The Minnesota State Fair is a yearly highlight for me. I love to explore the buildings, check out new exhibits and of course try new foods and old favorites. This year, I’ve had the great fortune to attend the Fair twice and will have the rare opportunity to go a third time tomorrow!
If you are still planning to go to the Fair (there are three days left!), check out my State Fair food picks.
Candied Bacon BLT – NEW for 2016 The BLT is a classic, easy-to-prepare summer feast. But this BLT is anything buy ordinary. The slaw is a refreshing change to traditional lettuce, and the maple sugar glazed bacon is what makes this sandwich sing. I found the eggy bun tasty and chewy, but feel it’s too much bun for the sandwich. Half the amount of bun would make the sandwich perfect. (Blue Barn)
Reuben Pickle Dog – NEW for 2016 What can you say about a classic dill pickle spear served with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and wrapped in a slice of pastrami? Delicious! I’ve read reviews that have panned this treat as a glorified hors d’oeuvre with little pizzaz. I disagree. There’s plenty of flavor and it’s a refreshing treat to the multitude of fried food. The only downside…the price. At $7 a dog, I think the Reuben Pickle Dog is overpriced. (Pickle Dog)
Bang Bang Fresh Chicken Tenders – NEW for 2016 Chicken tenders are a staple restaurant food for my sons when we go out to eat. I’ve had my fill of them over the past 17 years and fancy myself a connoisseur of chicken tenders. LuLu’s take on chicken tenders is to lightly bread and fry the chicken tenderloins. I would classify my order of tenders as just average. I didn’t care for the seasoned breading and my tenderloins were overcooked and a little dry. The best part was the sweet and tangy chili sauce which had a nice kick of spice. (LuLu’s Public House)
Strawberry Donut Delight – NEW for 2016 This is a simple twist on the classic strawberry shortcake. Take a raised glazed donut, slice it in half and fill it with a strawberry compote and serve it with whipped cream (from a can). I tried this new combination in the evening and honestly, the donuts had lost much of their freshness. The overall effect however, was still good as the donut soaked up the juice from the strawberries. This very sweet treat would be easy to make a home. It won’t make it to the short list of repeat State Fair food for next year. (The Strawberry Patch)
Berry French Toast No, this isn’t a new Fair food, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s made it to our short list of repeat Fair food. This isn’t your flimsy, simple sliced bread French toast. The Blue Barn’s version of French Toast consists of thick cuts of bread with some chew and a creamy custard. A fresh raspberry and strawberry sauce takes the place of traditional maple syrup and real whipped cream top off this delight while a sprinkle of Pop Rocks add some whimsy. It’s both a breakfast food and dessert at the same time. My family’s second year eating it and it’s still a winner. (Blue Barn)
Chocolate Filled Cream Puff Located near the Sky Ride by the entrance of the Fair, the aptly named booth Cream Puff, sells cream puffs. The booth is a long time food vendor at the State Fair, yet it took me until this year to try their wares. Personally, I have always been a fan of cream puffs. The light and airy pate a choux and a sweet pastry cream. We ordered the chocolate filled cream puff which was a disappointment. The puff was chewy and tough and filled with an artificial chocolate flavored whipped cream. I had high expectations from a booth that just sold cream puffs, but it came up short. (Cream Puffs)
Garlic French Fries While garlic French fries are not new to the State Fair, they are so good they require an honorable mention. A generous pile of fresh cut, hot from the fryer fries that are tossed in fresh garlic and parsley, and served with a small dollop of fresh garlic on top and an apple wedge on the side. They are guaranteed to leave you licking your fingers and wishing you had a mint. Oh so tasty! (Ball Park Café)
Honorable Mention Other honorable mentions include Sara’s Tipsy Pies (Food Building). These handmade pies have a great tasting, tender crust and flavorful filling. The Boozy Blueberry with lemon zest is just right. Mouth Trap Cheese Curds (Food Building), All You Can Drink Milk and Sweet Martha’s Cookies, all perennial favorites.