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Minnesota State fair - any coan't misses?

I'm making my first trip to the Minnesota State Fair this year - the number of foods is a bit overwhelming. I''m hoping the Chowhound comunity can help me come up with a short list. Any things I just shouldn't miss?

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Minnesota State Fair
1265 Snelling Ave N, Falcon Heights, MN 55108

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      1. If you asked all of us individually, your 'short list' would end up being about 100 items long.

        My general routine is as follows (in no particular order):

        1) Foot long hot dog (from the 'About a foot long' stand)
        2) Cheese curds (from the booth right on Dan Patch)
        3) Milk stand (cookies, if someone else is buying).
        4) Elk burger from Giggles
        5) Vanilla shake from the U of M milk booth
        6) Something from the Bazaar - Holy Land and a few other locals are here now. Manny's Tortas got a booth too, although I'm not sure where he will be.

        If I'm in a particularly heart stopping mood, I'll stop at either the French Fry booth or the Australian potato booth.

        That's the way I do things every year and I don't see things changing any time soon.

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        Manny's Tortas
        920 E Lake St Ste 125, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        1. There are two "can't miss" foods in my opinion:
          Start your day at Cinnie Smith's cinnamon rolls. Hands down, the best caramel / cinnamon rolls EVER.
          Then later on have a pickle dog. You won't be disappointed.
          Sure, the foot longs and cheese curds are great, but you can get them anywhere. These two things are things you go to the fair to eat because you can't find them anywhere else!
          Enjoy!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Marnatee

            What is a pickle dog, and where can you find them?

            1. re: docfood

              A pickle dog is a pickle spear wrapped in pastrami with a seasoned cream cheese - I had one again today at the fair. TO DIE FOR. They're right in front of Andy's Grill by the entrance to the Midway.
              I also tried a fudge puppy for the first time today. Yow! I'll be having one of them again next year! Now I have three "can't miss" things at the fair along with Cinnie Smith's.

              1. re: Marnatee

                I second Pickle Dogs are to die for. They're the big brother, on a stick, of ham slathered with cream cheese rolled around a dill pickle and cut into bite-sized pieces. But better. Nummy!

            2. re: Marnatee

              Thanks for the tip on Pickle Dogs! I had my first (in almost three decades at the Fair) and I loved it. In fact, I think they have pushed corn dogs off my list for good.

            3. You can get cheese curds, french fries, onion rings, hotdogs, mini doughnuts, etc. anywhere. Go to www.startribune.com or www.twincities.com (Pioneer Press) and check for stories about fair food. They'll tell you what the new and different stuff is. After that, I think it's mostly about personal preference. Myself, I always get a corn dog, and the milkshake from the cattle barn. At some point we do the all-you-can-drink milk booth too.

              4 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                LOL...they don't sell milkshakes in the cattle barn. That's in the dairy building. They don't sell food where they keep livestock.

                1. re: rainbowsherbet

                  Hmmm...isn't the Gopher Dairy Bar right outside the cattle building?

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: rainbowsherbet

                    If there is one CH who knows all that there is to know about food at the Minnesota State Fair, it's TDQ.

                    By the way, aren't both dairy cattle and beef cattle in the cattle building?

                    The milkshake stand is on the north side of the building.

                    (Correct me if I'm wrong TDQ.)

                    1. re: John E.

                      That's where I remember it too! Unless it moved in the past few days. :)

                      ~TDQ