Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: October 16, 2009 (Gill's Fried Chicken, Kyle Fair & Music Festival)

Posted 16 October, 2009 at 10:56pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

When I started the day, I had no idea that it would be a day full of fried foods.

Lunch: I picked up lunch from Gill's Fried Chicken (101 Hall Professional Center, Kyle, TX‎ - (512) 268-1357‎). I got several pieces of dark meat, fried okra, gizzards, livers, and corn. The gizzards and livers were quite good - full of flavor and nicely textured. The chicken was pretty decent as well - better than the other chicken places we've tried since we moved out here (Church's and Golden Chick, both of which had bland flesh). The corn was waterlogged but the fried okra was pretty decent.
Gill’s Fried Chicken

Dinner: We headed over to the Kyle Fair & Music Festival for some street fair food.
Kyle Fair & Music Festival

I started off with a corn dog (always have to get a corn dog). This picture is of the corn dogs on display - not the one I ate. I drown my corn dogs in yellow mustard - one of the only times I enjoy yellow mustard.
Corn Dogs

Then I had some fried rattlesnake which really does taste like chicken. In this case it tasted like chicken fried in only oil. We bumped into my neighbor's son, so I gave him the rattlesnake to taste and share with his buddies.
Fried Rattlesnake

These guys also had fried squirrel - but Tina vetoed it since she didn't know if the rabies virus was destroyed by deep frying.

We then got a bread roll filled with seasoned rice, shrimp and (supposedly) crab. I didn't know where the crab was, but the shrimp tasted like gulf shrimp (which has a strong briney flavor that I don't particularly enjoy).
Shrimp and Crab Bread

Then I saw this child walking through the crowd with his dad.
Child with Lightsaber

We got a roasted corn with salt, pepper, mayonnaise, lemon pepper, and powdered parmesan. They also put this mild chile sauce on it that wasn't very spicy (but was a bit sour - like tamarind). I think it would have been great without that, but with the sauce on it was a bit too acidic for our taste.
Roasted Corn

We then stood in line for fried pickles. (That makes it sound like everyone was in line for fried pickles, but that's not the case. Everyone was in line for funnel cakes - it just happened that they had fried pickles and we were curious.) We were imagining pickle spears that had been breaded and fried. We got hamburger chips battered and fried. They really tasted like McDonald's pickle slices. We ate five or six total and then had to leave the rest in the trash.
Fried Pickles

Finally, I decided on getting a bag of kettle corn. We stopped at this booth to try their kettle corn and it was pretty good - but there was a booth next to theirs and we tried their sample and it was better. So I bought my bag from the other booth. I almost bought a bag from this couple since they were old and nice - like story book grandparents - but the other booth's kettle corn had better texture and better flavor.
Making Kettle Corn

5 comments to What I Ate: October 16, 2009 (Gill's Fried Chicken, Kyle Fair & Music Festival)

chris, October 17th, 2009 at 2:07 pm:

  • hi, mc–sorry, i felt kinda sick after reading what you ate at the fair! the idea of a lot of that food appeals to me, but the reality is that it would lay me low! i like all the photos. noticed all the "big" guys at the fair–from eating too much of that stuff! haven't i read that tx has the highest obesity rate? that was sweet what you said about the nice, old couple…my sister (a mobile sharpener in columbus, oh–formerly an arborist) will enjoy your articles about knives…i'm enjoying exploring your site! thanks.

Scott, October 17th, 2009 at 2:16 pm:

  • I've yet to find fried pickles that were spears; they've always been slices, but I've only seen them used as sandwich toppings. Nothing special, though, I'll agree.

    The corn looked good (well, except for the chili sauce "leeches"). I don't know what it is, but I have yet to have a single good cob of sweet corn here in California in all 8 years I've lived here. I used to live in Wisconsin, and maybe I was spoiled. We grew corn in the garden, so we wouldn't even pick it until the water was boiling. When I worked in the produce section of Piggly Wiggly, we would get corn delivered by a local farmer literally down the road. It was delivered in a refrigerated truck, but it was still warm from being in the field in the sun just a hour or two before being delivered.

    The best I've had has been at Chili's…I'm sure it was frozen, and still not all that great, but it's the best I've had in California. I've tried supermarkets, higher-end grocery stores, organic produce stores, farmers' markets, etc. Nothin. :-p Even at Chez Panisse, their corn sucked.

    I'm with you on the yellow mustard: corndogs, or big pretzels. That's it. :-p

    I do have to say, though, that the best corndog I've ever had (and I'm a man who's had quite a few corndogs) is at the annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival. You have to be careful, though, because I made this mistake: it's only from one specific stand. There are lots of stands that sell corndogs, but there's only ONE worth stopping at. I went back to the festival the next year thinking they all sold similar corndogs, but was sooooo disappointed in the one I got from some random stand. Then I found the other stand, and had to have another. It had an airbrushed sign with a picture of a cartoon corndog. They offer two kinds: regular and spicy, and they are both awesome. The "dogs" they use are pretty OK, but their cornbread batter is just…perfect. :-p I go to the festival every year, and I can tell you I couldn't care less about the "art" they have there. I start at one end, and make a beeline for the airbrush cartoon corndog stand on the other. *laughs*

    Deepfried rattlesnake and squirrel? You find the weirdest deep-fried things at festivals, and especially in Texas. :-p Isn't that where deep-fried Coca-cola and deep fried butter were invented? I should talk, though, coming from the land of deep-fried cheese curds…

Michael Chu, October 17th, 2009 at 9:53 pm:

  • The best corn I've had in California was purchased from "Corn Palace" (I think that's what he calls it) off of Lawrence Expressway on the border of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. It's near Lawrence and Poinciana and on the west side of Lawrence - you have to turn onto White Oak after you turn on Poinciana Dr. and drive to the end. Its adjacent to the last remaining farm land on Lawrence in that area. Not always great, but once it was unbelievable.

    The corndog I had was pretty bad. The batter was still a little gooey even though the outside had been cooked to dark brown. My guess is that it needed to spend more time in the fryer but couldn't because the oil was too hot.

    The whole time I was eating the kettle corn (the only good thing I ate at the fair) was how much I miss the garlic kettle corn that you get at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Just one guy does it (or does it good) and it's worth braving the heat every year to get it.

susan, October 17th, 2009 at 11:06 pm:

  • Please can I have a receipe for cooking squirrel. I live in Manchester UK and we are overrun with the pests. One of them has just eaten my husbands prize winning sunflower.

    Love the site


Optimista, October 18th, 2009 at 1:27 pm:

  • Plucker's sells fried pickles that are spears, as opposed to chips, and I think they're quite good. Check 'em out!