu to help your sweet cravings this Valentine's Day.
You can find the Valentine's Day specials from Sugar Mama's Bakeshop here.
Maggie Louise Confections, 1017 E. 6th St.
Maggie Louise Confections is offering specialty sweets unlike any other shop in Austin. With an assortment of beautifully decorated and hand painted chocolate gift sets, you can find the perfect sweet treat for your Valentine's or Galentine's day celebrations.
You can find the Valentine's Day gift sets from Maggie Louise Confections here.
Michelle's Patisserie, 12233 RR 620 N. Suite 114
Michelle's Patisserie is not messing around this Valentine's Day. The shop is offering Valentine's cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, a Valentine's cookie decorating kit, plus a Valentine's "Afternoon Tea at Home Box" featuring four tea sandwiches, salmon canape, a mini quiche, scone, fresh fruit and five desserts for $35.
You can find the different Valentine's Day gift sets from Michelle's Patisserie here.
See's Candies, 10710 Research Blvd.
See's Candies chocolate shop has so many different types of chocolate assortments you'll struggle picking just one for Valentine's Day. From dark, white and milk chocolate plus some special flavors including caramel, almond, coconut and so much more, this is the place to hit for a different assortment of Valentine's Day gift sets.
You can find the Valentine's Day gift sets from See's Candies here.
SRSLY Chocolate, 117 E. Third St., Taylor, Texas
This Texas-made chocolate shop offers deliciously addicting chocolates with fresh ingredients. Besides the typical chocolate bars and brownies, SRSLY Chocolate is offering a limited edition love bar featuring dark chocolate, rose petals and cranberry for your Valentine.
You can find the different chocolates offered at Srsly Chocolate here.
Hayley Cakes & Cookies, multiple locations
This Austin bakery has all the sweets you and yours desire for Valentine's Day. From an assortment of cookies, brownies cupcakes, and more, Hayley Cakes & Cookies has your sweet treat for the upcoming special day.
You can find the different assortment of sweets offered at Hayley Cakes & Cookies here.
Antonelli's Cheese Shop, 4220 Duval St.
If you prefer savory over sweet on Valentine's Day, Antonelli's Cheese Shop has you covered. The shop is offering two different assortments featuring different cheeses, meats, chocolates and fruits for the perfect Valentine's Day gift. With their 10 year anniversary on Feb. 11, the shop is celebrating big this year by offering giveaways everyday until Valentine's Day.
You can find more information on the Valentine's Day gift sets from Antonelli's Cheese Shop here.
La Pâtisserie, multiple locations
Treat yourself and your significant other with sweets from this traditional French pastry shop in Austin. La Patisserie is offering special Valentine's Day decorated macarons, cookies, eclairs, tarts and so much more to share the love and sweetness on Sunday.
You can find out more on what La Patisserie has to offer here.
Foliepop's, 1340 Galleria Circle Suite A-140
If you're looking to send your significant other a kiss on Valentine's Day, look no further. Foliepop's is offering signature decorated French kiss cakes with vanilla mousse and strawberry jelly, plus different assortments of chocolate tartelettes you can give your special someone.
You can find the different Valentine's Day specials from Folliepop's here.
Crema Bakery & Cafe, 9001 Brodie Lane
Crema Bakery has all the sweetness you, your significant other and friends need this Valentine's Day. The shop is offering chocolate covered strawberries, hot cocoa bombs, cakes, DIY sugar cookie kits, cheesecake, a locally-grown succulent with a cactus-theme cookie and so many more sweet options.
You can find the different Valentine's Day specials from Crema Bakery here.
Austin Food and Wine Alliance Citywide Sugar High Bake Sale
Not sure which shop to pick for your Valentine's Day sweets? The Austin Food and Wine Alliance is bringing back the Citywide Sugar High online bake sale for Valentine's Day, and with over 20 participating shops, the online shop includes every sweet imaginable. Featuring cookies, pies, cakes, macarons and so much more, Austin bakers and pastry chefs have you covered for the perfect Valentine's Day sweet. Orders are available for pickup at Last Straw at 1914 E. 6th St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb 14. Delivery is also available.
You can find more information on the Austin Food and Wine Alliance Citywide Sugar High online bake sale here.
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Everyone wants to be in Austin—tech, celebs and now sports. At least that's what it looks like.
In the midst of a first season for Austin FC, the city's first major league professional sports team, the Buffalo Bills are reportedly looking at a possible move to Austin.
The news comes from ESPN's Seth Wickersham, who reports the NFL team is saying it is considering a move from New York to Austin, possibly to push public funding of its new $1.5 million stadium.
An ownership source tells me that Austin is a possible destination—or threat—as one of the “other cities elsewhere that desire an NFL franchise and would pay handsomely for it." https://t.co/zMf1oChO8K
— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) August 1, 2021
Austin was without a major pro team until Austin FC came to town. While all eyes have been on Austin's "boomtown" status, the city isn't exactly expected to get an NFL team with two other major teams in the state—the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
Nevertheless, the governor and mayor responded to the rumor.
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Editor's note: Addie Broyles is a longtime food writer, who wrote for the Austin American-Statesman for 13 years. This piece was published in her weekly newsletter, "The Feminist Kitchen," where she shares stories about parenthood, grief, ancestry, self healing and creativity. Check it out here.
You know Bruce McCandless' most famous moment, but you probably don't know his name.
McCandless is the astronaut who, in 1984, became the first untethered astronaut in space. He's the guy on those posters, mugs, shirts and everything else NASA could sell with the image of his "leisurely waltz with eternity," as his son calls it in his new book, "Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and the First Untethered Flight in Space."
'Wonders All Around' is a new book by Austinite Bruce McCandless III about his dad, the astronaut Bruce McCandless II. (Bruce McCandless III)
I met McCandless III, who lives in Austin with his wife Pati, for a coffee a few months ago, thanks to the introduction from a mutual friend. As we talked about losing our dads, being writers and parents and living in Austin while still dealing with COVID, his dad's famous flight didn't come up, but the process of writing such an epic biography of a complex, only recently passed man was something worth unpacking over coffee.
I hadn't read the book yet, but over the next few weeks, I got to know the McCandless family in such a sweet way that I wanted to write a little about the book here to perhaps inspire you to seek out a copy of "Wonders All Around."
As much as this is a book about space, it's also a book about grief. And persistence. And stoicism. And masculinity and maternality.
The elder McCandless died in 2017, just a few years after losing his wife, Bernice, to cancer.
This passing of the torch from father to son left the younger McCandless inspired to take on this decades-long narrative. McCandless III sets the tone for the book with a memory of the family sitting around the dinner table at their home outside Johnson Space Center near Houston in the mid 1970s, when his dad, who joined NASA in 1966 at the age of 28, wasn't sure he'd ever actually make it to space.
"Our dinners were somber affairs. We ate around a rectangular Formica table in the breakfast nook. Tracy and I sat on benches padded with orange vinyl cushions. Mom and Dad occupied faux-Spanish style chairs with green felt upholstery. Despite the informal, Howard Johnson's-at-the-airport feel of the furnishings, there was a tension in the air that set in right around the time the frozen string beans started steaming. I had the feeling that my sister and I had forgotten to do something important, though I couldn't figure out what it was, or that judgment had been rendered on us and we'd been found guilty of … something — again, it was unclear what. Horseplay was prohibited. The TV and all sources of music or other frivolity were turned off, and singing was strictly forbidden. The only sound came from the aquarium pump. My father had a 100-gallon tank along the wall behind his chair. Sometimes the big plecostomus would attach itself by its mouth to the glass facing us, and I imagined it sucking all the oxygen out of the room."
Imagining what it must have been like to require oxygen to survive, not in outer space but in the living room with your family, sets up the story of the McCandless ancestors, including a guy who was killed by Wild Bill Hickok and the author's grandfather, who was an admiral in the U.S. Navy.
No pressure, Bruce.
It was fascinating to read about the 18 years that Bruce McCandless II worked for NASA before he finally had his first flight, which debuted the Manned Maneuvering Unit, a jet-fueled backpack that he and Ed Whitsett Jr. spent so many years developing. (That's the joystick-controlled machine he's wearing in that mind-bending poster that hung on millions of Americans' walls over the following decade.)
The author McCandless has the unenviable task of trying to put into words what that flight must have felt like. His dad flew 150 feet away from the shuttle Challenger, which would, of course, break into a million little pieces just a few years later.
When President Reagan called the shuttle to congratulate the astronauts that day in 1984, the command center set up a demonstration space walk to give the president a live view of McCandless through the shuttle window.
Bruce McCandless II, trains with Kathy Sullivan, right, in preparation to launch the Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA)
The only problem was, there wasn't much fuel left. McCandless went out anyway, trying to stay within 10-15 feet of the spacecraft. He got into position and turned off the unit to preserve propellant. After the president said a few words and the video switched off, McCandless turned on the unit and "looked for the closest piece of the orbiter, pointed at it, put the hand controller in +X (and) got a sort of sighing noise as it accelerated in that direction." He ran out of fuel just as he grabbed onto a rail on the orbiter. Hand over hand, he brought himself back to the donning station.
It's that kind of suspense that made this book so thrilling to read.
There's space tension like when McCandless is operating as CAPCOM, the only person talking to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin while they are walking on the surface of the moon, and his commander wants him to break protocol and call them back early, even though there are no signs of distress.
The book is also so touching. I cried while reading about the declining health of Bernice, who survived so many astronaut wife struggles over the years and at the end of her life remained a loving partner and mother.
Bruce McCandless was a Navy pilot who was picked to join NASA in 1966. His first space flight wasn't until 1984. (NASA)
It's easy to forget that McCandless II had an entirely other memorable historic moment—launching the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990—and this one seems to have struck an even deeper chord with McCandless III.
The Hubble launch was McCandless' second and final flight. He was 52 and had worked at NASA for 24 years.
McCandless II spends the last chapters of the book making a compelling case that his dad's work to fix and update the Hubble are among the greatest achievements to science. He continued to work on Hubble for another two decades after retiring from NASA through his work at Lockheed Martin.
Bruce McCandless, left, and the flight crew that launched the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990. He was 52 years old. (NASA)
He was the "nuts, bolts, screws, and wires guy," the auto mechanic rather than the scientist, who kept the telescope going 340 miles above Earth for more than twice its life expectancy. The Hubble has been cited in more than 18,000 scientific papers and has revealed countless secrets and unsolved mysteries from around the universe and beyond.
"The size, shape, and sheer spectral weirdness of the images boggle the imagination and make prophets and dreamers of us all," McCandless writes toward the end of "Wonders All Around. "Some of us pay therapists to tell us we're important and unique. Then we check in with Hubble so the satellite can inform us just how galactically marginal we all are. The truth is somewhere in the middle."
What a beautiful reminder.