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Jul 17, 2008 10:52 AM

2008 MN State Fair

It is about time a definitive state fair thread for 2008 gets started dontcha think? I was bored today and drifted over to the website
and noted that they have a "preliminary" food finder started for this year (subject to changes/updates)

One of the more exciting things that I noted, when looking under the "New" postings, is that it looks like The Midtown Global Market stand will be back, and this year, various vendors will rotate at the stand, selling their wares! (instead of just fruit like last year).
They specifically list Manny's , La Loma, Pham's Deli, and Jakeeno's (which they have hilariously mispelled Jaquenos - lol, not every vendor in the MGMkt is selling hispanic food). It does not specifically state who will be there on each day, but perhaps that is coming, or it will just be a nice surprise! ( I am sure there will be a schedule at the booth too, for those of us who are repeat offenders, er visitors...


Of course, Big Fat Bacon and Pick Licker have already been discussed in this thread.

It appears that Holy Land will have a booth there as well this year. I don't believe they have had one in the past.

Other new foods listed:

Axel's: Hand made tator tots (made with hashbrowns, chedar cheese, bacon, green onion and sour cream deep and served three on-a-stick) and Chicken bites blackened chicken breast meat served with horseradish sauce

Epiphany Diner: NEW THIS YEAR: walking taco (taco meat, cheese salsa and sour cream served in a Dorito bag of tortilla chips) -Served in the bag?? wierd.

Granny's Cheesecakes: NEW THIS YEAR: Hand dipped cheese cake and strawberry banana kabobs in chocolate (sounds good to me!


Green Mill: NEW! foot long pizza on-a-stick (bigger is not always better, I'm getting heartburn just reading this)

Isabella's Italian Ice stand - new stand (happy about this as it gives my gluten/dairy fee chowpup another State fair option)

Island noodles - Offering: Hawaian buckwheat stir fried Yaki-Soba noodles with up to twenty-one vegatables, vegetarian product with no dairy, nuts or meat
(this is located in Heritage Square, which seems like a strange location for this type of stand, Bazzar would be more fitting)

O'Gara's : NEW THIS YEAR: Leprechaun legs (lightly-batted deep-fried green beans with dipping sauce)

Ole & Lena's: NEW! Norwegian cheese curds with lingonberry dipping sauce

Oodles of Noodles: NEW THIS YEAR: Deep-fried s'mores on-a-stick (marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker battered and deep fried), Italian breakfast strata, layers of Italian sausage and cheese with Italian bread

Panda Palace: New stand in Bazzar Offering: White and fried rice, lo mein, beef and broccoli, sweet & sour chicken, egg rolls and cream cheese won-tons (Ho-Hum)

The Preferred Pickle: NEW THIS YEAR: Pickle Pop (frozen juice in a plastic push-up sleeve) - intriguing, I used to drink pickle juice straight out of the jar as a child, to me this sounds like it could be refreshing on a hot summer day. But I have a feeling that people are either going to love or hate this, no meh's

San Filipe Tacos New Stand Offering - Fish taco (fried tilapia, cabbage, red onion, red pepper sauce, and salsa in a tortilla), jerk chicken taco (grilled jerk chicken, cheddar cheese, letuce, jerk sauce), beef taco, nachos grande (choice of meat, melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa on tortilla chips), side dishes (refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, Mexican style deep fried ice cream, churros)

Sausage Sisters: NEW THIS YEAR: Caribbean jerk seasoned sausage (jerk on-a-stick)

That's it so far for new foods listed for this year.

P.S. I also noted they have some pretty decent music lined up for the Leinie's free bandshell, in particular Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Brandi Carlile

The fair runs from August 21- Sept. 1st, only about 1 month away now!

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  1. Using Doritos for Frito Pie is an abomination. Who wants a bunch of artificial flavored dust overpowering what is a great Texas picnic tradition? They'll probably try and tell you to wash it down with a Mountain Dew instead of a Dr Pepper.

    Fritos: 3 ingredients
    Doritos: 30ish ingredients


    On the bright side, the tots sound good and I love me some Sharon Jones UK soul!

    1. The walking tacos are served at all of the school sporting events concessions here in eastern Iowa (small towns predominantly). Not in any way to be confused with Frito Pie, this is something entirely different. Seasoned taco meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa (maybe onions and tomatoes, depending on the town) all dumped into a snack sized bag of regular Doritos and served with a fork. Kids seem to love them - I usually stick with the popcorn, myself.

      6 Replies
      1. re: iowagirl

        whoa. never heard of them. interesting. i am very interested in regional eats. . . did this newfangled snack originate in iowa, or somewhere else?

        yay i love the state fair. . . i look forward to that honey sesame-seed ice cream for months-- i am *such* a loser!

        1. re: soupkitten

          walking tacos are one of my secret guilty pleasures -- I've mainly had them in South Dakota. (at HS basketball games)

          1. re: soupkitten

            You know, I'm not sure where they originated, but they seem to be a relatively "new" concoction. I grew up in Iowa (in the central part of the state) and we never saw them at any of our concessions. It's only since following my stepdaughters around to various eastern Iowa small towns that I've seen them - but it's rare to find a place that doesn't have them.

            I did find this link that further discusses the nuances between Frito Pie and a Walking Taco. Seems walking tacos are Midwestern in origin ...


            I love the Iowa State Fair - never been to the Minnesota one - mmmm milkshakes, turkey legs and pork chops.

            1. re: soupkitten

              A blog on the origins of walking taco or petro:


              We (well, not me, but friends of mine) used to put everything in the bag and smash it up to get frito crumbs.

            2. re: iowagirl

              They have these around MN as well. I was at a high school football game in Stewartville last fall (go Tigers!) and they were selling them at the concession stand. Though the first time I was introduced to this was at a group cabin weekend where select couples were responsible for a particular meal. I thought it was a great take on a traditional taco bar. I got some weird looks when I poured mine all out into a bowl though!

              1. re: iowagirl

                What is what we refer to as frito pie (it is also a cassarole with essentially the same ingredients). Bag of fritos, cut open lengthwise with chili and taco-fixin's atop.

                PS. The MN State Fair is about 1000 times better than the Lone Star State's.

              2. OMG, I just gained 5 lbs reading this. I can't wait!

                1. I have seen the "walking taco" at fairs in Montana several years ago. There it was unforgettably called "Bag o' taco".
                  How long will it be until fried coca-cola makes it here?
                  The new offerings sound fairly ho-hum this year. Guess I'll be sticking to the old favorites then.

                  1. I've had Axel's tater tots at Lucky's 13 in Mendota. Not sure that I'd go out of my way to get them since they're available year-round at one or more of the Axel's restaurants, but they are FANTASTIC.


                    11 Replies
                    1. re: gromit

                      everything worth eating is available year-round. and usually better quality.

                      state fair? meh...

                      1. re: getgot211

                        Ok, well...

                        For people who are interested in trying foods at the State Fair, they might choose to try this particular food at another time since it will be available.

                        For people who are not interested in the State Fair ("meh"), maybe a thread about the State Fair and what people like to eat there is not for them...


                        1. re: getgot211

                          When I go to the State Fair, I eat food that I would never indulge in the rest of the year. I consider those two weeks a "free ride" break from my usual sensible (in theory) eating. So if there are better corn dogs and mini doughnuts out there, I really wouldn't know. And, frankly, I deliberately try not to learn about them.

                          I can only quote TDQ, who said it best (in the thread about deep-fried mac & cheese):

                          "...That's what the two weeks of the State Fair is for, to satisfy your craving for deep fried whatever on a stick that you would never, ever dream of indulging in real life."

                          Me, I'm actually looking forward to trying a walking taco!


                          P.S. I except from my blanket statement the roasted corn at the corn booth - I would love a "real life" place that served corn that fresh and nicely roasted. Luckily, we have the Mexican roasted corn stand in the parking lot of El Burrito Mercado. (Oh, how they would rake in the bucks at the State Fair !!! )

                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Anne, on Saturdays and Sundays at the Mpls Farmer's Market they sell roasted corn. Is that similar enough to serve you outside of the SF?

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              Amen Anne. The State Fair is pure junk-food indulgence, nothing more. The obnoxiousness of the foods offered speaks to the nod-and-wink economy that makes this terrible food available to all of us for two weeks.

                              Let us also not forget that not everyone that visits the State Fair lives in the Twin Cities. Sure, I may be able to get a gyro and lamb near a stick, but Ole from Ottertail County may not.

                              And if there is a place to get a deep-fried ruebens/spaghetti & meatballs/aligator on a stick or nitrogen iced-cream year-round I certainly don't care.

                              1. re: Foureyes137

                                Who has deep fried reubens on a stick? That sounds artery-clogging, cardiologist-needs-a-new-boat delicious!

                                1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                  O'Gara's in the food building. I tried it last year, because I too thought it sounded heart-stoppingly good. I hate corndog/pronto pup type things and that is what the reuben on a stick is...a sausage with rye breading that one dips in 1000 island dressing. Disappointment.
                                  However I LOVE the State Fair, can't wait to try some bacon on a stick...

                                  1. re: seahag

                                    Thank you SO much for that, seahag. If there's no corned beef, and no sauerkraut, then I can skip it! Whew!!! Sorry, cardiologist, you'll have to get that summer home off of someone else. Of course, I'll just shift the calories to some other deep-fried yumminess, so don't lose hope...

                                  2. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                    The first year they had it, it was a chunk of corned-beef, battered and deep fried. I was hoping they'd find a way to get the kraut in it, but no go. I was equally unimpressed.

                                    1. re: Foureyes137

                                      I guess if I need a State Fair Reuben fix, I'll stick with the ones at Schumacher's

                                  3. re: Foureyes137

                                    The foods are obnoxious and wonderful. Thank goodness its only 2 weeks! Love it.

                                    We have people come from out of state to visit us specifically during the state fair time since they have nothing like it.