Festivals

Fried Paradise 2012 – Fried Food Fun at The State Fair of Texas

State Fair time again!

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I took a year or two off from my Fried Food Fiesta, but was back in the mood this year. We did our best to find each of the finalists for the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards. Alas rain and fatigue conspired to cut short the search. We did get some serious research done, however:

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^ Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider
Baked three-cheese macaroni, battered in bread crumbs, and deep-fried. Placed on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty. Hmmm – I found that just a bite of the fried Mac n’ Cheese part was fine. I liked the waffle fries.

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^ Fried Mexican Fire Crackers
Spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeno wrapped in masa dough and deep fried. Served with fiery TNT sauce. I liked it. What can I say. The GF just looked at me. She passed.

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^ Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Crispy fried bacon crumbles fill a cinnamon roll dipped in a sweet pancake batter, then deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. We nodded and smiled. OK good enough.

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^ Fried Pork Wing – Six hour slow-cooked pork rib lightly deep fried, tossed in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. Fine. We had a few bites.

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^ Picnic on a Stick – A skewer alternating with three pieces each of spicy fried chicken, sliced dill pickles and tater tots, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried. Ha! Yep! She wouldn’t touch this one either. Meh. More for me.

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^ Deep Fried Jambalaya
Jambalaya with shrimp, cajun sausage and seasonings, coated in lightly seasoned flour and fried – served with spicy ranch sauce. This was the taste winner. I agree – not bad!

Now some non-finalist fun:

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^L: Cyclone Potato
Turned potato deep fried on a stick. Sure!
^R: Pork Chop
She claims victory!

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These rig is seriously bad-ass.

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Of course, I had my Fletcher’s Corn Dog drenched in mustard – but I was drenched while eating it. No matter – it was nice to be back in the spirit!

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Tip: Find one of the Freshly Brewed Iced Tea stands. Only 4 coupons, and you get a refill for 2. Not bad tea, and you can mix between sweet and un-sweet. A real Fair bargain.

Fried Food Foray – State Fair of Texas 2010

…and just like – that the 100+° days of summer are behind us, Oktoberfest is waning, and it's time again for the State Fair of Texas.

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I took advantage of the overcast skies and 70°s temperature last Saturday to miss the throngs usually present on day two of the three week event.

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Remember to take this post with a grain of (deep fried) salt. None of this stuff is actually "good," consuming it often results in abdominal pain, and it will probably kill you. But it's fun – so there. I sampled a bite or two of each of this year's "in-competition" fried offerings (save the Fried Chocolate… I couldn't bear another bite).

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L^ Winner of this year's "Most Creative" is the Fried Beer™ – I was surprised by this one – pretzel pockets fried with liquid Guinness beer inside. There was uctually beer in there! It was weird; R^ Texas Fried Caviar - Black-eyed peas are fried and laced with spices blended with Old Bay® Seasoning. I ordered mine Spicy. You can imagine – salty… good with beer.

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L^ Fernie’s Fried Club Salad – Club salad fried in a spinach wrap. This is the half-order with ranch dressing. I liked this, and the fried crouton was good, to boot; R^ Deep Fried S’mores Pop•Tart®  - a chocolate Pop•Tart® with peanut butter s’mores flavor is lightly battered & deep fried, drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream. Uhh… that was pretty good, too.

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L^ Fried Lemonade – Country Time® Lemonade flavored pastry is baked, then fried, glazed with a mix of lemonade, powdered sugar, and lemon zest. Lemon-y decadence; R^ Deep Fried Frozen Margarita – Magarita mix flavored fried funnel cake batter, doused in tequila and served in a salt rimmed glass. Fun and not bad!

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L^ "Best Taste" winner, Texas Fried Frito Pie – Corn chips smeared with Texas chili and sharp cheddar, lightly battered and fried – served with hot sauce and sour cream. The bites that actually had all the components together worked well; R^ …and I had to get me a Fletcher's Corny Dog – a must. I ate all of that one!

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A few bites of Taste Addison 2010

Time to walk across the street and do the yearly graze-fest at Taste Addison - featuring about 55 Addison restaurants. The event is in its 15th year and continues to pull in the crowds – some 60,000 over three days.









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^ We always hit Fogo de Chao and get the sampler.

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^ Here is Costa at his newly re-christened Ziziki's Taverna booth – and a gyro bite.

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^ Teiichi inspects the mini-yakitori grill at Chow Thai; and we enjoy some excellent sour chicken sausage skewers.

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^ Beef Shawarma from Al-Amir – one of our local lunch buffet destinations.

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^ From Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant - delicious YeBeg Wot (a spicy lamb stew) served over spongy Ingera bread (I had this each of the three days).

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^ Behind the scenes at the Italian Club of Dallas. Chef Tommaso Lestingi (previously at Grotto) serves up the goods. 

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^ Chamberlain's Chop House's famous Half Pound Honey Glazed Pork Chop, a must have.

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^ Oh… and beer. We got some Dogfish Head 60 on tap from Flying Saucer; ^ and this year even The Macallan had a tasting event in the air-conditioned WaterTower Theatre.

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^ This years Saturday night headliner was Train. Good times!

Ach du Lieber Himmel! Addison Oktoberfest ’09

See last year's post for some history and a look at Addison Fire Station No.1's German Skillet Potatoes. This year, the Station made good on their promise to feed the starving masses more efficiently…

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^ That there is one slammin' skillet!

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This should keep the lines down a bit. However, our group wondered if something was missing from the recipe? We'll give it another shot in a bit, as in the past these potatoes were very much worth the wait.

Addendum: More pics…

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^ Spätzle and Meatballs…? (Kristen called BS on this one, but that's what they had this year… there is a long, thin commercially produced spätzle); and a Chicken/Jalapeño Brat.

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^ Reuben; and the traditional Oktoberfest Funnel Cake (well, more Pennsylvania Dutch actually…)

Fried Paradise – The Brad eats through the State Fair of Texas, Dallas

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It's that time of year folks! Over the next 24 days, visitors will spend almost $30 million at the 200 food service locations throughout Fair Park. Might as well get started!

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Couldn't wait to hit the Fletcher's stand…this year I started with the jalapeño/cheese variety. I just stand by the mustard dispenser and squirt a fresh glop on each bite…yummm. Of course, Corny Dogs were invented in 1942 by State Fair concessionaires Carl and Neil Fletcher.

No time to 'waist' – on to the fried stuff!

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^ Here we have some fried cookie dough… mmm hmmm.

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^ OK, we REALLY liked these Waffle Balls (yeah… who knew).  These chocolate-covered strawberries dipped in waffle batter where an early favorite to win our ribbon.

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^ Fire & Ice – "A pineapple ring is battered and deep-fried, then topped with banana-flavored whipped cream that’s been frozen in liquid nitrogen." Pretty neat, but I dunno – On ours, the strawberries were frozen. In the liquid nitrogen? Refreshing though, with those super cold berries!

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^ Fried PB&J, with bananas. Yep.

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^ I love Moon Pies, particularly the banana flavor… well, here's one fried up. You can see it kind of just disintegrated in there – leaving molten goodness.

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Time for a break from the fryer… Meats on Sticks! and some Turkey Wings.

Back to work:

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^ Here was a real surprise: Fried Honey Bun – we fought over the rest of this one.

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And finally – the Chicken Fried BACON, winner of Best Taste in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition… and deservedly so – man, GOOD STUFF. They provided all kinds of condiments: mustard, ketchup, ranch, honey mustard, etc. I added some Tabasco to the ranch dressing and just sent this dish over the top. Crazzzy!

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That's all we could get in on this trip – but there are many more fried delights to be had. If I recover, I'll head back in a couple weeks.