The State Fair Of Texas’ Unhealthy And Gimmicky Cuisine Forces Otherwise Respectable North Texas Restaurants To Stoop To Their Level.

Unlike seemingly every other media outlet in Dallas and, to a degree, the whole goddamn state, we here at Central Track aren’t exactly enamored with the State Fair of Texas. Why? Because, for starters, we’re not kids any more, and we’re no longer oblivious to the ways of the world. But also for a litany of other reasons, which we’ll happily run down for you here, one per day, over the entire course of the fair’s 2019 run, adding to the list we ran throughout the fair’s 2017 run.

Listen: At this point, you don’t need us to tell you how unhealthy and gross the State Fair of Texas’ fried food obsession is — mainly because we’ve already told you all about it — but, just the same, we’re going to gently remind you of that here in this space.

Because, seriously, it’s out of control.

As Texas’ obesity rate has continued to shoot up over the past couple years, the fair has continued to promote itself as a place where Texans can decidedly up their caloric intake and further muck up their clogged arteries. Make no mistake: Even though the fair indeed promoted its vegan and gluten-free fare more than ever before this year, it still — predictably and gleefully — spilled a lot more ink on its go-to fried monstrosities.

Now, it’d be one thing if this gimmicky, artery-clogging culinary style was quarantined solely to fairgrounds, but that’s just not the case. In an attempt to retain the business that is siphoned away by the behemoth fair throughout its 24-day run, restaurants all throughout North Texas have taken to aping its calorie-bomb promotions.

Here’s just a brief sampling of the specials that some area restaurants have been forced to resort to serving of late in an attempt to keep up with the deep-fried zeitgeist:

  • Cap’n Crunch Chicken Tenders (The Reservoir, Irving). The Reservoir, a gastropub within Irving’s Toyota Music Factory entertainment complex, dips its chicken tenders into Cap’N Crunch cereal, deep-fries them and finally serves them up along with a heaping pile of waffle fries.
  • BBQ’d Frito Chile Pie Sandwich (Top Round, Dallas). A limited-run dish served exclusively during the fair season, this sandwich mashes together barbecued beef, sour cream, Fritos and house-made Cheese Whiz.
  • Nutella Calzone (400 Gradi, Dallas). This Australian restaurant that’s focused on Southern Italian cuisine is serving up with a special dessert that is eerily reminiscent of this year’s Big Tex Choice Award Semi-Finalist of Deep Fried Nutella Custard Stuffed French Toast.
  • Cotton Candy Bowl Martini (Whiskey Ranch’s TX Tavern, Fort Worth). We already covered gimmicky State Fair of Texas booze offerings last week, but this one might top all of them. It’s whiskey mixed with bubblegum syrup and lemon, and served with cotton candy as a garnish. At least the cotton candy’s just a garnish here, though, and not part of the drink itself, as is true of the Cotton Candy Shandy beer that’s on tap at Fair Park this year.
  • TX Monte Cristo Fried Brisket with Powdered Sugar (Holy Grail Pub, Plano). This limited-time meal is a fried brisket-and-cheese sandwich that layers on peach preserves and powdered sugar. Hey, if you can’t decide whether you want cavities or heartburn, why not go for both?

Our city boasts an internationally-acclaimed dining scene, but the State Fair of Texas — despite claiming to represent the best that our state has to offer — drags that scene down to its level year in and year out.

Although these dishes might get some gawking write-ups — like, well, this one — and result in a temporary spike in business, these dishes ultimately make Texan cuisine look like a series of shock-value stunts.

No amount of sugar can make that seem sweet.

More Reasons Why The State Fair Of Texas Sucks:

  1. Its history is super racist!
  2. It’s a major drain on Dallas police!
  3. It’s bad for your health!
  4. It’s so damn expensive!
  5. It’s not the economic driver it says it is!
  6. It’s a super shitty neighbor!
  7. It’s an altar to false idols!
  8. It makes Fair Park useless!
  9. It wastes city funds on out-of-towners!
  10. It exploits cute animals!
  11. Its executives take home too much money!
  12. Everything on the midway is a ripoff.
  13. It has willfully ignored its obligations and allowed Fair Park to fall into disrepair!
  14. It refuses to be transparent about the way it spends public funds.
  15. It can’t handle Fair Park’s long-term needs.
  16. Its lauded scholarship program is a joke compared to those of other, similar events.
  17. It uses fear tactics in its negotiations with the city.
  18. It goes out of its way to shield its crowds from the poor black neighborhood that surrounds Fair Park.
  19. Its low-level employees get burned by its executives’ bad business decisions.
  20. Its ticket-based economy is designed to squeeze even more cash out of attendees.
  21. It cares way too much about parking lots that go unused most of the year.
  22. It’s petty as fuck.
  23. It celebrates humanity’s fucked up relationship with livestock.
  24. It refuses to change.
  25. It can be easily debated.
  26. Its concert bookings could be heated up a few degrees.
  27. It’s tearing the Fletcher family apart!
  28. It’s spent a least $1 million to keep its books out of the public eye. What’s it hiding?
  29. It fired a beloved employee, claiming his request to attend a charity event was a contract violation.
  30. It has become a literal joke.
  31. Who’s buying what they’re selling?
  32. Its racist roots are still being unearthed by national scholars.
  33. It’s in bed with its would-be critics.
  34. It thinks you’re super dumb.
  35. It caters to Dallas’ elite in ways you’ve never even heard of because you’re such a plebe.
  36. No, seriously, its racist past is super troubling.
  37. Its attendance is in decline — to the point where other state fairs that last half as long draw bigger annual attendance figures.
  38. It caters too much to TX/OU weekend.
  39. Even its booze is gimmicky.
  40. It’s predictable.
  41. It uses its powerful friends to rush the city into meeting its demands.
  42. It’s a scourge on Dallas traffic.
  43. It uses gifts to buy City Council’s love and support.
  44. Big Tex was an inside job.
  45. Its exotic animal exhibit remains problematic despite repeated issues.
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