State Fair aficionados already know that the winners of this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards are Fried Charcuterie Board, Peanut Butter Cup and Fried Chocolate Peanut Butter Blast, and Horchata Milkshake. And they planned to consume them accordingly.
New concession stands and food
Many new dealers are also coming to the show this year. Here’s what you’ll see there and what to eat. New suppliers include: Chimichurri and Milagro Taco, Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory, Drizzle Cheesecakes, Enjoy Foods, Once Upon a Cone, Palmer’s Hot Chicken and Texapolitan Pizza.
And new foods are all coming out, which is exactly what we expect. It’s a chance to try lots of new things, from “that looks delicious” to “oh my god why?”
If you particularly like one of the dishes below, the fair has a handy map to help you find them.
Bayou Bowl – three-cheese macaroni topped with shredded shrimp and crab, all bathed in garlic scampi butter
Chamoy! Pickle – a pickle wrapped in a fruit roll, filled with squirts, coated in chamoy sauce, and sprinkled with tajin
Cajun lobster bisque croquettes – fried potato dumplings filled with lobster meat and brie cheese, served with lobster bisque for dipping
Cherry Dipped Waffle Cone – soft serve ice cream dipped in cherry topping until a hard layer forms
Chimosa – it’s not a mimosa, it’s not a frozen margarita – it’s a chismosa (and that’s Spanish for “curious person”). Iced champagne and orange juice have a chamoy and tajin rim, and if you don’t have anything chismosa to say, don’t sit next to me.
Cookies and mini donuts with cream on a stick – precisely what it looks like, made with Oreos
Dill Crispy Dog – Take a dill pickle, remove the center and replace it with a hot dog. Dip everything in corndog batter and fry. They say it’s served with chipotle mayonnaise, but that sounds like a case for yellow mustard to us.
fried honey – Don’t ask how they do it, just enjoy this treat topped with powdered sugar, a concoction of cinnamon sugar and raw Texas honey from the Rescue Bee Ranch
Praline Cheesecake Fried Eggroll – Praline cheesecake filling in eggroll wrapper and fried, then drizzled with praline sauce and topped with candied praline pecan crumbles
Fried Southern Dessert Dumplings – Pieces of sweet potato and pecan pie are combined with dark chocolate, placed in a wonton wrapper, fried and coated in powdered sugar. Served with “Ruth’s Homemade Rum Raspberry Chipotle Sauce”.
Crispy shortcake roll with fried strawberries – this roll is dipped in homemade pink waffle batter, infused with strawberry puree and deep-fried before being coated in cream cheese frosting and topped with a strawberry crunch made with vanilla Oreo cookies, strawberry JELLO mix and melted butter
Fried Texas Country Kitchen – pulled pork is tossed with herbed goat cheese and a special sauce, then coated in breadcrumbs to form a patty, then fried. It’s served topped with coleslaw, potato salad and jalapeno BBQ sauce
Loco Dim Sum Burritos – shredded pork, fried potatoes, onions, bell peppers and pepper jack cheese are rolled burrito style in spring roll wrappers and fried and served with a side of fried Shishito peppers
dirty soda – finally, the Utah sensation arrives at the Texas State Fair. Choose your drink base, from soda to sparkling water, and mess it up with a sprinkling of cream, flavored syrup, and fresh fruit additions
Doh Muff – a donut stuffed with bavarian cream and coated in banana nut muffin batter is fried and topped with pecan buttercream frosting, fresh bananas and strawberries
Eggroll Fried Soul Food – a eggroll filled with BBQ marinated chicken is combined with collard greens and macaroni and cheese, then fried
Fried spicy beef empanada – ground beef is sautéed with a hard-boiled egg, green olives, aji peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil and a mix of spices, then fried in a pastry
Funnel-Shaped Chicken Sandwich – a fried chicken breast between two funnel cakes and drizzled with your choice of honey or syrup
Hand Dipped New York Cheesecake – cheesecake on a stick dipped in magic shell Belgian chocolate and rolled in a variety of toppings, including hazelnuts, crushed Oreos, red velvet cake and strawberry crumble
Motherclucker Chicken Sandwich – if you haven’t been to Palmer’s in Lakewood for that great chicken sandwich yet, here’s your chance – chili cheese meets hot chicken and salty pickles
Pearlie’s Soul Slider: Hot Honey Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie Waffle – a crispy fried chicken fillet sandwiched between Belgian waffles and stuffed with Pearlie’s sweet potato pie recipe, then topped with bacon and syrup
Pickle Pizza – it’s trending on the Internet, and now you can try it. Yes, it’s just putting pickles on the pizza, but since it’s the State Fair, they’ll also fry it for you if you want.
Pizza with burnt ends of the pork belly – takes a Neapolitan pizza and covers it with red sauce, mozzarella, smoked pork belly, fresh jalapenos, cotija cheese and barbecue sauce
Pupusa- this Salvadoran dish is made with a mixture of corn stuffed with pork and cheese or spinach and cheese and served with curtido, pickled cabbage relish and tomato salsa
Raspberry Chipotle Sopapilla Cheesecake raspberries and chipotle are tossed with cream cheese, then topped with raspberry glaze and a sugar coated crust and served with raspberry compote, whipped topping, chopped pecans and candied jalapenos on demand
Shake Beef Salad – this vietnamese dish has cubed stir-fried beef with cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pepper and soy sauce mixed in the pan
Texas Hot Bull Ride – shrimp are breaded with special Texas seasoning, tossed in hot sauce and served with ranch dressing
Texas Ranch Pork Wings – on the bone the pork is seasoned with spicy ranch salt and drizzled with a secret sauce
Texas duo – a grilled cheese sandwich gets a layer of Frito pie, and dear lord, it’s gonna be messy to eat
Free Nerdy Dogs
Fletcher’s, featuring nerdy dogs you can’t leave the fairgrounds without consuming, will be giving away 80 free nerdy dogs each Friday, Sept. 9, to the first 80 customers at its seven fairground locations.
Pro tip: This stall near Big Tex gets busy, so up your chances by heading to one of the more remote locations.
A fair-themed pop-up
Ferris Wheeler’s Backyard and BBQ in the Design District will host a “State Ferris of Wheelers” themed pop-up from September 22 through October 23 Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. being able to get funnel cakes, turkey legs, and corn dogs, plus the usual Ferris Wheeler’s barbecue staples, draft beers, and fairground-themed cocktails. Naturally, there will also be midway games, a small ferris wheel and live local music.