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The State Fair's New Biergarten Brings New, Non-Fried Options, and an Extra Pricetag

You're likely going to have one of two reactions to the new Texas Discovery Biergarten at the State Fair of Texas. You might be genuinely excited by some new options. After all, nothing cries out anti-fair like a spinach salad with dried fruit.

On the other hand, if you've just spent hundreds of dollars on admission for your family, parking and enough tickets to stuff all the pockets on your cargo pants, you might think something like: How do these people have the balls to charge me more money for another event where I get to spend more money?

So let's get that out of the way right now. The Biergarten is inside the Texas Discovery Gardens, which you always have to pay to enter. Admission is half the regular price for the event though, or $4 adults, $3 for old folks and $2 for the kids. That gets you in the door, but you're going to want to drink some beer and eat some food, and all of that is going to cost more dinero, too.

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They take cash, credit cards and even checks, and you knew this whole thing was going to set you back a month's rent anyway. So if you've had enough fried whatever on a stick, the Biergarten is ready to accommodate you.

Bolsa's in the house, and in addition to that spinach salad, they're cooking up fall squash soup, Brian Luscher's Red Hots, Frito Pie and smoked-turkey and Swiss wraps. The Tamale Co. is serving tamales, and Four Corners Brewery is supplying the drunk. Local Buzz, Red's Roja, El Chingon, and Palatero will all be there in 16-ounce pours for $6. The food runs $5-$10, and Bolsa Mercado is setting up a mini-mercado with sodas, chocolates, chips and other snacks.

Wrap this all up in an air-conditioned environment and suddenly the Biergarten is looking attractive when the weather or too much deep-fried stuff starts to give you the sweats. It's like a tranquil little paradise surrounded by a sea of deep-fried-carney-madness. I almost wish I could parachute in.

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