Are you hungry?

Three-year-old Ralph Rhymes III enjoys his large ice cream cone and says he love
Are you hungry?

The fair in is town, and you know what that means! Rides, midway games and, to be honest, the real reason you came — the food!

We’ve scoured the South Texas State Fair to find the best bang for your buck just in time for the final weekend.

Fair cuisine has a longstanding tradition of being unhealthy, fried and served on a stick, and most of this year’s options are no different. However, just because a corndog and a funnel cake is your usual go-to meal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to widen your feast.

The Weekly Dish brought $20 and determination to find the most food for the money. We decided to buy a drink, something savory on a stick and a delicious dessert.

We started our search by going to different booths and exploring our options. Alligator on a stick? No thanks. Stuffed dill pickle? Pass. Donut burger? Hmmm, maybe.

At last, we chose a traditional staple, a pork kabob. While the choices for buying the treat was literally around every corner, we decided to skip the lines at the Rudy’s and Crystal Beach stands and go straight for the prize at Piggin’ Out. The smaller white trailer hails from Groves and travels around this area throughout the year selling its famous pork kabobs smothered in a secret recipe barbecue sauce.

The long skewer was loaded down with thick, tender pieces of pork fresh off the grill. The sweet sauce was finger-licking good; we suggest asking for extra. For $7 we thought the price was decent considering it satisfied our hunger for a bit.

As we walked around, we noticed that there were more people in the food section than in the midway playing games, or even riding rides. The people know what they want.

The pork was great but in the Texas sun, we were getting parched. Lemonade stands line the walkways and everyone is selling the “best, fresh-squeezed” juice, so picking a beverage was difficult as well. We turned a corner and saw it: Bayou Billy’s Sweet Dixie Tea stand. The oversized inflatable mug got our attention, but we stayed for the $7 big tin cup and dollar refills. The owner, Tricia Taylor, said this was the first year Bayou Billy’s has been at the South Texas State Fair, and people are really enjoying their teas.

“We have dollar refills and they can come up and pour it themselves, whichever kind they like,” Taylor said. “We suggest trying our Hillbilly Tea. It’s a special blend of lemonade and sweet tea.

Moving on down the isles, we decided to grab something sweet before we headed home. This was the hardest part of the challenge. We are suckers for fried food, and want to try all things unusual, so we were stumped as to which treat to pick. Red velvet funnel cakes seemed tasty but were also $7, so we couldn’t afford this delicacy.

Bright red candied apples were in abundance, but we were looking for something a little more unique. Ah, ha! A sign boasting of surprising concoctions caught our attention and we headed for a large, brightly colored sweet treats stand to pick from an array of fried foods like Twinkies, Pop Tarts, Nutella and Snickers. We choose fried Reese’s peanut butter cups, but only because we sampled fried Nutella last year and found eating it to be a bit more messy than we would like to admit. The crispy, puffy ball was served on a stick within a tray and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Although it seemed to have more peanut butter than a regular Reese’s cup, we enjoyed every last bite, and it was only $6. If we had 50 more cents, we would have opted for the bacon wrapped one (it’s Texas, and everything should be wrapped in bacon).

If you are not in the mood for another kabob, and the thought of fried anything makes your tummy turn, fret not. The South Texas State Fair has a wide range of food you can choose from. Pizza, ice cream, cotton candy, grilled corn and more are available throughout the park. There is something for everybody!

We hope you enjoy all that the fair has to offer. And even though the food is a little bit pricey, we can assure you the treats we had were worth every penny.


We like to know where you like to go! E-mail suggestions for next week’s adventure to weeklydish [at] theexaminer [dot] com.