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.

Summit on a Stick

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.

French Meadow Bakery & Café at the Minnesota State Fair

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.

Reuben Pretzel Before

Pictured above is the exterior of the Reuben Pretzel. Notice the sauerkraut on top.

Reuben Pretzel After

And the inside, just in case you were curious.

Deep Fried Candy Bars

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.

Deep Fried Snickers, a few bites in

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.

Sausage and Potato Spiral

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!

Just a few more bites...

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.

Salad and Soda

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).

Wacky Spiral Chips

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.


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8 comments on “Visiting the MN State Fair”

  1. Sam 30 August, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Gosh I miss the State Fair. Where were Sweet Martha’s cookies though?

  2. Martha 30 August, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    As for Sweet Martha’s: this was a savory-only day with the exception of the Snickers… but given all the salt and peanuts, a Snickers is pretty savory too!

  3. Amy 31 August, 2009 at 8:51 am

    So, Pepto Bismol at what time in the night?

  4. Linda 31 August, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I laughed my way through your Minnesota State Fair Post and when I got to the end my stomach hurt for both of you. Most appealing to me was the Reuben Pretzel from the Fresh Meadow.

  5. Linda 31 August, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Oops, I meant the French Meadow.

  6. Amber 31 August, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I wish I would have known about that Reuben Pretzel, that looked super yummy.

  7. Tom 2 September, 2009 at 9:59 am

    The reuben pretzel was my favorite, though it could have used some thousand island for dipping.

  8. Casey 2 September, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    This is so unfair… it is the first State Fair I have missed in my life! The photos are making me drool and I am very envious of your multiple trips to what is the greatest eating experience of the entire year. I usually fast for a few days before and strategically wear pants with an elastic waist band so as not to be encumbered at any point. Thanks for making the visual aspect of the experience accessible- love reading these posts! Miss you guys and Minnesota in September…

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