‘Healthy doesn’t work’ when it comes to Stock Show grub

FORT WORTH — At the Stock Show, you can always find cowboys, kids, cows and chickens by the trailer load. There’s another tradition with a menu that rarely changes — the chow.

When the crowds here queue up for grub, they’re usually looking for the familiar standbys they liked last year or 20 years and 20 pounds ago.

Unlike the Texas State Fair, where new palate-bending fried concoctions are trotted out every year, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo sticks to the tried-and-true rib-stickers like barbecue, the perennial top seller, said Steve Coburn, whose family business, Coburn’s Catering, has been serving up smoked meats and managing food concessions at the show since 1946.

“This place is extremely traditional; there are very little changes,” he said. “People know what we have and they remember where everything is and go back. If something does good the first year, it will do even better the second.”

In this arena, guilty pleasures like 1,000-calorie cinnamon rolls and corn dogs are two of the standards.

“Healthy doesn’t work. I’m serious, it doesn’t work,” Coburn, 44, said with a laugh. “We tried Chinese food a few years ago and after three days, they packed up and left in the middle of the night.”

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Family-Owned Coburn’s Catering is Doing Something Right

Coburn’s Catering is a multi-generational, family-owned company based in the Fort Worth, Texas. The company is known for its strong reputation in the community, especially as the primary concession provider for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

“I was born into it. My father was born the year my grandfather started it. I started [working] when I was eleven. My fifteen-year-old son started when he was eleven. My eleven-year-old started with it this year,” said Steve Coburn, who now is the owner and operator of the family business. “It’s not for everyone. You have to love to serve people.” Coburn’s Catering has been serving the Fort Worth-Dallas area since 1946.

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