2015 State Fair Season is HERE!

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The 2015 state fair season is upon us! I am sure you are just as excited as I am about the new foods and events that are happening during this years fair. I have had lots of people ask if I was going to do the challenge again…

I had so much fun last year but in reality it took months to plan, budgeting, and lots and lots of extra time. Every use of resources was entirely worth it, but I didn’t want to set myself up for an annual event. I am thinking maybe every 3 years, or even 5.

I will of course be trying the new foods and attending more times than needed but hey, over indulgence is my specialty. I will still be posting to Twitter any great findings and will be on the prowl for fun people to chat with.

The new foods list looks exciting and I can’t wait to dig in.

Since it’s Thursday how about a #TBT….

The anticipation and excitement of last year’s opening day.

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I cannot wait to see all my fellow Minnesotans celebrating the last few weeks of summer and enjoying themselves at such a great event. 

See you all at the fair!

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August 23 – Day 3, Food Recap

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Another wonderful day at the Minnesota State Fair!

I got to the fair around 9 am this morning and knew I was going to spend my whole day there. It didn’t start off perfectly because after biking there I realized I forgot my entry ticket at home (ggrrr).  I decided to start my day off in the food building before it got crowded. 

I thought the PotatoSkins Booth had something on-a-stick (nice guys!), but either my list was outdated, or the Fair App is wrong, either way I ended up getting an egg roll from ChinaTown. Really, it just tasted like a fried egg roll. I wouldn’t give it positive or negative reviews but, hey, if you are in the mood for that, this would be a good spot to get it. 

Potato Skins   Egg Roll

I quickly moved to the Sausage Sisters booth and ordered a Twisted Sister. It had a buttery dough wrapped around a sausage and was served with a spaghetti sauce. It was very”sausage pizza-ish” without the cheese. (I came back later in the afternoon and had a Puffy Daddy. It was basically a crescent roll wrapped around a sausage. The Twisted Sister was MUCH better than the Puff Daddy. )

Twisted Sister   Puff Daddy

I walked towards the yellow slide and stumbled across Mike’s Hamburger’s Deep Fried Hot Dog. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but it ended up being a hot dog wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried. It was pretty crunchy and resembled a corn dog with less fluff. 

Mike's Hamburgers   Deep Fried Hot Dog   

I ended up running into my friend Lindsey, who happened to have a mermaid on-a-stick (photo op!).

Mermaid On-A-Stick

I needed a breakfast dessert so I decided to try the fudge. I had cookies & creme and they have lots of other flavors (rocky road, dark chocolate, peanut butter, etc.) …this was a terrible idea. Don’t get me wrong, the fudge was very good but eating an entire fudge block by yourself is never a good idea. This put me on hold for at least an hour. 

Fudge   Bad Choice

After I recovered I found the Deep Fried Lobster at Lulu’s Public House in the West End Market. Lulu’s is impressive. They have a two story building with a patio up top and it just has a very fun atmosphere to it. The lobster was great!It was full chunked lobster deep fried. It did seem a little pricey ($9.00) for the portion that you got, but then again, you are ordering lobster at a fair. 

Deep Fried Lobster   image

I checked out the West End Market for a while and after meeting up with some friends decided it was time to get the newly famous Meatloaf On-A-Stick from The Blue Barn. This place is huge and they were very efficient in moving people through the lines (they were long). The meatloaf was surprisingly sweet. I am used to my momma’s meatloaf with ketchup on top and this one had a bbq-like sauce that was much sweeter than I expected. The meat part was super moist and it was over all a good buy

Blue Barn   Meatloaf

Next up was the Buffalo Kabob from Minnekabob right next to the U of M Building. I have had buffalo before and thought the flavor was fine, but what I couldn’t get over was the price: $10.50! This was the most expensive thing I had ordered so far. I know buffalo is a less popular meat, but this seemed very steep for what they were offering. 

Buffalo

We saw the Deep Fried Buckeye stand and a friend had decided he was ready to try one. I reluctantly decided it was time and went for it. I soon realized it was a giant log of peanut butter and chocolate deep fried.  It was very good; melty and creamy, just like you would imagine. It was very similar to the deep fried candy bars. The Buckeyes were very smooth and didn’t have a lot of texture. I would opt for a Deep Fried Snickers if I was debating between the two. 

Buckeye   Friends   

It took about an hour or so to be ready for my next food choice which ended up being Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese back at Lulu’s Public House. I didn’t care for the first bite, but after that I thought they were pretty well done. For $4.00 the portion size was generous and the flavor was right on.

Mac and Cheese   Mac and Cheese

I can’t believe there is still more to write about….

We headed to the barns and walked past the Deep Fried Mashed Potato Stand so I gave it a whirl. There was bacon and cheese inside and they were surprisingly good. I could tell that there was a tipping point for the perfect sized portion and the ones that ended up in too big of a fried ball just fell apart (see pic). They weren’t bad and really had a mashed potato taste. I thought they were something unique and fun to try but probably wouldn’t get again

Mashed   image

 

I knew I needed to cross of some things that I wasn’t looking forward to so I tried the Ostrich On-A-Stick from China Town inside the Food Building. It tasted like very lean ground beef. It was very moist and I didn’t think it even needed the teriyaki sauce that came with it. This also seemed like something fun to try, but I really don’t think I will eat it again. It just wasn’t that “over-the-top” amazing. 

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The last two stops on my list were for olives and a Bomb Pop. Both very standard foods, and I love them both so they were a great way to end my day. 

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Today I completed my 46th item on the list. FOURTY SIX.

Tomorrow I get to spend another day doing what I love: eating.

I am loving this!

When I was a kid…

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I have been attending the State Fair my entire life, I have actually never missed a year.  I come from a family of 7 and some how my parents always managed to round us up and cart us through the craziness. This was before the days of cell phones or leashes; one kid on dad’s shoulders, one kid walking, three in a red wagon, rotate as needed. Some might say my parents are brave (or nuts) carting 5 kids under 5 years old through a sea of people and chaos, but I don’t think they would have had it any other way. They wanted to show us all the glorious things the fair has to offer.

We have always been early risers and getting to the fair by 7 am just means beating the crowds and eating a foot-long hot dog for breakfast (they open early!).

Then we would be off to the barns and the Colosseum – nothing like smelling fresh manure as the sun is coming up. This is where we started a non-stop walk-a-thon through the Great Minnesota Get Together. When one or a few of us wanted to stop and check something out, we would just play catch-up with the group….and since we have a set route, we knew that if we stayed on our set path, we were bound to catch-up. By the end of the day we had all seen and gotten to eat everything we could have ever wanted.

Even though it seems like an impossible task, my parents never missed a corner of the fair. We saw everything! Somehow we managed to get down every street and be stuffed to the brim, before 1 or 2 pm.

On our way out, toting bags of goodies, passed out children, and bucket fulls of cookies, we would ask our parents for a pony or a giant yellow slide in the backyard. Some things they were more likely to get us than others. 🙂

-Mandy