Food & Drink

Take A Bite Out of The 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards

Sweet, savory and oh so tasty! The countdown is on until you can sink your teeth into the most delicious new items at the State Fair of Texas.

Visit Dallas Staff
Posted on Aug 27, 2018

Forty-nine of the most delicious contenders entered this year's Big Tex Choice Awards for a chance to win one of the most coveted titles in all of Texas. The competition began in early July with an impressive 49 entries represented by 30 concessionaires. Of those entries, only 31 were selected as semi-finalists. Each entry was then judged on four Fair-food elements: uniqueness, creativity, presentation and taste. Come September 28, you'll be able to dig into the top 10 finalists at this year's State Fair of Texas.

Now that your taste buds are tingling, we won't make you wait any longer. Feast your eyes upon this year's Big Tex Choice Award winners.

Most Creative: Cotton Candy Taco by Justin & Rudy Martinez

This sweet s'more creation begins with a graham cracker waffle cone batter that is freshly-pressed into a crunch taco shell shape. The inside of the shell is coated with a marshmallow glaze, then stuffed with chocolate, toasted marshmallow and organic cane sugar cotton candy. To finish the masterpiece, it is topped with a handful of chocolate cookie crumbles and two chocolate cream-covered biscuit sticks.

Best Tasting – Savory: Fernie's Hoppin' John Cake by Winter Family Concessions

This iconic New Year's Eve southern "good luck" dish takes a dip in a deep fryer for a unique and mouthwatering spin! The classic ingredients of creamy, nutty black-eyed peas, fluffy white rice, spicy smoked sausage, aromatic green onions and a secret blend of spices are combined with bread crumbs and eggbeaters and formed into a generous Texas-sized cake.

Best Tasting – Sweet: Arroz Con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice) by the Garza Family

A delectable cinnamon-spiced rice ball is formed, battered and coated in crispy puffed rice cereal. The ball is then deep fried to golden perfection. This scrumptious indulgence is sprinkled with powdered vanilla and complimented with a Texas-sized scoop of vanilla ice cream. Once served, it's accompanied by a mouthwatering drizzle of caramel sauce and powdered cinnamon.


Deep Fried Shepherd's Pie by Clint Probst

Shredded cheddar cheese and cream is mixed into savory mashed potato pillows.  Each potato ball is filled with Grandma's shepherd's pie filling made of ground beef, mixed vegetables, and rich beef gravy. The special seasoning creates an explosion of flavors and textures as the filling and creamy potatoes mix with each bite.

Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat by Tom Grace

Buttery skillet potatoes are griddled golden brown, combined with diced breakfast sausage patties and packed around a mini Babybel® cheese loaf. Seasoned in flour and dipped in the fryer, the skillet potato melts are then served up in the potato skins they came from and topped with melted cheddar and crispy bacon bites. A sour cream chipotle sauce is drizzled across the top and served on the side for dipping!

Fernie's Orange You Glad We Fried It?! By Winter Family Concessions

Layers of chiffon orange cake, whipped cream and citrusy orange preserves are lightly blended to form a custard filling. The mixture is spooned into flaky puff pastry dough, folded turnover style, and sealed before being fried into little crescent-shaped pillows, dusted with powdered sugar. Served with two dipping sauces and garnished with a double citrus twist slice.

State Fair Ful-L Cake Ice Cream by Tom Landis

Capturing the essence and flavor of the State Fair, this creamy smooth, premium ice cream has funnel cake flavor infused into it with funnel cake pieces and powdered sugar mixed throughout the dish. It is available with powdered sugar, whipped cream and strawberry sauce.

Sweet Bakin' Bacon by Ed & Eddie Campbell

A cream-filled sponge cake is wrapped in savory bacon and then dipped in a funnel cake batter. This treat is then deep fried until golden brown and dusted with powdered sugar to finish.

Texas Fried Hill Country

Fried mozzarella is complimented with locally grown basil, sandwiched between two slices of juicy green tomatoes, and hand-breaded with seasoned breadcrumbs and flash fried to gooey perfection. Each dish is served on a bed of field greens, finished with balsamic drizzle and sweet local Texas honey.

Texas Twang-kie by Chris & Sherry Howard

Cornbread cake is baked to moist perfection, hollowed out and filled with a culinary masterpiece of Tex-Mex grilled chicken white bean chili! Each twang-kie is served with cornbread fries and more chili for dipping. It's a savory twist on an American classic!