Katy Malek and Lauren Acheson had never eaten calf fries before, so they figured that Boot Hill Museum's Bull Fry and Bash would be a good place to start.   

    After finishing their meal, Malek said that the calf fries were not what she had expected.


Katy Malek and Lauren Acheson had never eaten calf fries before, so they figured that Boot Hill Museum's Bull Fry and Bash would be a good place to start.   
    After finishing their meal, Malek said that the calf fries were not what she had expected.
    "I had been told that they taste like chicken, and it's a little different than chicken," Malek said. "Kind of bland. You need barbecue sauce or ketchup or something."
    Acheson, who hails from Lawrence, said she had eaten all the calf fries on her plate except for one.
    Calf fry connoisseurs and novices alike thronged through the museum's gates Friday night for the eighth annual Bull Fry, which has become a popular part of the Dodge City Days celebration. All proceeds from the event benefit the museum.
    People heaped their plates with food inside the Occident Banquet Room, then wandered outside to perch on benches or sit at picnic tables. As diners dug into their food, they laughed, traded stories with friends or listened to the country music that filled the air.
    Jeremy Ryherd and his friends, Christina Knoeber and Cameron Cummins, relaxed on a bench beside the boardwalk after their meal.
    Ryherd said the event appealed to him because it provided good food and a chance to hang out with his friends.
    "It's just a good way to start off Dodge City Days," he said.
    Further down the boardwalk, Sublette resident Lori Frey shared a laugh with her cousin, Tory Gum of Elgin, Ill.
    Frey said she drives back and forth between Dodge and Sublette each year to sample the various Dodge City Days events, including the rodeo, the barbecue contest and the arts and crafts show.
    She said that she enjoys the Bull Fry — which she laughingly referred to as the "Testicle Festival"  — because she can eat calf fries, enjoy the music and people-watch.
    Frey added that this year's calf fries rated a 10 on a 10-point scale.
    "They're always good," she said. "Compliments to the chef."
    A native of Dodge City, Gum lives in the Chicago area. He said he was vacationing in Dodge and decided to check out the Bull Fry.
    Gum said that he had never tried calf fries before, but decided to sample them this year after hearing his cousin describe them.
    "I thought, 'Hey, enjoy the journey,' so I figured that might be one of the exciting points," he said. "They were very good, though."
   
Reach Eric Swanson at (620) 408-9917 or e-mail him at eric.swanson@dodgeglobe.com.