Sure, Guy Fieri makes waves every time he comes to San Antonio. Last time we teased a visit by the bleached blonde, the Current’s website lit up like sparklers on a nursing home birthday cake. But for those who are most serious about the last course of a proper sit-down dinner — the dessert — the one to watch is Adam Gertler, host of the Food Network’s Kid in a Candy Store. With the Tootie Pie Gourmet Café on Broadway flooded with lights, cameras, and free pies, I got the chance to observe the ever-animated Gertler play a culinary Peter Pan up close. Between takes playing an adoring customer, I peppered Gertler with questions. The cast was pretty type-based — a wide-eyed little girl, the all-American dad, the dynamic friend, or the jovial grandma — and each table was given a variety of pies to delve into, such as Buttercream, Key Lime Margarita, and Apple. Of course, restraint was the order of business — until a camera came near for a close-up. Then it was OK to freely scarf down the slices. No need for pretentious acting then. I practically died and went to cocoa-bean heaven when I bit into a slice of Heavenly Chocolate, a decadent concoction of chocolate mousse, caramel, and chocolate chips. Unless, that is, you want your slice skewered and dipped in chocolate. Such “pie-sicles” are a house specialty. How San Antonio, right? A favorite is the Lemon Velvet, a light and silky layered pie of zesty lemon and cheesecake with a nutty pastry crust. (Remember it was cheesecake that united the Golden Girls around the table at the end of so many episodes. There was a reason for that.) Gertler said he has definitely seen his sugar cravings increase since starting the show. “I feel kind of like Popeye Doyle in The French Connection II,” he said. “Sometimes when I check out at the drug store I find myself longingly staring at the candy bar section.” But it’s comforting to know his favorite meal of the day is puro San Anto. “Nothing better than a scramble made with the previous night’s leftovers stuffed into a tortilla. The breakfast burrito comes in many beautiful forms. I can never find breakfast out at a restaurant better than a homemade one.”
The Food Network’s Candy Store episode on Candy Kabobs airs at 7:30 p.m. (CT) May 9.
Tootie Pie Gourmet Café