The State Fair of Texas Go Texan Pavilion is my go-to last stop at the fair every year. You can peruse the wonderful artisan goodies on display, then bundle them up to purchase.
This year, for the first time in living memory, you’ll also be able to sample spirits at the fair, specifically all-Texas-sourced BLK EYE Vodka, made from scratch in Fort Worth with Texas black-eyed peas and corn. This is my favorite Texas vodka — so clean and smooth, with the lightest, sweet note.
Inside the Go Texan General Store, it’s always thrilling to see familiar items from local farmers markets, such as Charlie’s Treats (flavored pecans) made by young Charlie Kobdish, and Taffie Lynn’s Jalapeño Mustard and relish, both from White Rock Farmers Market.
But then we have wonderful temptations from other areas, such as Houston’s Tea in Texas with flavors like Big Tex English Breakfast, packaged in cute little “bandana” tins, and Joe Rub, a coffee-based meat rub, from Carrollton. And I’m thinking stocking stuffers when I get to all the brittles — pecan, jalapeño, cashew — from Frosty’s Candy Barn from Krum.
This year, Don’s Smokehouse from Howe adds bear jerky — a mild, almost-sweet bite. (This was my first time to eat bear, except for a bear claw pastry.) And for hot sauce freaks, it’s hard to beat Evil Cowboy in Richardson, especially the two packaged in snappy wooden tubes: Smok’d and Sacrifice.
Texas olive oil makes a big splash this year with three producers: pioneering Texas Olive Ranch, which has added stuffed olives and seasoning blends; J Welch Farms, with olive-oil-and-dipping-dish sets and Texas flag-themed packaging; and Texana Olive Ranch, from Artesia Wells.
My favorite new vendor is Lisa Freeney with Lisa’s Lemonade from Keller. She’s created a tasty, lip-smacking beverage that comes in at 20 to 30 calories per 12-ounce serving and leaves no aftertaste. The reason, she says: a proprietary blend of organic stevia, organic erythritol and agave nectar. Flavors range from Strawberry Lemonade to Sweet Green Lemonade, which mixes in spinach and ginger among other veggies.
And that, as they say, is only the beginning of the treasures that await at the Go Texan temple in the Food & Fiber Pavilion. You’re also just steps from the State Fair Wine Garden, which includes blind-tasted and judged Go Texan Blue Ribbon Wines, among them Kiepersol’s kicky, canned Flight Bubbly Rosé.
The Texas Department of Agriculture GO TEXAN Pavilion, inside the Food & Fiber Pavilion at the State Fair of Texas. gotexan.org.
Adding to the list
It’s never too late to acknowledge a new market (new to us, that is). Van Alstyne’s farmers market is 4 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday through October. Rail Car Farmers Market, Main Street and Cooper, Van Alstyne. Facebook: railcarfarmersmarket.
Clearfork Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Fort Worth (The Trailhead at Clearfork). farmersmarket1848.com.
Coppell Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. 768 W. Main St., off Bethel Road. 972-304-7043. coppellfarmersmarket.org.
Cowtown Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 3821 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, under the tents in the parking lot of Texas Outdoors, on the Weatherford traffic circle (the confluence of U.S. 377, State Highway 183 and Camp Bowie). 817-763-0193. Facebook: Cowtown Farmers Market.
Dallas Farmers Market: The Shed, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Monday-Thursday. The Market food hall, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (until 8 p.m. Fridays). 1010 S. Pearl Expressway. 214-664-9110. dallasfarmersmarket.org.
Denton Community Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 317 W. Mulberry St. dentoncommunitymarket.com.
Edens Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm: Market days, 9 a.m. to noon first, third and fifth Saturdays through December. 4710 Pioneer Road, Balch Springs. edensorganicfarm.com.
Farmers Branch Market: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Grove at Mustang Crossing, 12700 Denton Drive, Farmers Branch. farmersbranchmarket.com.
Farmers Market of Grapevine: 325 S. Main St. Year-round store: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 520 S. Main. farmersmarketofgrapevine.com.
Frisco Fresh Market: Outdoor market 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Main Street at Frisco Street, adjacent to the east side parking lot of Toyota Stadium, Frisco. friscofreshmarket.com.
Frisco Rotary Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 8821 4th St., Frisco. friscorotaryfarmersmarket.com.
Four Seasons Market-Carrollton: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. 2722 N. Josey Lane. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Casa Linda: Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Casa Linda Plaza, 9440 Garland Road, Dallas. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Colleyville: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 100 Main St., Colleyville. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Flower Mound: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. 1500 Cross Timbers Road. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Highland Village: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. 2230 Justin Road. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Las Colinas: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 7701 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Four Seasons Market-Richardson: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Dal-Rich Towne Square, 101 S. Coit Road. fourseasonsmarkets.com.
Georgia’s Farmers Market: Open daily. 916 15th St., Plano. 972-516-4765. Facebook: Georgia’s Farmers Market.
Grand Prairie Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Market Square, 121 W. Main St. gptx.org.
Historic McKinney Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. Chestnut Square Historic Village, 315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney. 972-562-8790. chestnutsquare.org.
Lakewood Village Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Mockingbird at Abrams, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.
Local Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Saturday of the month through June, then September through November. Highland Park Village, Preston Road at Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. Hpvillage.com/LOCAL.
Lola’s Local Market: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Home of Lola the pig. 1771 Kever Main (off State Highway 5), Melissa. Facebook: Lola’s Local Market.
Luscombe Farm Market: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every second and fourth Sunday. Last one this season: Sunday. 8649 Luscombe Farm Drive, Anna. 214-212-0814. luscombefarm.com.
Mesquite Marketplace: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every second and fourth Saturday. 150 W. Main St. themarketplacedfw.com.
Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Main Street at Cooper, Van Alstyne. Facebook: Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne.
Ridgmar Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. 900 State Highway 183 N. (across from Ridgmar Mall), Fort Worth. 817-246-7525.
Rockwall Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. 101 Rusk St., historic downtown Rockwall square. rockwallfarmersmarket.org.
Rowlett Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. 4000 Main St. villageofrowlettdowntown.com.
West Plano Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Corner of Plano Parkway and Chapel Hill. The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd. Facebook: Red Tent Markets.
White Rock Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Lake Pointe Church, 9150 Garland Road, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.