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10 of the Best, Worst, and Downright Nastiest Foods at the State Fair of Texas 2013

Deep Fried King Ranch Chicken
This deep-fried king ranch casserole at the State Fair deserves a gold medal. It’s that good. (photography by Kyle Pennington)

Here on SideDish, we talk about the best and the worst State Fair of Texas foods, but we never talk about those weird in-betweens. You’ve got to admit there’s a lot of junk at the fair every year. You only have so many coupons, a little amount of stomach space, and so much time. You don’t have a minute to waste.

Well, lucky for all you eaters out there, we’ve gagged, burped, slurped, and giggled down everything from deep-fried chocolate chip burritos to Fletcher’s classic corny dogs. We’ve tried a good number of things under the Fair Park sun.

In the spirit of being helpful, we’ve put together a list of foods and drinks that really stick out. There’s not a rhyme or reason to it. Actually, it’s pretty random. Don’t judge us and we won’t judge you.

Let’s put aside our differences, unite in the name of Big Tex, and judge the food together, shall we?

Deep Fried Spaghetti and Meatballs
Deep Fried Spaghetti and Meatballs

1. The Best New Fried Food Item That Didn’t Win Any Awards Already: Deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs

It’s shaped like a baseball, and it comes with parmesan cheese, marinara, and herbs. If you love this classic dish, you’ll fall instantly in love. [Find this at the Food Court for 12 coupons.]

2. The Best Fried Food Item at the State Fair, Period: Deep-fried grilled cheese sandwich

I raved about this last year, but I don’t care. I’ll do it again. I love the ooey gooey cheese that comes out of this perfect fried sandwich. Crunchy on the outside, melty on the inside. It comes with potato chip crumbs that you can dip into this tomato-soup-sauce thing. Kills me every time. [Find this at The Dock inside the Embarcadero.]

3. The Biggest Turkey Leg at Fair Park: Turkey legs by Dickel

So these “Texas-sized turkey legs” look like they probably ate dinosaurs for breakfast. We didn’t have the stomach room to try one, but we know you will. [Find these at Cotton Bowl Plaza (CBP-7F) for 20 coupons.]

4. The Food That Makes Us Gag Every Time We See Someone Eating It: Deep-fried bubblegum

Can anybody please tell me what the judges were smoking right before they declared this disgusting food item the “Most Creative” winner in 2011? Barf. It looks someone threw up these pastel-colored balls. [Find this NOWHERE. We're not telling you where to find it!]

Deep Fried Fireballs
Deep Fried Fireballs

5. The Most Overrated Big Tex Choice Finalist 2013: Texas fried fireball

All you can taste is a lot of heat. Plus, each ball is about the size of a quarter. No bang for the buck. [Find this at the Food Court.]

6. The Best Fries That Aren’t Fries: Funnel cake fries

These fries are beignet-like, soft, and even BETTER than a funnel cake. [Find this at the Taste of Cuba stand inside the Cotton Bowl Plaza.]

Benz Food Co.'s pearl milk tea (left); Crumbscious' sweet potato pie shake (right)
Benz Food Co.’s pearl milk tea (left); Crumbscious’ sweet potato pie shake (right)

7. The Most Asian Food/Drink at the State Fair: Bubble tea at Benz Foods Co.

For the most expensive boba you’ll ever find, get this drink for 14 coupons. It comes in taro, black milk tea, strawberry slush, fresh pineapple slushie, and raspberry black tea. The bubbles aren’t great, but hey, we gotta support diversity. The State Fair is getting more Asian, one drink at a time. [Find this at the Cotton Bowl Plaza (CBP-1F).]

8. The Food That Tastes Most Like Fall: Crumbscious’ sweet potato pie shake

This may look innocuous, but everyone who tried this baby couldn’t stop cooing. It’s blended with sweet potato and a ginger snap cookie crust. [Find this at the Food Court.]

Deep Fried Cuban Roll
Deep Fried Cuban Roll

9. The Greasiest First Bite: Deep-fried Cuban Roll

Yes, this tastes really good. And, yes, we highly recommend it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t super greasy. We still love it, though. [Find this at the Magnolia Lounge.]

10. The Weirdest/Grossest Thing We Couldn’t Bring Ourselves to Try: Deep-fried cool ranch pizza

Um, yeah. Cool ranch belongs on Doritos, not pizza. [Find this at 1200 Admiral Nimitz Circle (N-12F), the same stand as the deep-fried Nutella.]

For more State Fair of Texas 2013 coverage, check out these links:

Eat Up, Y’all: Our Guide to the New Fried Foods at the State Fair of Texas 2013
Eat Up, Y’all: Our Guide to Healthy Food Options at the State Fair of Texas 2013
State Fair Fried Food Feedback
Don’t Eat This Now: Deep-Fried Nutella at the State Fair

3 comments on “10 of the Best, Worst, and Downright Nastiest Foods at the State Fair of Texas 2013

  1. I find most of the stunt fried foods pretty gnarly, and nothing compares to the classic Fletcher’s corny dog. However, there is a special place in my heart (probably literally) for the deep fried Nutter Butter cookies. That’s the only sweet “deep fried + X” item that ever tasted like more than the sum of its parts. The fry accentuates the cookie, the cookie accentuates the fry. The peanut butter flavor shines through, while the texture offers just the right amount of give.

    I haven’t been to the fair in years, but if they still have deep fried Nutter Butter cookies, they are still worth the tickets.

  2. I’m going back Friday.. I’m searching out the Cuban, Grilled Cheese and Nutter butters and a Flecher’s of course.. I went a couple of weeks ago but was didn’t get to explore like I normally do.