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Texas State Fair Royalty Opens Up First Shop

It’s the first restaurant from the Big Tex fried food award winner.

Republic Ranch/Facebook

Abel Gonzales didn’t need a buzzy physical restaurant to gain international food scene fame — he simply had to repeatedly win the State Fair of Texas’ Big Tex fried food award. That said, the longtime caterer and award winner is opening his very own — and very first — restaurant in East Dallas, reports Dallas Culture Map.

Republic Ranch, at 3121 Ross Ave., has already had its soft opening, will focus on the intersection of Mexican food and barbecue. It’s a departure from his state fair fare — the novelty fried foods that make state fairs great — but the Republic Ranch menu looks a lot like what Gonzales has been doing with his catering biz. Think: tacos with rib-eye or pulled pork bases, fried or smoked chicken, beef ribs.

The new spot is sprawling, with not only a space for dining, but also a swimming pool area, an arcade — as well as more private areas like a banquet hall and a private tasting room. 3121 Ross Ave. has a difficult past, notes Culture Map — it previously housed Salt Lounge, Ormsby Catering, Southern Comforts and Bungalow Beach Club to name a few, all of which shuttered. Here’s hoping that Republic Ranch doesn’t see the same fate.

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