Tour de Fair Foods
I spent all of Tuesday at the Great Minnesota Get Together. I know some people go to the fair to see the horticulture exhibits or kill a few hours wandering through the Grandstand, but the only thing that matters to me is the food. This was my fourth time attending, and by far my longest trip yet. I arrived at about 9:40 AM and didn’t leave until about 10:00 PM. Here’s what I* ate and drank.
*Important Disclaimer: I was with three other people, so most of these items were split between 2-4 of us. I didn’t eat any of it by myself.
Ranked on a 5-point scale. 1= skip it. 5=run, don’t walk, to this one
Blueberry Sweet Corn Éclair (Farmers Union Coffee Shop) – 5/5
This was the perfect way to start the day. It’s not sweet at all (compared to a regular éclair) and is the perfect size for two people to split. There’s a good reason these have been selling out.
Deep Fried Avocados (O’Garas at the Fair) – 3/5
I love avocados so these were a must-try, but I’d rank them at a solid Meh. The sauce that comes with them is in a packet and not great, and they’re really hit or miss. Skip these and just spring for guac next time you go to Chipotle.
Minnesota Honey Producers Ice Cream (Horticulture Building) – 5/5
This comes in three flavors (vanilla bean, raspberry, and peanut butter crunch), and fortunately they have a serving option that gives you three scoops. If you have to choose just one, well, I don’t know what to tell you because all three of them are delicious and there’s no way I could pick my favorite.
Pizzarito (Green Mill) – 4/5
Having never actually tried Green Mill’s pizza, I can’t tell you how this tastes in comparison to that. What I can tell you is that it was delicious and super easy to eat while walking. It was a little dry on its own, but they give you marinara sauce to dip it in and that makes it infinitely better.
Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob (Texas Steak Out) – 3/5
Fair warning: I didn’t actually try this one. My friends did, though, and described it as, “Not as disgusting as expected.” They said they’d never try it again, but they definitely didn’t regret getting it.
Cherry Bombs (Vegie Fries) – 4/5
(Deep fried Australian red licorice sprinkled with powdered sugar) These were, excuse my pun, the bomb. My batch was a little undercooked so the licorice was still mostly solid, but they were still delicious. Some of my friends had a batch where the licorice was molten, so it probably just depends on who makes yours.
S’moresas (A Taste of Midtown Global Market) – 3/5
(Chocolate and marshmallow samosa with chai dipping sauce) The samosa was pretty good, but what really sold these were the chai dipping sauce. I could’ve just eaten that all day. Have some napkins or wet wipes on hand before you eat these, because they will make a mess.
Nutella Oreo Crumble Funnel Cake (Funnel Cakes) – 4/5
I was pretty deep into my food coma when we ordered this, so I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time. I’m probably risking my life by saying this, but if you’re looking for an excuse to skip Sweet Martha’s, this is it. Buy one of these, grab three or more of your closest fair attendees, and head over to the all-you-can-drink milk booth to consume this. If you love (or just have no negative opinions about) Nutella and/or Oreos, this is a must.
Bowl O’ Dough (Blue Moon Drive in Theatre) – 4/5
This was number one on my list of foods to try, and although it was very good, it was a bit disappointing. Pros: the only option is all four flavors, so you don’t have to choose. Cons: it looks nothing like the picture from the New Foods section on the Fair’s website, the flimsy spoons make it difficult to eat. This is a case where the lack of a point comes from the overall experience, not the flavor.
Pineapple and Rasbperry Whip (Dole Whip) – 2/5
I didn’t actually know this existed and I’m still not entirely sure what it was, but my friend heard about it and let me try some of hers. It was really refreshing and great for the first couple of spoonfuls, but after that it started tasting a lot like the non-dairy part was a lie.
Cheese Curds (Millers Flavored Cheese Curds) – 5/5
This is one where you’ll absolutely want to pony up the $15 for the sampler bucket. This gets you all four flavors (original, garlic, ranch, and jalapeno) plus dipping sauces (marinara, ketchup, and ranch). The garlic are by far the best, but the original are great. The ranch ones aren’t the best but improve when dipped in ranch, and the jalapeno ones get spicier throughout the day.
Garlic Fries (Ball Park Café) – 17/5
The best food of the day, and the perfect way to end a trip to the fair. We stopped here on the way to the Laser Light Show and got a fresh batch of fries right from the fryer. I recommend getting them several times throughout the day, or even just spending your whole trip to the fair camped out in front of Ball Park Café so you can eat these fries nonstop.
Maple Cream Nitro Cold Press Coffe (Farmers Union Coffee Shop) – 48/5
I had the opportunity to try nitro cold press when I was in Seattle a few weeks ago, and let’s just say I am addicted. I was very excited to get my hands on some again, and it was so worth the wait. If you’ve never had nitro cold press, love coffee, don’t like coffee, or are a human, you need to try this. The beauty of mixing nitro with coffee is that it completely removes any bitterness or acidity and leaves behind this smooth, delicious thing that apparently is coffee but tastes so much better. Go for the large first thing in the morning and it’ll keep you running all day.
Lakes & Legends Sweet Corn Summer Ale (O’Garas at the Fair) – 3/5
This was a perfect beer to go with Tuesday’s beautiful sunny weather. It’s light, refreshing, and easy to drink. It definitely tastes like corn though, so if you’re not into drinking your vegetables, you might want to take a pass on this one.
Liftbridge Mini Donut Beer (Ball Park Café) – 5/5
I try to stick to eating and drinking new things at the fair, but this one I just can’t pass up. If you haven’t had it, try it. I’ve never gotten a bag of mini donuts to go with it, but I’m told it’s a good plan.
Grain Belt Blu and Frozen Blu (Schell’s) – 5/5
Whether liquid or frozen, Grain Belt Blu is one of my favorite beers. It’s one of the few things that could convince me to attend the fair on a yearly basis rather than only every other year. This one I do not recommend sharing, because that means less for you. Tell everyone else to get their own.
Flat Earth S’more Beer (Giggles Campfire Grill) – 2/5
I made the mistake of trying this one immediately after taking a big drink of Grain Belt Blu, so it tasted like nothing. I’m sure it would have been better if I’d tried it first, but unfortunately I didn’t and it was ruined. My vote is this one isn’t worth it.
Spring Grove Soda (Spring Grove Soda) – 5/5
Bonus points because the people at this booth were just so nice. We tried the Lemon Sour, Rhu-berry, Strawberry, and Creamy Orange. While they all had their merits, I think Lemon Sour was the best. They also had 4 or 5 other flavors that we didn’t try but were probably also delicious. If you’re not into beer or just need something really refreshing, this is the best choice.
There are a lot of other foods and drinks I didn’t get to try due to being sugared out by around 3:00, so that was a pretty big disappointment. It seems that no matter what, you really can’t go wrong with any fair food (except the Pronto Pup because corn dogs are way better).