I spent Saturday at one of the most revered Dallas institutions, The Texas State Fair. This was the 125th fair, which was a mix of carnival, agricultural show, infomercial, car show, and lots of food…..There was grilled food, food on a stick, and of course nearly every kind of heart clogging, cholesterol raising, deep fried food you can think of.
I started off with one of the best, or worst things depending on how you look at it, the fair had to offer: fried butter. It consisted of pieces of breaded butter, fried, then, in my case, covered with honey and cinnamon. It tasted similar to a Greek dessert dumpling, other than the ball of butter in the middle.
Then we moved on to a State Fair Classic: The Corny Dog from Fletcher’s (http://www.fletcherscornydogs.com). It was the perfect mix of hot dog and corn breading (I also splurged for one with jalapeno and cheese).
There is more to the fair than fried food though. We walked around to experience the marketplace, which was like a live infomercial, and the auto show. Not only could you get food, but you could also buy a car, a mattress, a cow, a tractor, and the shamwow, along with other assorted handmade crafts.
The best food I had all day was unexpected. We had extra tickets and saw a pretty nondescript stand. Desperados Mexican Restaurant (http://www.desperadosrestaurant.com) had a stand, which I am hoping is a taste of what their full restaurant has to offer. The brisket taco was perfectly seasoned and topped with tomatillo sauce, freshly chopped onion, cilantro and lime. I also had a Desperado Flauta, similar to the brisket taco, just in a flour tortilla and deep-fried (couldn’t avoid the fried food if I tried). Same great stuff inside, with a different texture on the outside. In the spirit of the fair, they also had deep-fried frozen margaritas. Not sure how they are made, but by that point I had reached my limit of fried food. Can’t wait for a full meal there!
My fair experience concluded with a celebrity chef presentation by John Tesar, an East Coast transplant like myself. Tesar, who is regarded as one of the most talented chefs in Dallas (and apparently one of the most despised chefs in Dallas, click here for the article), gave a presentation on the science and art of a burger. This was only fitting considering he recently opened a high-end burger joint in Dallas named The Commissary. (www.thecommissarydallas.com). He explained the chemistry behind a burger on a grill, and his method for how he cooks burgers at his restaurant in a controlled vapor oven. He also explained the difference between grass-fed beef and corn-fed beef, grass-fed being leaner and having a little different flavor.. The samples that were handed out were awfully good, and just enough to add the Commissary to the list of must-eats in Dallas!
At a time when obesity is taking a bigger and bigger toll on Americans' health the health of people throughout our country, the food at the Texas State Fair doesn’t exactly promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also reminds us that the good things in life might not always be so good for us.
|Big Tex and the Cotton Bowl|
|Fried Butter Stand, also serve fried P.B & J and fried pineapple|
|Jalapeno & Cheese Corndog|