I received complimentary tickets to the State Fair of Texas, but all opinions are my own.
Going to the Texas State Fair has been a goal of mine for the past couple of years. Just a few weeks ago, I was finally able to cross it off my bucket list. I happened to be in Dallas for a business trip and extended my trip a few days so that I would be able to attend opening day of the fair. The day before the fair I took a Lyft to pick up the tickets and that was an adventure in itself. The fair is so big that my Lyft driver and I got lost inside the fairgrounds just trying to locate the PR office. I felt like I was walking around in circles, so finally someone just came and met me with the tickets. And my Lyft driver was supposed to wait for me while I got the tickets, but once I got them, I couldn’t even find him and ended up having to call for another Lyft. But I got the tickets. That’s all that mattered.
Once I got back to my cousin’s place, I tried to do a little pre-planning to figure out what I wanted to see and accomplish in my one day at the fair. My goal was to taste as many fried foods as possible and get to exhibits if I still had energy or time. I woke up early the next day with plans to get there as soon as the gates opened. But that DID NOT happen due to my exhaustion from working 11 and 12 hour days all week. I finally managed to make it out the house around noon and arrived at the fair after a short ride. My cousin planned on meeting me, but in the meantime, I decided to explore the fairgrounds.
Take a selfie with Big Tex. Check!
After snapping a bunch of pics with Big Tex, I made my way past him and noticed super long lines at a food stand. Turns out those long lines were for corn dogs, but I am not a fan of corn dogs, so I skipped them. I passed the Chevrolet Main Stage were all the concerts were being held and they had actual trucks displayed high in the air. Cool!
I made my way past the stage area and onto the Texas Ice House for some Deep Fried Clam Chowda. You know as a New England girl I HAD to try this.
Verdict: Clam chowder should only be eaten as soup.
Next on the list: Fried Snickers. I’ve seen this at fairs before, but always opted for the super yummy and soft fried oreos. But prior to coming to the fair, I had already told myself, “If you see fried snickers, you are ordering it!”
VERDICT: AMAZING. Imagine a warm snickers melting in your mouth and ooey gooey caramel. Yea, it was EVERYTHING.
I walked around the fair through the gaming area and kept seeing signs for Frito Pie and noticed women scooping it into Frito bags and adding toppings. If you don’t know what frito pie is, it’s basically chili, refried beans, sour cream, onion, jalapeños and cheese on top of fritos and often served in Frito bags. As I was looking at the prices, I saw that Frito Pie was 14 tickets (approximately $7). I wasn’t even sure I would like Frito pie, so I didn’t want to waste 14 coupons just on that, so I kept walking. After I went through the gaming area, I saw a booth that was selling Frito Pie for 10 tickets, so I jumped at that. BIG MISTAKE! As you can see from the picture, not only was my frito pie served in a bowl, it was served with this soupy, nasty cheese and no toppings. I almost wanted to push it back as they handed it to me, but I told myself, “That’s what you get for trying to be cheap.”
VERDICT: I ate three spoonfuls and through it way. Did not like THIS version of it, but I would totally try it again and next time I’d spend my 14 coupons and get the upgraded version.
I walked around the entire fair at least four times waiting for my cousin and stuffing my face so much that I started to get itis. I was so sleepy that I made my way to the food court to find an energy drink – LIFESAVER. Inside the food court I saw a foodstand for stuffed wings. Now you know I LOVE stuffed meat and love wings even more, so it sounded like a perfect combo. But looking at the picture of the wing and then an actual stuffed wing on someone’s plate, I decided to pass. Something about a stuffed wing just didn’t sound or look right.
VERDICT: DO ORDER! I love smoked meat and this turkey leg was SO good, it would make you wanna smack ya mommy!
We ended up walking around the fair again a few more times, I grabbed a snow cone (you can never go wrong with those) and my cousin bought a sausage on the stick stuffed with jalapeno and cheese. Finally after another hour or so, we were both tired and wanted to just use the rest of our tickets before we left the fair. I had seen several food booths selling “corn in a cup” and was curious about it, but couldn’t figure out what could be so special about putting corn in a cup. My cousin broke down what was actually included in the a cup (sweet corn, Mexican sour cream or mayo, crumbled queso, butter, chili powder, salt and lime) and assured me it’s really good. So I tried it. Don’t judge by my picture. I had to snap something real quick before I devoured it.
VERDICT: Yummy. Definitely worth a try and don’t skimp on the toppings.
So if you are a newbie to the state fair like me, here’s my tips:
- Plan ahead. Check out the online guide. Figure out what you want to see and eat and where these exhibits/food are.
- Unless you like the juice from maraschino cherries, avoid the fried jello. Apparently maraschino cherries and fried jello taste very similar. Also the fried jello cost too many tickets to not be very tasty.
- DO Order the Fried Snicker or fried brownie bite. Warm dessert is always good. All that was missing was ice cream.
- Try something new that you haven’t had at a fair before.
- You will do a LOT of walking, so wear comfy shoes.
Most of all have a great time! The Texas State Fair is fun for all! If you missed it this year, put it on your bucket list for next year.
Now after eating those fried foods, I really learned to appreciate my veggies and I planned on having a salad for dinner that night, but that didn’t exactly happen. I ended up having a couple of margaritas with my cousin’s friend. I’ll share more deets next week about the 5 Restaurants in Dallas You Must Eat At.
So did you attend the State Fair this year? What’s your favorite part about attending fairs?