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Dallas man featured on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’ to serve food at State Fair of Texas

Jesus Carmona’s Big Tex Burrito plays the part: It’s big, bold and (sort of) fried.

By Sarah Blaskovich
Jesus Carmona
Jesus Carmona, owner of Dallas restaurants Chimichurri and Milagro, will have a booth at the State Fair of Texas for the first time in 2022. Carmona was featured on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’ on Food Network, and he credits Guy Fieri for giving his Dallas taco shop a national audience.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)
Dallas restaurateur Jesus Carmona, whose feature on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network made his tacos nationally famous, has scored a booth at the State Fair of Texas in 2022.Carmona will be serving five food items, all inspired by his current and past restaurants: He owns Chimichurri, an Argentinian restaurant in the Bishop Arts District; Milagro, a taco shop in West Dallas; and he’s remembered for Tacos Mariachi, which closed during the pandemic. (Tacos Mariachi was the restaurant where chef-lebrity Guy Fieri “changed his life,” in Carmona’s words.)The biggest food item Carmona will sell at the State Fair of Texas is the Big Tex Burrito, a 12-inch-long flour tortilla stuffed with refried beans, pico, guac, the choice of chicken or beef, and French fries. The fries are inside the burrito. This is the State Fair after all, Carmona says: It’s the place to make a Texas-sized statement.What’s more, the Big Tex Burrito will be sold near Big Tex’s boots, at a booth between Big Tex Circle and the auto show.
Owner Jesus Carbona
Owner Jesus Carbona (right) prepares asada tacos campion alongside chef Nelly Ramos at Milagro in Dallas. These tacos will be sold at his new booth at the State Fair of Texas in 2022.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)
Carmona’s other concessions will include:
  • Mole fries, a dish he cooked with Fieri when the Food Network star visited the State Fair in 2017
  • Two tacos on corn tortillas with crispy asadero cheese, chicharrones, guac, pico, cotija and choice of carne asada, chicken or al pastor
  • Spicy beef empanadas or chicken chipotle empanadas, each inspired by Carmona’s Bishop Arts District restaurant Chimichurri
  • Plus a few alcoholic beverages: mangonada michelada, sangria and wine-based margarita
Jesus Carmona
Jesus Carmona and his team will sell tacos at the State Fair of Texas in 2022.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)
Securing a booth at the State Fair is competitive. Melanie Linnear, senior vice president of food service for the State Fair of Texas, says Carmona’s food is a good fit.“He has so much love and compassion for his business, food and employees, which is exactly what we look for when selecting new vendors for the fair,” she says.Carmona is ready for the attention at the fair: “I’m going to live there 24/7,” he says. “I’m going to put on the outfit I wore with Guy Fieri, same wardrobe, so we attract the people. It’s not just building a stall, we need to build an experience.”
Jesus Carmona's mole fries
Jesus Carmona’s mole fries are beloved. He’ll serve them at the State Fair of Texas for the first time in 2022.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)
The State Fair of Texas runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 23, 2022. Jesus Carmona’s booth — and all the food stands at the fair — are open for 24 days, during fair hours.For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.
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