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Keep Houston Press Free
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State Fair of Texas: Chicken-Fried Bacon Anyone?

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.

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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

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