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Chow-worthy fair food at Puyallup state fair?

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lrsseattle Sep 10, 2012 09:26 PM

In the vein of Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood, any must-have's at the Puyallup state fair? Promised the kids a trip there and I don't want to miss anything Chow-worthy. Thanks!

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    BallardFoodie RE: lrsseattle Sep 11, 2012 06:50 AM

    One never miss for our family is the Fleischkeckle (surely misspelled) stand outside of the actual grounds (traditionally, the northwest corner near the now really old roller coaster). It is a German meat turnover. Always hits the spot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BallardFoodie
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      BallardFoodie RE: BallardFoodie Sep 16, 2012 08:30 AM

      Other one that we usually hit is the fresh saltwater taffy stand underneath the grandstands. So much better than the rock hard stuff you usually find.

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      GreenYoshi RE: lrsseattle Sep 11, 2012 02:57 PM

      I think the Fisher scones and the Krusty Pup corndogs would be most Roadfood-ish items.

      There's that giant BBQ pit in the middle that seems like a Fair staple, but I don't think it's that good.

      8 Replies
      1. re: GreenYoshi
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        Bax RE: GreenYoshi Sep 11, 2012 04:56 PM

        I had a corn dog at the fair last year that I'm almost positive was a Krusty Pup and it was TERRIBLE. Just no flavor. I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. 2nd worst corn dog I've ever eaten (worst being at West Seattle Summerfest which was similarly flavorless as well as being cold/stale. Ugh!).

        I had a scone too which was good but undercooked. Had it been a toasty golden brown it would've been SOOO much better. As it was, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

        I'm thinking that, much like Dick's burgers, both Fisher scones & Krusty Pups are probably more nostalgic food than actually tasty, and that you'd have to have grown up with them to truly appreciate them.

        1. re: Bax
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          GreenYoshi RE: Bax Sep 11, 2012 05:33 PM

          Yeah, that's probably right.
          These scones aren't something to write home about outside of The Fair experience. I think the "undercooked" thing is how they are supposed to be and they are definitely a little flour-y and lack any outer crispness.

          And you're right that Krusty Pup is far from some meaty delicious sausage or anything (it's definitely that cheap "tubesteak" style dog, which could be described as lacking "flavor") But it's fresh-dipped and freshly-fried, which makes it pretty great...

          Overall, I don't think any of this kind of food is going to be "blown-away" amazing (well, maybe fried Twinkies... I was pretty amazed the first time I had one of those). But that's not really what the Sterns's "Roadfood" thing is about. I think a big part of it is the iconic nature of the these items and how they fit with the overall fair experience.

          And I'd say getting an undercooked, somewhat flour-y scone smeared with butter and blackberry jam is part of that experience.

          1. re: GreenYoshi
            kaleokahu RE: GreenYoshi Sep 11, 2012 07:33 PM

            Ah, GY, now that you've fingered the gestalt of fair food (and saved me from lauding Crusty Pups), you've freed me to rec the milkshakes in the dairy barn, and even Earthquake Burger. None are good, all are iconic, and I happily buy one of each every year. As for the scones, I buy the Fischer mix from Costco.

            In my moister dreams, I can imagine an Uli's sausage, dipped and fried by a renegade CP weinerista, to keep me out of the Petting Zoo. Until Blue Oyster Cult starts playing...

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu
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              Bax RE: kaleokahu Sep 12, 2012 09:19 AM

              Oh, I certainly don't require a gourmet hot dog to make a good corn dog. I'm fine with, as you say, a "cheap tubesteak." But with the Krusty Pup there was NO flavor to the dog, the coating...even the fact that it was freshly fried (and I'll give it that, it was definitely right out of the fryer) couldn't save it. I've had good corn dogs at fairs and festivals; Krusty Pup did NOT qualify. Not even in a "Roadfood" kind of way (except maybe in an "I went to the fair and ate something fried on a stick" way, but that can be said of lots of things from lots of vendors).

              I will give you the fact that Fisher scones are sort of iconic of the Puyallup Fair and therefore part of the experience (and it IS hard to go completely wrong when there's butter and jam involved). But the heading of the original post was asking for "Chow-worthy" food at the fair and despite being iconic, I did not find the scone to be actually "Chow-worthy," tho' if they were baked to the point that they were crusty on the outside instead of just a pasty, crumbly mass they might be. Then again, it seems like lots of people love them just the way they are, so who am I to argue with tradition? Heh.

              1. re: Bax
                kaleokahu RE: Bax Sep 12, 2012 10:22 AM

                Hi, Bax: "But with the Krusty Pup there was NO flavor to the dog, the coating..."

                Sadly, that was my experience last year (not going this week), too. I recall thinking: "Could they possibly have found a cheaper, less flavorful dog?" Not that CP was great before, but it was worse last year.

                I don't think we have any argument--IMO there's no Chow-worthy food there. Though for many families for many, many years, the Fair is the highlight of Summer, and the iconic and [insert quotes to suit your preference] food served up there becomes part of the memory and tradition. I just wish they'd upgrade the quality a notch.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu
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                  Gizmo56 RE: kaleokahu Sep 12, 2012 02:28 PM

                  I agree completely kaleo, especially with the final paragraph. If anything, the reference to the Fair food items as "iconic" is a bit generous. I'd describe it more as "anachronistic," and of consistently disappointing quality.

                  1. re: Gizmo56
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                    Jeri L RE: Gizmo56 Sep 12, 2012 06:39 PM

                    Has anyone had a Kaleenka piroshy lately? I remember them as being pretty good, but it's been over a decade since I had one. Last few fairs I've stuck to a scone and an ear of roasted corn.

          2. re: Bax
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            Boychucker RE: Bax Sep 13, 2012 08:31 PM

            My husband says that the scone making facility underneath the grandstands makes the best scones. For some reason, they are are baked correctly and are not undercooked. All of the other locations that are in the trailers are not as good.

        2. gingershelley RE: lrsseattle Sep 15, 2012 01:20 PM

          I think the only 'Chow-worthy' food at the fair is the displays of preserves, pickles and such. I love to see all the rows of jars and who won a ribbon for what. Super fun! I know you can't eat them, but they are inspirational for my own canning...

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            GreenYoshi RE: lrsseattle Sep 17, 2012 06:20 PM

            Apparently there is a Cowgirl Candy Cone new this year, which is sweet potato fries in a waffle cone with marshmallow fluff and caramel sauce. Sounds tooth-hurtingly interesting.

            If you still haven't been to the Fair, I think it's required that you get this and report back.

            http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/voraci...

            3 Replies
            1. re: GreenYoshi
              kaleokahu RE: GreenYoshi Sep 18, 2012 09:11 AM

              Hi, GY:

              I'm going tomorrow, and will *try* to try it. Can you get it with a side of insulin?

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. re: kaleokahu
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                GreenYoshi RE: kaleokahu Sep 18, 2012 10:33 AM

                Appreciated. I genuinely can't tell if it will be sloppy, sticky, overly-sweet mess or fun mix of salty and sweet flavors with the fried deliciousness.

                (Owe you a beer if it sucks)

                1. re: GreenYoshi
                  kaleokahu RE: GreenYoshi Sep 20, 2012 07:57 AM

                  Hi, GY:

                  Well, I came, I saw, and I ran away! Couldn't do it. It might have been the plasticized human body display on the way in, or maybe the innumerable waterless cookware demos. But the clincher was the photo of the candy cone--my blood sugar spiked just by *looking* at the mess.

                  The good news was that my coneless flight allowed room for half of a Swissquake burger, which I think typifies the Fair--expensive, greasy, but hella people-watching.

                  I owe *you* a beer...

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

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              WeddingTackle RE: lrsseattle Dec 18, 2013 02:32 PM

              Maybe info for next year, the fresh taffy made under the grandstand is always a must have for me as is a caramel apple. Just make sure you have them give you one that was made that day. The scones under the grandstand are always the best of...but not always perfect (under-baked sometimes). But kind of like pizza, even when it's bad, still pretty good!

              1 Reply
              1. re: WeddingTackle
                kaleokahu RE: WeddingTackle Dec 18, 2013 02:45 PM

                Hi, WT:

                I pulled a crown on the first bite of one of those caramel apples this year!

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

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