A hamburger topped with bacon, drenched with queso and sandwiched between two funnel cakes proved so impressive, it won two Big Tex Choice Awards Sunday afternoon.
The Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger, dreamed up by longtime (28 years) concessionaire Tom Grace, took home the awards for Best Taste — Savory and Most Creative at the 13th annual competition. It was Grace's second time to make it to the finals and his first time to win.
The only title left to claim was Best Taste — Sweet, and it went to the Gulf Coast Fish Bowl from Clint Probst. He has been a semifinalist in the competition eight times in a row.
Probst's designer drink starts with Nerds candy as the gravel at the bottom. It's filled with tropical-flavored alcoholic punch. Swedish Fish swim through the blue liquid, and a pineapple slice serves as the lid.
Previously, the fair just had Best Taste and Most Creative categories. Last year, the winners for taste and creativity were Deep Fried Jell-O and State Fair Cookie Fries, respectively.
On Sunday, 10 finalists, including Pinot Noir Popcorn, Texas Fajita Fries and Deep Fried Froot Loops, were tasted by six judges and sampled by attendees that bought tickets for the awards ceremony.
The judges include Dallas City Council member Adam Medrano, country artist Casey Donahew, Jack Perkins, owner of Maple & Motor, Lisa Taylor of 99.5 The Wolf, Rocky “ROCK-T” Turner and 10-year-old audience member Cali Villacci. She got her ticket picked from a drawing to be a special guest judge.
The competition began in July with 47 entries that were narrowed to 30 semifinalists earlier this month. All 10 finalists will be available to try at the fair. And the foods that didn't make the finals could be available at the fair if their concessionaires choose to sell them.
With the winners crowned, now all Texans have to do is wait a month to try them. The fair runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22.