State Fair aficionados already know that the winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards for this year are a fried charcuterie board, a peanut butter cup and honeybun deep-fried chocolate peanut butter explosion, and a horchata milkshake. And they’ve made plans to consume them, accordingly.
One place you can get this discontinued food item? The State Fair of Texas. On its Instagram account, the fair posted over the weekend that someone grabbed “some of the last stock” to be served from ice cream carts around the fairground.
Choco Tacos have been gone from grocery store shelves and ice cream trucks since June, after Klondike decided to cut it from the roster of ice creams the corporation makes.
New Concession Stands and Foods
There are many new concessionaires coming to the fair this year as well. Here’s what you’ll see and what to eat there. Among the new vendors are: Chimichurri and Milagro Taco, Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory, Drizzle Cheesecakes, Enjoy Foods, Once Upon a Cone, Palmer’s Hot Chicken, and Texapolitan Pizza.
And the new foods go all out, which is exactly what we expect. It’s an opportunity to try a lot of new things, across the spectrum from “that sounds delicious” to “oh my god why?”
If any of the dishes below particularly strike your fancy, the fair has a handy map to help you find them.
Bayou Bowl - three cheese macaroni topped with shrimp and lump crab, all bathed in garlic scampi butter
Chamoy! Pickle - a pickle wrapped in a fruit roll-up, filled with gushers, coated in chamoy sauce, and sprinkled with tajin
Cajun Lobster Bisque Croquettes - fried potato balls filled with lobster meat and brie cheese, served with a side of lobster bisque for dipping
Cherry Dipped Waffle Cone - soft serve ice cream dipped in a cherry topping until a hard coat forms
Chismosa - it’s not a mimosa, it’s not a frozen margarita — it’s a chismosa (and it’s Spanish for “nosy person”). Frozen champagne and orange juice get a chamoy and tajin rim, and if you don’t have anything chismosa to say, don’t sit next to me.
Cookies and Cream Mini Donuts on a Stick - precisely what it sounds like, made with Oreos
Crispy Dilly Dog - Take a dill pickle, remove the center and replace that with a hot dog. Dip it all in corndog batter and fry. They say it’s served with chipotle mayo, but this feels like a case for yellow mustard to us.
Deep Fried Honey - Don’t ask how they do it, just enjoy this treat topped with powdered sugar, a cinnamon sugar concoction, and raw Texas honey from the Rescue Bee Ranch
Deep Fried Praline Cheesecake Eggroll - praline cheesecake filling in an eggroll wrapper and deep fried, then drizzled in a praline sauce and topped with candied praline pecan crumbles
Deep Fried Southern Dessert Dumplings - pieces of sweet potato and pecan pie are combined with dark chocolate, placed in a wonton wrapper, deep fried, and coated with powdered sugar. Served with “Ruth’s homemade rum-raspberry chipotle dipping sauce.”
Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Roll - this roll is dipped in homemade pink waffle batter, infused with strawberry purée, and fried before being coated with cream cheese icing and covered with strawberry crunch made from vanilla Oreo cookies, strawberry JELLO mix, and melted butter
Deep Fried Texas Country Cookout - pulled pork is mixed with herbed goat cheese and special sauce, then coated with breadcrumbs to form a patty, then deep fried. That’s served topped with coleslaw, potato salad, and jalapeno barbecue sauce
Dim Sum Loco Burritos - shredded pork, fried potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and pepper jack cheese are rolled burrito-style in egg roll wrappers and deep-fried and served with a side of fried Shishito peppers
Dirty Soda - finally, the Utah sensation hits the Texas State Fair. Choose your beverage base, from soda to sparkling water, and make it dirty by spiking it with cream, flavored syrup, and fresh fruity add-ins
Doh-Muff - a doughnut stuffed with Bavarian cream and coated in banana nut muffin batter is deep fried and covered with pecan butter glaze, fresh bananas, and strawberries
Fried Soul Food Eggroll - an eggroll filled with barbecue-marinated chicken is combined with collard greens and mac and cheese, then deep fried
Fried Spicy Beef Empanada - ground beef is sauteed with a hard-boiled egg, green olives, aji peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a spice blend, then fried in a pastry
Funnel Cake Chicken Sandwich - a fried chicken breast between two funnel cakes and drizzled with your choice of honey or syrup
Hand Dipped New York Cheesecake - cheesecake on a stick dipped in magic-shell Belgian chocolate and rolled in a variety of toppings, including hazelnut, crushed Oreos, red velvet cake, and strawberry crumble
Motherclucker Chicken Sandwich - if you haven’t been to Palmer’s in Lakewood yet to have this excellent chicken sandwich, here’s your chance — pimento cheese meets hot chicken and salty pickles
Pearlie’s Soul Slider: Hot Honey Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie Waffle - a crispy fried chicken filet sandwiched between Belgian waffles and stuffed with Pearlie’s heirloom sweet potato pie recipe, then topped with bacon and syrup
Pickle Pizza - it’s all the rage on the internet, and now, you can try it. Yes, it is just putting pickles on pizza, but since this is the State Fair, they’ll also deep fry it for you if you like
Pork Belly Burnt Ends Pizza - takes Neapolitan pizza and covers it with red sauce, mozzarella, smoked pork belly burnt ends, fresh jalapenos, cotija cheese, and barbecue sauce
Pupusa - this El Salvadorian dish is made with corn mix stuffed with pork and cheese or spinach and cheese and served with curtido, a pickled cabbage relish, and tomato salsa
Raspberry Chipotle Sopapilla Cheesecake - raspberries and chipotle are blended with cream cheese, then topped with raspberry glaze and a sugar-coated crust and served raspberry compote, whipped topping, chopped pecans, and candied jalapenos upon request
Shaking Beef Salad - this Vietnamese dish contains cubed, sauteed beef with cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pepper, and soy sauce mixed in the skillet
Texas Hot Bull Ride - shrimp is battered with a special Texas seasoning, tossed in hot sauce, and served with a side of ranch dressing
Texas Ranch Hog Wings - on-the-bone pork is seasoned with spicy ranch salt and drizzled with a secret sauce
Texas Twosome - a grilled cheese sandwich gets a layer of Frito pie, and dear lord, that’s going to be messy to eat
Every day, multiple times a day during the Fair, some of DFW’s best chefs will host the Celebrity Chef Kitchen. Check the full schedule to plan, and we recommend putting gold stars next to the sessions with some of Eater Dallas’s favorite chefs including Uno Immanivong of Red Stix, Aaron Staudenmaeir of District, Joshua Bonee of 42 BBQ Smokehouse, John Tesar of Knife, Taylor McCreary of Ida Claire, Eric Dreyer of Monarch, Luke Rogers of Cathedral Italian Bistro, David Pena of Goodfriend Beergarden, Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous Patisserie, and Mills Garwood of Palmer’s Hot Chicken.
Free Corny Dogs
Fletcher’s, with corny dogs one can’t leave the fairgrounds without consuming, will be giving away 80 free corny dogs each Friday, September 9, to the first 80 customers at all seven of its locations in the fair.
Pro tip: that stand near Big Tex gets a lot of foot traffic, so increase your chances by going to one of the more out-of-the-way locations.