Texans are known for a supersize it way of looking at things. When it comes to cooking at fairs and livestock shows, Keith and Laura Houchin think big.
They’re the owners of the Texas Skillet, which can be found at the far east end of the array of livestock barns (outside) on the south side of the the Fort Worth Stock Show grounds. The Texas Skillet is a giant 7-foot replica of a cast iron skillet that provides a large flat top griddle. The booth’s theme is emphatically Texas and it’s one big attention grabber at fairs and large events.
The menu items range from breakfast tacos to a steak sandwich. A famous item is the Cowboy Burrito, a tasty combination of steak, skillet potatoes, and cheese wrapped in a 10 inch tortilla.
Laura Houchin said customers can “see what they’re getting right away. They can see it cooking. They smell it. They get a show and good food at the same time.”
All in all, the Houchins of Fort Worth have been in business about 25 years, she said. They have featured the giant skillet for the past 15 years.
Houchin estimated the Texas Skillet crew works about 20 events throughout the year ranging from Holiday in the Park (Christmas celebration) at Six Flags Over Texas, to the Houston Livestock Show Rodeo, to the Sturgis (S.D.) Motorcycle Rally, to the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming to the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth.
Business is booming. Asked to estimate the number of customers who will be served at the 23-day Fort Worth Stock Show, Houchin said it’s a lot.
“It’s hard to count,” she said. “On weekends, the line is all of the way to the street all day long.”