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Texas State Veggie Fair

by Stephanie Suire on October 25, 2011

This past weekend in Dallas, the State Fair of Texas came to a close after three weeks full of fried, fatty food.  As an alternative to the fried animal products that are served at the State Fair, DallasVegan.com hosted the Texas State Veggie Fair at Winfrey Point on Sunday afternoon.  In just its second year, the vegan and vegetarian fair drew an estimated crowd of 2,500 to the shores of White Rock Lake for food, live music, free yoga, and a vegan fried food competition.  

I arrived at the fair about 5 minutes before it the scheduled start time of 11:00 AM, so that I could attend the 11:15 AM yoga class.  The only downside of the day was when the organizers of the event had us wait  in line for about 20 minutes before we entered, so that all of the vendors could finish setting up for the fair.  Apparently the new, expanded venue and larger number of vendors led to some disorganized chaos at the beginning.  Around 11:17, I was finally handed a wristband and goodie bag and the fair was underway.

The yoga class, led by Nicole Sopko of Chicago, was held outside overlooking White Rock Lake.  It felt good to stretch my legs and lower back after my half marathon on Saturday, although it was the first time I have ever taken a yoga class with a rock band playing live music in the background.  As our instructor put it, “Get ready for the loudest savasana of your life.”

After the yoga class, I checked out several of the booths who were giving out information on nutrition, vegetarian and vegan diets, and animal rights.  The atmosphere was fun and animal friendly, with lots of dogs as well as families enjoying the slightly overcast day along the lake. 

By this time, I was getting hungry so it was time to check out all of the food vendors.  First I started with the food samples from Hail Merry which make raw, vegan, gluten-free snacks.  Both the coconut macaroons and chocolate tart were delicious.  Then I tried the newest product from Honest Tea, the CocoaNova.  I actually prefer the flavored teas over the cocoa line. 

There were so many options for lunch that I had a hard time choosing what to eat.  The vendors were selling organic juice, tofu breakfast tacos, tamales, vegan corn dogs, frito pie, ice cream, cookies, brownies and cupcakes.  Apparently fair food was the theme, because I did not see any real veggies being served, unless you count the ones going into the juicer.  I was torn between the food trucks and Spiral Diner but it was the pumpkin cupcake that ultimately led me to the very long line in front of the Spiral Diner booth.  

Sticking with the State Fair atmosphere, I ordered the vegan frito pie.  It was covered in “meat” (I assume it was seitan), black beans, vegan cheese and some red onions.  Halfway through, I started to wish that I had someone to share my lunch with so that I could go back and try more food.  I think I would have gone for the vegan corn dog and fried pickles. 

 

Ultimately, I was too full for dessert so I boxed up my cupcake to take home for later.  By the time I left the fair around 1:30 that afternoon, the lines for lunch were getting longer and the parking lots were packed.   The second annual Texas State Veggie Fair was a big success and I can’t wait to see how it grows and expands again next year. 

I am also checking out the Dallas food truck calendar so I can track down Geonarino’s soon.  Then I am going to visit Spiral Diner in Oak Cliff for dessert.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Corey @ Learning Patience October 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM

What an awesome alternative….Looks like it was a blast!
xoxo from Houston

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2 Jen@FoodFamilyFitness October 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM

What a great idea!!! That frito pie looks freaking awesome!

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3 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Awesome! So much cool stuff all in one place. I think I would have given into the frito pie too!

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4 Stephanie October 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I wish I could have seen what the food trucks were serving but the lines were just so long! Some people I sat with had the vegan corn dog and said it was really good too.

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5 Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled October 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

What a great idea for a fair. I’ve been craving nachos for several days now and that frito pie just made me want them even more.
I’ve never tried seitan. Does it taste anything like meat or more like bread? And what’s the texture like?

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6 Stephanie October 25, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I have only cooked seitan once in a stir fry, however it can be grated and browned like ground meat. The flavor depends on how it is prepared or marinated. I think I prefer the texture of seitan over tofu.

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7 Jamey October 25, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Glad you enjoyed it Stephanie! Also glad you were there before the lines got too long :/ Definitely something we will work to fix for next year!

What half did you do on Saturday? I was too busy planning that I didn’t even realize there was a race.

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8 Stephanie October 25, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I really enjoyed the fair and will definitely be back next year.

On Saturday I ran the 13.1 Marathon Dallas – it was the first year for this race that started and ended in the Arts District downtown. You can see my recap of the race here… http://foodandfitness4real.com/2011/10/22/13-1-dallas-marathon-race-recap/

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9 Jamey October 25, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Wow, can’t believe I didn’t hear about that race! What a cool medal…congrats!

I guess I haven’t been training much this summer, so I haven’t been in-the-know. I’m hoping to do the White Rock half in December.

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10 Stephanie October 26, 2011 at 8:46 AM

I have lived in Dallas for 8 years and still have not ran the White Rock full or half. My husband and I are running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas half on Dec 4th instead (same day as White Rock).

I am also running the DRC Half on Nov 6th. There is still time to register for that race!

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11 Nicole Sopko October 31, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Hey Stephanie! Just stopped by to check out your blog. Thanks so much for coming to yoga at the fair and I hope our paths will cross again someday! Om Shanti!

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12 Stephanie November 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I enjoyed meeting you and taking your yoga class on Sunday morning, it was a great way to start off the fair. I really needed the stretches and poses that you took us through during the class. Thanks and I hope you get back to Dallas often.

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13 Christy October 31, 2011 at 11:43 PM

So glad you could join us at the fair and take advantage of the yoga and yummy food!

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14 Stephanie November 1, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Great job with planning such a successful event! It was my first year attending and I think that everyone was surprised at the turnout. Even with the long lines, everyone enjoyed the food and activities. Looking forward to next year!

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