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OC Fair Food

The OC Fair is quickly approaching. What are some of the foods you look forward to at this fair?

My favorite is the Austrailian Battered Potatoes with ranch and cheese sauce on the side. Something I look forward to every year.

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    1. "Deep Fried _____________"

      1. The fresh lemonade from the lemon-shaped stands--it's squeezed to order and awesome on a hot day. I'm a sucker for funnel cakes too.

        1. Deep Fried Anything on a Stick

          1. I heard a radio ad for the OC Fair, and they were highlighting the Deep Fried Twinkies! I felt my cholesterol level rise just hearing about it! Yuk!

            1. Broasted Chicken. We've been getting it for years. The one year they didn't have it, I was sorely disappointed. Broasted chicken is so hard to find these days.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Jase

                Remember this post? http://www.chow.com/topics/386227

                I went to the Chicken Box in La Habra...it hit the spot! =)

                1. re: OCAnn

                  I do remember that. But when I lived in South OC, La Habra and Los Alamitos was quite a drive. Now up in west LA, there still isn't one within a easy drive.

                  Getting it at the fair is one of our food musts since we were already there. Especially if we were going just for the concert that night. We'd go see X with a stomach full of broasted chicken. Talk about reliving our youth, punk music and no health concerns about your food, just how good it tasted.

                  1. re: Jase

                    If you can't make it to the Fair for the Broasted Chicken, the Chris & Pitts restaurant in Fountain Valley has it on their menu. I've ordered it several times and it's the originial.

                    1. re: avagon1

                      I believe the Anaheim branch does as well, but the problem is that every time I pull into that plaza I head to Ten Ten for Cantonese food and then to the Desir bakery in the 99 Ranch for their sublime custard tarts (when available).

                2. re: Jase

                  Slavko's in San Pedro on Pacific Ave. Also try their broasted potatoes.

                3. Turkey Legs and Roasted Corn.

                  And for some reason I always eat a funnel cake and then feel sick afterwards. C'est la vie

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cdmedici

                    Just had some turkey legs, roasted corn, strawberry funnel cake, cow pie (ice cream on a flat wafer), corn dog, Australian potatoes, cream puffs & deep fried twinkie. I think my favourites will always be the corn & funnel cake; I can do w/o the others.

                    1. re: cdmedici

                      Just finished a funnel cake and feeling ill, but it taste so delicious

                    2. Deep fried Snickers...oh, my heart! on a stick

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BabyDaddy

                        it is so wrong, but worth trying once just to survive from the trauma. oh, and those Twinkies! woo hoo!

                      2. yeah the turkey leg looks really dry, but once you get past the hard exterior it's really soft and salty inside- really good.

                        1. Date shakes without the pain of the 91 into the Inland Empire!

                          1. Yikes, the very thought of OC Fair food makes me imagine my doctor passing out after he checks my cholesterol level. By and large, I have yet to be find any food at the fair I can call decent. I usually head over to the wine section to sample the wines from some nice, small California wineries. Otherwise, as far as solid food goes, I'd venture to suggest the gyros and falafels at the Greek stand.

                            1. Deep Fried Artichoke Hearts. Only complaint is that the Ranch dressing you get is pretty Meh

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: I got nothin

                                DFAH not so good this year. In the past, it was chopped up pieces of the heart deep-fried perfectly. this year, they gave us huge chunks of hearts (basically whole hearts) that just soaked up way too much grease, and the batter was just bad (I concur in others' comments about the batter below). Very disappointing, since this had been my favorite thing the past few years. At least they didn't ruin the beer

                              2. Definitely NOT the Cream Puffs - they are AWFUL!!! I'm spoiled by the ones at the Wisconsin State Fair - now THEY know how to make cream puffs!! I do like the corn, but they've gotten so chintzey on the butter & salt - much better when they just dip it in a vat of butter & it rolls down your chin :) And, I admit, the caramel buns are to die for... probably literally!

                                1. 1) Wine, wine and wine.
                                  2) Bloomin' Onions.
                                  3) Anything from the BBQ.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Fesdwino

                                    Went to Fair on Saturday. Would not recommend deep fried oreos (omg i'm going to die)

                                    Will recommend the smoked turkey leg.

                                  2. Just came back from the fair tonight after watching my favorite hour of entertainment the demolition derby!

                                    I strangely like the deep fried oreos, but i heard but didn't find that they have deep fried COCA-COLA?!! please tell me that that was a joke.

                                    The turkey leg was good, I had the santa maria tri-tip and put on some reg bbq sauce and vinegar- it was okay.

                                    Corn was hit and miss if you get a good ear it's great.

                                    My big find so far was that that pink house back by the smoke shack and the stage where the chinese acrobats perform has the BEST strawberry shortcake in the fair- trust me.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: meltedcheese

                                      The deep fried Coke ends up being more like funnel cake - they just use the Coke syrup in the batter.

                                      Has anyone tried Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich? I heard there's something new this year - the deep-fried peanut butter and banana sandwich!

                                      We're going to the fair on Wednesday and I can't wait for the food! Those battered potatoes sound good!

                                    2. Meatballs on a stick! Right by the wine pavillion. Sooo good! I think they put cheese in them. Yum!

                                      1. Okay, we went to see Weird Al, but were just as excited to try some fair food!!! I haven't been to a fair since I was a kid... My mother never believed in 'deep fried' anything... So we kinda went overboard...

                                        The first thing we wanted was the deep fried Avocado and Broasted Chicken... Which we found at the same place, Charlies Chicken near the Family Fair Area! :)

                                        The Avocado came with Deep Fried Tomatoes as well! Which actually were one of the best parts as I love melty cooked tomatoes...

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        The Avocado was a bit disappointing because the batter was devoid of any salt. The Avocado was beautiful... the batter nice and fluffy... but you really needed to dip it in Rancho or the Pesto. Ah well... from now on, if I even need my deep fried Avo fix, I'll just go to Terried Sake House... they have a version that is BIGGER and much more balanced with PLENTY of salt!

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        While in line to order, I saw folks come away with the Mixed Deep Fried Veggies... Being a veggie fiend, especially Asparagus I also had to try these..

                                        But again... similar result... wonderful veggies... bland overpowering batter!! It was such a shame because the Zucchini and Asparagus were cooked just PERFECT but that thick bland batter just killed them.

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        MUCH later we picked up their deep fried Oreos. And we figured it all out... They use the SAME exact batter... They didn't want it salty for the sweet things and they hoped that people would just douse the savory things in Ketchup and Ranch. Such a shame... The Oreos were fine, but the first time I had them and other "deep fried' Monstrosities was at Sunset Junction. The batters on the Oreos were SO light and slightly sweet, while the ones on the savories were did have salt and were evenly applied. So no more 'Deep Fried ______ for me at the fair... at least from these guys...

                                        And finally the Broasted Chicken.

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        It was indeed nice and crisp... and the crust flavorful... but this time it was the Chicken that was bland. Usually supermarket Fried Chicken (And KFC) the chicken is brinded a bit to add flavor INSIDE. In this case, it was just plain ole mass produced chicken flavor. We'll stick to Alton's Pan Fried Recipe and Chickens from Chinatown whenever we get the craving again....

                                        Finally, the REAL reason why I was SO excited about the fair food, the above mentioned Battered Australian Potatoes! I had NO idea what to expect.. and they certainly didn't disappoint!

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        We got the classic combo with Nacho cheese and Ranch. And it WORKED. The potatoes themselves were SUPER thin sliced potatoed that where battered and then of course, FRIED!

                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363164...

                                        Although these tatters look so thin that they won't add much flavor. They actually do! The batter is also very well salted and SO crisp!! Would def. have again next year, but this time with Chili and Sour Cream! LOL!!

                                        And we were DONE!! Ugh... all this week... it's going to be SALADS!! But next year... Nacho Cheese and Jalapeno Potato Chips!

                                        --Dommy!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          OMG.

                                          Tums is your friend.

                                          Good on your, soldier. Way to take one for the team.

                                          1. re: Dommy

                                            Went with some friends last week. Had the same reaction to the heavily battered deep fried veggies. The two friends who were sent to round up dinner came back with two other OC Fair food gems that tasted as disgusting as they sound: a fried breast of chicken served on a halved Krispy Kreme donut smeared with raspberry jam (we shared it four ways, and even the first bite of that quarter was repulsive in every way), a deep fried peanut butter and banana "sandwich" (a glob of peanut butter and bananas fried in the aforementioned batter/goo, served with a packet of honey), and deep fried oreos (Dommy, I'm right there with you. These were absolutely vile). I'm impressed that someone could ruin a good old fashioned peanut butter and banana sandwich in such a spectacular way. The best booth I got to visit was the beer garden (3 7-ounce samples for $7), and all waaaay better than any of that fried glop.

                                            1. re: Dommy

                                              Sorry to hear about the blandness of the broasted chicken meat for you. But oh, that lovely, lovely skin. We always get two thighs each and that yummy skin and crust is what makes it for us.

                                              Those battered potatoes are great but I get defeated by them. I can only do a few, otherwise I'm wiped out for other food and that would be bad.

                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                Nice reporting!!! The pototoes keep me coming back to the fair. I like the cheese and ranch on the side, keeps it from getting too soggy.

                                              2. Just a heads up - re: that big Smokehouse/bar place with all the picnic tables outside... the lines look really short, but it took us over 25 minutes to get our food. On a Thursday night. We missed the beginning of our concert & I was none too happy. The roast beef sandwich was good, not great, but we passed up other places because their lines looked too long... mistake.

                                                1. Fair food definitely isn't cheap. I went on Saturday afternoon and had the following:
                                                  Smoked turkey leg - $8.75
                                                  Corndog - $10
                                                  Pulled pork sandwich - $7.75
                                                  Cole slaw - $2.00 more
                                                  Funnel cake - $5.00 (powdered sugar only)
                                                  Squeezer's lemonade - $5.00 for 32 oz, $2.50 for refill

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Tapeworm

                                                    Hand dipped ice cream bar too - $3.50

                                                      1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                                                        Yeah... it's gigantic though... about the size of my forearm...

                                                        --Dommy!

                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                          Still, unless you have Popeye forearms, $10 buys you 10 wienerschnitzel corn dogs :)

                                                          You don't have Popeye size forearms though do you Dommy? I'm sitting here staring at my forearm thinking wow, that'd be a pretty big corndog.

                                                          1. re: kingkong5

                                                            LOL! I meant the lenght, not the girth (Although I have some decent forearms... I am usually the 'slugger' on my softball team! ;))

                                                            But in the end you are absolutely correct... $10 for a corn dog is pretty outrageous (Which is why we passed it up...)

                                                            --Dommy!

                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                              But is wasn't like we didn't think about it!

                                                              - P.

                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                I believe it is 14 inches long.

                                                                1. re: Tapeworm

                                                                  I bet if an objective party measured it it would be like 10 and a half or some... oh, sorry, talking about corn dogs. Never mind.

                                                        2. re: Tapeworm

                                                          For $10, I think the turkey leg is so much tastier and a better value. Besides, it's so much more manly to gnaw on a big smoked turkey leg rather than scafing on a huge corn dog. But maybe that's just me.

                                                        3. Being a lover of fried food, I would have to say my favorite food at the fair was the curly cheese fries. there were pefrectly crisped with loads of fake cheese-just the way i like them!

                                                          1. last night had the Bloomin' Onions and the Aussie battered potatoes at OC Fair

                                                            I felt like I had been drugged and sent back in time to the 1980s. I hated myself afterwards, sort of.

                                                            1. Is there beer served at the Fair? Beyond domestic, I hope.

                                                              I'm going on the the last Saturday of the Fair, which I'm sure will be rampant of stragglers (like myself); and it will be my first time.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Veggietales

                                                                Yes, though I believe it's mostly domestic. There's a beer tent near the pavilion where the Chinese Acrobats perform, and they have various smaller brews (i.e., not Coors, Miller, etc.) -- some stuff from Kona Brewing Company, some Red Hook, and Widmer Hefeweizen (does Widmer even make other beers?). You can get a three-7 oz.-sample tray for $7, or a 22 oz. beer for the same price.

                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                  I enjoyed the sampler from the Kona Brewing pavilion very much, FWIW. They had a good selection of light, reds, and an ale or two. All were beers I'd drink again.

                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                    Yes, they do: http://www.widmer.com/ . I just had their Drop Top Amber Ale at the Sawdust Festival and it was fantastic.

                                                                2. Just went there, also ostensibly for the Weird Al show (wife is a fan, I don't get it, but got plenty of lowbrow eating done while she enjoyed the concert).

                                                                  I love fair food, and we usually visit the LA county fair in Septmber. Admittedly, I was worried its clean-cut, wholesome Southern counterpart wouldn't offer the greasy staples I looked forward to every summer. As I perused the event web site, I noticed they offered a "fair concierge." This did not portend good fair food, I surmised. I wondered if I might encounter deep-fried Chardonnay, or Lobster Thermidor on a stick. As it turned out, however, my fears were unfounded.

                                                                  First stop was the BBQ place that makes "pork butts," because, how can you pass up a pig butt? Actually, I was curious to try the pulled pork sandwich, as I understand this is a big Carolina thing which is almost unknown out here. I thought it was pretty good, tender with a mild smoke flavor (I put only the vinegar sauce on it), but in all honesty I have nothing to compare it against having not experienced this dish in the Carolinas. All in all, it was a bit bland compared to my favorite local BBQ experiences (Benny's in Venice, for example).

                                                                  Next, I tried the grilled corn; this was a major disappointment. It was grilled in the husk (I grill mine with the husk removed, so the kernels brown nicely) and did not seem very fresh. Surprisingly, it seemed a bit undercooked.

                                                                  I was intrigued by a stand that was roasting poblano chiles with cheese, until I realized they were lacking something: customers. I hesitated long enough to watch them prepare a pepper. They took a nicely roasted poblano, and coated it with flourescent orange industrial nacho cheese directly from the 7-eleven style dispenser. Sigh...no sale.

                                                                  Not to be deterred, I hit up Rose's Mexican for a taco. This was the evening's winner. It wasn't what purists would call true Mexican (crisp fried shell, lettuce and sour cream), but it was delicious nonetheless with tender stewed beef. Many people seemed to be enjoying taquitos, those fast-food staples of yesteryear made from deep-fried tortillas rolled around some form of pressed mystery meat.

                                                                  Finally, we hit up the cinammon roll place, and these were quite good as well. If I'd had it to do over again, I might have opted for the upscale-looking Greek place, which had an impressive menu of souvlaki and kebabs. The BBQ turkey leg, always my dad's choice, is usually tasty too, although tough and chewy.

                                                                  I can't say if it will replace my annual September Pigout in Pomona, but I'd say the OC fair is a worthy alternative: less crowded, easier to get around, and seemingly several hundred degrees cooler.

                                                                  But, why no vendor serving Pho, sates or lemongrass beef to serve OC's immense Vietnamese population?

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: BobtheBigPig

                                                                    I think, if I'm not mistaken, the little pink house that someone else mentioned earlier, was the Gingerbread House??? If so, they were right - they serve wonderful baked goods. The warm gingerbread with whipped cream is heavenly.
                                                                    (And if I'm wrong, you can find the Gingerbread House at the L.A. County Fair.)

                                                                    1. re: BobtheBigPig

                                                                      I hope you're kidding about the pig butts... you do know that's a pork butt is the shoulder cut?

                                                                      I went yesterday and filled myself w/ too much beer and only had a cinnamon roll, roasted corn and clam chowder. I told my friends that we should pull bulemia so we can eat more.

                                                                      NOw I can't wait for the LA Fair.

                                                                      1. re: Veggietales

                                                                        Do they sell fresh milk and ice cream (from the cows there) at the OC Fair, like they do at the LA Fair? Does anyone know?

                                                                    2. That gingerbread cake at the little pink house is moist, warm & delicious - just scrape off the mounds of whipped cream...

                                                                      I still can;t get over the OC Wone Society serving Kendall Jackson as their house chard... yuck. We were able to talk them into (slightly) upgrading us to St. Francis, but they ran out by our 2nd round.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: torta basilica

                                                                        Anyone ever had the Ten pound buns? They are also over by the pink gingerbread house. a long piece of garlic bread with cheese, or all the other types of pizza toppings. We have it every year. Anyone try the cheese balls? They were a bit scary to me. The deep fried cheesecake was disapointing after having a great one in HB. but what do you eeexpect at the fair? But let me tell you, I was watching a girl eat her deep fried coke, and while she was eating it, she pulled a french fry out of the cup!!! Disgusting!!!! And that was on the first day of the fair, you know they fry things in the same batter.

                                                                      2. Wow. I'm suprised to see that nobody has tried the 6 inch tall burger (http://www.squeezeoc.com/squeezeoc/li...)... and lived to tell.

                                                                        According to the article, "the burger is actually three half-pound Angus beef patties layered between onions, cheese and bacon. It comes in at a whopping 2.25 pounds and skewers are required to hold the beast together".

                                                                        A bit too much for me but the people i'm going to the fair with tonight are dying to try it...

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: emmanoir

                                                                          My 14 year old brother tried the Hucowmongous burger. It was actually prepared really well with great meat. I was surprised that it wasn't as big as I expected it to be; he finished the entire thing in 10 minutes. I don't think it was a full 2.25lb burger.