Photo courtesy of Abel Gonzales on Facebook

If you happen to get a hard copy of the New York Times delivered to your home, you’ll see the work of a Woodrow Wilson graduate featured on the front page of the food section.

Just looking at the photo featuring deep-fried peanut butter, deep-fried cookie dough and jelly and banana sandwiches is enough to make you drool and miss the State Fair of Texas.

But fear not. The fair may be canceled, but you can taste these inventive dishes at Abel Gonzales’ restaurant Cocina Italiano at 7101 Harry Hines Blvd.

Gonzales graduate from Woodrow in 1988 and has been deep frying foods at the state fair since 2002. The Times featured him in an article about how concessionaires are going to great lengths to make fair food available as many state fairs are canceled because of the coronavirus.

Here’s what the Times wrote about our neighbor:

Dallas chef Abel Gonzales said he usually earns 80 percent of his annual revenue in just 24 days in September and October, selling deep-fried foods at the State Fair of Texas. His signature is deep-fried butter: Wrap bread dough around a slab of butter, freeze it and fry it. The dough crisps and the butter liquefies.

Mr. Gonzales is offering a few fair-food items, including fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches, at Cocina Italiano, his restaurant in the city, but he knows the math won’t add up. Last year, the State Fair of Texas pulled in 2.5 million visitors.

“I’m not going to make those numbers,” he said. “But I have a very strong support system, and I have a restaurant. I’m thinking about the people that depend on the fair, everybody from my crew to the guys who run the rides. Just the ripple effect of the fair not happening. It’s heartbreaking.”

Read the full article here.

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