Dogtoberfest comes to the Domain

Dogtober Fest Austin 2012

Dogtoberfest is one of Austin’s most popular annual canine festivals, featuring costume contests, breed rescue groups, and booths from the areas best dog care services and products.

When the Domain goes to the dogs, Halloween can’t be far behind. That’s because Dogtoberfest, one of the area’s most popular annual dog festivals is held there each October.

Sure,. the Domain is always dog-friendly.  But during Dogtoberfest, the upscale shopping and dining center is transformed into dog and dog-people heaven.

I lost count of the wonderful rescue groups there, each working to bring together people and pups (including my personal favorite, Austin Boxer Rescue (we have a rescued boxer mix, so we’re biased!)  Add to that dozens of booths offering information on training and boarding, another dozen or so more for gourmet dog treats and healthy pet food, and a bunch of places to buy really cool dog toys, collars and other accessories, and you have the perfect day for spoiling your four-footed family members.

And because Dogtoberfest is around Halloween, you even get to dress your pups up for the festivities, and compete for prizes. I saw everything from simple sweaters to elaborate team costumes complete with movable sets!  The “I Love Lucy” group won this year, but sadly my photo of that team didn’t come out

If you missed the festival this year, take heart!  There’s always next year’s festival — and now you have plenty of time to plan that perfect costume!

Yes, Austin loves its dogs…and this festival is just one more fun, silly piece of that!

 

Sure it’s Tex-Mex…but Chuy’s does it so well!

Chuys original location

Okay, before I get a bevy of comments telling me it’s not authentic Mexican food, let me say up front “I know it’s Tex-Mex…but love Tex-Mex!”

I generally don’t write about chain restaurants, but Chuy’s is an exception. Why? Because Chuy’s is a chain that started right here in Austin. And since 1982, they’ve been serving up great big platters of hot, tasty food to Austin and beyond (they even have a location in Florida now!)

I’ve been to three Chuy’s locations so far, but I like the original on Barton Springs Road the best. How could you not love the quirky decor, especially when you read about the $20 decorating budget that inspired the kitschy combination of hub caps and mismatched tiles and velvet paintings!

And then there’s the food. I keep saying I’m going to try something different, but those veggie enchiladas end up in front of me almost every time. Our daughter almost always opts for the custom enchiladas with extra cheese and tangy tomatillo sauce. Lance has been more adventurous, trying the Hatch Chili Chicken, Fajita Beef Burritos and Tortilla Soup, and pronounced it all delicious.

The menu is big enough for most tastes, and the kitchen is more than willing to switch out ingredients to make things vegetarian, pork free or as spicy as your tastes will allow.

When you visit, make sure to find the Elvis Shrine (there’s one at every single location!), and add one or two of their unique t-shirts to your order. Someone at Chuy’s is having way too much fun using the designs to poke fun at popular movies, TV shows and celebrities to pass up the chance to own at least one.

Chuy’s are generally open late and are family friendly. Sadly most locations are not pet friendly.