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Big Tex Choice Food Awards

It’s time! For what? For the Great State Fair of Texas! The State Fair kicks off tomorrow, September 29, 2017 and goes through Sunday, October 22, 2017. 

The State Fair offers more than 100 shows DAILY, as well as family-friendly activities, fantastic food (this is where we at 214 Eats will be), and competitions. 

Let’s take a moment and talk about the food. Specifically the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards. The Big Tex Choice Awards started in 2005 as a way to debut the most insane, and scrumptious, edible concoctions available at the fair. The awards are “Best Taste - Sweet,” “Best Taste - Savory,” and “Most Creative.”

The contest to discover the winner actually started this summer, in mid-July, with 47 entries. Competitors must “have at least one year of experience as a concessionaire at the Fair to enter the competition.” Once the judges go through all 47 entries, they are narrowed down to 30 semi-finalists. 

From there, the entries are narrowed down to the top 10 finalists. Finally, the entries that are award worthy are announced. 

Taking the award for “Best Taste - Sweet” is the Gulf Coast Fish Bowl. This entry, put together by Clint Probst, is a blue punch cocktail that comes in a fish bowl with Nerds candy, Swedish Fish, and other yummies. Probst has been in the semi-finals eight times, but has never won before. 

The award for “Best-Taste - Savory” and “Most Creative” actually went to the same entry! The winner for these two awards is the Funnel Cake Bacon Quest Burger put together by Tom Grace. This scrumptious winner has funnel cake ‘buns’, burger patties, and delectable cheese dip. 

Finalists include deep fried froot loops, pinot noir popcorn, deep fried chicken noodle soup on a stick, fried texas sheet cake, texas fajita fries, the tamale donut, fat smooth, and surfin’ turfin’ tator boat. 

Hungry yet? 

Get on down to the State Fair of Texas, starting tomorrow, and try everything for yourself! 

Oktoberfest Fort Worth

It’s almost October! Know what that means???? Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest Fort Worth is this weekend, September 21-23! 

At Oktoberfest Fort Worth you will be able to enjoy German clothing and souvenirs, German food, music, dancing, beer and beer gardens, and their annual Dachshund races! 

Oktoberfest Fort Worth is open from 5:00-11:00 PM on Thursday, 5:00-11:00 PM on Friday, and 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM on Saturday. 

Tickets for Oktoberfest Fort Worth are incredibly reasonable! Thursday, September 21 admission costs $5.00, Friday, September 22 admission costs $10.00, and Saturday, September 23 admission costs $10.00. A pass for all three days costs JUST $15.00. Kids under the age of 12 are free with a paying adult. All tickets bought before September 20 come with a FREE 2017 Oktoberfest Fort Worth commemorative stein (a beer mug). 

214 Eats recommends opting for the option of enjoying an authentic German three-course meal from Reata Haus. These dinners are served Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Tickets for the Reata Haus dinner include: festival entrance, three-course meal, a commemorative stein, VIP seating in Spaten Hall, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Tickets for dinner cost $65.00 per person. 

You can purchase tickets for Oktoberfest Fort Worth here

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There is so much to do at Oktoberfest Fort Worth! On Thursday the festival kicks off in Spaten Hall as the first kegs of Spaten will be tapped. There will be plenty of live music and entertainment, carnival games and rides, and fast-food booths. 

You can sign up to participate in the Bier Barrel Rolling Race, or sign your dachshund up to participate in the Dachshund Dash! Other competitions at Oktoberfest Fort Worth include the Bier Wench Stein Carrying competition, the Oktoberfest Olympics, and the Stein Hosting Competition! 

Beer, Food, Fun, what more do you need?! Oktoberfest Fort Worth cannot be missed! 

Date Night! Girls Night! Guys Night!

Have plans for Friday, September 1st? You do now! Grab your significant other, your girlfriends, or your buddies, and head to the Community Beer Company for Brew-HaHa

The Brew-HaHa Comedy Series is having a new comedy dating show that will be hosted by Tyson Faifer from Fox’s Love Connection and WE TV’s Million Dollar Matchmaker. 

One contestant will win a date with a comedian from the Brew-Haha show. However, He or She won’t be able to see the comedian, they will only be able to hear their jokes. The idea is that laughter is the best way to find love, but is it? Come tomorrow and see! 

Tickets are $20, if bought in advance, and include a comedy dating show with a headliner comedian, a souvenir pint glass, 3 craft beers, and a mini tour of the Community Beer Company brewery.  A very limited amount of tickets will be sold. Tickets at the door will be $25 if the event is not already sold out. So call ahead and buy those tickets! 

All tickets are general admission except for VIP seating. If you and your friends want to be up close and personal for the action, purchase a VIP table! VIP tables are $100 and include front row seats for 4 and everything included in the general admission ticket for 4. A limited number of VIP tables will be sold. 

Community Beer Company is located at 1530 Inspiration Dr #200, Dallas, Texas, 75207. They “strive to create the highest quality craft brews [they] can, while creating an environment where our community can gather to enjoy good company and great beer together.” 

No matter who you go with, this show is guaranteed to be the highlight of your week! You will get to laugh with your friends, enjoy great beer, and maybe pick up a date? See ya there! 

It's Rodeo Time!

It’s that time again! Dust off your boots, the North Texas Fair and Rodeo in Denton is back! This year’s fair takes place from Friday, August 18, through Saturday, August 26. 

Come out and enjoy live music, both professional and youth rodeos, carnival rides and FOOD, and livestock exhibitions. This year’s fair will also feature the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Swiftly Swine Swimming & Pig Racing Show, and the Peterbilt Kid Zone. 

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show is presented by Coserv. Performances are Monday-Friday (7:00 PM and 8:30 PM) and Saturday-Sunday (2:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 8:00 PM). 

The Swiftly Swine Swimming & Pig Racing Show is presented by Hill & Hill Attorneys at Law. Performances are Monday-Friday (6:00 PM & 8:00 PM) and Saturday-Sunday (2:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 8:30 PM). 

There are many different types of rodeos to choose from! The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo (PRCA) is your typical rodeo. Events include bareback riding, steer wrestling, a calf scramble, team roping, bull riding, and more! The PRCA Rodeo takes place August 18-20. Other rodeos include the TXT Equipment Invitational Ranch Rodeo (August 21), Mutton Bustin’ for the little kids and the 21 and Under Rodeo (August 22-23), and the Bull Blow Out and Cowboy Protection Match (August 24-26). 

The music line-up is outstanding! The fair gets started with the Josh Abbott Band on August 18 and concludes with Tracy Byrd on August 26. Other entertainers include Travis Tritt, Cody Johnson, Shane Smith & The Saints, and Sam Riggs. You cannot miss this!!

The carnival rides are top-notch! All of your favorites will be there, as well as some new ones! Get ready to relive your childhood on the carousel or the go-gator! Catch a thrill on the Kamikaze, Starship 2000, or the Scorpion! 

And of course we couldn’t forget about the food!! Indulge in fried goodness! Share a funnel cake! Savor the cotton candy! Scarf down the corndog! All your favorite fair food is there! 

Take the family, enjoy the music, have a great time, and enjoy the food! The North Texas Fair and Rodeo can’t be missed! 

6 Tips to Enhance Food Photos

Are you constantly trying to take mouthwatering photos of your restaurant’s food for your website? Do they always turn out the way you hope, or do you need help? Have no fear! 214 Eats here! Taking good photographs of your restaurant’s dishes is essential! Follow these tips to ensure good results: 

1. Take Photos From Above

Taking photographs from above enables you to showcase all details of the dish. It also eliminates any background distractions. 

 

2. Take Clear Photos

I know this is common sense, but think about it! Blurry pictures don’t look professional, and nobody wants to eat food that looks subpar. Keep your hands steady when taking the shot and make sure your photographs come out in focus. 

 

3. Use Natural Light

Food is often showcased best in natural light. One way to do this is simply take the dish outside to photograph. You will have to watch out for shadows (which you do not want), but if you take the photos in the shade you should get the desired effect. 

 

4. Clean Up Your Work Area

You know that napkin you used to wipe up a spill? Make sure it’s not in your photo! I know it should go without saying, but make sure the area around your food is clean! 

 

5. Don’t Fill the Whole Frame

When taking your photos, make sure your dish has area around it. You do not want to fill the entire frame. This creates a more aesthetically pleasing presentation and gives you more space to play with. 

 

6. Simplicity is Key

You want the main focus of your photograph to be your food. Don’t fill your photo with unnecessary silverware or decorations. Use simple white dishes to enhance your food and make it the star! 

You absolutely want to showcase your dishes and make potential customers’ mouths water! These tips will help ensure perfection! Just be sure to let us have a taste! 

Join Us at The Ginger Man

Looking for the perfect location to host your next hangout? 214 Eats has you covered! Look no further than The Ginger Man Pub in Uptown, Dallas! In addition to a great local hangout, The Ginger Man hosts a variety of events throughout the week, and the year!

Next Saturday, July 15, from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM, The Ginger Man will be hosting a Belgian Independence Day Tasting! For just $40 you get to taste 8 different Belgian beers with food pairings, guest speakers, and raffle prizes. You can purchase tickets in advance at the pub or by phone (214.754.8771). Grab some buddies and make some plans! The Ginger Man is the place to be July 15. 

On Thursday, July 20, at 6:00 PM is Brewery Night. Saison DuPont Avec Les Bon Vouex Big Bottle Night - buy a 750ml bottle and you get two glasses. 

In addition to fun one-time events, The Ginger Man also hosts regular events throughout the week. 

On Wednesdays at 6 PM it is ‘Bring Your Own Vinyl’ night! The Ginger Man also uses this night for giveaways and brewery partners. July 12 is ‘Be a Belgian for a Day! Duvel Glass Night: buy a beer, keep the glass’ and July 19 Bells Brewery will be in the house. 

On Tuesdays at 7:30 PM it is ‘Trivial Tuesday.’ Play fun trivia to win prizes! 

Every month The Ginger Man has a specialized flight. The July Flight of the Month includes Ommegang Three Philosophers, Ommegang Fruition, Gulden Draak, and Chimay White. 

Some of the exciting annual events The Ginger Man hosts include the Valentine’s Day Beer and Chocolate Tasting, Texas Independence Day Cook-Offs, Saint Patrick’s Day Party, Memorial Day Party, Belgium Independence Day Tasting (July 15), Labor Day Party, Oktoberfest Kickoff Party, and a special Holiday Tasting. 

Brew the Cure: See You There!

At 214 Eats, what do we love more than food? Food with a cause! We love supporting a fantastic organization while enjoying good eats! 

The Young Leadership Committee of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is hosting its 5th Annual Brew the Cure on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Henderson Tap House in Dallas. 

This awesome event will feature phenomenal live music, a continuous pour of incredible local brews, yummy food, exciting raffle prizes, and tons of fun! Since the event started in 2012, Brew the Cure has raised more than $80,000 to support JDRF’s cause. 

Sponsors for this year’s Brew the Cure include the Orix Foundation and CMS Strategic Partners. 

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on fighting type 1 diabetes research. Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, and no way to prevent it. JDRF funds research that drives scientific progress to deliver new treatments and therapies for those that live with the reality of type 1 diabetes. 

JDRF helps to identify and invest in therapies that prove promising in their early stages. “This investment strategy ensures that the most life-changing breakthroughs can make it through the long research, development and delivery process and get to people living with type 1 diabetes sooner.” 

JDRF also hopes to develop a vaccination that will hopefully prevent type 1 diabetes from the beginning. The vaccine would prevent the autoimmune attack on the cells that produce insulin. JDRF is also working towards therapies that can prevent people with type 1 diabetes from becoming dependent on insulin therapy. 

Individual tickets for the event are $30. To buy tickets, click here. Tickets include free beer (3 tickets each), yummy food (light buffet), exciting raffle prizes, and live entertainment! 

Henderson Tap House is located at 2323 N Henderson Avenue, Dallas, TX75206. 

Food, Beer, Good Cause? See you there! 

Memorial Day Brunch!

Mornings, especially holiday mornings, are for brunchin’! Are we right? Yes. We’re right. 

Head over to Mudhen Meat and Greens on Monday, May 29, from 11 AM - 4 PM for their Memorial Day Brunch Fest! Yummy food, booze, and music? 214 Eats approves! 

Only $20.00 and you get a large buffet, live music, and a PETTING ZOO! The petting zoo will include small goats, sheep, ducks, lil piggies, and chickens! If the petting zoo didn’t sell you, we don’t know what will! 

The buffet includes whole wheat pancakes with all the fixings, applewood bacon, chicken sausage, sweet potato mash, vegetable egg scramble, stuffed avocado, and assorted pastries! Yum! 

For an additional $6 you get the ‘Build Your Own Bloody Mary’ or ‘Double Mimosa’ Bar. 

Falster Farm, HOLY Kombucha, and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters will be on site with demos and samples! Seriously guys, you do NOT want to miss this!

Mudhen Meat and Greens cares about what you put in your body. They strive to provide high quality foods that taste good, feel good, and won’t kill you. They offer a large assortment of healthful options, but don’t identify as a health food restaurant! If you don’t care about healthy eating, their food is still amazing! And you will still feel good when you leave! 

Mudhen Meat and Green is located at 900 South Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201. 

So grab your friends, your family, your mailman, your neighbor (grab everyone!) and make sure you are brunchin’ this Memorial Day at Mudhen Meat and Greens! You will love the food! Your neighbor will love the live music! Your kids (or just you, we won’t judge) will love the petting zoo! Your friends will love the Bloody Mary or Mimosa bar! Your mailman will love the samples and demos! There’s something for everyone! 

See you there!