Sunday, August 31, 2008

Who Needs the State Fair? Chapter 3 - The Eats

Food is one of the highlights of Trade Days, turkey legs, chili, stuffed potatoes, freshly (as in while you watch) roasted peanuts. My personal favorite, and apparently many others is Ida Mae's, which is the only place that sells fried green tomatoes. On busier weekends I've witnessed a line 20 people long waiting to purchase one of their house specialties.

There is no Ida Mae at Ida Mae's, or to be exact Ida Mae is a dog, the pet of owner Claudia. When it came to naming the business 2 1/2 years ago, everyone thought Ida Mae would be a good name, fitting of the venue - and it is. It's a family business, two of Claudia's five grown sons (who live in the Dallas area) help her, a necessity because Claudia lives in Iowa. In her early 60's, she works full-time in a cereal factory, and part-time as a tax preparer, patching together vacation and sick days to fly down once a month. Her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago, and while she could make a living just working Trade Days, she can't give up her health insurance.

This was one of the few times I could have tried their fried pickles, the heat of the day would have flushed the sodium right out my pores. Ida Mae's is located at the intersection of lanes 52 & 95 - there's no lane markers, so you'll have to ask around.

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