Visiting the MN State Fair
We ate a lot yesterday. The fair was fun, especially since we were able to meet up with a few great friends to, well, eat with. Below are photos of most of what we ate, as well as pricing and locations if you’re planning to make the trek yourself. $11 will get you an adult ticket (ages 13—64) at the gate. This is about the only place credit cards are accepted, so bring plenty of cash for the treats to be had inside.
After a shared $5 tray of Cheese Curds in the Food Building (sorry, no photo), Summit’s Beer on a Stick was our #2 item to try. Three 7 oz. cups sampling Extra Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, and Red Ale for $7.50, not bad. Get in line for your Beer on Stick at the International Bazaar on Underwood St. and Judson Ave.
Next it was the French Meadow to hunt down the Reuben Pretzel we’d read about in the Star Tribune. After asking around about the “old Schumacher space,” we found the French Meadow on the corner of Carnes Ave. and Underwood St. With a two $5 bills in hand, we ordered two; this was not meant for sharing.
Pictured above is the exterior of the Reuben Pretzel. Notice the sauerkraut on top.
And the inside, just in case you were curious.
Naturally, this was followed immediately by a trip to the Deep Fried Candy Bars stand. With a choice between deep fried Oreos, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Deep Fried Milky Ways, and Deep Fried Snickers all at $3.50, we went with the Snickers.
Covered in thick breading and plenty of powdered sugar, this was exactly how you might imagine it. I never need to eat this again. If you’d like to have your once-in-a-lifetime taste, keep walking down Carnes Ave. from the French Meadow.
Walking north toward the Eco Experience, we thought we would see what we would see along the way. A stand we spotted just north of Randall Ave. on Underwood St. led us somewhat off the path to our destination.
With ticket in hand, we waited patiently for what would be next.
For $7.75, Texas Tater Twisters was offering sausage (on a stick) surrounded by a fried potato spiral, aka the Taterdog. We could have gone with the potato twister alone, but Tom sprung for the combo and I wasn’t about to protest. A side of ranch, please!
A few bites in, the spiral came began to unravel.
At this point, we parted with the group and went looking for one of the items on my not-to-be-missed list: Stanly’s Sugarbush Maple Soda, $4. Sample the soda near the Eco Experience at the Countryside Market (located at the end of Cosgrove St.). Already there, and having eaten a number of things that might be described as awful, we decided to opt for a rare, healthy item along side the soda: a Caprese Salad on a Stick, $6. This $10 combination is well worth a try.
Not to be caught ending on a too-healthy note, we finished our visit with a tray of Tornado Potato Chips for $5.50 from Sonny’s in the Food Building. Served with a side of chipotle ranch and fresh from the frier, they demanded to be accompanied by a second helping of Summit on a Stick (refills for $6.50 if you save your stick).
After a couple of loops around the Food Building trying to locate fried green tomatoes for sale, we gave up a little disappointed. I’m sure it was right under my nose, but with the weather turning noticeably chilly and already full stomachs, we said goodnight to the fair.
Thanks again to our fellow-tasters at the Heavy Table. Their list helped us navigate the sprawling Minnesota State Fair for the first time. As we headed home, the folks at 89.3 the Current were doing a tasting of their own on the radio. Among the pickles and the cheese curds, they reminded us of what we’d missed: Peach Glazed Pig Cheeks from Famous Daves. Next time? We’ll have to take that up next year.