The possibilities for filling Austin gift boxes are endless


All kinds of interesting bits of information tend to surface when we're researching big stories, and this week's feature on local chocolates is no exception. It turns out that several of the decadent treats we're reporting on this week are included in the Box o' Chocolates ($40), a great gift idea from a new company called the Austin Gift Box ( This venture is the brainchild of new mom Dusty Trungale, who was looking for a creative job she could do at home while raising a baby. She hit on the idea of packing definitive Austin products in two sizes of vintage suitcases and began selling her boxes via the Web just before Christmas. The boxes are suitable as wedding favors, corporate thank-you or welcome gifts, or holiday-themed presents. Considering all the fascinating things being produced in Austin these days – chocolates and baked goods, all manner of condiments, body-care and spa products, T-shirts, jewelry, music, books, films – the possibilities for filling Austin gift boxes are endless... Although it's been all chocolate all the time around here for the past couple of weeks, we received plenty of other suggestions about Valentine's Day. Far too many restaurants to list will be offering special menus for the evening or the weekend. Be advised that this is one of those occasions where reservations are a very good idea if you don't want to find yourself with some serious explaining to do. If you've already waited too long to get those all-important dinner reservations, here's a possible solution, if your sweet baboo responds lovingly to pizza, that is: Consider a heart-shaped pizza from Mangia (six locations around town, as your edible love token. Order a single pizza or their Valentine's Package (two salads, a heart-shaped brownie, and a bottle of wine for $24.95 plus the cost of the pizza) at your favorite Mangia outlet or online. This idea also works for long-distance loved ones homesick for a genuine taste of Austin.

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