Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Food Review: It was a cloudy and humid yet, pleasant day because of a cool breeze. I arrived at 9:30am and finally made it through the gates at 10:30am. Once in, I made a frantic had-to-pee marching walk to LuLu’s for the cheese stuffed sausage breakfast sandwich but I was fifteen minutes late. The Minnesota State Fair app for my iPhone states that breakfast at Lulu’s is served until 11am, but they had a hand written sign noting that it is over at 10:30am. Doesn’t matter, they said they had ran out after I begged for them to make me one. I did however get to try almost every other food item that I wanted to. Here are those items.
Deep-Fried Lobster On-a-Stick ~ Canadian lobster pieces poached in butter, dipped in a corn batter, deep-fried and served with a spiced dipping sauce. Served at LuLu’s Public House located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market. Review: A bit tough and chewy but still delicious for a new State Fair item, not much for the $9 price tag and barely any dipping sauce given. 3/5
Blue Cheese and Corn Fritz ~ Six deep fried corn fritters stuffed with crumbled blue cheese, kernel corn and served with a fresh herbed chimichurri. Served at The Blue Barn located West of the Skyride at West End Market. Review: Better without the chimichurri, with it, it has a whole different flavor and steals from the fritz (fritter) itself. $7.25 4/5
Caribbean Style Lobster Roll ~ Chilled lobster salad tossed in a citrus chipotle mayo and seasoned with Caribbean flavors (including cayenne pepper, allspice and nutmeg) served in a soft butter and toasted white bread. Served at Cafe Caribe located on Carnes Ave. near Chambers St. Review: Basically a tuna salad sandwich. Had good seasoning and the highlight was the buttered toast. Surprisingly the feared pale fries were better than they looked and crispy at that! $9 2/5
Chicken in the Waffle ~ This southern classic is crispy chicken nestled in a crunchy waffle cone and then smothered with a creamy sausage gravy with a surprise chocolate ball at the bottom of the cone. Served at The Blue Barn located west of the Skyride at West End Market. Review: Excellent! Nicely spiced battered chicken with a savory sausage gravy. The waffle cone…meh. $9.75 4/5
The Grain Belt Blu ~ Blueberry infused local beer topped with frozen foam (chilled to 23 degrees) to keep it cool, I got the jumbo for $7 ~ next to LuLu’s. Review: Sweet, more of a females fruity beer if ya ask me. 3/5
Well, it is what it is, but on-a-stick. While Big Fat Bacon isn’t a new item this year, it certainly is a favorite that never disappoints. Served just west of Nelson on Carnes Ave. 5/5 for a measly $4
Pretzel Curds ~ A combination of crushed pretzels, bread crumbs and beer surround a glob of real Wisconsin cheese deep-fried to crunchiness. Served with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Found at O’Gara’s, located at Dan Patch Ave. and Cosgrove St. Review: Do not pass up on having something to drink with these and be sure it’s a beer to pair, it’s only right. My first bite, the cheese came out like a wad of gum leaving a hallow pretzel shell in my finger tips. Rumor was these were the best new item at the fair this year…I’m going to have to disagree. I don’t know if they were over-cooked or if the combination of the outer crust just gives off a burnt taste. Below average if you ask me, stick to the good ol’ regular greasy originals. $6.75 2/5
Iron Range Pierogies ~ An authentic Polish favorite, these deep-fried dumplings are stuffed with potatoes and cheddar cheese, served with a zingy horsey sauce. Located at The Blue Barn, west of the Skyride at West End Market. Review: I grew up on these, but definitely not these ones…not that good, the ones they sell at Costco are way better! $7.25 1/5
Korean BBQ Collar with Kimchi Pickles ~ Slow-smoked pork collar finished with a garlic ginger BBQ glaze and served with kimchi pickles (cucumbers marinated in Korean kimchi red pepper powder with fresh ginger, shredded carrot, green onion and a touch of soy). Found at Famous Dave’s located near the corner of West Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett St. Review: Woo!! This was awesome, generous chunks of collar that are so very tender. All the flavors go great together in a single bite. $7 5/5
Beer. It’s everywhere here. Refreshing and taste like beer anywhere else. Jumbo $7.25 5/5
North Shore Walleye Mac & Cheese ~ An iron range portion of fresh-smoked walleye with sweet corn kernels and roasted red peppers atop a bed of cavatappi noodles, all smothered in Giggles’ secret smoked Gouda sauce and toasted with Parmesan parsley bread crumbs. Located at Giggles’ Campfire Grill, on Cooper Street and Lee Ave. in The North Woods. Review: This is a wonderful hearty home-style dish that would be labeled as a MN comfort food. Hard to eat on a hot day, but I don’t care and still get it again. Wish it had just a tad more Walleye. $8.50 4/5
PB&J French Toast ~ The ever-popular peanut butter & jelly sandwich is fused with French toast, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. Sold at Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall, located on Underwood St. next to FAN Central. Review: First off let me start off by telling you, this building has no airflow and feels like a grade school prison camp cafeteria. The eating utensils they offer bend and do know damage to your food. I had to prison yard shank this adult order (2) of PB&J French toast. It was cooked just fine and tasted just like it reads, I tried with syrup and without. It’s better with syrup or you will need a lot more to drink than you already do with out. The bacon I chose was a soggy rubbery joke. I should’ve went with the child size (1) and saved room for a classic favorite. Oh well. $7 3/5
Prime Rib Taco ~ Sliced rotisserie prime rib served in a flour tortilla with sauteed onions and peppers and topped with chili con queso. Sold at LuLu’s Public House, located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market. Review: If you like spice you will like these flavors! A wet mess however, and puny for a $5 taco. 3/5
SnoRibbons ~ Flaky shaved ice and creamy layered snow made with fresh, natural ingredients. The only two available flavors today were: Arnold Palmer (Meyer lemon snow with iced tea sauce.) The one I chose, Blueberry Ricotta Pancake (Blueberry maple snow, mini blueberry pancakes, blueberries, granola ricotta sauce.) Located at Blue Moon Dine-In Theater on the corner of Chambers St. and Carnes Ave. Review: To sum it up…it was like eating freezer burn with a blueberry toppings. The generic sliced blueberry pancake medallions with the blueberry topping was the best part if I were to say there is a best part. $5 1/5. Didn’t finish it.
Bacon Wrapped Turkey Leg ~ A roasted turkey leg wrapped in layers of bacon. Located at Texas Steak Out on Underwood St. North of Randall Ave. Review: Last but not least I saved the crap for last. Yea, nothing here to brag about. This poults sized turkey leg was a big let down in a little way. For $14 it should have been massive. The over cooked bacon was the only thing good on it. It was so tough your teeth literally push away from severing the meat. I thought I was trying to bite into bone at first. It’s a definitely a jaw workout. Good luck! No thanks. $14 0/5
By 7:30pm I was full and exhausted. I still wanted to get my favorite deep-fried cookie dough, (I don’t understand the bad review on this one) but I already went over my one hundred dollar budget by $6.50. What a terrific way to spend a birthday! -@Phatphood
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