Top 10 Foods Better Than Corn Dogs At The State Fair of Texas

Fried food, sure, but why stop there?
Fried food, sure, but why stop there?
Photos by Patrick Michels

OK, so you gotta have a corn dog. And you'd kick yourself if you didn't try one of this year's fried novelties.

But the big event offers more than a line up of stick foods and wild creations. In amongst monotonous stalls selling Fletcher's dogs, bagged cotton candy and grease-crusted Snickers bars, there are those known for more credible fare.

With the exception of our number one choice (and number seven, but that doesn't really count), none of these would stand restaurant scrutiny. Of course, that's not what you visit Big Tex for, is it? Still, if you have a few coupons left after treating yourself to the fair food necessities, there are plenty of better-than-expected dishes to be found.

Here are the top ten.

10. Catfish Floyd's 2-piece basket
At least two Midway locations
You're weighing the decision: corn dogs or fried catfish. Then it hits you--not only is the lowly bottom dweller a true Southern dish, but you're also debating between fluffy farm raised fish and heavily processed, nitrate laden pig scraps. Yes, the 2-piece catch at Catfish Floyd's costs twice as much (16 coupons) as a corn dog. But you get two--and a clear conscience.


9. Grilled gator and/or gumbo
Just south of Big Tex
First of all, it's not fried. It will take you half a day of wandering to find another non-fried item. Indeed, fried gator at the same stall costs a little more (17 coupons to 14 for the grilled). Second, and more important, this is the state fair--which means its a time for experimentation, a time to try new things. How many corn dogs have you eaten in your lifetime? How much gator? That's reason enough.

Don't forget to eat your vegetables.
Don't forget to eat your vegetables.

8. Fried green beans
Just north of Big Tex
This portion satisfies both our impulse to chow down on crispy dough and our countervailing desire to eat healthy. By appealing to yin as well as yang, this particular dish stands as one of the fair's most sensible offerings. Besides, you can use it to lure the kids away from fried butter and back into the food pyramid. At least for a couple of minutes.

7. The Amsterdam Bar
Across the street on Exposition Avenue
Yeah, it's not technically part of the fair. But you just have to put up with a little more exercise--i.e., crossing a street. Don't want to? Fine--spend 9 or 10 coupons for a Bud Light. Serious beer drinkers will be on Exposition, sipping Chimay (all three label colors), Duvel, Dogfish Head or even Paulaner's Salvator--for real cash at about the same price.



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