A few days ago I traveled to the Minnesota State Fair for the second time this summer, first with my sister. We had made it our goal to eat as many different kinds of foods as we could stomach over the course of the day. That goal was definitely accomplished, but not all of the food was worth it. We were as frugal as we could be; I got her a discount ticket at my college’s student union ahead of time and I purchased a further discounted ticket at the gate by way of Military Appreciation Day. Right in the gate we bought one of their “Blue Ribbon Bargain Books” for a whopping five dollars and went on a mission to find a good corn dog right off the bat. We were taking our time trying to find one that was in the coupon book and along the way we stopped at Axel’s food stand and ordered a deep fried slider. It was surprisingly tasty, and not too much grease and grossness like it sounds like it could be. Could be the best thing I ate all day.
Our next destination was Big Dog Corndogs & Footlongs, where we were planning on purchasing a foot long corn dog at a discounted price. When we got there we saw that the regular corn dog was cheaper than the discounted foot long price and decided to save money and stomach space and shared the normal sized corn-coated weiner. I did not take a picture of this due to the fact that most people know exactly what a corn dog looks like.
After the corn dog we meandered around near the pet center and tried some random things we saw as well as one I had been craving since I heard about it, the red velvet funnel cake.
Honestly I do not recall where we got this, but I do remember that it was very tasty. I love cream cheese frosting, the red velvet flavoring was slight, probably partly covered by the fact that the batter was soaked in grease for a few minutes.
Nearby the funnel cake place was a stand called Carl’s Gizmo Sandwiches where we found the makeup of their signature sandwich to be interesting.
If you want to know the exact makeup of this delicacy you can look it up, but basically it is ground beef and ground italian sausage mixed together then covered in cheese and wrapped up in a hoagie bun. We added onions and banana peppers on top and dug in. It was surprisingly dry and not in the shape of a patty like we assumed it would be. It as an okay sandwich overall but not something I would pay the price it was to have it again.
Our guess was that they used fake crab, and I must have the worst memory because I cannot recall the rest of the filler, but I think it was mostly rice. They were decent and the sauce was a nice compliment but for the price not something I would order on a regular basis.
We took a slight break from food after this and just walked around and looked at some random things, nothing worth mentioning. Once we felt like we could handle it we headed to the El Caribe stand and got a beer and some crab cakes and buffalo shrimp. Once again, you get no picture, but you are not missing much. The crab cakes were served with a similar sauce as the crab fritters and were slightly more tasty. The buffalo shrimp were disappointing in the respect that they were deep fried. Dipped in ranch they were pretty tasty, but they could have been received better sauteed or grilled. The beers were normal tap beers and nothing worth talking about, other than that short description.
Since we were starting to fill up we decided we wanted to make sure we could appease our sweet tooth. My sister had never had gelato, so before we downed our deep fried oreos we picked up some gelato at Pizza Palace & Gelato. After looking at their large variety of flavors we settled on “Fruits of the Forest” which was a mixture of berries. It was a little tart and a little sweet at the same time. I loved it and would get the same thing again.
Right next to the gelato stand is a cart that blatantly throws their product at you in their name Deep Fried Candy Bars. This is where we picked up our deep fried oreos and brought them over next to the All the Milk You Can Drink stand in order to… drink all the milk we could while devouring our grease soaked delicious cookies. They were dipped in a sweet batter, golden fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. In my humble opinion, you cannot go wrong with these desserts.
The deep fried cookie dough was a little too much. By too much I mean there was too much dough for the amount of batter they used. The middle of the cookie dough was still a little cold and the dough was just a little overwhelming. I feel as if the pockets of dough had been bite size, so the ratio of batter to cookie dough was higher, the sweet treat would have been more enjoyable. The buffalo chips were nothing special, sliced potatoes with some buffalo seasoning dipped in sour cream. Sounds like something you can get at most restaurants.
To try something lighter we ordered strawberry treet from the Orange/Strawberry Treet Sales cart. It was extremely tasty and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a sweet drink that won’t fill your stomach.
The idea was good, but they went about it all wrong. The bacon was cold and chewy, the chocolate did not taste good; and they charged five bucks for three slices of this grossity. Yes, I just made up a word to stress how gross this food item is. I did save the trip there with a discounted pulled pork sandwich (thanks to the aforementioned Military Appreciation Day).
The final stop my sister wanted to make was at Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar to purchase a bucket of cookies for her boyfriend.
The most famous vendor at the state fair and to my knowledge the only specialty stand with two locations stays popular by doing things right. Not only do they pile as many cookies as physically possible on top of the buckets they sell, the cookies from the top 1/3 and up on the bucket are fresh from the oven, every time.
On the way out of the fair I stopped at Hawaiian Shaved Ice and got one of their combination snow cones. It was okay, and the ice was not too much for my stomach to handle at that point.
All in all, I had a great time with my sister and was happy to be able to walk off a decent amount of the calories I had consumed that day. I may have missed some of the foods we ate, but I do not think so. Hopefully those who did not get to make it to the Minnesota State Fair appreciate this read, and those that do have the opportunity to make it out later today or tomorrow, the last day of the fair, will find these reviews useful.