Of all the parades that accompany Fiesta, my favorite has come to be the one for our four-legged friends. I’m referring to Fiesta Pooch Parade, which is a benefit for Therapy Animals of San Antonio.
It’s also the event I choose to close out my Fiesta. It’s much more low-key than the downtown parades. Plus, it features all those great and patient dogs being paraded through the shady lanes of Alamo Heights. There are big dogs and little dogs walking next to each other. Some are long-haired, others shaved to the bone. A few are wearing tutus and butterfly wings, others are dyed in a host of Fiesta colors. Two or three were spotted in their Spurs regalia, in honor, no doubt, of the team’s Friday night win. A few are truly pampered, being pulled in carts and carriages by owners who are doing the walking.
And best of all, the dogs seem to get along with each other and with the throngs on the side, many with dogs of their own.
After the last dog passed by, my friend Gail and I headed off to GauchoGourmet at 935 Isom Road for a taste of the new Burrata Bash that the food warehouse is having every Saturday. Sitting at one of the new community tables set up at the back of the sales area, we split a bowl of the soft mozzarella-style cheese presented with prosciutto and topped with a fig and orange marmalade. It was truly delicious, spread over a bite of baguette.
We finished off the visit by stocking up on slabs of frozen foie gras that were on sale that day. We did not sample from the salad bar, however, because we were headed to Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., which has introduced a Saturday brunch menu.
We bypassed the Cajun Shrimp and Grits for two dishes that have their basis in long-time Earl Abel’s favorites. One was chicken and waffles with a fried thigh atop a freshly made waffle with syrup, butter and, at my request, hot sauce, which gave it the sweet-hot balance I like in the dish.
The other special we sampled was Earl’s famous “thins” used in Nutella pancakes, a dish that worked all too well, with the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread filling two pancakes and topped with buttery pecans and bananas. It’s one of those dishes that begs to be revisited.
I leave you with a few more precious pooches from the parade.