This past weekend we took a trip to Big D for the Texas State Fair where we discovered or were reacquainted with various facts such as that Big Tex casts a tall shadow, Oklahomans can be really sad when their team unexpectedly loses to UT and in Dallas, Fried Food is King.
There were some tie-ins to the King Tut exhibit now running at the Dallas Museum of Fine Art (and if you have a chance to go, do, it’s a good one), but the main purpose of the state fair (at least as far as I’m concerned) remains its ode to food in all its many high-calorie forms.
This year the fair has even dedicated a special row to the wonders of the deep vat, offering everything from fried latte (no, they haven’t figured out how to fry coffee; it’s a pastry dish) to (among others): fried cheesecake, fried s’mores, chicken-fried bacon – well pretty much anything you can dip into some batter and fry up. Oh and the traditional star of frydom – the funnel cake – remains as perfect as ever. For those of you seeking lighter fare, there’s the grilled alligator and alligator k’bobs.
The row of fry, seemed, in fact, to be doing a brisker business than the second year of the Wine Garden, although looking at some of the going-away views we saw, it wasn’t a huge surprise.
Sunday morning turned out to be a good time to hit the fair on a weekend. We moved around easily, got our free ice cream in the Food and Fiber Pavilion, petted Elsie the cow and a nearby baby calf, watched a pie-judging contest and got to see cotton bolls run through a mini-mill.
By 1 p.m. the churchgoers and late risers hit and gridlock in the most popular areas (food/drink stands and the Midway) ensued. We fought the crowds for a couple hours – armed with this year’s remarkable acquisition of two super-cleaning mops which both helped and hindered our progress but above all embarrassed my teenager – before finding the right gate (no small task) to exit.
A slideshow of the big day in Big D can be seen here.
– Margaret Downing
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.