Detailed Guide to 9 Fried Foods at State Fair of Texas (see photo)
The above photo shows the nine fried foods I sought out to try with an out-of-state guest at her first State Fair of Texas. Below are my detailed descriptions of the foods in my photo (in order of left to right, top to bottom), with exact names in quotes, booth locations described as best as I can recall (because most of them aren't noted in the state fair guide book), and my commentary on overall value (1 ticket = 50 cents) and taste.
- "Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake": I ranked this as second best-tasting relative to the eight 2012 fried food finalists, but relative to all fried food options it drops slightly to above-average-tasting. It's a decent quantity of food and great flavors for 10 tickets. See my full description/review and close-up photo of this food on my Facebook or Pinterest. Two booth locations are marked in the fair guide book.
- Fried Oreos: This is the first fried food I discovered I loved at my first State Fair of Texas in 2008, and I eat it again every year. What is amazing and unexpected about fried Oreos is that the chocolate cookie turns soft, like cake, and the cream center melts a little into that cake. Also, they use real Oreo brand cookies; I saw the Oreo box in the booth. You get 4 Oreos, for 10 or 12 tickets. They have at least 2 booths, one on the street between the Embarcadero building and Food & Fiber Pavilion and one on the Midway main strip.
- "Deep Fried Red Velvet Cupcake": As a new fried food for 2012, I cannot fathom how this did not get selected to be one of the eight finalists for judging. This cupcake is good enough to be the Best Taste winner! It's moist, warm, creamy, and comes with a delicious fried chicken nugget on top! This is a no-brainer, must-eat fried food. They have 2 booths named "Southern Fried Chicken"; one is located in the Tower Building Food Court. I was offered to try this item for free, so I didn't note how many tickets it cost, but I would pay whatever they are asking to eat it again.
- "Deep Fried Texas Cookie Dough": This was the 2007 "Best Taste" winner. I love cookie dough, but this was an odd mix of warm, partially cooked and uncooked dough. It is pretty good, better than average, but it wasn't in the running for our favorite of the night. Cost was steep at 12 tickets for 2 dough balls, when for the same price at the same booth you could have gotten a lot more food from fried PB&J with bananas. This is in 2 booths named "Big As Texas"; one on the street between the Embarcadero building and Food & Fiber Pavilion and one on the Midway main strip.
- "Deep Fried Grilled Cheese": My guest and I agreed this was the hands-down, best-tasting fried food we ate all day. The most remarkable thing about that is this was the last food we ate when we were already stuffed, didn't want to eat any more fried food, and just wanted to get rid of our last tickets. If this didn't taste amazing we would have trashed it, but it was so good we ate every bite! It is perfection of buttery, golden crispness and gooey cheese, no fry batter or breading, and it comes with a dipping container of tomato soup, a dill pickle spear, and potato chip strips. This is a steal of a complete meal for 10 tickets! Booth is located to the right of Big Tex, on the left side of the street, across from Old Mill Inn.
- "Deep Fried Chicken and Waffles": This is a new fried food for 2012, but not a finalist. It is a large piece of moist chicken on a stick, dipped in waffle batter, and deep fried, served with maple syrup for dipping. It is delicious, but it tastes like chicken you've probably eaten before. When you need to eat some "real food"or don't want to get too adventurous, this is the fried food for you. They have 2 booths named "Southern Fried Chicken"; one is located in the Tower Building Food Court. I was offered to try this item for free, so I didn't note how many tickets it cost. It is a large quantity of good food, so I would consider it a reasonable value at 10 or 12 tickets.
- "Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll": This won "Most Creative" fried food for 2012, and I'm not sure why. I know everyone loves bacon (as do I), and it sounds like it would taste amazing. However, both times I've eaten this it was not great-tasting bacon or a very moist cinnamon roll, nor do I think it is all that "creative", relatively speaking. Compound this with the 12-ticket price tag ($6) for one small piece, and I don't feel right recommending this food to anyone. Their booth was really hard to find too, despite being marked in the fair guide book. See my initial review and close-up photo on my Facebook or Pinterest.
- Fried Butter: This won "Most Creative" in 2009, and I think it is one of the best-tasting fried foods of all time. I loved it in 2009, and I liked in 2012 (downgraded because our batch was a bit undercooked). It's a genius concoction of a frozen butter ball coated in biscuit batter so it could be deep fried and morph into a flakey biscuit filled with melted butter, then add your choice of honey cinnamon, jam, or garlic. Three small fried butter balls for 12 tickets is a steep price, but it's worth the flavors and creativity. It's available in 2 booths named "Big As Texas"; one on the street between the Embarcadero building and Food & Fiber Pavilion and one on the Midway main strip.
- "Deep Fried Jambalaya": This won "Best Taste" this year, and I totally agree— but only relative to the other eight finalists (see Grilled Cheese, above). My full description/review and close-up photo of this food is on my Facebook and Pinterest. Two booth locations are marked in the fair guide book.
Facebook Page Photo Album — "2012 State Fair of Texas - Best Fried Foods"View large, close-up photos of all eight 2012 Texas State Fair fried food finalists, complete with descriptions and my review commentary, and ranked #1-8 according to how good I think each tasted relative to each other. Also includes my photo from the Big Tex Choice awards judging event and a compilation photo of the nine fried foods I sought out when I took an out-of-state guest to her first State Fair of Texas.
Like, Comment, and Share your favorite foods with your Facebook friends. Be sure to leave a comment if you agree or disagree with my rankings!
Foursquare List — "2012 State Fair of Texas - Best Fried Foods"All eight 2012 Texas State Fair fried food finalists are described and ranked #1-8 according to how good I think each tasted relative to each other. Also includes a compilation photo of the nine fried foods I sought out when I took an out-of-state guest to her first State Fair of Texas.
You can save this list to your Foursquare account or save your favorite individual tips from the list, then pull up your saved items on your phone when you get to the fair and check off each food as you try it!
Pinterest Board — "2012 State Fair of Texas - Best Fried Foods"View large, close-up photos of all eight 2012 Texas State Fair fried food finalists, complete with descriptions and my review commentary, Also includes a compilation photo of the nine fried foods I sought out when I took an out-of-state guest to her first State Fair of Texas.
Repin your favorite photos to your own Food and Texas Pinterest boards.
Tasted in Past Years:
- "Fried Beer": I am shocked and saddened this is still being sold in 2012. It was 2010's "Most Creative" winner, and that year I remember myself and my friends taking a bite and throwing the rest in the trash while noticing we weren't the only people spitting out their first bite. Also, the beer gushes all over when you bite into it. Messy and disgusting. Don't waste your tickets or calories on this food.
- "Texas Fried FRITOS Pie": 2010 winner of "Best Taste". I tried it that year and recall it tasting okay. I have no other specific memories about it.
- Fried Apples and Ice Cream: This was my favorite food in 2010. Fried cinnamon apple slices with a giant scoop of vanilla Blue Bell ice cream for 10 tickets. It was so good I ate it twice in one visit. Sadly, I couldn't find it this year even though I am certain I remember where it was. The person working that booth today didn't know anything about it.
- "Fernie's Deep Fried Peaches & Cream": I recall this being pretty good in 2010, so I searched for it today but couldn't find it. I am pretty sure it was in the booth location that now serves Deep Fried Somoas and Deep Fried Grilled Cheese, so I think the peaches may have been replaced.
- Fried Twix: I recall loving this many years ago, but I could not find it in 2010 or 2012. The caramel was gooey, the chocolate was melty, and the cookie turned into a cake texture. This combo of flavors and textures made it the best of the fried candy bars, IMO.
- Fried Cheesecake: I tried this so long ago at several different places that all I remember is some versions were pretty good and some tasted like the frozen cheesecakes you can buy at the grocery store.