It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I’ve been at the fair, stuffed full, and stuck in a glorious food coma dreaming of fried goodness for four hours.
I couldn’t wait to return this year. I can only indulge in my fair favorites once a year and I was looking forward to trying them all. The gluttony tour started with Tasti Chips. We quickly learned that they’ve been successfully in business for 47 years and still dreaming up new concepts like ghost chili sauce and some kickass burgers served on brioche buns. Mmm. My mouth was watering just watching them being served up. We began our Tasti Chips adventure with their signature chips. The folks at Tasti Chips only use fresh seasonal potatoes, 100% pure allergen free peanut oil, and hand stir each basket while frying. They are also gluten free if eaten plain. I like to watch them dice and slice up the potatoes fresh, fry them, and serve them up with either a plain cheese sauce or a bacon cheese sauce with real bacon. Any way you have them, they are just perfect and one of my favorite stops at the fair. For our tour, we tried dirty BBQ chips, chips served up with jalapenos and cheese, and plain chips with ghost chili sauce that luckily was on the mild side.
We ended the Tasti Chip journey with their burgers. Oh my. Nestled in between a brioche bun is a glorious mix of bleu cheese and a signature bacon jam with a juicy beef patty, and a beef steak tomato. Mmm. If you’re looking for spicy, try their ghost chili burger with jalapenos. I tried to avoid that one because my spicy tolerance was down a few notches and resting up for the weekend.
No fair trip is complete without gorging on bacon – bacon deep fried in almost everything. I was surprised to see bacon beer on the menu but it was surprisingly interesting. My favorites from the Bacon A-Fair stand are the cheesy bacon bombs and the chocolate bacon. The cheesy bacon bombs were a new thing for me and I loved the gooey cheese wrapped around the tender pieces of bacon. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of salt and savory, try the chocolate bacon with a sprinkle of salt. It’s really a treat all on its own.
Last but certainly not least, we spent a good part of the tour checking out what Jared of Chicken Charlie’s had up his sleeve. It seems to be a fair tradition for Chicken Charlie’s to come up with some new outrageous deep fried something. This year, it’s the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe (which we did not try), the deep fried cookie dough, and the waffle dog. If you like cookie dough, you’ll love it even more deep fried in batter, drizzled in chocolate sauce, and topped off with confectioner’s sugar. My sweet tooth couldn’t handle it and I found the waffle dog to be more my speed. Who doesn’t like waffles? Especially waffles in a corn dog. While having our fill deep fried treats, we learned about a deep fried avocado served up with a side of pesto sauce. Say what? Deep fried avocado?? We couldn’t wait to try that and so we did. This is something I highly recommend. The pesto sauce is just perfect and the creamy avocado inside is just heaven. I wish I had eaten more of this.
The real star of Chicken Charlie’s empire is Pineapple Express. While I love his new fangled deep fried creations, I’ve been a sucker for Pineapple Express since last year’s gluttony tour. Pineapple Express is the healthier side of the fair and if you know me, I tend to avoid anything healthy however Pineapple Express is big on flavor. You almost forget you’re eating healthy. While basking in the midday sun, Jared shared stories of the secret coleslaw and how they wait until the pineapple is perfectly tender and juicy before hollowing it out and serving it up in their amazing bowls. You have to trust Jared on this one because it’s quite possibly the juiciest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. The hollowed out pineapple is served with sticky rice, a teriyaki chicken or a fried shrimp, and a tender juicy pieces of pineapple. Mmm. If you don’t want the pineapple bowl, you can also order up some maui sliders served on King’s Hawaiian bread and their signature coleslaw or get some deep fried pineapple rings (I’m sure those aren’t that healthy but I won’t say anything if you won’t).
I ended the fair walking around the park trying to burn off some calories but the sun caught up with me and it was an indicator that I needed another nap. If you haven’t been, you’ve still got plenty of time to go. The fair ends August 11th.