Texas State Fair - Dallas, TX
You know the saying "Everything is bigger is Texas". After living here for a few years now I can tell you there's some truth to that. Land is bigger, cars (ahem, trucks) are bigger, and of course the food is bigger. I'm not talking just about portions. There's always something new to try around this grand state and it seems like every area, from El Paso to Dallas, Austin to Houston, and everywhere in between, has it's own flair for food. And then there's the Texas State Fair.
Since at least 1886, the Texas State Fair has been bringing all the things that make Texas the state it is in one place. It's been a bucket list item of mine and every year I seem to remember to go when it was over. I would remind myself, every year, that I will go next year. Well this year was finally that year. I did my research and made sure to try my fair share of fair food.
A trip to the Texas State Fair wouldn't be right without an original Fletcher's Corny Dog. There can be some debate as to who came up with the corn dog in the first place. However, there really is no arguing just how tasty and down right comforting a simple corn dog can be. I can't remember the last time I had one. And I do have childhood memories of buying these tasty treats at a mall Hot Dog on a Stick -- one of the many telltale signs that I'm from southern California. I was super excited to try this first and it was exactly what I wanted. A warm crunchy breading perfectly deep fried around a hot dog. I topped it off with some ketchup and found myself in corn dog heaven.
As you walk around the fair grounds, there really is no shortage of fried whatever, from deep fried this to chicken fried that. When I saw chicken fried bacon I knew I had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised because it wasn't greasy like I thought it could be. It tasted like bacon potato chips. The coating was simple and the bacon was crispy. You can't really go wrong with crispy bacon.
Speaking of chicken fried, there was one thing I knew I had to have that was an award winning finalist in the Choice Awards: chicken fried lobster with champagne gravy. Just look at it! It was simply fantastic. The lobster was taken out of its shell but still attached and then lightly coated before being deep fried until it was lightly brown and completely delicious. The champagne gravy was like butter, probably because it was made with lemon butter. I savored every last bite. And yes folks, it was the most expensive food item you could purchase at the fair. It was a whopping $30 (60 tickets in fair speak). It was worth though. It was most definitely worth it.
The foodie adventures could have ended with the lobster, but there was still dessert to be had and another impromptu selection. The Laredo Dumpling was a new item for the fair this year. It takes Mexican spiced ground beef wrapped in a wonton wrapper and, of course, deep fried. I had it with a side of cheese sauce. I also added a couple of onions. The cheese sauce was ooey gooey and paired really well with the dumpling. You really can't beat anything wrapped in a wonton wrapper then fried.
And of course I had to end our fair adventures with funnel cake. I ordered an original and, much like the corn dog, it's been some time that I have it. It was perfect. The funnel cake was deep fried so it was crispy on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. It was covered in the ever magical powered sugar. It truly was a great ending to a great day of adventuring around the fair grounds.
I'm so happy that I finally got to cross the Texas State Fair off my bucket list and snagged myself a great shot of Big Tex. The food was super fabulous. I also didn't feel so guilty about it because we practically walked off all of the calories. You truly don't realize just how big this fair is until you've walked around the entire fair grounds. Did you notice the Cotton Bowl in the background? It seats over 92,000 people!! You should definitely put this fair on your bucket list and come prepared with walking shoes and an empty stomach. It will be an adventure to remember.