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SDfair Eats

I know this really may not be a chow worthy topic, but I was wondering if anybody had some thoughts on what is good to eat at the del mar oops, sdfair. I personally love the fish tacos at the palapa fish taco stand. they have a decent sauce with lots of chrunchy cabbage. I think they are mas better than Rubios. I also like the tasti chips which are a cross between a potato chip and a fry, but only a few and only when hot. My s.o. usually heads for the Roxy stand for one of their combo plates. I refused to try the Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich or the fried coke. As an aside was any body else at the beer fest last weekend. They had about 75 beers on tap. for the fair, they actually had some fairly exotic beers. I am not that in to brewpubs but there was stuff that I would not expect to see at the fair. The only problem with it was that it was way too crowded, gee it is the fair. and there were people that were just hammered. It was a warm sunny day.

So any thoughts on something I should not miss? Rattlesnake chili anyone?

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  1. Fried coke!? how does that work!

    i really like their grilled corn at the fair =P

    4 Replies
    1. re: clayfu

      I always look forward to the pan fried chicken, bbq ribs, and the fish and chips.

      1. re: surfer1966

        the ribs are really exp for the amount they give you.

      2. re: clayfu

        It is Coke syrup, frozen, breaded then fried so the inside of the 'donut' is Coke plasma.

        ..and perfect...

        The corn is always fresh

        1. re: Cathy

          pass! coke plasma just seems wrong.

      3. The rattlesnake chili was good.

        1. I always have to get a cream puff and coffee. Fresh made pastry in that little trailer..real whipped cream...one each, cocoa and vanilla.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            And my "have to have" is a cinnamon roll and coffee when we first get there. I get mine without the icing - too much sugar! On a humourous note, for all the years I've been going to the SD County Fair (or "Del Mar Fair", as we called it), I'd never tried the mini doughnuts they make fresh in Bing Crosby Hall until last year. My friends were appalled it was my first time!

            1. re: phee

              I've still never tried them, Phee...nor have I ever bought a cinnamon roll- I don't crave cinnamon- (and yes, it is still the Del Mar Fair)

              1. re: phee

                I'm with you...hit those cinnamon rolls (without frosting) the moment I arrive

            2. I always eat a big breakfast before I leave for the fair thinking that I won't eat that much
              this time....but of course i still do. I usually get the fried zuccini and a soda first. Than walk around a while. Than I'll get a hotdog inside the Paddock area by the track. Than I'll pay a visit to one of the beer gardens for a couple/three brews. And last is always the grilled corn w/butter,s&p,and the parmesean cheese. Than we get the f outta there before the big traffic mess starts.

              1. I always get the corn and fried zucchini...that way I feel not as bad because I had my vegetables for the day. Then I move onto either bbq ribs or some type of protein on a stick! But rattlesnake chili sounds really interesting, maybe this year that will be my source of protein. Now if they can only figure out how to put it on a stick....

                1 Reply
                1. re: darkmob

                  Actually, the article in the UT today said the guy is selling rattesnake bites served with fried jalapeƱo and fried potatoes...no mention of the chili..

                  I personally found pizza on a stick to be interesting...

                2. I heard this morning the new food on a stick this year is squid. Not sure where to find that, but I'm planning on looking!

                  1. I had to try the fried cola and it tasted like a pepsi-flavored funnel cake. They put whipped cream and a cherry on top. I liked it better than the regular fried dough, but I was expecting something that was really unexpected from a fried liquid...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JRSD

                      My fried cola was way light on the cola flavor. It was essentially a funnel cake in a cup. I was disappointed. The fried twinkie was really good, though. Fried snickers on a stick - not worth it.

                      1. re: srk

                        Sounds like they are doing it differently than they did at the Michigan State Fair last year...so sad...

                        Probably cheaper/higher profit margin this way.

                    2. well I guess I will try the rattlesnake chili after all. I totally forgot about the cinnimon rolls. I usually get mine at old west cinn. rolls, which is out by the horse arena. They have a shop up in Pismo and I always make it a point to stop by when I am up on the central coast. My s.o. got the donuts in the exhibition hall and they were actually pretty good. not too greasy nice cakey flavor, way better than Krispy Kreme. I am still going to pass on the fried coke.

                      1. Well I did try the rattlesnake chili over the weekend and it was not too bad. Nice spice and good flavor. you really could not tell there was any rattlesnake in it. I had to fish it out of the chili and it tastes like gator which tastes like chicken.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: littlestevie

                          Newspaper article said they pay $41/lb for the farmed rattlesnake, so not much in a serving.

                          Had the snake bites (fried chunks) and texture was nice; tasted like rabbit or muskrat...nicer than turtle.

                        2. I agree on Roxy's. I always get the falafel burger and the garlic battered artichoke hearts on a skewer.
                          The Colossal Burger (sold at the east end of the Grandstand where there's a stretch of vendors on the way out to the Infield) is a heart attack on a bun...double hamburger with bacon, cheese and pastrami. Yikes!
                          The BBQ out in the Infield (west of the Kiddie rides) is good. I don't think many people know it's there. There's always a lot of tent-shaded seating available.

                          When we go to the Fair, we try to take a large group with us. When it's time to eat, everyone goes off to buy something different. Then we all sit down together and share what we bought. That way we're are able to try a little bit of everything without feeling the guilt of having to eat an entire Colossal Burger all by ourselves, for example.

                          Last year we tried deep fried avocado which was pretty bland. It's not as if avocado has a strong enough flavor on its own to stand up to the breading.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: toliver

                            They are now doing the deep fried avocado with a pesto sauce...nope, didn't bother trying it.

                          2. How about things NOT to try? It took me a couple of years to figure out that the potato rounds (I don't know if those are the tasti chips) should not be eaten with the cheese sauce. The sauce looks better than the actual taste.

                            The turkey leg is pretty good, but there's one stand I preferred over the other (one will give you a plate and foil and the other just gives you a paper boat). I don't remember which is which (it's best to watch the people and see who gets the plate and who gets the boat).

                            Skip the BBQ ribs, I've been told by my friend and annual fair companion. He said they were more bone than meat.

                            We always got grilled corn. Yummy stuff! In fact, I think that's always the first stand we hit.

                            There's a foot-long corn dog that's hit or miss. I loved it the first year and wasn't so impressed the second year. If you like corn dogs (which I do, very much), then it's kinda fun to get the super-long corn dog at the fair.

                            Funnel cakes are okay. I don't remember which I had and which my friend had, but I recall his seemed better (one of us had it with apple and one had it with strawberries).

                            I liked the fried Twinkies, but they really weren't anything special (seemed like eating a pancake). Any of the other fried things like Snickers or Oreos didn't seem worth trying.

                            I wasn't impressed with the beer garden the last two years. Three years ago, there was a beer & wine garden that was only around for one Saturday, and it was so popular that the closing time was extended twice (I think it was supposed to close at 5pm and it was extended to 6pm then 7pm possibly). My buddy and I got totally blitzed at that one; it was great fun! Two years ago, they put in a weekly beer & wine garden, but it was shoddy in comparison (the first one seemed to have a nicer set-up and better cups).

                            I can't think of any other foods I've tried. Fried zucchini once upon a time (about 10 years ago). It seemed good, but I can only eat so much fried food before I'm "greased out" so I can't really do a whole serving of fried zucchini.

                            You guys are lucky; you get to go this year. I moved away so no Del Mar Fair for me.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: SoCalVal

                              Regarding your comment:
                              "...I can only eat so much fried food before I'm 'greased out'..."
                              That's one of the advantages of going to the fair with a group of people. You don't have to eat the entire dish yourself. Take those infamous "Australian Battered Potatoes", for example. They look great but when you get a small mountain of them, you get greased out before you can finish them. With a group (especially if you bring teenagers), they won't go to waste and you'll be able to satisfy your craving without having to eat the entire plate of potatoes by yourself.

                              1. re: toliver

                                blooming onions *drool*
                                best to share!

                            2. I went to the San Diego Fair yesterday. I suggested parking at Torrey Pines High School which is only 1 mile away from where I live but my friend didn't feel like riding a school bus. We were directed to the preferred parking lot which was $14! That money could have gone towards food! We arrived at 4pm and began hitting the stands. Between the 2 of us, we consumed the avocado falafel (thumbs up and they were generous with the avocado), garlic battered artichoke hearts (couldn't really taste the garlic but loved the crispy batter), Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich (totally overrated and felt cheated out of $6), fried Coke (tasted like stringy fried donuts which got soggy fast), roasted corn (w/butter, sprinkled salt & chili powder), fried Oreos (like rich cholate cake), and 4 Diet Cokes. <----couldn't afford any extra calories. haha.

                              I went a little picture crazy while I was there. I only uploaded the food pictures though and haven't had time to properly label them.

                              Here they are. Enjoy!

                              1. There was one hot dog booth on the main drag that was selling a "Hero" Dog, which was basically a chili dog. The interesting thing about it was they took a sourdough/French roll and cut one end off. They then stuck the roll onto a heated spike that toasted the inside of the roll (the spike didn't go all the way through the other end of the roll). Then they ladeled chili into the center hole, and then stuffed it with an extra long hot dog. Voila, a chili dog you could eat with one hand while you walked around. Genius, I tell ya! ;-)
                                My brother had been to the fair earlier in the week and had tried the "Hero" dog but it wasn't made correctly. The server didn't toast the roll long enough so when the chili was ladeled in, it ended up soaking into the bread and ended up as a dry chili dog.
                                The second time was a charm, not dry at all.
                                Something new to add to the menu for next year...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: toliver

                                  Each booth had something to go with the theme of the Fair (A Salute to Heroes) and I got overwhelmed looking at each selection. Missed it. Sounds good, though. I had heard of some sort of sandwiches made this way...someplace...