What’s up, bitches? It’s that time of year we all wait for—THE GREAT STATE FAIR OF TEXAS! Oh, you don’t know about the amazeballsness of The State Fair of Texas? What’s the matter with you? You do know, but you haven’t been to the State Fair of Texas? You’re stupid. Let me educate you about what it is I do and what it is I’m here for before I get started on what it actually is that I do and what it is I’m actually here for.
Each year, the Lady Gator and I heroically sacrifice our hard earned US American capitalist dollars, our small grains of time sand draining through the hourglasses of our lives, and our used-to-perfectly-function insides to help you, the deserving public, know how to most efficiently navigate the State Fair of Texas. We’re
literally Peter Venkman and Dana Barrett to your Rick Moranis and Annie Potts.
Now, traditionally, we eat something akin to 15, 20, 1 billion pieces of Fair food items on our visits. However, this year, due to life things (our acting habits), we decided to approach this whole Fairventure with a different strategy. This year, we’re splitting our Eatvestigation into different rounds to allow ourselves to not only sample all the foodz, but to have adequate time to record my thoughts while still getting a few moments to sit down and enjoy each other’s company. Gotta keep this marriage off the deep fried rocks. You got deep fried beef with that? (Mmm…deep fried beef.)
So, this is English-word filled essay of insanity you’re reading right now is a recap of Round 1 and let me just say that there’s some damn hell scrumptious stuff at the 2015 State Fair. What follows is the rankings of our tastings from our visit. We wanted to get the 2015 Big Tex® Choice Awards Finalists out of the way this round, since they’re the ones most people want to try. Yes—there are some extra items here, but we wanted to get the ones that everyone’s talking about out of the way. A final definitive post that defies any arguments to the contrary will be posted at a later date when we make our next visit. So, be patient and enjoy this.
Before I actually start, however, a quick rant. CHICKEN. FRIED. LOBSTER. 60 tickets. That’s $30! Now, I know that State Fair foods have inflated prices, but come on! I know that it is The Gator’s duty to suck it up and make it happen, but come on! 60 tickets? Look, I already have one mortgage. And yeah—I AM rich as shit, but come on! I don’t care if it’s tail meat with a lemon-butter Champagne gravy. That’s some bourgeois, classist shit. Is it really Champagne from the Champagne region of France? Or just some cheapass Andre bullshit? Plus, they ran out of tail meat on Opening Day! They were hoping to get more for Day 2. When we visited on Day 3, they were supposedly using claw meat? That’s some compounded deep fried bullshit. I’m a tail man—OK, Abel Gonzales? OK?! And look. Look me in my strangely beautiful eye. When you’re Abel Gonzales, AKA Fried Jesus, and you make something for the fair, you KNOW it’s going to to be popular. I don’t care if you consider it a “novelty item”. AND I don’t know if I really believe that you weren’t planning on it becoming huge. Deep fried lies. No. We didn’t try the Chicken Fried Lobster—this trip. I’m going to have to sell body parts on the black market or something. I’m going to have to find an Abel Gonzales Halloween costume and take a job stripping at the secret State Fair strip club just so I can make enough money to try that chicken fried sweet sea meat. Do I get a discount if I don’t want the butter bubbly gravy? Can I pay it off in installments? Do you take other expensive ass Fair food as collateral? Let me know, Abel. Love you.
Now, we can get to the ranking (“worst” to first):
Smoky Bacon Margarita (16 tickets) – The 2015 Big Tex® Choice Awards winner for “most creative”, this neon green Slurpee knock-off was such a waste. Such a waste. Not that we were really expecting anything…well….good. But, yeah. No. It’s radioactive, neon green color kind of gives you bulgy eye, especially when you notice the crumbled bacon dandruff on top. Then, everything just falls apart. The wine-based margarita tastes like an artificially tart lime Slurpee (which isn’t that bad), but then, that bacon. Why the bacon? You don’t really taste any bacon. Lady Gator said it “tastes like ham at the end when I swallowed.” What does that even mean? Is ham water one of the main ingredients? A green ham water Slurpee that gets you turnt up? Go home Dr. Seuss, you’re drunk. AVOID
Pretzel Pollo Queso (12 tickets) – Wait a minute. Who invited Taco Bell to the State Fair? It’s crunchy and that’s about all I can really say. There’s no real pretzel taste to it. There’s a good, spicy ranch that’s served on the side. Other than that, just a chicken, cheesy, heartburny mess. AVOID
Lone Star Pork Handle (20 tickets) – Remember the pork chops you would eat in your grade school, middle school or high school cafeterias? That’s what this reminded me of. That and the overcompensating pieces of spoiled you-know-what who were the bane of your high school existence. The ones with the brand new truck or SUV that cost a chicken fried lobster and who made it their mission to rub their spoiled life in the face of everyone around them? (I still want one of those trucks…and one of those lobsters.) The pork chop is presented like a tomahawk chop being delivered to Fred Flintstone’s car. However, you try to pick up the chop and about 6 inches of handle length reveals itself to be rolled foil and falls off. Yeah. This pork chop is stuffing rolls of socks in its swiney dance belt. But, you shrug it off because you know that life goes on and it’s the meat you came for and what the hell, ya know? The pork chop has a salty flavor from a decent marinade. It’s decently juicy. Decently spiced. Dipped in a Lone Star Beer batter (terrible beer), rolled in bread crumbs, fried and then has a sweet “bourbon barbecue” glaze applied to it. I mean, it’s decent. Would I actively order it again? No. But, if it’s a choice between tuna helper and this at the cafeteria that day? I’m probably going this way. NAH
Fletcher’s Veggie Corn Dog (10 tickets) – Oh. Very controversial. Fletcher’s going veggie?? What’s next? Alt-country’s biggest star covering pop music’s biggest star’s biggest album? Uh. Anyway. Everyone wondered what this would be like. How would it taste? Would it just be a piece of celery taped to a carrot and deep fried? I mean…I would eat that. Well, as it turns out, Fletcher’s took a veggie dog, married it with their amazingballs batter and deep fried that son of a veggie bitch. The result? A scrumptious “guilt-free” stickfood that tastes prettaaaayyyy close to the traditional corn dog. Seriously. The same crunchy, buttery, perfectly salted crust and everything. It’s different, but good. If you close your eyes you really wouldn’t know you’re eating a veggie corn dog. I recommend it. The only difference is that the weenie is a little mushier than a normal corn dog’s weenie. And it’s…slicker? It has a…slick weenie? Yes. Slick weenie. Remember, this is a vegetarian corn dog. Not a vegan. There are pre-chicken eggs in the batter. ONLY CONSIDER IF YOU HATE AMERICA…AND DON’T EAT MEAT
Deep Fried Alligator’s Egg Nest (20 tickets) – This might be the most controversial food at the 2015 State Fair. Probably only to yours truly, but this is my stage and you will read and agree with every damn word I write. Per BigTex.com, the Alligator’s Egg Nest “blends rich alligator meat with Monterey Jack cheese, chopped jalapeños, onions and garlic. This flavorful mixture is then rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried to the perfect golden brown. Served atop a ‘nest’ of shoestring potatoes and drizzled with a chipotle sauce” Now, I don’t normally endorse cannibalism, but gator is a damn good eat. (Between you and me, fried gator is a favorite of mine. Don’t tell anyone.) This was hard, though, as my cousin Randall disappeared a few weeks ago and this kind of tasted—I don’t know—familiar? Randall familiar. Alls I can say is that I would order this at a bar anytime. It’s perfectly spiced, cheesy, rich and good. It has that gator sausage in it. There’s a good crunch and chew ratio. Plus, fries. I just wish it had more gator…and I’ll just leave it at that while I awkwardly rub my finger across cousin Randall’s “MISSING” poster. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos/”Fried Oreo of the Week” (14 tickets) – Deep Fried Oreos have been around at the Fair for years. However, this year they’ve decided to trick it up by featuring one of Oreo’s flavor varieties in a rotational schedule. For the first week of the Fair, they’re frying up Red Velvet Oreos. Cookie Dough Oreos and Cotton Candy Oreos will follow in subsequent weeks. Now, how could you NOT like Deep Fried Oreos? Oh. If you’re a nihilist. Well, kindly screw off, nihilists. This Fair is for patriotic freedom lovers who love the US and Oreos and an opportunity to eat affordable chicken fried lobster. These are great. It kind of tastes like the Deep Fried Red Velvet Cupcake with a Deep Fried Oreo. It’s very sweet, but I like that. It could have been a little crisper, but it’s a Deep Fried Oreo, so I’ll give it a pass. Don’t let the description give you pause: “dipped in a red batter, fried to a golden brown and drizzled with a cream cheese icing.” What the hell is the “red batter?”, you may ask. Oreo blood. Obviously. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
S’mores Beer (14 tickets) – Last year, Community Beer Company introduced their delicious Funnel Cake Ale. This year, everyone who has ever made beer showed up to play. Some of them have State Fair-themed beers (Peticolas’ hoppy Kolsch, “Come and Take It”) and some graciously loaned their creations to take part in the fun. The S’mores Beer takes Deep Ellum Brewing Co.’s already awesome Double Chocolate Stout and pours it into a cup with a chocolate and graham cracker crumb rim. Then, they plop a big fat marshmallow floater in that son of a bitch. It’s awesome. As I said, the DEBC stout is already good, but with that bit of sweet chocolatey graham cracker sediment that hits your lips right before and after? Damn. Then, you sample that marshmallow that’s been floating around like a buoyant nectarous turd? Double damn. If you like beer for dessert, you need to give this a try. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
Beer Battered Buffalo (20 tickets) – Take some meaty, gamey buffalo meat. Add some Pequin pepper, roll it around in Corn Nuts, dip in a Shiner Beer batter, and deep fry it. How could you go wrong? I don’t know and this definitely hasn’t gone wrong. Presented on a bed of lettuce that I think is supposed to symbolize the grassy plains the buffalo once roamed—this is incredible. PLUS, they sprinkle some mother effin’ crispy bacon bits on those mother effers! Not weak ass Baco~s. Real bacon. You bite into a crispy battered shell (that doesn’t taste like Corn Nuts, btw) and through to a dense meaty ball of buffalo with a peppery essence. There’s great meat flavor. It cured my low T. Despite being fried, it tastes clean and lean. There’s a good chew to it that some may see as “dry”, but that’s just the nature of buffalo. I would eat these at a bar all day, too. The only worthless thing is the dipping sauce that accompanies the balls. I would have rather had some spicy ketchup (even the exhaustingly trendy Sriracha ketchup). Or BBQ sauce. SUPER SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
Root Beer (6 tickets for regular, 8 tickets for giant) – Seriously. Why does no other root beer stack up to this? Where does it come from? Who makes it? Why can’t we find this out?! (Quickly tweets question @StateFairOfTX). Along with the Fletcher’s Corn Dog, this a traditional yearly must-have. Nothing spells State Fair of Texas to me more than a Fletcher’s Corn Dog and a root beer. It’s like State Fair Moses came down off the Texas Star Ferris wheel with a Fletcher’s Corn Down in one hand and a root beer in the other while the 10 State Fair Commandments were left on in the gondola cage and taken to Lost and Found by a Fair employee. MUST WRAP YOUR MOUTH AROUND
Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly (14 tickets) – The 2015 Big Tex® Choice Awards winner for “Best Tasting”, this is definitely a great State Fair eat. Not to brag, but I make the best carrot cake you’ll ever eat. I mean it’s really good and lots of people tell me the same thing all the time. People I don’t even know who have never had my carrot cake will show up in my mailbox just to tell me that. But, I don’t want to brag. The Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly from Fernie’s is bad ass, too. It’s essentially an oval carrot cake donut that has that irresistible, undercooked gooey middle thing going on. There are even real carrots in their recipe that you can see! I mean, my beta-carotene levels are off the charts right now. Don’t get me wrong. This is one great tasting State Fair treat, BUT I don’t think it’s the best tasting for this year. Sorry to say it. That said, you must try it. MUST WRAP YOUR MOUTH AROUND
Cowboy Corn Crunch (14 tickets) – This is definitely awesome. You know that corn casserole your aunt brings to every family gathering? Yeah, that one that’s so sinfully full of nothing good for you and you love every last tiny morsel? (Morsel? Piece? Drop?) Let’s go with sexy spoon lick. Yeah. That one. Well, take it, roll around in some batter with it and take a nice bath in a tub of stupid-hot grease. (Are you as turned on as I am?) Just go and eat this. Expect southwest corn casserole/elote flavors. This is MY choice for “Best Tasting” for 2015. MUST WRAP YOUR MOUTH AROUND
Fletcher’s Corn Dog (10 tickets) – the absolute BEST thing you can eat at the Fair. ABSOLUTE. BEST. If this ever isn’t #1, something has gone horribly wrong…or amazing right. MUST WRAP YOUR MOUTH AROUND
So, there you go. That’s Round 1. Let me know what you think. And stay tuned for Round 2 where we’ll address the rest of the new foods…and anything else we damn well please. Bitches.
Until then, read my past Fairventure Eatvestigations: