A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 20, 2009
Fried Food Capital of Texas (State Fair of Texas)

The State Fair of Texas began its friendly food fight, the Big Tex Choice Awards, in 2005. The nickname “Fried Food Capital of Texas” was added in 2006.
The State Fair of Texas has long been known for its corny dogs (since the 1940s), although the first corn dog originated at the Louisiana state fair in the 1930s.
State Fair of Texas®  aka Fried Food Capital of Texas
Since the invention of the Fletcher’s Corny Dog, fairgoers have often ranked food as one of the top reasons for attending the annual State Fair of Texas. In 2005, Fair organizers - determined to take the association with food to a new level - organized the first annual Big Tex Choice Awards contest. 
The contest is considered a friendly food fight among Fair concessionaires.  Entries must be new to the Fair, unique and taste-tempting.  In mid-summer, an invitation is sent to all contracted State Fair vendors with details about the contest.  Interested concessionaires submit menus to a committee for review and consideration.  Often the committee will request samples for taste testing before choosing the finalists for the contest.  On Labor Day, a panel of judges is on hand when the kitchen heats up for the final round of competition. Awards are presented in two categories - best taste and most creative.  The competition is held prior to the opening of the Fair each year and is not open to the general public.
2005 Most Creative       Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
2005 Best Taste         Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
2006 Most Creative       Fried Coke
2006 Best Taste         Fried Praline Perfection
2007 Most Creative       Deep Fried Latte
2007 Best Taste         Texas Fried Cookie Dough
2008 Most Creative       Fried Banana Split
2008 Best Taste         Chicken Fried Bacon
2009 Most Creative       Deep Fried Butter
2009 Best Taste         Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
6 September 2005, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “1.)  The new State Fair fare? I’m fried and gone to heaven” by Jacquielynn Floyd:
“For one month out of the year, the State Fair of Texas becomes the fried food capital of the world,” said fair president Errol McKoy.
3 August 2006, Washington (DC) Times, “All is fare at frying fests” by jennifer Harper: 
This year, the Texas State Fair is claiming the title “The Fried Food Capital of Texas,” and who could blame it?
17 September 2006, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “Big as Texas” by Janet Wilson, pg. J12: 
But did you know that the fair is now recognized as the “Fried Food Capital of Texas?”
Dining in Dallas
September 30th, 2006
Fried Food Capital of Texas
But those are not the real reasons why you’ll go to the state fair, are they? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. You go to the state fair every year for the food! Those deep fried, finger licking, and artery clogging treasures of the fair that earned them the title “Fried Food Capital of Texas.” Among staples like the turkey leg and funnel cake, here are some of the new items this year that are sure to give you a quick trip to the hospital.
New Frontier In Fatty Food: Deep-Fried Butter
September 4, 2009
By Scott Hensley
Deep-fried butter. Just writing those words gives us a warm feeling in our stomach and more viscous blood in our arteries.
Crazy as it sounds, the stuff’s for real. If you’re brave enough, you can can sample some in a couple of weeks at the State Fair of Texas. The Dallas fair lays claim to being the birthplace of the corn dog and is also known as the “Fried Food Capital of Texas.”
Dallas (TX) Morning News
Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream wins best taste at Bix Tex Choice Awards
12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 8, 2009
By FRANK L. CHRISTLIEB / The Dallas Morning News
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And if the fair is really the Fried Food Capital of Texas – not that anyone would dispute it – what does that make four-time winner Abel Gonzales Jr.? The concocter of Deep Fried Butter took home the prize for most creative, giving him two wins in each category since the contest began in 2005.
“I’ve heard Fry King and King of Fry Street,” said Gonzales, embracing his Oscar-ish trophy, complete with Big Tex head. “I don’t call myself any of those, but those are some of the names that get thrown around.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, September 20, 2009 • Permalink

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