The State Fair of Texas will make an announcement by mid to late July concerning the status of the 2020 Fair. With health and safety as the top priority, the management team and the board of directors have been discussing all potential scenarios since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The board of directors, in conjunction with government officials, is expected to decide on whether or not the 2020 State Fair of Texas will occur by mid to late July. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Officials with the State Fair of Texas announced the finalists for the 13th annual Big Tex Choice Awards Wednesday morning. Past years heavy weights such as Abel Gonzales and Isaac Rousso are missing from the finalist list this year, but there are definitely some interesting gastronomic train wrecks that we will all most likely want to sample.
The 10 finalists will compete for the titles of Best Taste, now separated into Sweet and Savory categories, and Most Creative at the 2017 State Fair: Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
It’s an exciting day in the Dallas food world as we receive word from chef Abel Gonzales, the five time Texas State Fair Big Tex Award winner, about the good news of his restaurant opening. Look for Republic Ranch to open this Spring. The theme will be a continuation of his Texican theme. Think smoked BBQ meets Mexican.
Republic Ranch will be located at 3121 Ross Avenue next to the newly opened tiki bar, Pilinkas. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle photos by Robert Bostick
You know Abel Gonzales from his annual stint at the Texas State Fair as the Fried Food King. In 2015 he cranked out a plethora of fried lobster with a side of champagne gravy. In 2004, he won with the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, in 2005 with Fried Coke, in 2006 with fried cookie dough, in 2008 with deep-fried butter, and in 2011 with Fried Jambalaya. He is also called the Fried Jesus.
We visited with Gonzales recently because we were tipped off about his extreme tamale and posole making. Come to find out that the chef has a kitchen on Ross Avenue where he has been catering weddings and a vast array of parties. The kitchen itself is massive and larger than many hotel kitchens I have seen. I was thinking he might be catering up Fried Jambalaya, but actually the man can cook like a maniac.
“We had this kitchen sitting idle for a year. We originally got the kitchen to cook out of for the fair, but needed to use this space for more culinary events. I have the culinary background, and haver been doing this all my life. I just needed to get away from the television and do it,” said Gonzales. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
This week the 2014 Texas State Fair gets into full swing and one of the attractions is the Wine Garden Presented By Go Texan and Texas Monthly. The web site informs visitors that this “…is a great way to explore Texas-made wines”. I was excited that Texas wines would get such a prominent stage in front of so many potential customers. However, before writing about it, I e-mailed the state fair organizers to confirm that I fully understood the criteria for a wine to be considered a “Texas wine” for this event — the Texas State Fair. Per Federal law, a Texas wine is a wine that is made at least 75% from Texas grapes
The results amazed me. Not only may a wine have 0% Texas grapes to qualify as ‘Texas Made’ for the state fair wine garden, it does not even have to be made in Texas. Someone could buy finished wine on the California bulk market and ship it here in a tanker truck. Then, bottle and label it in Texas (probably with a label that makes it look as though it comes from Texas – cowboys, flags, etc.) and that would meet the criteria for it to be served at the Texas State Fair Wine Garden as a Texas made wine. As long as the seller has a Texas address, it would qualify. These bulk imports with misleading labels damage Texas grape growers and Texas wineries making wine from Texas grapes, as well as misleading consumers. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
The hot news from the Texas State Fair is that Big Tex burned to his steel frame. Gone is the iconic host which turned 60 years old today. A Fair official stated that the hydraulic line that animates Big Tex leaked then combusted and started in his jaw. Continue reading