The City Magazine February 2023

Page 1

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February 2023
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February 2023


FASHION · HEALTH · lifestyle


Shelley Mozelle |


Managing Editor

Erin Coulehan |


Editorial Design

Ernie Sanchez Creative |

Graphic Designer

Maggie Blum |


Director of Sales

Chaz Wilson |

Operations Manager

Mari Van Pelt |

Account Executives

Crystal Barnes |

Megan Langford |

Omar Samaniego |

Veronica Nevarez |


Editor-In-Chief Assistant

Amber Lanahan |


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Cover Design By: Ernie Sanchez Creative

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From the

Do I cook? Not if I can help it. I’m often asked what do I make? The answer is reservations!

Idon’t have an obsession with food, I have an obsession with the restaurant “experience” and that includes food. What’s the difference? For me, the taste of food is secondary to the entire experience, which includes the atmosphere, presentation, and table setting.

“I like things pretty,” has always been my comment, short and sweet.

I like things pretty when it comes to the magazine, I like things pretty when it comes to clothing and yes, the restaurant experience. It’s ok if you’re the other way around and food is the most important part of your evening out because it takes all kinds; I’m simply the woman with a need for experiences.

That said, I grew upon a ranch so I’m a meat eater and if you over-cook my meat, or if you soak it for days in a sauce -- tenderizing is what I believe it’s called -- I’m out. I like the taste of meat, I like the crispy edges, the fire burn charcoal taste of the crunchy outside and I like the sizzle. Mediumrare is my temperature and if you over-cook my meat -- yuck, and I might send it back.

Sometimes I look for the experience like the show “Friends,” I find that at Pelican’s, sometimes I look for experience of a high-end three-hour eating experience, I find that at Café Central, and sometimes I simply need it all, food, experience and service and I recently found that at one of our newer restaurants Casa Pantera.

I savor friendship, community, and good service. My favorites? Local, local, local! I like to support locally family-owned restaurant.

My favorite dinner experience? When my family is sitting at the table.

I can be charmed by food when it includes a bottle of wine.

Yes, I have a dinner reservation to get to this evening.

Cheers and happy eating.

16 February 2023
@shelleymozelle shelley@
“Your voice matters. Let’s hear it. Scan the QR code to send audio advice to the editors."
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Food and fun flavor this delicious issue with stories that will whet your appetite, feed your soul, and maybe inspire your next date night or family meal. For starters, we have two local establishments that are fueling change, biteby-bite and once lick at a time.

Chef Roman Wilcox from One Grub Community is changing dining in El Paso with its pay-it-forward program that seeks to bridge food insecurity gaps in the region by providing tasty plant-based meals to people, even those who cannot afford it. Wilcox introduced the nation to his enthusiastic love of El Paso and creative cuisine on HBO Max’s “Brunch Wars” while competing among other talented chefs from across the country.

In Downtown El Paso, Howdy Homemade Ice Cream Shop is introducing the business community to the benefits of employing people who have disabilities, and providing service with a smile. After a hellacious few months of holidays, Best Of preparations, and a hectic life in general, the afternoon I spent at Howdy Homemade with its heroes and members of the El Paso Community Foundation refreshed my soul and my palate (do try the prickly pear sorbet when you stop by!).

In addition to food and fun, it’s also February -- and, of course, we’re celebrating all things love.

Megan Mehl’s honest and vulnerable editorial on self-love and the dating scene within El Paso’s lust frontier is particularly poignant and serves as a reminder that we can’t expect to love anyone (or anyone to love us) until we love ourselves first, which is often easier said than done -- but always so worth it. This leads me to our cover story on the queen of Don Carbon and Amar, Ms. Tania Peregrino.

I first met (and fangirled over) Tania at a leadership summit in late 2021 where she discussed being a young woman

entrepreneur. I was so moved by her travels, chic outfit, and positive attitude and immediately wanted to learn and tell her story. She’s kind, creative, and the mastermind behind some of my favorite food in El Paso (shoutout to the fries and guava pie at Don Carbon!). Don Carbon is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and Tania remains one of the only restaurant owners in town with both fine dining and drive-thru locations throughout the city. Her model is proof that amazing food can be accessible, affordable, and local.

Additionally, our own Amber Lanahan has not one -- but two -- editorials this issue that are sure to inspire warm and sensual feelings. From “Libations to Love,” a collection of Valentine’s Day-themed cocktails with delectable ingredients like chocolate (duh), bacon, and roses to her style forecast featuring romantic fabrics and heart-shaped accessories, it’s clear that love is in the air and all around us.

If nothing else, I hope this issue inspires you to wear your heart on your sleeve (or other apparel), roll ‘em up, and indulge in love -- and food.

“Your voice matters. Let’s hear it. Scan the QR code to send audio advice to the editors."
Call 915-479-PUCK (7825) or visit and for more information. UPCOMING HOME GAMES EL PASO EL PASO RHINOS EL PASO RHINOS NA3HL vs New Mexico Ice Wolves | Feb. 3-4 NAHL vs Corpus Christi | Feb. 10-11 NAHL vs Oklahoma Warriors | Feb. 17-18 NAHL vs Odessa Jackalopes | Feb. 24-25 NAHL vs Amarillo Wranglers | Mar. 3-4 NAHL vs Odessa Jackalopes | Mar. 10-11 NAHL vs New Mexico Ice Wolves | Mar. 12 NAHL vs Oklahoma Warriors | Mar. 24-25
20 February 2023
Erin COULEHAN Managing Editor Gibel AMADOR Andi TISCARENO Margo LEPE Megan MEHL Claudia FLORES Jamiah DANCIL Kat BENSON
Amber LANAHAN Jordan LICON 21 February 2023 FEBRUARY 2023 VOLUME 107 contents Features Here and Now 34 Brunch & Beyond By: ERIN COULEHAN 68 A Slice of Life By: ANDI R. TISCARENO 62 Trendsetter & Tastemaker By: ERIN COULEHAN 32 Heart-Healthy NUTRITION By: KAT BENSON, RDN, CSSD, LD 82 A Lesson IN SELF-LOVE By: MEGAN MEHL 26 Libations TO LOVE By: AMBER LANAHAN 34 68 62

Grow Laughter & Harvest Health

22 February 2023
Stop making me laugh. I’m too happy! said no one ever.

Has anyone really ever said they are tired of laughing? Whether you are the source or have people full of good humor in your life, that kind of medicine is the best.

Energy is transmitted in each of us. We can either impart constructive energy or pass on despondency. We channel what we circulate. Awareness of what we are communicating to ourselves and others is worth noting.

Among the most significant neurotransmitters to our well-being are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine (or adrenaline). These four neurotransmitters play vital roles in our bodies. Stephanie Watson is the Executive Editor for Harvard Women’s Health Watch and agrees that a deficiency of any of these is certain to affect our mood, energy and well-being.

Watson says simple lifestyle changes, though, can boost levels to help you feel better.

The first, dopamine, is necessary for motivation, mood, memory and movement. Deficiency presents as addictive tendencies, tremors/ restless legs, low libido, lack of motivation, depression and mental exhaustion. Serotonin is also required to help with mood, as well as control of eating and appetite. Serotonin can also help regulate pain, alertness, and sensory perception. A lack of serotonin may lead to depression, anxiety/social anxiety, aggression, OCD tendencies, carbohydrate cravings, frequent constipation, low pain tolerance, poor dream recall, insomnia, impulsive tendencies, and low-self esteem. Serotonin is known as the mood stabilizer, and can be increased with running, meditation, a nature walk -- or simply soaking up some sun.

95 percent of your serotonin is made in your gut so be good to your body by fueling it with healthy foods.

Norepinephrine is key to good sleep. It allows us to go into REM sleep, assists with arousal, concentration, memory formation, stimulates

the release of hormones that stimulate the thymus gland, and may modulate firing of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. A lack of norepinephrine can result in chronic stress, fatigue, pain, poor long-term memory, depression and stress.

Lastly, epinephrine (or adrenaline), assists in the fight-or-flight response, the sympathetic nervous system, constricts blood vessels, dilates air passages, and increases heart rate. Deficiency signs of epinephrine can show up as low blood pressure, low blood sugar, chronic stress and exhaustion, short attention span, and low pain tolerance.

If any of this seems concerning for you, stress not.

Happiness hacks are everywhere! Laughter exercises and physical exercise are good for releasing endorphins (the painkiller). Dark chocolate paired up with a comedy flick can also help. When your mind benefits, the body and soul do, too.

Dopamine is often called the reward chemical. Starting and finishing a task will help boost dopamine levels, as well as prioritizing self-care activities, getting sufficient sleep regularly, eating good food and celebrating your wins -- no matter how big or small!

Make a short list and check them off one by one while getting your dopamine.

Oxytocin is another feel good hormone in our body. Harvard Women’s Health Watch reports that oxytocin can help us “bond with loved ones and be released through touch, music and exercise.” Hence the nickname the “love hormone,” due to its main role of easing childbirth.

Oxytocin levels increase in the body when we fall in love and are excited by our sexual partner. So, hold hands, give hugs, and go out of your way to compliment others. Your body and heart will thank you for it!

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Life is full of curveballs, but fun and laughter should still be had. Both help lower stress, essentially increasing the level of healthful hormones. Not only is laughter contagious, it dispenses an emotional and physical release. The more you laugh, the more you share it with others and invite into their lives too.

Finding humor in the toughest of times means you are winning. We all have scars and face losses in life. Laughing and having fun does not necessarily mean we are in denial of pain. It simply opens up a faucet for delight. defines joy as “gladness not based on circumstance.” Being joyful does not mean you are never faced with distress; it is choosing to smile and persevere with hope and positive expectations.

Having fun may be a struggle, but it’s never too late to prioritize it in life.

February 2023
Grow Laughter & Harvest Health AGING IS A FACT OF LIFE Looking Your Age Is Not Karina Mendoza-Marcial FNP-BSN, MSN 915-264-3600 | 11351 James Watt, BLDG C-300 El Paso, TX 79936

What used to be fun for you? Ask friends what they do for fun. It’s okay to pull inspiration from others’ bucket lists. Keep dreaming. Learn something you have never tried before. Step out of your comfort zone to be stretched in new ways.

Whatever you choose to do or if it seems scary, look for the positive. Fear can not

isolate you if you allow love and joy to surround you. Who you surround yourself with counts, too. Find people who bring out your best and the ones willing to have fun even in hard times or disappointment. Laughter is full of healing powers. Once you start laughing, you start healing.

In short, a cheerful heart is a healthy one.

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Grow Laughter & Harvest Health

Love W

ith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us face the question of what we can do to create a memorable experience for our loved ones. Sure, one can’t deny the success of the tried-and-true sweet pastry, tart candy, savory dinner, or floral bouquet.

However, what would you say to a couple of these Valentine’s Day staples being condensed into a single glass? Below are a few cocktails inspired by tasty delights and the sweet, bubbly, and savory experiences of romance.

Libations to StrawberryShortcake

Recipe 1


• 2 oz Baileys

• 1 oz Pineapple Juice

• 1 oz Cranberry Juice


1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass.

4. Serve.

Recipe 2


• 2 oz Tequila Rose

• 2 oz Cake flavored Vodka

• 1 Strawberry (sliced)


1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass.

4. Add sliced strawberry in glass to garnish.

5. Serve.

February 2023

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Recipe 1


• 1.25 oz Mozart Strawberry White Chocolate Liqueur

• 1.25 oz Vodka

• .5 oz White Crème de Cacao

• 2 drops Macadamia Cocoa bitters (or chocolate bitters)


1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Strain into glass with ice.

4. Serve.

Recipe 2


• 1.5 oz Strawberries & Cream Baileys

• 1 oz Vanilla flavored Vodka

• .5 Chocolate Liqueur

• 1.5 oz Milk of Choice

• Whole Strawberry for Garnish


1. Combine Baileys, Vodka, liqueur, and milk in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass and garnish with a strawberry on the rim.

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Recipe 1


• 2 oz Bacon Bourbon

• .75 oz Maple Syrup

• 2-3 dashes of Orange Bitters

• Fresh Orange Peel for Garnish


1. Combine Bourbon, syrup, and bitters in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass and garnish with orange peel.

4. Serve.

Sour Patch Kids

Recipe 1


• 1.5 oz Vodka

• 1.5 oz Peach Schnapps

• .5 oz Blue Curaçao

• 7.5 oz can of Sprite


1. Combine Vodka, peach schnapps, and blue curaçao in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass, leaving 1/4 in. of room.

4. Top off with Sprite.

5. Serve.

Recipe 2


• 1.5 oz Vodka

• .5 oz Lemon Juice

• .5 oz Simple Syrup

• 1 tsp. Limoncello


1. Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass.

4. Serve.

Recipe 2


• 2 oz Bacon Bourbon

• 2 Maraschino Cherries

• .5 oz Maple Syrup

• 3 dashes Bacon Bitters

• .5 oz Lemon Juice

• Lemon Wedge for Garnish


1. Muddle cherries, maple syrup, bitters, and lemon juice in a shaker.

2. Add ice to the shaker.

3. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

4. Stir Bourbon into shaker contents.

5. Pour into glass and garnish with a lemon wedge on the rim.

6. Serve.

28 February 2023


Recipe 1


• 2 oz Vodka

• 2 oz Rose Syrup

• 1 oz Lemon Juice

• 1 oz Ginger Juice

• 8 oz Club Soda

• Edible Flower for Garnish


1. Combine Vodka, syrup, lemon juice, and ginger juice in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Strain into glass filled with ice, leaving 1/4 in. of room.

4. Top off with club soda, and add an edible flower to garnish.

5. Serve.

Recipe 2


• 1.5 oz Gin

• 1 oz Rose Syrup

• 1 oz Strawberry Syrup

• .5 oz Lemon Juice

• 6 oz Bottle of Champagne

• Rose petals and strawberry for garnish


1. Combine gin, rose syrup, strawberry syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake ingredients in a shaker.

3. Pour into glass, leaving 1/4 in. of room.

4. Top off with champagne, and add petals and strawberry to garnish.

5. Serve.

Surprise your Valentine of choice this year with their Valentine’s Day favorite paired with a cocktail paying homage to but a few of the many staples of the holiday. Who knows? You might find yourselves becoming mixologists for the evening as you indulge and enjoy these colorful cocktail recipes. February 2023 Libations to Love OVER 2000 RUGS FROM EVERY REGION OF PERSIA A room without a rug is like a kiss without a hug 915-842-8414 6600 North Mesa Suite 404, El Paso, Texas 79912 Stop by for a cup of tea and browse Repairing Cleaning Padding
February 2023 32 Heart-Healthy Eating Habits

It’s American Heart Health Month, which means it’s a great time to check in with ways to support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels with realistic and sustainable actions.

As we go through some recommendations for heart health support, keep in mind that if you are diagnosed with hypertension, coronary heart disease, or any other health condition, your needs may vary. Therefore, it’s recommended that you meet with a registered dietitian who can assist you in creating a personalized plan of action.

Another important note, cultural foods are a vital area to keep in mind when thinking of healthy and sustainable nutrition habits. Every culture has nourishing meals, from fiber-rich foods and antioxidant-rich spices to a rainbow of produce. However, it may help having some support from an RD to show how these can still be incorporated into your intake.

We’ll discuss some types of foods that aren’t so heart-healthy, but first, let’s talk about recommendations that support heart health.

Eat a variety of vegetables

Vegetables are a great way to get various nutrients that support heart health, like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other plant nutrients. Don’t worry if you can’t get many fresh vegetables; frozen and low-sodium canned vegetables are comparable in nutrients and often more economical. In addition, their shelf-life makes for a great meal addition between grocery store visits. Aim for various colors for nutrient varieties like broccoli, salad greens, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers.

Eat a variety of fruit

Fruits are also a great way to get hearthealthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. When

choosing canned fruit, aim for ones in their juice for less added sugars. Fruit is a delicious addition to a heart-healthy snack, such as an apple with almond butter or peanut butter.

Choose lean proteins

The most significant pushback of lean proteins for most people is typically the fact that fat gives flavor. While not the same, adding spices and herbs to lean proteins can help improve flavor in addition to lowsodium marinades. MSG is a safe and often misunderstood seasoning that can help reduce sodium intake and increase a dish’s umami (savory) flavors.

Prioritize healthy fats

Fats from foods such as salmon, avocados, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, chestnuts, etc.), seeds (chia, pumpkin, etc.), olive oil, and avocado oil are supportive of heart health and help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E. Dairy fats found in yogurts, cottage cheese, cheese, etc. are also ways to get in a variety of nourishment and can be part of a heart-healthy intake, especially when lower in fat, but aim to prioritize the plant-based ones above if possible.

Choose fiber-rich carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential to a balanced plate and provide heart-healthy fiber, which also supports digestive health. Fiber-rich carbohydrates include beans, lentils, other legumes, oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, and whole-grain pasta. Limiting refined grains, such as white bread and white pasta, is typically recommended, but if having them, choose ones that are fortified for added nutrients.

Add spices

Food is meant to be enjoyable, so feel free to use a variety of spices and herbs! Besides

flavor benefits, spices can also provide some anti-inflammatory benefits and help compensate for the loss of flavor by reducing salt intake.

Stress less on having “the Perfect Diet”

This one might sound silly, but stress can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Health is a blend of physical, mental, and social well-being. If your diet is supporting physical health but causing problems in other aspects of health, it might be time for a different approach.

Aiming to base most meals on the above is a great way to approach making small, sustainable, healthy changes.

Quick Tips

One of my favorite heart-healthy meals is the burrito bowl: Grilled chicken, cilantro lime brown rice, black beans, salad greens, salsa, and guacamole.

For balanced snacks, combine fiber-rich carbohydrates with protein or fat for a more satisfying and nourishing snack. One of my favorite heart-healthy snacks: is high protein Greek yogurt (like Oikos Triple Zero) with frozen berries and sliced almonds.

While we primarily focus on foods to add, there are some foods to keep in mind to minimize. High sodium foods, foods with added sugars, and foods high in saturated and trans fats are thos to reduce intake. This does not mean you can never have those foods, as that is typically counterproductive and would likely increase binge risk. However, the more we prioritize the above heart-healthy list over less-helpful foods, the better for heart health.

February 2023 33



Chef Celebrates El Paso on HBO Max

rowing up, Roman Wilcox, 42, always knew he wanted to spend his time in the kitchen. Wilcox grew up watching PBS cooking shows and recalls feeling mesmerized by the way people cooked, and is now the coowner and chef of One Grub Community and co-founder of Planty For the People.

“I started gardening when I was a teacher and I learned more about food systems, the food agriculture bull, local food, local agriculture, and all of that started becoming very important to me,” Wilcox said. “I felt I had a responsibility as somebody who cooked as a professional that I could make a small difference in what I do in my business and my craft.”

One Grub community is a full plantbased business with the mission to provide healthy food to people in the community, regardless of their circumstances. One Grub achieves

this goal with its “pay-it-forward” program, where through tips and “pay-it-forward” coins, meals can be provided for those who can’t afford it.

“We have a full restaurant that is available to anybody. If, for any reason, somebody doesn’t have the money to afford to pay for their meal at that time, we have a system in place that the community contributes to,” Wilcox said. “Anyone in the community, if they give tips or donations or they buy ‘payit-forward’ coins, all that money is set aside for those that need a meal.”

After cooking professionally for over 27 years and with experience in fine dining, a nonprofit and educational backgrounds, opening One Grub Community and its sister organizations is, Wilcox explains, the culmination of elements that led him to open a diner with accessible and healthy food.

Aside from running the One Grub diner, Wilcox, along with his wife Adriana Wilcox, run Planty For the People, a nonprofit

| Words and photos by: CLAUDIA FLORES Additional photos provided by: ROMAN WILCOX AND JEREMY KOHM/HBO MAX |
Brunch G February 2023 35 February 2023

organization linked to their “pay-it-forward” program, that gives the community the opportunity for food access and education.

With a total of 52 garden beds, Planty For the People hosts free gardening classes covering topics on how to start your own compost, harvesting, and working with the seasons, among other agricultural classes -- including cooking sessions.

Although not all the produce in the kitchen comes from the garden beds, most of the ingredients do. According to Wilcox, having the food go

from the garden to the table, gives customers the opportunity to reconnect with food.

“We work with other local farmers, and along with our stuff we feel it’s very important to connect with what we eat, because sometimes people are so disconnected with their food and where it comes from,” Wilcox said. “If they come here, and they eat something, and they love it, there’s a connection that’s made because they realize the quality of it.”

His vision has earned him national recognition.

36 February 2023
Chef Celebrates El Paso on HBO Max
February 2023 37

In March of last year, Wilcox left El Paso for a month to appear on the TV show “The Big Brunch” on HBO Max. The show celebrates inspiring up-and-coming culinary voices from around the country. In this competition, chefs are given the opportunity to put out their best to win a $300,000 cash prize.

Wilcox says the idea of the competition wasn’t very attractive in the beginning, but after taking a second read of the casting call and knowing Canadian actor and producer Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) was producing the show, Wilcox took his chance.

“I feel we’re doing something really special here and I am just a one little part of it, but with my wife, the community, our team and

February 2023
Chef Celebrates El Paso on HBO Max (915) 304-1093 601 N Mesa Street, Suite 120 El Paso, TX 79901

everyone that’s around supporting it, we felt it was a good opportunity to show that and also go after the prize,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox, who started cooking professionally in 1995 said, one of the things that drew him into the kitchen was the adrenaline rush of cooking under pressure, a skill that furthered his participation on the show.

“I have great respect for the judges and for Dan, and it was a crazy experience. I had no idea that I’d make it as far as I did,” Wilcox said. “I just didn’t want to go home on the first challenge, and I almost did. And so, that almost came to fruition and kind of knocked me into shape.”

Wilcox added that the experience on “The Big Brunch,” where he shared his vegan chicken and waffles, validated the hard work he, his wife and the community have put into the projects and how this experience has pushed him to work on new project ideas.

“I stretched, and I found something in myself. You know, I tend to sell myself short, I tend to maybe not believe in what I’m doing so much. I just do it because I love it,” Wilcox said. “I have a lot of ideas and it’s just kind of given me the bravery to let those ideas become actions and do stuff. I guess I needed to see for myself and feel for myself. The validation, because I mean, if I’m being honest, people around here are so nice.”

According to Wilcox, during his participation on the cooking show, he felt the responsibility to represent El Paso in the best way possible.

“I decided I was going to be ‘Mr. Cheerleader El Paso,’ and if you watch the show, you’ll see I don’t go an episode without talking about home and the food we do here,” Wilcox said. “I made sure that El Paso got the credit for its influence on my food. And then there’s just so many beautiful people that have so many great stories to share. It’s home, and it’s important.”

February 2023
40 | Interview by: SHELLEY MOZELLE written by: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: JUDY ROBISON | Honoring the State of the Arts in Texas February 2023

The arts are alive across Texas and El Pasoans are leading statewide efforts to celebrate, support, and enhance the roles that music, literature, film, and more shape our lives. Texas Cultural Trust will be recognizing artistic achievements at its Eleventh Biennial Celebration Texas Medal of Arts Awards in Austin on February 21st and 22nd to honor creative excellence while also looking ahead to the future.

Texas Cultural Trust works to bring the arts to schools and communities across the state, and is chaired by El Pasoan Judy Robison.

Robison says that supporting the arts is a priority for her and her husband, and that the couple’s philanthropy has evolved over the years and prioritizes helping women and children. 41
February 2023

“That’s why we do it,” she says. “Education is the most important thing, whether it’s reading, science, or art. We have statistics that show that the arts keep our children in school, increase scores on standardized tests, and create a better lifestyle.”

Texas Cultural Trust’s most recent “State of the Arts” reports that high school students who complete more arts courses are twice as likely to graduate, have up to 15 percent higher pass rate on standardized tests, and 22 percent more likely to attend college than students who take fewer arts courses.

Supporting arts education in schools across Texas also serves as an investment in the state’s economic future.


February 2023
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Honoring the State of the Arts in Texas

The state’s creative sector employs almost 900,000 Texans, which corresponds to about one in 15 jobs being artistically-driven.

Robison explains that Texas Cultural Trust enhances arts education through scholarships for students K-12.

“We give probably eight or ten scholarships and the students attend art camps and programs that increase opportunities in their particular talent,” says Robison.

This year, Texas Cultural Trust is looking forward to resuming its show for the Texas Medal of Arts Honorees that include local author Benjamin Alire Saenz.

“We are beyond thrilled to resume the TMAA celebration, after having to postpone and cancel in 2021 due to the pandemic, with

an extraordinary lineup of talented Texans who have each inspired and captivated their communities, our state, and beyond,” says Texas Cultural Trust CEO Heidi Marquez Smith.

Among the 2023 Texas Medal of Arts Honorees are:

Arts/Health: Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston

Lifetime Achievement/Musical Theatre: Carole Cook, Abilene

Music: Christopher Cross, San Antonio

Music/Songwriter: Miranda Lambert, Lindale

Architecture: Miró Rivera Architects, Austin

Visual Arts: Deborah Roberts, Austin

Design: Lela Rose, Dallas

Literary Arts: Benjamin Alire Saenz, El Paso

Film/Producer: Taylor Sheridan, Weatherford

Dance: Septime Webre, Brownsville

Film/Actor: Luke Wilson, Dallas

“Our organization strives to spotlight the vital role the arts play in our state and our everyday lives. Texas has such a rich cultural heritage that deserves to be recognized, invested in, and celebrated,” says Smith.

February 2023
Honoring the State of the Arts in Texas 915-206-4647 8889 Gateway Blvd W, Suite 2320 El Paso, TX 79925
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Restaurants and Bars

This month, The City Magazine is thrilled to whet your appetite with profiles of some of El Paso’s tastiest local spots. From restaurants with mouth-watering ribs to bars with food, drinks, and snacks, we’re sure you’ll be able to satisfy cravings for classic and creative dishes.

What do you want readers to know about your business?

The B-Bomber Oyster Pubs have three locations to serve El Paso. Two in east El Paso, one downtown -- our music venue featuring local and out of town bands, and a fourth oyster pub opening by summer. We host many benefits for different charities throughout the year and proudly serve select beer and liquor that give back to a variety of causes.

Why do you love serving El Paso?

We love being part of such a positive, hard working community who support small businesses. We appreciate our customers and El Paso!

What are your specialties?

Our specialty bombs, oysters on the half shell, variety of baked oysters, and our oyster shooters are definitely an El Paso favorite!

What’s the vibe of your business?

All the B-Bomber Oyster Pubs have a relaxed, cozy neighborhood vibe with an Irish pub feel!

Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 49 B-52 Bombers Oyster Pub 1201 Bob Hope El Paso, Texas 79936 (915) 313-4058 b17oysterpub B-52 Bombers Oyster Pub B-17 Bombers Oyster Pub B-2 Bombers Oyster Pub

What do you want readers to know about your business?

It’s been five years in the making for CEO Tim Wilson, but his vision has come to fruition and the doors are ready to open. With 13,000 square feet of outdoor beer garden, open-air seating, live music stage, the Soggy Peso will be a place unlike any other in the Southwest. We can’t wait to join you in this experience and bring together a community of beer lovers, friendly hospitality, and good old fashion fun.

Why do you love serving El Paso?

We serve El Paso because we love El Paso. From its friendly hospitality to its laid-back lifestyle, this is why we call El Paso home.

What are your specialties?

Beer, BBQ, sports, music, local events, and more beer! When you got the largest beer garden in the city with the biggest led tv in the southwest and a stage that will house the best in live music...what more could you ask for?

What’s the vibe of your business?

A hip, rustic beer garden offering 60 craft beers on tap, food, live music, and entertainment all in the largest beer garden in El Paso, Texas.

Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL
SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 51 Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL SOGGY PESO 11355 Pellicano Dr. El Paso, Texas 79936 soggypesoep Soggypeso915
52 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL Elton’s Dueling Piano Bar | 115 Durango St., Suite A | El Paso, Texas 79901 | (915) 400-6260 | eltonsduelingpianos Elton’s Dueling Pianos

What do you want readers to know about your business?

We’re not just a piano bar… we’re much more than that! Our entertainers are specially trained to deliver an engaging performance as they play ANY song you request. We serve a high-energy, requestdriven show, which every customer has the opportunity to become a part of. A live jukebox! And every Thursday, YOU are the star at our live karaoke.

What are your specialties?

Our specialty is music! We have a roster of over 30 of the best dueling piano players in the country; from Chicago to NOLA, NY to LA! Every day is a fresh, new show. We’re also including the most entertaining musicians in El Paso to serve up some of our spicy, border-town flavor into the Elton’s Experience. Pair that with the delicious creations from our creative mixologists and you’re sure to make some fun memories.

What’s the vibe of your business?

Our vibe is “always a celebration.” We’re the Chuck E. Cheese for adults! We specialize in creating the perfect atmosphere to celebrate birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, bachelors and bachelorettes -- if you come up with an excuse, we’ll celebrate you! We’re so perfect for a date night that we named a day for it; FriDate Night!

Why do you love serving El Paso?

We are for El Paso! It’s all about the people we serve! We don’t consider ourselves as part of the bar business; we’re in the business of serving joy! And we promise you’re voice will be raspy by the end of the night!

We’ve been striving to become a staple in the city. When people think, “where should we go for a good time while we are in El Paso?” or “where should we take our out-of-town guests?” we want them to consider Elton’s as a must. Swing by with Kurt Cobain’s attitude of “Here we are now, entertain us.”

We won’t let you down!

54 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING MORRA MIA 11250 Montwood Dr. El Paso, Texas 79936 (915) 594-2841 morra mÍa_elpaso morra mÍa

What do you want readers to know about your business?

We’re a locally-owned business with a passion for Mexican food and culture. We wanted to enter this market with an innovative proposal, something completely different from what other Mexican restaurants in El Paso offer. As such, we placed our bets on Central/Southern Mexican cuisine enjoyed in a modern/trendy atmosphere.

Why do you love serving El Paso?

El Paso is probably the city with more Mexican restaurants per square foot and some of the most established businesses have been here for several decades. Needless to say, competition is fierce and the market is pretty mature, yet our noble and benevolent city of El Paso has welcomed us with enthusiasm. In only two years, the public has placed us among their top choices when it comes to Mexican food and we have had the privilege of being awarded spectacular recognition. To this we can only say, “Thank you El Paso! We are truly grateful.”

What are your specialties?

We are a “from scratch” kitchen that uses only fresh ingredients and juices to prepare our food and drinks. In the case of our Mole Poblano, it takes us three days to carefully roast, season and blend all 32 ingredients used to prepare this 50 year old recipe. In the case of our Pozole, which is another specialty, we import our corn, “maiz cacahuazintle,” from Mexico and process it in a very traditional way that brings a southern Pozole experience to our beloved El Paso.

We also hand make our corn tortillas from fresh “masa” and bake daily. Our traditional “pan dulce” paired with our “cafe de olla,” which is full of aroma, have become city favorites, as well as our awardwinning margaritas.

What’s the vibe of your business?

Morra Mia is vibrant and fun. It’s a blend of the tradition and nostalgia of our grandparents’ Mexican food with the modernity of a new generation. It’s casual and family-friendly, yet at night, the bar is open for people who just can’t have enough good music, good drinks and good vibes.

Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL

What do you want readers to know about your business?

We want them to know we are the best Italian cafe in town and we are more than just a pizza place. We make classic cocktails, have a full menu, a diverse wine list as well as coffee and desserts.

What are your specialties?

Besides the pizza our guests love our salmon plate, green lipped mussels, chicken Marsala and pasta dishes.

What’s the vibe of your business?

We’re a cozy, casual spot.

Why do you love serving El Paso?

We grew up here. We like to be something good and unique, and we’d love to share it with our community.

1/8 Pizza Pub 830 N. Piedras St. El Paso, Texas 79903 (915) 345-1814

1/8 Pizza Pub


Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL
SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 57 Photographed by: ANOTHA CREATIVE 10 Different Locations: 8140 North Loop Dr. 5801 N Mesa St. 100 Horizon Blvd. 9581 Dyer St. 6190 Doniphan Dr. 1916 Montana Ave. 5901 Alameda Ave. 12430 Edgemere Blvd. 115 Americas Ave. 1831 Zaragosa Rd. Follow Us Tacosdoncucoelpaso Tacosdoncuco_ep Tacos Don Cuco

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Photographed by: ANOTHA
SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 59 Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL The Tap Bar - Restaurant 408 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, Texas 79901 (915) 532-1848
60 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING Photographed by: JAMIAH DANCIL Entrecote & Co. | 5825 N. Mesa St. | El Paso, Texas 79912 | (915) 300-0022 | ‘‘A taste of France in El Paso’’ Cozy Atmosphere, amazing cocktails, exceptional culinary experience
To learn more, please contact: Phone: (915)-249-4470 Fax: (915)-260-6919 Palliative Care Primary & Preventative Care Holistic Health CENTRAL: 1810 Murchison Drive, Suite 250 El Paso, Texas 79902 EAST: 1031 N Zaragoza Road El Paso, Texas 79907
Juan Guillermo
62 February 2023 &TastemakerTrendsetter Has Foodies Hungry for More | By: ERIN COULEHAN Cover by: JORDAN LICON Photos courtesy of: TANIA PEREGRINO |

As El Paso’s culinary landscape continues to grow, the imprint of a local restaurateur is as recognizable as her food is cravings-inducing. Meet Tania Peregrino, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Don Carbon and Amar, who is feeding the Sun City while also fueling culinary innovation and inspiring younger generations of future restaurant owners.

Don Carbon, the Peregrino family’s restaurant that boasts tender mesquite grilled chicken, traditional sides, burgers, and more, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2023 as the family reflects upon a decade of success and the work it took to achieve.

Peregrino, her father Humberto, mother Gysel, and brother Kevin have been in the kitchen, managing employees, and enthusiastically greeting customers from Don Carbon’s original location while the business expanded to more than five locations that span from Horizon to the Upper Valley over the last decade.

For the Peregrino family, feeding the community’s appetite for quality food that embodies the culture is a main ingredient.

“El Paso is a very important metroplex in many aspects because of the eclectic blend of two wonderful cultures,” says Peregrino. “Everything in our city is special, our food, slang, our weather, which is always a surprise. It’s never boring, but most important is our people: I have lived in other cities and all I can say is that El Paso is like a warm hug. For some reason we all come back to El Paso, and I’m extremely grateful to our community for the immense support we have received with our projects.”

Peregrino wasn’t always a culinary-minded businesswoman overseeing an empire of restaurants across the Borderland.

She’s a talented artist and avid traveler who brought her skills back home to El Paso after attending art school in L.A. and was excited to bolster her hometown. She’s the creative force behind the artwork found at Don Carbon, including the restaurant’s iconic upsidedown chicken illustration, who has harnessed her savvy to draw in customers -- but it’s her love of life that keeps them coming back for more.

In “Embodying Food Studies: Unpacking the Ways We Become What We Eat,” scholar Darcy A. Freedman explains the basic human need for food that not only nourishes and maintains the body, but also impacts our social worlds.

“Food is more than a compilation of vitamins and nutrients; it is physical and social, personal and political, and inanimate yet animating,” asserts Freedman.

Food scholars like Freedman explore the phenomena of food practices that shape our lives from preparation to consumption to embodiment; from the choices we make by selecting an item on a menu to the energy and sensations we receive once nourished.

In short, the joy of eating is worth examining and indulging.

The dynamics of food were top-of-mind for Peregrino when developing the menu and aesthetics for her foray into fine dining, Amar, located on North Mesa across from UTEP’s Don Haskins Center.

63 February 2023

Food is more than a compilation of vitamins and nutrients; it is physical and social, personal and political, and inanimate yet animating.


According to Texas Monthly:

“Amar means ‘to love,’ and the family behind this restaurant lovingly merge the flavors of Peru and Mexico. Begin with the Ceviche Amar: mussels, octopus, and shrimp in a leche de tigre marinade decorated with crispy calamari. Continue with the lomo saltado, chunks of beef tenderloin nestled among french fries and sautéed tomatoes and peppers. Or check out the empanadas, which come loaded with shrimp or fresh spinach. Desserts are spectacular; consider the guava cheesecake or an alfajor, a sandwich-style cookie with a filling of dulce de leche. The patio, with its tasseled shade cloth, will make you feel as if you’re on vacation.”

A scroll through Peregrino’s Instagram is a minivacation itself, showcasing exotic locations, lush plant life, and really delicious food.

“Traveling has been the best investment for my heart, mind and creative expression,” says Peregrino. “I’m an adventurous soul, I love exploring places, learning from different cultures and appreciating art in its different mediums including food.”

At Amar, the Peruvian and Mexican fusion produces a symphony of flavors with plump pieces of seafood, crisp vegetables, seasoned meats, and saucy pastas that are perfect for family-style dining or to satisfy an individual appetite.

“Just come with friends and family and share as many plates as you can!” invites Peregrino.

“We are the only Peruvian- Mexican restaurant in town and we offer a variety of rich and delicious dishes with authentic Peruvian and Mexican ingredients,” she adds.

February 2023
Tastemaker & TrendsetteR

Peregrino’s creativity as an artist shines with Amar’s aesthetics, as well as in many of the menu items like the torta de elote, a cornbread-like pastry topped with corn-onthe-cob shaped ice cream -- it’s as exquisite as it is interesting.

The enjoyment -- and embodiment -- of food and life are acts of self-care and self-love that Peregrino is ever-mindful of and looking forward to continuing to cultivate in 2023.

“To remain present daily in my own presence, cultivating self-love because, for me, self-love is the strongest foundation for everything else. I want to be a better leader for my team and my family each day and I can only accomplish that by being well, honoring my health and existence.”


A Slice of Life

ood has always been a source of comfort, especially here in the Borderland. As a constantly evolving and thriving staple, people are drawn from all over to sample the different tasty meals El Paso has to offer. From traditional Mexican cuisine to popular American classics, each one takes inspiration from the other in the melting pot of cultures in the Sun City. With a city filled with locally owned shops and people with a vision of serving deliciously unique food, one has no problem finding something tasty to eat in the Sun City.

One local shop where you can find some delicious food is a family-owned shop called Sun City Slice.

Owned and operated by the Villalobos family, Sun City Slice had been serving up hot pizza pies in El Paso since October 2017 with the opening of their first location at 1505 George Dieter.

Sun City F

Slice Pizza

What started as a dream of making good food as a side hustle for the family became a full time second job.

Sun City Slice Pizza is owned and operated by Alicia Villalobos, her husband Ismael and their daughter Amanda, as well as Ismael’s brother Julio and his wife Cristina. Starting with an idea from Ismael Villalobos, the family worked for half a year to get their first location and their signature flavors rolling.

Ismael was the first to say “You know what? Pizza is something everyone loves, we could have our own pizza place!” Each family member worked hard outside of their own careers and family lives to bring it all together.

“We have meetings to decide together what happens with the shops, along with our employees,” Alicia Villalobos, co-owner, says.

“When we first opened, we had to come up with our whole concept, our brand, and the name, the décor, everything,” Cristina

Villalobos explains. “So with the five of us, we’ve been able to put our heads together and build something and grow.”

With Ismael’s background in business and construction, the family united to learn about running a pizza shop. From purchasing their own small pizza oven and working from home and making their own dough, to developing their own sauce as a family recipe, they shaped the building blocks for creating their menu.

Slice’s menu features a wide variety of specials, daily promos, and specialty pizza creations, such as the El Buffaloco pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, buffalo chicken, fresh tomatoes, and julienned basil, all drizzled with ranch and buffalo sauce.

Another popular item is the Chile Relleno Pizza featuring a crust stuffed with mozzarella cheese and green chiles, topped with red onions, green peppers and chiles, chorizo, and bacon.

Amanda Villalobos, Alicia and Ismael’s

daughter and Slice’s manager, is credited with coming up with most of the menu ideas along with helping keep the business running.

“We really wanted to stand out, while focusing on family and affordable food. Right away we knew we wanted to do pizza, wings, and salads,” says Amanda. The family says that Amanda is the real boss, the rock of the business, running from location to location and making sure operations are running smoothly on the services end and the business end.

When it comes to wings, Slice brings it home with a list of flavors for bone-in wings in varying levels of sweet and tangy like BBQ, lemon pepper, and garlic parmesan, to hot and savory like mango habanero and honey hot.

Of course, if you like pain, they also have flavors like Mega Hot and Diablo Hot. Slice also utilizes the hottest sauce flavor for the Russian roulette style pizza called The Devil’s Slice. This daunting pizza features a 69

seemingly normal pepperoni drizzled with buffalo sauce, only it’s hiding a painful secret: one slice is extremely hot, and only the one who eats it will know!

As with every business, Slice likes to lean into different trends in order to draw in more customers and keep current customers engaged.

When the video game “Among Us” grew in popularity during the pandemic, Slice came out with an “Among Us” pizza in the shape of the little characters from the game, with either “Crew Mate” or “Imposter” written on the inside of the box.

During the month of February, Slice features a heart-shaped pizza, along with the famous peppe-roses for anyone looking to wow their significant other with a sweet but cheesy gesture.

Even during the Halloween season, Slice rolls out spooky pizza, featuring a pumpkin shaped pie with a creepy face, and pizza skulls, which feature a skull-shaped dough filled with marinara, cheese, and any topping you choose.

Slice even offers a gluten-free option, a cauliflower crust that has become yet another staple at each location.

Partnered with Tin Man, Slice sells growlers featuring Tin Man’s designs throughout the year.

They currently have a growler with their own name and murals on the glass. Customers can choose from a variety of beers from tap or cans to enjoy with their hot pizzas.

With a menu like that, there’s something for everyone to bring home to the table.

With the support from the El Paso community as well as their loyal regulars who continue to come in for their pizza fix, the Slice family has been able to grow to have four locations. These locations include the original location on the eastside, one on the westside, one in the lower valley, and the newest in Eastlake, which has become the busiest location.

Three of these locations are open for dine in, pick up, delivery, and food delivery apps; and the lower valley location is currently operating as a catering location for large orders such as the ones Slice fulfills for the local school districts.

“Our school districts support us as well,” says Cristina. “They’ll have end-of-year parties where we get our big orders, so we do our best to take care of them as well.”

Slice also make large orders to sell at various high schools during the students’ lunch periods


“We’re at Del Valle, Eastwood, Ysleta High schools where we take the pizzas over and sell them to the students, staff, everyone,” says Alicia.

With a wide array of services and operations, each member of the family is involved in running the business; yes, even the little ones. “I’m not there full time because I also teach, but when we can, we come and we help out. Sometimes we’re here delivering or we’re in the kitchen,” Alicia says.

Whether it’s making pizzas, serving customers, folding a mountain of boxes, or cleaning up at the end of the day, everyone in the family helps out whenever needed on short staffed or extremely busy days.

“Our kids, our sister-in-law, our mother and father-in-law help with our school orders. We have a family that has their own piece in it,” Cristina adds.

Even the crew that’s hired, as well as their regulars, have some input when it comes to different ideas and suggestions that are considered when deciding what else to add to the menu or what else to bring in more customers.

All the locations Sun City Slice feature trendy music playing overhead, natural sunlight coming in from the large windows in the dining area, as well as Slice-themed décor around the dining area, such as murals painted by local artists as well as whatever fits the theme of the month or holiday.

The Villalobos family hopes that they can grow enough to either open another location or feature more items on their menu, but for now say that they are happy with where they are currently.

“We just need to continue to grow,” Cristina says, “we have lots of ideas waiting to come forward and we’ll keep evolving and following trends.” 71 February 2023
__________ 2021 2019 2018 2014 2013 ___________ LVER W I NNER BEST ITALIAN FOOD

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream Serves Sweet Treats

| Words and photos by: ERIN COULEHAN |

and Change

SSay hello to El Paso’s newest ice cream parlor with a prosocial mission, and you’ll be met with big smiles, cool music, and served by a few local “heroes.” Howdy Homemade Ice Cream shop, located at the ground level of the Roderick Artspace in downtown El Paso, opened its doors near the end of 2022 and is inspiring people one scoop at a time.

The original Howdy Homemade Ice Cream started in 2015 by Tom Landis in Dallas who was committed to helping people with special needs obtain employment. Landis created the ice cream shop as a place for teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities -- the heroes of Howdy Homemade -- to be front-and-center, while also providing valuable structure, confidence, and socialization.

The El Paso Community Foundation heard about Howdy Homemade Ice Cream and Landis’ business model then decided to bring it to El Paso.

“The Foundation really works hard to work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We were able to set up a preschool to help people birth to age

six, we helped bring them mainstream into a public school environment,” says Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “Then we started working with a national nonprofit to support their training for employment. And then we were trying to convince employers ‘Oh, it’s just a good thing to hire people with IDD.’ But we were not necessarily doing that.”

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream now employs local heroes who are already thriving under the model.

Stephen, a hero at the ice cream parlor, greeted me with a warm “Howdy!” when I arrived then showed me around the shop, pointing out the impressive collection of board games that guests are encouraged to play.


But this was not always the case.

Pearson, who worked with Stephen at the El Paso Community Foundation for two years prior to Howdy Homemade Ice Cream’s opening, says Stephen was previously very shy.

“Now, he’s smiling and talking, and just the other day, he and another hero were singing a Howdy Homemade theme song they created,” he explains. “He’s really become more outgoing and socialized around this experience by having the dignity of employment and the opportunity to be part of a really nice environment -- and earn a little scratch on the side.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Organization on Disability most recent data reports that only 21 percent of Americans 16 years old and older who have disabilities were working or actively looking for work; whereas the rate for Americans who do not have disabilities was 67 percent.

“Persons with a disability were less likely to work in management, professional, and related occupations than those without a disability,” explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a news release.

People who have disabilities face barriers in the workforce that occur for myriad reasons that are now being challenged by organizations like the El Paso Community Foundation.

“One reason is that people with disabilities are on average less educated than the average population,” says Charles Catherine, Director of Corporate and Government Relations at the National Organization on Disability. “And that’s because of a lot of reasons: discrimination, difficulty to access education, and low expectations.”

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream has high expectations for its heroes because of the way the heroes have thrived.

“It’s nice that they’re getting a check and they’re getting out of the house,” says Adam Tirres, Program Officer at the El Paso Community Foundation and Manager at Howdy Homemade Ice Cream Shop. “But, really the benefits of providing this opportunity is that they’re February 2023
High Tea February 11th & 25th 2 pm - 4 pm $30+ CHEF'S DINNER February 20th 7 pm - 10 pm $90+ COCOA & CAIN
Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

“Our parents have told me that it has been almost like a 180 with her demeanor at home. She’s helping out at home, she’s wanting to do things. She’s doing more social activities outside of holidays and outside of the normal things that she would do with my parents,” says Adam. “She’s attending parties. Our heroes are getting together outside of work, and just being together. I think most parents of our heroes here would agree that the benefits have been so much more than they expected.”

In addition to the sweet prosocial mission of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream, the flavors are delicious.

Patrons can choose from a variety of flavors that include Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chipotle, Prickly Pear Sorbet, and more.

“We’re starting floats in February and shakes in March,” says Adam. We’re gonna be doing a lot of things and getting the heroes involved. It’s not just a head-driven experiment. We’re getting all the heroes input and they’re contributing to the creative process as well. It’s really cool.”

For Marcie, who has always enjoyed ice cream, having gainful employment has had a positive impact on her life.

“I get a lot of social interaction greeting people with ‘Howdy!’ and when I say, ‘Y’all come back now, hear.’”

Marcie says her favorite flavors (and personal recommendations) are the Chocolate Chip Banana and Apple, which she says tastes just like apple crumble pie.

For now, Pearson and Tirres say the El Paso Community Foundation will continue to put its best foot forward and encourage local businesses to employ people who have intellectual disabilities.

“The end goal is that we want employers to also hire people with disabilities,” says Pearson. “There are a lot of people in El Paso and a lot of business owners. There’s a lot of people doing good but I think we can do better.”

Doing good and making people feel good.

“It’s such a great project because it’s ice cream,” says Adam. “You have to be happy when you have a scoop of ice cream. It’s a perfect first job for a perfect place to bring smiles to people’s faces.”

Downtown style in a desert city.

Welcome to Hotel Indigo, located in the heart of downtown El Paso. Our boutique hotel offers our guests a comfortable home away from home. Our 5th floor has an amazing heated pool & rooftop bar, Circa 1963. Mamacitas, our cafe on the 1st floor, provides exquisite food, drinks & service. @HotelIndigoElPasoDowntown @hotelindigo.eptx


@circa1963 February 2023
325 N Kansas St, El Paso, TX 79901 (915) 532-5200

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LiveShinesMusic in a New Light T

he experience of live classical music in El Paso is being illuminated by an innovative approach that casts concerts in a new light. Candlelight Concerts have been bringing intimate experiences to audiences across the world that now include El Paso. From Bach to the Beatles, Ed Sheeran to Shakespeare -- and more -- guests enjoy their favorite music lambent in the glow of hundreds of candles.

This month, two Candlelight Concerts will be hosted at St. Rogers Depot near downtown El Paso: a tribute to Taylor Swift on February 15th and Romeo and Juliet on February 16th.

The aim of Candlelight Concerts is to make classical music accessible to music lovers to democratize the experience by producing performances at visually stunning venues and locations. The concerts began in 2019 in cities like New York, Paris, and Madrid that focused on some of the most lauded composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, and Vivaldi. Producers sought to bring classical music closer to new audiences who they believed wouldn’t be interested, but are now proud to report that 70 percent of audience members are under the age of 40.

The City Magazine spoke with Candlelight Concert producers about what El Pasoans can anticipate.


What can El Pasoans expect from a Candlelight Concert?

Fever launched Candlelight concerts in El Paso in October 2022 because of the city’s developing arts, culture, and entertainment spaces. The development of these spaces aligned well with the mission of Candlelight Concerts, which is to democratize access to classical music while allowing people to discover unique venues that are part of the cultural heritage of cities and giving visibility to talented local artists in a unique atmosphere.

How does the light enhance the experience of live music?

Thousands of LED flameless candles are used to safely illuminate unique venues. This creates a serene atmosphere that enhances the listening experience of every guest.

What do you want readers to know about these special events?

Candlelight Concerts are a series of original music concerts created by Fever. Their aim is to democratize access to culture by allowing people from all over the world to enjoy live performances played by local musicians in various stunning locations illuminated by thousands of candles.

Candlelight was initially conceived as a classical music series with concerts featuring

works from the greatest composers of all time like Vivaldi, Mozart, and Chopin. Now, the ever-growing list of programs includes a wide variety of themes and genres, including tributes to contemporary artists like Queen, ABBA, Coldplay, and Ed Sheeran, and shows dedicated to K-Pop, movie soundtracks, and many more.

The multi-sensory experience has also evolved to feature different elements, like ballet dancers and aerial performers, as well as other musical genres like jazz, soul, opera, flamenco, and more!

Candlelight Concerts are present in more than 100 cities worldwide, with over three million guests in attendance to date.

February 2023 82 Lust Frontier The Is What You See What You Get? A Lesson in Self-Love

have to admit that a tumultuous decade of online dating has made me second guess everything about myself at some point. Why didn’t he like me? Why do I get ghosted? Why didn’t that great first date lead to a second? Why do men send unsolicited nude pics? (I’m mostly still searching for an answer to that last one, if anyone can help.)

My single friends and I have analyzed and overanalyzed these questions ad nauseam over the years. If you’re reading this and haven’t ever had the pleasure of dating on Tinder, you may find it a little hard to understand just how difficult it can be to form a genuine connection with someone in our current dating culture.

As a society, we’re obsessed with image. With social media playing an ever-broadening role in how we relate to one another and market ourselves, it only makes sense that dating has shifted to reflect this. The meteoric rise of dating apps in the social media age has given us license to indulge our baser human tendencies toward superficiality, judgment of others, and in many cases dishonesty. Take a minute to peruse any dating app, and you’ll see flawlessly airbrushed selfies, ridiculous Snapchat filters, photos that are 5+ years outdated, and everyone posing in their black tie finest.

Where’s the authenticity in that?

The antidote to this is an exercise in courage: embracing your individuality and unapologetically sharing it with others. In a world where we have the ability to carefully curate the perfect persona designed for the consumption of others, can you make the choice to be authentic instead, both online and offline? After all, there’s no hope for romance without vulnerability. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, and I think it’s a big reason for the years I’ve spent single.

This fear of vulnerability isn’t limited to our online behavior. One thing I see over and over again with my clients is the tendency to walk into a date and suddenly morph into the kind of person they think will impress. We try to fit in, to play the part we think we have to – sexy, successful, adventurous, sophisticated, intelligent, sweet – fill in the blank. We peacock in an effort to distract from our thinly veiled insecurities and the deep fear that we’re not deserving of love.

But, guess what? We’re all deserving of love, and it starts with loving yourself.

I recently had a client admit that within the first few minutes of a blind date, the guy said that she didn’t seem very spontaneous. She spent the next three hours trying to convince him that she was fun, even though she wasn’t attracted to him and thought he was a jerk. The ego is a tricky thing. At the end of the day, there’s no point in trying to “win”

your date. The person will find out eventually what you’re really like behind closed doors – ratty pajamas and all. It’s only a matter of time before the relationship perishes under an avalanche of well-intentioned white lies.

There are a few issues at play here. On the one hand, we are afraid of rejection – fearful that if our whole, true self is revealed that it will be cast aside and deemed not good enough. When the people we praise most as a society are Instagram models and cutthroat entrepreneurs, it’s hard not to internalize that and pull out the proverbial yardstick.

This current culture of dating also creates the illusion that the next best thing could be around the corner. It has made us seem almost instantly replaceable, and that further feeds the fear of rejection. So we laugh at jokes that aren’t funny. We listen to our date ramble on and on about themselves and don’t mention it when they don’t ask about us. We dwell on whether our date thought it was weird that we said that thing.

Our focus is in the wrong direction.

This happens in committed relationships, too. We all know someone who paired up and completely lost their identity. They now speak exclusively in “we” and don’t spend a moment away from their partner, abandoning their prior hobbies and friendships. Codependency aside, we all make concessions in a relationship and that’s part of what it means to build a life together.

But in those early, heady days of a relationship when you want nothing more than the love and validation of your partner, be aware of the little ways in which you abandon yourself: canceling your plans to hang with your partner, faking it, letting things slide when they make you upset. You may wake up one day in a long-term relationship with someone who doesn’t have a clue who you are. Or worse, you realize that you don’t have a clue who you are. Trust me, I’ve been there.

83 I

If you’re partnered, it’s perhaps even more difficult to remain true to yourself, especially as you both grow and change, then life intervenes. As unhappy as I was in my last relationship, it was daunting to think about returning to the dating pool. But what price do you pay when you stay in a relationship where you are a shell of yourself?

Can you take steps to re-acquaint your partner (and yourself) with the true version of you, or is it time to walk away? When you’ve built a life with someone, it can seem impossible to extricate yourself from it, especially if there are children involved. I have so much empathy for people who have been married for decades and are too scared to leave their spouse. Consider this your permission slip to explore the reason you’re still in the relationship, and if it’s in line with what you want.

84 February 2023
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Perhaps you don’t fit into the above scenarios and you’re the kind of person who leads with sex and prides themselves on never letting anyone get too close – you know who you are. I just have one question for you. Why? You, too, are worthy of love.

I have an avoidant attachment style, and I can totally relate to people who feel this is their only option for connection. I challenge you to examine the ways in which you avoid emotional intimacy out of self-protection.

Brenee Brown, a fantastic shame and vulnerability researcher, says “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” You have nothing to prove to anyone else, but you do have something to prove to yourself. Can you set your ego aside? Can you be real about who you are, what you’re looking for, and what

you deserve? If this causes another person to run for the hills, they were never your person to begin with.

We all know this, but it bears repeating – any kind of personal growth is a lifelong journey, and it isn’t a straight line.

Vulnerability, in particular, is something that we have to learn over and over again in different contexts and different seasons of life. I believe that we come into this life with certain karma and lessons to learn, and this is undoubtedly one of mine.

In this season of romance, consider the ways that you show up for yourself in the context of dating and relationships. The most radical act of love is to love yourself as you are, and to be vulnerable enough to let others love that version of you, too. 85 February 2023
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How to Wear Hearts on Your Sleeves & Romanticize Your Wardobe

Let There be Lightweight Fabrics

As we transition from cold to warmer temperatures, it’ll come as no surprise if we begin to see many articles of clothing make use of this lightweight fabric technique to create designs that will express individual uniqueness without losing that goddess of spring aesthetic that’d initially caught our eye. To boost these ethereal designs, incorporate a couple of chunky colored bangles for a pop of color or some silver to enhance the elegance.

As we close out the colder months, we start releasing the comforting neutrals of fall and winter seasons to embrace a bolder, more colorful palette. This coming season of fashion is gaining inspiration from the bold and the figureful. Brands introduced designs that utilize draping and sheer to highlight the unique curves of one’s frame to stand-out chunky accessories that add a pop to the wardrobe.

For many, the use of draping in fashion is nothing new, but this season designs from Saint Laurent and Lowe gave audiences a chance to see the potential of this design style through a new lens. In Laurent’s case, adding a peek-a-boo belly button window added a popout statement in what otherwise would’ve been a simple loose-fitting pantsuit. Lowe’s pinched effect at the top of their design created a scooping gown that appeared to be held up by invisible birds.

When shedding our winter layers, we find ourselves embracing amore form-fitting attire. This season appears to be no exception, as designs from Valentino and Ami adorned in transparent fabric deliver an air of seduction and mystery. A look that captured the eye of onlookers was Valentino poster woman and actor Zendaya’s “dress” of choice as she sat front-and-center at Paris Fashion Week. The actor stood out in a crystalized sheer Valentino bodysuit beneath a short suit, both embellished with the brand’s Toile Iconography logo. Through its risque display, the sheer application offers a sense of empowerment to the wearer who wishes to control the parts of the self they want to be seen by the public; the cooling application serves as an added benefit. Pair this look with a skinny heeled boot, or let the accessories help embolden the piece with a touch of metallics.


Fringe Benefits

Every fashion wardrobe demands a stand-out piece, and fortunately for those of us suffering the financial pangs of the holiday season, the statement piece for this year is a crossover from the fall -- fringe.

From Givenchy to Bottega Veneta, designers took the opportunity to play with fringe by utilizing various techniques and colors. For Givenchy, the brand took a transparent white gown and added a matching white fringe at the base, giving the gown a touch of flare and more significant sway as the model walked the runway.

Bottega Veneta’s gown, on the other hand, went all in with an embrace of individuality with its use of fringe, as the gown was made entirely in a vibrant neon blue fringe that appeared to embrace the model while also maintaining a whole body bounce with each step. The coming season displays flexibility in the ways fringe can be utilized, and how one chooses to diversify their unique look has also expanded.

Whether one opts to boost their design with chunky accessories or pair the piece with asymmetrical earrings, this year’s fringe has opened a door of possibilities.

87 February 2023
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80’s Flashback

Attention 80’s fashion fanatics! It’s time to dig out those chunky bangles from your jewelry box because we’ll be stacking them up to our elbows this year. Seen on models for Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Alexander McQueen -- just to name a few -- these bangles will add a creative boost to our 2023 fashion pieces.

With designs ranging from colorful acrylics to bedazzled metal, this particular accessory values the piece’s flexibility and cohesion with the ensemble rather than seeking a specific style. Due to the range offered by this chunky accent, the styling possibilities are endless. One could make a white or black ensemble pop with a rainbow of colorful acrylic bangles, or they could follow in the footsteps of Moschino by pairing a bold print with a bangle of the gold or silver variety to add a regality to the piece.

Wear Hearts on Your Sleeve

The final design we’ll be discussing is going to be the heart. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, hearts like the shape. For many fashion houses, this petite design found itself working its way into their work in one way or another adding a rush of color or a unique twist to a tried and true staple.

February 2023

Moschino was one brand that added this unique twist to its ready-wear collection. Through the creative eye of designer Jeremy Scott, the classic little black dress found itself embellished with little heart detailing in the form of a bright red inflatable upon the left breast, atop a pair of black pumps, and the shape of an accenting red bangle.

Other teams like Chanel and Vetements took the heart and made it a piece that created a softness to their designs with some drop heart earrings or a gemstone heart pendant. The heart will be the subtle detailing that boosts the aesthetic of 2023 pieces as we adorn them in multiple ways. A subtle way to add the heart design to one’s everyday wardrobe is through a ring or bracelet charm, while more stand-out additions could be a purse or clutch donning the heart shape.

Unlike the infamous Rose Dawson, we will not be throwing our heart into the watery depths this 2023. February 2023
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YOU VOTED, now here are the winners in... BEST IN OUR CITY BEST IN FOOD BEST IN DRINKS BEST IN FUN BEST IN SHOPPING The City Magazine El Paso would like to present you with the WINNERS OF “BEST OF THE CITY” 2022 We bring you our own Editor’s Picks along with the winners of our online contest. YOU VOTED BRONZ E WINNER ecitymagazi n e ILVER W INNER citymag a GOLD WINNER thecity m a RONZE WINNER thecitymag a zineelpcom VER WI N NER y m agazineelpcom LDWINNER thec i tymagazineelp com And the Best of The City goes to...



Best Cosmetic

Surgery Practice

Southwest Plastic Surgery


Best Multimedia Company

Axess Media




Best Clothing Boutique

Gentleman Boutique by GON

Sugar Skull Boutique

Apricot Lane Boutique

Best Gift Shop

Vanities Jewlery and Gifts

T&L Leather

Sugar Skull Boutique

Best Jeweler

Ben Bridge

Claudia Bernal Studio

Johnson Jewelers



Best Car Dealership

Poe Toyota

Right Drive Auto

Casa Auto Group


Best Flower Shop

Flowers by Liza

Adobe Rose Custom Florist


Best Architect / Architecture Firm

Parkhill, Smith and Cooper

In*Situ Architecture


Best Chiropractor

My Life Chiropractic / Sam Hernandez DC

My Life Chiropractic

Fred Aguyo DC

Angie’s Floral Designs

Best Gym / Cross Fit Gym

Revolution Fitness

Contrology Barre El Paso


Best Dentist

Dr. Gerardo Guillen DMD

Dr. Larisa Flores-Sapien DMD

Dr. Richard Bandley DMD

Best Attorney / Law Firm

Glasheen, Valles, and Inderman Injury Lawyers

Alyssa E. Nava

Wyatt Underwood Trial Lawyers

Best Bank / Credit Union


TFCU / Raiz

Navy Federal Credit Union


Best Barber Shop

Two Blades Barbershop & Beauty Lounge

OT the Barber

Romero’s Classic Barber Shop


Best Doctor / Physician Group

Dr. Mohammed Al Najjar

Dr. Alozie / Sunset ID Care

Dr. Jose David Burgos MD, FACP

Best Financial Advisor

It’s Time Credit Repair

Ernesto Herrera, e Herrera Group

Truvize Financial Planning


Best Fine Artist

Moises Garcia

Gabriel Marquez / Mystic Studio

and Vanessa Clark (TIE)

Christin Apodaca

Best High School

Cheerleading Team

Mountain View High School

San Elizario High School Parkland High School

Best Home Builder

Palo Verde Homes

Icon Custom Builder

Saratoga Homes El Paso

Best Home Improvement

Inspiring Spaces

Integrity Property Inspections

Eco Living Home Improvement



El Paso Children’s Hospital

Best Interior Design

Domum Innovation

Nieman Interiors

Jackie Durand

Best Meteorologist

Katie Frazier

Monica Cortez

Robert Bettes

Best Modeling Agency

Lijuro Productions

Christina’s Promotions

Bazaar Models

Best News Anchor

Natassia Paloma

Stephanie Valle

Robert Holguin

Best News Reporter

Amanda Guillen

Trevor ompson

Karla Draksler

Best Personal Trainer

Melissa Hernandez

Rocky Trejo

Mike Cowley


Best Photographer

Rasheed Alnajjar

Christy G Creative

Megan Garza

Best Radio Personality

Roberto Chavez

Johnny Kage

Iris Lopez

Best Realtor / Real Estate Company

Center Real Estate

Victoria Olvia Isais

Denice Vizcaino

Best Salon and Spa

Azul MedSpa

Bellezza Hair Salon

Tranquil Haven Spa

Best Social Media Influencer


Romy Hernandez

Annie’s Adventures

Best Sports Reporter

Rachel Phillips

Adrian Ochoa

Colin Deaver

Best Tattoo Artist

Ana Square

Aly at Sana Sanctum

Adrian Gonzalez at Wyre Guyz

Valerie Carlo

Priscilla Perez GMC Home

Sandy Azcona

Mortgage Broker
Best Radio Station 104.3 HIT FM 95.5 KLAQ 93.1 KISSFM
Del Sol Medical Center e
of Providence



Best Lunch Spot

Magic Bistro

Tacos Don Cuco


Best Steakhouse

Great American Steakhouse

Best Asian Influence

Poke Bar

Paco Wongs

Sunny’s Sushi

Cattleman’s Steakhouse

Corralitos Steakhouse

Best Wings Track One

e Shack Wings and Brews Wing Stop

Best Mexican Food

Tacos Don Cuco

Morra Mia

Los Corajudos Del Goro

Best Food Truck

DeNile Foods

Dia de los Pescados

Planted Earth

Best Romantic Restaurant

Cafe Central

Ardovino’s Desert Crossing

Anson 11

Best Italian Food

Trattoria Bella Sera

e Italian Kitchen

Johnny Carino’s


Best Burgers

Rosco’s Burger Inn


Toro Burger and Bar

Best Breakfast

Best Seafood

Pelican’s Steak and Seafood

Little Shack

Villa Del Mar

Salt and Honey

Crave Kitchen and Bar

Le Terraza

Best Brunch

Crave Kitchen and Bar

Best Pizza

Peter Piper Pizza

Ardovino’s Marco’s Pizza

Best Mediterranean

Zino’s Greek and Mediterranean

El Layali Lebanese Cuisine


e Grove

Salt and Honey

Best Bakery

Delightful Creations by Kim

Bowie Bakery

Bella Cora





Best Margaritas Los Bandidos de Carlos & Mickeys e Silo Bar Morra Mia Best Cocktails e Berkeley e Silo Bar Casa Pantera Best Happy Hour e Silo Bar Union Drafthouse e Berkeley Best Wine Selection Cafe Central e Silo Bar Wine Snob El Paso Best Beer Selection Union Drafthouse Deadbeach Brewery e Silo Bar
Band / Musician
Poppin Carlos Barba Pie Sisters Best DJ Trapgodyankee Geezee Santana Johnny Kage Best Dance School D’Ansa Jazz Stage Protege Dance Company Expresions Dance Academy
Best Local Coffee Shop e Hive Java Lounge Ka a 128 District Co ee
Event Venue Epic Railyard e Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park Studio 7 Events
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Locally Owned & The most up-to-date calendar in El Paso for all the socially savvy Special Events Art Exhibits Films And MORE Concerts Parties Find out about: + Add your own events for FREE Calendar Dont miss out! Learn more at Trying to add events? Contact Mari VanPelt at Give them more visibility and awareness

The City Magazine went

country to celebrate the holidays this year with El Paso Valley Trail Rides at Taylor Ranch. The team dressed in their best western wear for an afternoon of trail riding among all the pretty horses.

100 scene
| Photos by: TCM STAFF |
101 scene Eco Living Home Improvement celebrated another successful year of business at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where staff members ate, drank, and were merry while receiving awards, gifts, and holiday cheer.
| Photos by: GIBEL AMADOR |
104 February 2023
Advertiser INDEX A-1 Kitchens by Sierra ......................................................Pg.14 Alfredo H. Arrellano ..........................................................Pg. 85 Ana Square Microblading and Permanent Makeup .........Pg. 12 B-17’s Oyster Pub......................................................Pgs. 48-49 Borderland Bail Bonds ......................................................Pg.17 Car Wash Man ..................................................................Pg. 99 Casa Buena Vista Homes ...............................................Pgs.6-7 Cazzino .............................................................................Pg. 45 Eco Living Home Improvement ....................................Pgs. 2-3 Edge of Texas ..................................................................Pg. 89 El Paso Children’s Hospital ................................................Pg.46 El Paso Rhinos Hockey .....................................................Pg.19 Elton’s Dueling Piano Bar ..........................................Pgs. 52-53 Entrecote ..........................................................................Pg. 60 Epic Events & Entertainment ...........................................Pg. 25 Great American Steakhouse ................................................Pg.1 Hammer & Nails Grooming .............................................Pg. 83 Hand and Stone Spa .........................................................Pg. 87 Hotel Indigo .....................................................................Pg. 77 Hotel Paso Del Norte ........................................................Pg. 76 Hyundai of El Paso..................................................Pgs. 67; 105 Instreamatic .....................................................................Pg. 78 Intraceuticals ...................................................................Pg. 73 Italian Kitchen West .........................................................Pg. 71 Le Magie Productions.......................................................Pg. 39 Medical Services of the Border ........................................Pg. 61 Melting Pot ........................................................................Pg.43 Morra Mia .................................................................Pgs. 54-55 Myriam Faux Finish Studio & Veranda ...............Pg. 7 (SPACES) Neuskin Aesthetics............................................................Pg.24 Nicholas Reyes Hair Salon .................................................Pg.31 Persian Rug Gallery ..........................................................Pg. 29 Play Lounge ......................................................................Pg. 79 Poe Toyota ........................................................................Pg.15 Rejuvene M.D...................................................................Pg. 42 Right Drive ........................................................................Pg. 98 Saratoga Homes ...............................................................Pg. 13 Soggy Peso................................................................Pgs. 50-51 Southwest Plastic Surgery .......................................Pgs. 10-11 Sparkle Effects .................................................................Pg. 39 State Line ........................................................................Pg. 66 Stryker by Spectrum .........................................................Pg. 44 Sugar Skull Clothing Boutique .........................................Pg. 30 Sushiito .............................................................................Pg. 38 Tacos Don Cuco ...............................................................Pg. 57 The City Magazine Calendar .............................................Pg. 98 The Manor at Ten Eleven ................................................Pgs.4-5 The Mix Salon and Spa ....................................................Pg. 72 The Shack ........................................................................Pg. 58 The Tap .............................................................................Pg. 59 Tint World .........................................................................Pg. 27 Tropicana Homes ..............................................................Pg. 89 VIP Design ........................................................................Pg. 71 Vida CBD ...........................................................................Pg.23 Walgreens .....................................................................Pgs. 8-9 West Texas Pain Institute ..............................Inside front cover 1/8 Pizza Pub .....................................................................Pg. 56
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