My husband and I loved celebrating Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs 80th anniversary at this year’s State Fair of Texas. We relished the chance to eat several of the Fletcher family’s incomparable corny dogs (with loads of mustard), and have our photos taken with Mr. Corny. We also met granddaughter/concessionaire Amber Fletcher, who was a great ambassador for the family, at their Thrillway stand.
The Fletcher family has been at the State Fair since 1942, and now operate seven Corny Dog stands on the fairgrounds, including our usual go-to spot at Big Tex Circle. The Thrillway stand at the far end of the Midway is the only place to order the newest entry, though. Amber actually created the Fletcher’s Hot Bird Dog, a turkey dog split and filled with creamy mac ‘n cheese. It’s the Fletcher’s first and only entry that requires a fork and isn’t on a stick. It’s good, but we’re old school and still prefer the Original. I also love the jalapeno cheese dog, but Fletcher’s features a veggie dog, a turkey dog, and several others too. Don’t forget that every Friday morning during the Fair they’re giving away 80 free Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs at each of their seven stands.
Deep Fried Dynasty
As an extra added bonus, we were then invited to take a food crawl and meet some of the award-winning, celebrity concessionaires from A&E’s Deep Fried Dynasty program. A dizzying array of fried (and non-fried) foods were on offer, starting with funnel cakes from Fernie’s Funnel Cakes. Longtime concessionaires at Fernie’s have won a number of Big Tex Choice Awards, and they’re almost always in the annual fried food competition’s top 10 finalists. Everything we’ve every tried from Fernie’s has been delicious, so they must be doing something right.
It was such a treat to meet dynamic Chef Cassy at Cassy’s Creations. She operates a thriving year-round soul-food catering company. Chef Cassy’s fried collard greens and honey/pecan crusted chicken wings were sooooo good. Added bonus: Eating greens makes fried food feel healthier.
Our next stop was to try some meats-on-a-stick at Nevins Concessions stand just outside the Automobile Building. We met and interviewed Josey Nevins-Mayes at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards, when Josey and her mom, Tami, won Best Taste Savory for their Fried Charcuterie Board entry. We loved their Texas Ranch Hog Wings (pork shanks), which our photographer Chris Waits said was the best thing he tried all day.
Time for Dessert
It was time to try something sweet again, so we journeyed to Stiffler’s Moms Cookie Factory to taste some of their deservedly famous chocolate chip cookies. They were also offering their new Dirty Sodas, but my overwhelmed husband begged for a “plain” Dr Pepper. I loved eating some of those just-baked cookies—definitely worthy of having Mom in the title.
Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que was another finalist from this year’s BTCA with “The Ultimate Brookie Monster,” which was a great tasting, almost decadent dessert treat.
Photographer Waits said this is one of his favorite State Fair booths for their BBQ chicken sandwiches. This time we tried their Ultimate Brookie Monster, which tastes as great as it looks.
Abel Gonzales (a.k.a. Fried Jesus) with Vandalay Concessions is another frequent winner of the annual choice awards competition. He was the last stop on our fried food tour, offering his newest creation the Doh-Muff, which was a yummy fried donut-muffin combo. He also offered fried Peanut Butter Jelly (Grape or Strawberry) but we decided to go with the Doh-Muff and were not disappointed.
As I pointed out in an earlier article about fried foods at the State Fair of Texas, calories don’t count with Fair food. This is the last week to try these incredible, once-a-year Fair foods since the State Fair closes its run next Sunday, Oct. 23. Check out bigtex.com for updated schedules and discount offers like Thrifty Thursday for senior discounts.