The 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, aka the "fried food awards," has narrowed down the list of finalists for the 2019 State Fair of Texas showdown.
The competition began in July, when 49 entries were submitted by 30 concessionaires. Of those entries, 33 were selected as semi-finalists, based primarily on whether they had a catchy name.
For this round, the entries were evaluated on four criteria: uniqueness, creativity, presentation, and taste.
On Sunday, August 25, three winners will be crowned in the categories of: “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.”
Here are the finalists:
Calypso Island Shrimp Bowl by Stephen Alade
Tropical cabbage stir fry with carrots, kale, scallions, ginger, and red bell peppers, served on yellow tropical rice topped with shrimp and a sweet and spicy tropical glaze.
Fernie’s Fried Burnt End Burrito by Winter Family Concessions
Burrito with burnt ends, pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, bacon, Mexican blend cheese, and diced jalapeños is fried, then cut in half and served with panko-crusted onion rings dusted with barbecue seasoning.
Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Mexi-Cone by Ruth Hauntz
Barbacoa served in an ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans, and cilantro lime rice is topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde.
Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball by Greg Parish
Fried ball filled with fettuccine Alfredo, Southern-fried chicken bites, and mozzarella cheese; garnished with Alfredo sauce and Parmesan cheese; and served with fried asparagus spears and a toasted garlic parmesan baguette.
Texas Cream Corn Casserole Fritters by Clint Probst
Cream corn casserole with a Texas twist: Cream corn, kernel corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese, cornbread mix, bacon, and diced jalapeños are formed into fritters and fried. Four to an order, served with a cream corn queso blanco dip.
Big Red Chicken Bread by Brent & Juan Reaves
Fried chicken wing served on a doughnut that's frosted with Big Red-flavored frosting. So long, chicken and waffles.
Deep Fried Bayou Fruit Bites by Terrence & Lisa Henderson
Fruit wedges are battered, deep fried, and coated in a secret sweet confection, then finished with whipped topping and caramel sauce, with choice of additional toppings that include candy, chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, and assorted berries.
Fla’Mango Tango by The Garza Family
Fried mango pastry is drizzled with citrus glaze and whipped topping and served with strawberry mango sorbet.
Peanut Butter Cup Snookie by Michelle Edwards
Peanut butter cup cookie with vanilla ice cream adorned with caramel and chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Quick Fried “Black Gold” Truffles by Glen & Sherri Kusak
Fried balls made from crushed thin chocolate cookies, cream cheese, and mini white chocolate chips, coated in a breading made from vanilla wafers, corn flakes, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
Winners will be chosen on Sunday, August 25, at 2 pm in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park. Tickets are $125 and are available online at BigTex.com/tickets.