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Sep 3, 2004 02:20 PM

Minnesota state fair must haves

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I realize we are at the end of the run, but for those of you who have been out this year, what should I try this weekend?

Normally, my favorites are the bucket of fries from the Fresh French Fry booth, and the deep fried Cheese curds. I would like to add to my normal menu.

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  1. We have made an effort to try a few new things over the years as well with varying degrees of success.

    A few years ago I had the scotch egg which is located outside the poultry/swine barn of all places. It was very good but a $5 a piece it doesn't seem worth it.

    The Cheese Curds in the food building are by a new vendor as of a couple of years ago. They are good but I think the ones on Dan Patch Av are better.

    The French Meadow has very good buttermilk scones but then you can get their scones anytime of year so its not much of a State Fair treat. They do have the only drinkable coffee at the fair however.

    I tried the Deep Fried Twinkie this year and while it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected its one of those things you only need to do once.

    The Kiwani's Malts near the 4-H building are great.

    The Chicago dog wasn't as good as I remember.

    My wife is a BIG fan of the cream puffs located at the end of the Skyride near Heritage Square.

    We had the chicken pita sandwich at Demitri's next to the yellow slide. It was very good and a lot of food for the money.

    If you have time you might to try this little experiment. Outside the food building, KARE11 has set up a health fair including Cholesterol screening. Have your screen done at the beginging of the day and again after you have eaten all day and see if there is a noticable difference.

    1. t
      The Dairy Queen

      I tried the Key Lime on a Stick this year (outside of the food building) because I was so disappointed to have missed it last year. It was pretty good--it even had a crust! I did think it was just a bit too strong on the lime taste, perhaps necessary to compete with the chocolate coating?-- but I still enjoyed it for the novelty. Also, it seemed to be packaged for the mass market, rather than as a State Fair Special, which was disappointing. Still, our State Fair is a great state fair...

      Has anyone tried the Deep Fried Reuben on a Stick yet?


      2 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I was there on Thursday and we tried the rueben on a stick. It was not appetizing to look at, and didn't taste much better. The texture of the sausage was wierd - we ended up throwing half of it out.

        In my book, the corn dog is the perfect fair food.

        1. re: AnnyM

          Reuben on a stick is definitely not a fair highlight - you will throw it out - spread the word.

      2. I agree that the french fries and cheese curds are two of the best things going. A couple other favorites:

        1) 1919 root beer on Dan Patch. This is a huge sleeper. It is fantastic root beer that is only sold in kegs. It is the perfect companion ot the cheese curds a couple booths down
        2) deep fried snickers. Imagine a hot from the fryer donut with a melted Snickers inside. Yum!

        Where is the best pork chop on a stick? I got it from the vendor on the street near the main entrance (right near Empire Commons and the butter princesses). It was kind of tasty but way too salty. Is there a better option?

        8 Replies
        1. re: Josh Resnik
          The Dairy Queen

          I don't know about the best pork chop on a stick, but the Star Tribune was raving about Giggles maple smoked pork tenders on-a-stick and they sounded great, although a bit complex. Still, I'm planning on trying them. I'll report back.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            the Startrib article last Thursday had many good tips - and today's "continuation" was entertaining... sometimes crazy food is the only thing that will hit the spot!
            this year i had "bull bites" at a place outside the food building (Axel?). The meat was very juicy, the horseradish sauce could be better... but it's a good break after a continous stream of fry food.

            1. re: MariQ

              oh, lord, don't let me be misunderstood - i ran into a friend at the Farmer's market this morning and he tells me that he did not agree with my posting... because the Fair is all about the traditional fry food. I couldn't agree more, but after a CONTINOUS STREAM of delicious fry traditions, sometimes a non-fry option is the magic solution. For some, it's a malt. For me, it was meat. But yes, it IS all about the fry food.

            2. re: The Dairy Queen
              Scott McGerik

              I had the maple smoked pork tenderloin on-a-stick at Giggles. It was delicious! Too bad the Fair is over with, otherwise, I would have another one.

            3. re: Josh Resnik

              Hi Josh - they no longer have the best Pork Chop on a stick at the fair. "Porky's" were the best - but they got the boot apparently. They still sell the seasoning online - I get it through a local butcher. Perhaps I'll send you some in work, but I'll keep you guessing who I might be from 3BT.

              1. re: trekbody

                Caution: This is a three-year-old thread. Even at the MN State Fair, things change over time.

                Instead, check out this year's discussion on fair food:


              2. re: Josh Resnik

                The best pork chop on a stick is by far the one on Judson by the the empire commons, some people say they're too salty, but people also add extra seasoning, so it's up to personal taste. If you're not a pork fan, their chicken breast on a stick is juicy and tender just like the chop. Also, it seems to be one of the only things at the fair that isn't deep fried.

                1. re: sweetmarisa

                  Re: deep fried -- In the thread for this year's fair, part of the discussion is on food choices & other ideas for eating healthily at the fair.

                  Here is this year's discussion on fair food:

              3. j
                Jim Grinsfelder

                Apricot or Prune Kolaches at Schumacher's New Prague Hotel Restaurant/Booth.

                Also, amazing hot mustard, great kraut and really nice sausages on a so-so black-bread bun at the same New Prague booth.

                Schumacher also upped the ante seriously in the porkchop on a stick arm's race. I didn't try it because my face was stuffed full of kolaches and sausages, but his porkchop offering looked mighty tasty. My only criticism of it was it was not on the bone and while that might make it easier to eat, they taste better when cooked on the bone.

                1. The first thing I get is the deep-fried turkey sandwich (the turkey is deep-fried, not the sandwich). Relly delicous and juicy, and they have several types of BBQ sauce to put on it. I think it's $5 and fills me up pretty well.

                  It's located next to the all-you-can-drink-milk booth across from the poulty barn.