It’s that overwhelming deep fried, sweetly delicious, intoxicating aroma that draws me in. Then you start to see people walk by with a bucket of cookies, or a pork chop on a stick. Once inside, I find myself traveling from food booth to food booth. I set aside all dietary restrictions on this one day. During the rest of the year, I dream about this day. I’ve even gone so far as to stop at a local festival to get a corn dog, but it’s just not the same. You’ve been there. It’s my love affair with the MN State Fair.
This year I got the opportunity to sample a few of the great new foods that will be there this year. Here are a list of my favorites.
Tot Boss’s Tater Tots
The name explains it all. They are the boss of the Tater Tot World. Their Tots go way beyond the basic. They start with a basic tater tot and cover it in all kinds of different flavor combination, including bacon wrapped tots, loaded tots, chili tots, tots ‘n’ tenders, tots ‘n’ dogs, and tater tot nachos. My favorite was the Tot Nacho’s but the loaded tot’s game in a close second. They are also Gluten Free. After the owner, Dan Docken’s niece was diagnosed with Celiac disease, he amped up his game and now has dedicated fryers just for the gluten free tots. He also creates cheese sauces that are gluten free too.
You can find his booth over on Underwood, between Underwood and Dan Patch.
Minnesota Corn Dog
A Sweet and Smokey twist on a Fair staple, the Minnesota Corn Dog is a must try this year. They make it with custom ground sausage, blueberries, apples, wild rice, maple syrup and cayenne, dipped in a corn dog batter and deep fried. Just thinking about it makes me crave it all over again. With all the ingredients in it, I was a little apprehensive, but it was amazing. You wouldn’t even know half the stuff was in there.
You can find it at the Gass Station Grill outside of the Food Building on the South East Corner.
Cheesy French Onion Monkey Bread
For me, the best part of any French Onion soup is the melted cheese and thick bread on the top. The people at the Blue Moon Dine-in Theatre must have felt the same way because they have created something special. It’s a monkey bread version. They take an artisan roll pull apart and fill it with caramelized onions, top it with cheese and beef broth and bake it in a wood-fired oven.
You can find these on the northeast corner of Carnes Avenu and Chambers Street.
Minnesnowii Shaved Ice
The perfect thing to cool you down at the fair. The ices this year have a whole new topping, 100 percent sweet and condensed milk. It turns up the sweetness level and adds a bonus of creaminess. If the weather gets hot, you will know where I’ll be hanging out. Their new flavor this year, Maple Bacon topped with bacon bits and a maple syrup drizzle.
You can find them at the West End Market.
Deep Fried Grilled Cheese
As a recovering vegetarian, I have a passion for Grilled Cheese. So when I saw these, I had to try them. What makes these a ‘Grilled Cheese’ is that they have blended beer batter in with their white cheddar cheese. They cube up their cheese bites and freeze them and then throw them straight into the fryer. And of course, you need a proper dipping sauce so the people at O’Gara’s at the Fair created their own Bloody Mary Mix Marinara. Don’t worry kid friendly 🙂
You can find them at O’Gara’s at the Fair on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street.
All I can say is I’m glad this Fair is only 12 days long. Otherwise, we would be in trouble. This is just a small sampling of the new foods this year. For a full list check out the State Fairs’ Website.
If you are still looking for tickets to the fair, check out the promotion I’m running on Facebook through Wednesday.
For DayTripper fans, I am giving away a state fair prize package sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair. The package includes:
- 2 Tickets to See Bonnie Raitt play in the Grandstand September 5th
- 2 General Admission Tickets to the State Fair
- 1 Blue Ribbon Bargain Book
To qualify all you need to do is head over to my Facebook page for further details.