Kim, Josh and I went to the Minnesota State Fair today for a day of too much food, a lot of walking and a ton of sunburn. Kim took care to plan out what foods we would eat and what deals exist across the fairgrounds. She made a laminated map, on a stick of course, that doubled as a fan which thankfully wasn’t really needed today as the temperatures didn’t hit 80 and the breeze was pretty nice.
We got to the fair before noon and headed straight to the roasted corn booth. This is the same booth that last year I ate it without butter or salt but this year I did get it with salt and pepper but still went sans butter. I swear that’s the best fucking corn I’ve ever had. After much walking around we hit various other booths, exhibits, etc. Josh tried the Chocolate Covered Pig Lickers at Famous Dave’s and they kinda taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The Star Tribune apparently rated them 3.5 stars but, well, they’re idiots. It was more like a 2 just because they were $5 for 2.5 pieces of bacon, cut in half, and dipped in chocolate. I honestly don’t remember everything because it was a long day that included too much beer and a little wine, sorry.
In the end, I do remember the last two things that we did and they are the two best deals at the Minnesota State Fair this year. Both deals are located in the newly remodeled International Bazaar. It went from a dumpy place with narrow passages that reminded me of the markets overseas to a modern plaza-like area centered on alcoholism and money. While I appreciated the new layout for moving around, I think it might have lost some of its unique Fair character. Anyway, the great food that lives there has not been lost. There are still the tasty almonds, the olives on a stick, and the hot sauce booth (if you’re into hot sauces like Josh and I are, check it out and get the “hottest shit you got” sample. It comes in a bottle with a skull on the top and a little toothpick is all you need for a burn that will last at least until you leave the area. This shit is not for the faint of heart so unless you can eat raw habaneros without crying, don’t even attempt it! It’s not worth the $20 price tag but it was pretty hot, even for me!)
The first of the two best deals at the State Fair is the $6 vegetable stir fry available at Island Noodles (see here for Fair info) located on the outside of the Bazaar straight back from the entrance. They have huge woks cooking up frozen vegetables with garlic and who knows what else. The gigantic container of stir fry that you end up with is more than enough for two and is fucking tasty as hell. While this is no culinary wonder, it’s certainly the best thing next to the Fire Dog (at the Pickle Dog cart) that I ate today.
The second best deal is just down the row at West Indies Soul Food. They offer an off the menu special of a $1 sample of sweet potato pie. While I was expecting something similar in size to the small shot glass of $1 shrimp cocktail, we ended up with a pretty decent fucking sized portion of sweet potato pie with whipped cream today. I have had smaller pieces of pie at restaurants for $5.50. If you have never had sweet potato pie but like pumpkin pie, this is very similar, if not the same. You don’t need a coupon, you just need to know and ask for it.
The other deals include the cheapest beer we could find. There were only two places we found 20 oz cups of beer for $5.00. One was the Midway Men’s Club and the other was, believe it or not, at Famous Dave’s. Everywhere else was $5.50 or higher with the most expensive beer located at the Leine’s Lodge at $6.25. I’m sorry, 20 ounces of Leinenkugel’s isn’t worth $1, nevermind $6.25.
Anyway, we had a great time at the fair today and I’m honestly surprised I am still awake as I’m fucking beat. If you are heading to the fair this week make sure you check out the “Favorite thing about the State Fair?” poll on the sidebar over there and vote!
You can view all the pictures I took at the fair on Flickr here. If you have any photos you’d like to share, post a link below!