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Exclusive: State Fair Fried Food King Abel Gonzales To Open Cocina Italiano


Abel Gonzales is best known as the fried food king at the State Fair of Texas. You have no doubt had the fried Coke, fried lobster, and even his special brisket tamales during that season. Good chance you have even been to Republic Ranch on Ross Avenue which serves up brisket, chicken fried steak and other comforting dishes (Abel sold this share of that concept to his investors). But is Dallas ready for his latest effort?

Fans and hungry guests alike will enjoy his new restaurant, Cocina Italiano, soon to open at 7701 Harry Hines.

“I just want to open for lunch now and if the neighborhood wants dinner I might open at night”. But for now it is just lunch.

That neighborhood is Empire Central and Harry Hines which is deep up in the medical district with new condos moving in at a fast clip. Gonzales did some research in the location as well as recipes which are his own.

“I have been eating Italian for some time now,’ Gonzales told us today as he was making the space ready to open in about three weeks.

There will be plenty of pastas and salads but don’t look for pizza just yet. Also, Gonzales has his beer and wine license but won’t serve that immediately either. There are also only going to be five tables, so he will depend on plenty of take-out.

In another conversation Gonzales told us  he will most likely serve the least expensive beer at the State Fair this year, his foray into suds. Now we have two things to look forward to.

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