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Deep-Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls Take Home Top Honors at the State Fair of Texas’s Annual Fried Food Bonanza

Plus, longtime pub Trinity Hall bows out and more DFW dining intel

deep fried gumbo fritters on a bed of checkered red and white paper, served with a side of roux dipping sauce
Deep Fried Gumbo Balls, one of this year’s winning Big Tex Chjoce Awards dishes.
State Fair of Texas

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Deep Fried Gumbo Balls take home duo of Big Tex Awards at State Fair of Texas

After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the winners of the 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards have been announced, and one dish took home two of the three top prizes. Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls, a family recipe from Gourmet Royale, won the awards for both Best Savory and Best Creative at the food competition this weekend. The balls consist of a dark roux batter loaded with shrimp, stewed chicken, crab meat, and andouille sausage, then rolled in saltine and breadcrumb crust and deep fried. The gumbo balls are served with a side of roux dipping sauce.

The winner of Best Sweet is the Armadillo Cookie Butter Ice Cream Sandwich, made with cookie butter semifreddo ice cream sandwiched between two armadillo-shaped cookies that are made with a branding iron. The ice cream sandwich is then drizzled with cookie butter and dusted with sugar.

North Texans can try the award-winning treats, plus Big Tex Award finalists like Brisket Brittle, Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake, and more, at the State Fair of Texas, which runs September 24 through October 17.

Longtime Mockingbird Station pub says an “Irish goodbye”

One of Dallas’s most enduring Irish pubs has shuttered, according to CultureMap. Trinity Hall, which had been open for 20 years at Mockingbird Station, closed quietly last week. Owner Marius Donnelly joked on Facebook that he was pulling “the classic Irish goodbye”, a phrase for ducking out of a party quietly so as to avoid a prolonged farewell. “We’ve slipped away while you were at the bar getting another round.”

Donnelly wrote that the pub’s lease was up at the end of August, and the time seemed right to call it quits. Trinity Hall has only just reopened in June after closing for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oak Cliff brunch spot Jonathon’s decamps for North Dallas

Jonathon’s Oak Cliff, known for its breakfast tacos, burgers and boozy brunch, has closed with plans to move into a location in North Dallas. The restaurant, which was founded at 1111 North Beckley Avenue in 2011, hosted its final service on Sunday, August 29. Owners Jonathon and Christine Erdeljac told The Advocate that their lease at the location was up and their landlord wanted to increase rent by 20 percent in order to renew it.

Instead, the Erdeljacs are moving the restaurant to the former home of Kel’s Kitchen at 5337 Forest Lane, which closed in 2014. The building is undergoing extensive renovations, but the Erdeljacs hope to reopen in late fall. In the meantime, their spinoff restaurant, Jonathon’s Diner, is still open at 1619 North Beckley Avenue.