Food Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide, Part I

It’s the most wonderful time of year, which means it’s also time for some gift giving. Because nothing says ‘Happy Everything’ like gifts of delicious eats and drinks, here are a few ideas for everyone on your list. Part II of the official guide can be found here.

Tamale Time

Tamale Time

Taste of Texas 

For the homesick or aspiring Texan, deliver the unofficial dish of Texas with one of Salt Lick BBQ’s holiday gift packages, starting at $34.95. Options and ordering details available here.

Any true South Texas native knows it’s not the holiday season until tamales start to arrive by the dozen. In fact, these traditional Mexican delicacies might as well be called the fruitcake of the South, expect that most people actually want to eat them. While I haven’t yet found local tamales available by the dozen that truly rivals those of my youth, Austin still has a few solid options* (listed below). Be sure to call ahead for preorder!

Tamales Leo – Order by phone at 512.298.5287 or online.

Santa Rita (both locations) – 512.288.5100 or 512.419.7482

Central Market (both locations) Preorder online here

Polvo’s – 512.441.5446

El Meson (both locations) – 512.416.0749 or 512.442.4441

Tamale House East – 512.495.9504

Guero’s – 512.447.7688

La Hacienda – 512.339.4773

La Michoacana – Stop by to pick up; various locations found here.

*When it comes to tamales, the best of the best are well known to come from seasonal vendors you might scout outside a grocery store or a neighbor, but for ease of access purposes, this list factors in predictability and availability, though I am open to hearing about your cult favorite…please…!
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Sweet Treats

For a winter wonderland perfect sweet treat, pick up a few of Amy’s Ice Cream’s seasonal offerings such as Big Kid S’mores kits. Each kit is filled with all the fixings one needs for to craft the perfect s’more: Mexican vanilla marshmallows, Belgian dark chocolate, and biscotti cookies. For $16.99, you can make you coworker with kids (or just a healthy sweet tooth) a holiday hero by sending them home with a kit. More details about Amy’s Ice Cream seasonal offerings can be found here: http://www.amysicecreams.com/seasonal-treats/.

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Bundles of Joy

Lenoir Restaurant has put together gift baskets that include a bottle of wine, a secret recipe, artisan treats and more. Cost of each basket is $95 and its available for preorder here.

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is offering a number of gift baskets with cheeses and charcuteries carefully curated by the shop’s cheesemongers. Full list of options can be found here or stop by to have Antonelli’s create a custom order. Throw in a gift certificate for one of Antonelli’s amazing cheese classes, and you’re well on your way to becoming everyone’s favorite holiday elf.

Epicerie has put together a five custom gift baskets for everyone on your list this year. Each basket is priced $40-100 and includes goods such as Noble vanilla syrup, Dick Taylor Fleur de Sel craft chocolate, and Stellar Gourmet candied lavender jalapenos. More details and ordering information can be found here.
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Become the Office Hero by replacing that tub of Folgers with beans from one of Austin’s top coffee roasters.

Pick up personal favorite Cuvee Coffee online or at any number of retailer (listed here). 12-ounce bags start around $12.

Pick up one of Houndstooth Coffee’s holiday gift baskets featuring their very own TWEED coffee line. Gift options start at $40.

Finally, Casa Brasil Coffee offers 11 varieties of coffee with a range of flavor profiles sourced for artisanal growers in Brazil. Options start at $7 and can be ordered online or found at a number of local retailers, listed here.

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