San Antonio children know that summer brings two things: trips to the zoo and paletas. Fortunately, you can knock out two birds with one stone en route to see the hippopotamus by stopping at SA Pops on North St. Mary’s, the newest paleta shop in town. There you will find an assortment of paletas, shaved ice and soft served ice cream in this family owned and operated business.
Don’t know what a paleta is? Check out Angela Bartels’s blog for more info!
The paletas are handcrafted by co-owner and Art Institute of San Antonio chef-instructor Andrew Gutierrez. Among the many varieties of flavors you can order strawberry, tamarindo, coconut or Mexican chocolate (though I don’t recall seeing a Lucas flavored paleta). Guiterrez’s father and mother are the folks behind the counter and they told me that the only ingredients are the fruit, organic sugar and water.
Outside is a giant popsicle piñata that invites you into the shop. The inside has a low-key ice cream parlor atmosphere and is filled with Mexican folklorico art and trinkets. There was a table filled with the owner’s friends eating, while another had strangers who joined in the conversation, bonded by the frozen treats.
I opted for the strawberry paleta and was thoroughly impressed. At $2 it is more expensive than the typical El Pariso paleta. However, this Popsicle was bright red, a color not attributed to artificial dyes, but to the fact it was chocked full of strawberry goodness. I enjoyed it so much that it didn’t even get a chance to melt in the San Antonio summer heat before I finished it!
Whether you are taking the kids to the zoo this summer, or you’re just a kid at heart, stop by SA Pops to get a taste of some of the most flavorful paletas in town.