Last Minute Valentine's suggestions

Food Editor Virginia B. Wood shares some last minute suggestions for Valentine's gifts or celebrations.

This time last year, I was up to my eyeballs in delicious local chocolates and suffering serious sugar shock while our photographer John Anderson and foodstylist MM Pack set up all the mouthwatering photos. This year, I received a few tasty Valentine's treats and plenty of information about local offerings that are worth sharing. If you still haven't made those Valentine's Day reservations or purchased just the right gift for your Sweet Baboo - here are some ideas that might just help you avert romantic disaster this weekend.

* My favorite candy treats this year are the Chocolate Caramel Hearts from the candy island at Whole Foods Markets. Little caramels dipped in milk and dark chocolate - very yummy.

* Those wacky guys at Mangia Pizza have been selling heart-shaped pizzas for twenty years now and this is their busiest week of the year. Don't let that stop you - a heart-shaped deep dish Mangia pizza, some salads, and a browine could be the perfect way to say "I Love You."

* A romantic movie feast could be just the answer for your Valentine's date. All three Alamo Drafthouse theaters still have seats available for wonderful films with enticing multi-course feasts designed to complement them.
Alamo at the Ritz: Casablanca Feast see the full menu at www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6098
Alamo Village: Romeo + Juliet Feast www.originalalammo.com/Show.aspx?id=6097
Alamo South Lamar: Annie Hall Feast - Two screenings with Lobsters!!! www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6096

* What about a scoop of Paciugo gelato for your beloved? The little shop at West 2nd and Lavaca features the following special flavors for Valentine's Day: Strawberry Rose, Rose Chocolate Chip, Amarena Black Cherry Swirl, and Berry White - white chocolate gelato with an intense raspberry swirl.

* Impress your significant other with a great meal at home without getting the kitchen dirty or breaking a sweat. Drop by Lee's Meat Market(1601 W. 38th, 467-6700) and choose from one of four prepared meals in the price range of $22.95- $29.95 per person. Take it home, heat it up, and get lucky!

* Need a new way to express your feelings this year? The talented young ladies at Sweet Tempered (4301 W. Wm. Cannon, 892-9100;www.sweettemperedaustin.com) have a line of decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies with snappy messages for $2 each.

* Celebrate Valentine's Day with tea and chocolate at the Tea Embassy (900 Rio Grande, 330-9991;www.teatreasures.com) where they're offering free tea and chocolate tastings this weekend. Friday and Saturday, February 13th & 14th, 10am-6pm

Keep an eye on this space for more ideas tomorrow!

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