As many of my readers know, I love County Fair Food! Last year I did an extensive post about the different foods we tried. This year there are new options, in addition to the old favorites. This blog post will take you on a trip through the OC Fair’s best innovations in fair food. I do warn you some of the pictures you are about to see are graphic in nature and may be inappropriate to younger readers. Brace yourself, these pictures and descriptions will induce you to visit the OC Fair and eat yourself silly. Some side-effects of eating fair food include pregnant belly syndrome, lethargy, food high’s, food hangovers, and a general sense of well-being (while eating the food). So that your wallet stays thin, unlike your gut, be sure to visit http://danisdecadentdeals.com/
I took a food tour through the fair and can report back that the food is awesome this year. The first stop we made was at one of my favorites Bacon A-Fair. We tried two dishes at this vendor, the “Porkabello” ($14) was a serious concoction that is made with some high-end ingredients. Portabello Mushroom chucks are skewered and then wrapped in thick-cut bacon. The whole skewer is then grilled on an open flame until the bacon is crisp. The cooked skewer is then served on a plate of truffle fries and the whole thing is topped with shredded gouda! This dish was pretty damn good! Be sure to order your porkabello extra well done, so that the bacon is crispy and the mushroom is sizzling hot. The gouda cheese really makes this dish pop, so be sure to sprinkle some on each bite.
The Beer-Battered Bacon ($12) was one of my favorite new dishes at the fair! Extra thick raw bacon is coated in a wet batter and then dredged in seasoning laced bread crumbs. The coated bacon is then deep fried to make it nice and crispy. This dish was a pleasure to eat, when I chewed on the fried bacon, the seasoning (whole fennel seeds, garlic, something else) in the crust provided a nice balance to grease based flavor of the crisp bacon. The bacon has side options of Ranch or BBQ as dippers; I suggest you use both at the same time!
Although the chocolate covered bacon is soooo two years ago, it is still a crowd favorite. Crisp bacon is thickly covered in dark chocolate and frozen. The chocolate bacon is also served frozen (which enhances the flavor) and served with a packet of salt. I am very serious when I say, be sure to add the salt, as it sets off the flavor by 50%…seriously. Try it for yourself!
Our next stop was at Tasti Chips, a favorite of the food blogger community. Here you can order hand-cut potato chips which are deep-fried in peanut oil and served piping hot! You can also order a cheese jalepeno or cheese bacon dippers ($2.50 each). Tasti Chips uses White Rose potatoes that have been sourced directly so that they can ensure the potatoes are fresh. Interesting fact: Most potatoes in the groccery store are sometimes months old. In order to make great potato chips you need the sugars in the potatoes to be fresh. The result are delicious chips that vary in texture from puffy and crunchy to crispy on the perimeter and hot and gooey in the center (Something for everyone). The dippers set the chips off the chain, by adding new flavors and accentuating the potato. This is how chips should be eaten!
I tried my favorite Gelato in Italy, during my trip to the OC Fair, I found a very close substitute at the OC Fair was at Legendairy Gelato! Their Mint and Pistachio were seriously intense with natural flavor. If you have ever been to Rome and know what I mean when I say three-cup-a-day Gelato addiction, then you must try this stuff!
If you have been to any county fair in Southern California, then you have definitely seen the monstrosities created by the devilish mind of Charlie Chicken. This is the same guy who dared to think differently and deep-fried a whole White-Castle burger or introduced Fried Thin Mint cookies. Our foodie friend Charlie has decided to change it up this year and introduce a new stand called Pineapple Express. After last year’s fair, Charlie was recovering in Hawaii and developed the idea to hallow out 1/2 of a pineapple and fill them with chicken or shrimp, sticky rice and more pineapple. This was the most innovative food at this year’s fair. My favorite was the chicken pineapple, as it was very flavorful and juicy. At a price tag of $13.75 this dish isn’t cheap, but it is as great dish that can be shared by two people. I definitely recommend you try the chicken or shrimp Pineapples.
Of course Charlies chicken wouldn’t be charlie chicken without throwing in some deep-fried goodness on his Pineapple Express station. Going with the Hawaiian theme, he also is offering deep-fried spam (favorite in Hawaii) and deep-friend pineapple rings. Both are good in their own right, but I liked the deep-fried pineapple the best.
The next stop welcomed us with the sounds of Notorious B I G blasting from the stations loud speakers. The food at Biggy’s Meat Market was as big and notorious as the rapper. This vendor sold the now infamous “The Big Rib” ($16.95) which is literally a whole rib with two pounds of meat on a 17-inch rib bone! Woahhh! This rib was BIG and and conjured all types of “That’s what she said” jokes. The meat it self was juicy and flavorful, on par with a steakhouse.
Their 4-pound burger was larger than Paris Hilton’s dog, but too big to fit in her Louis Vuitton Purse. This burger was a monster with four pounds of hamburger meat. I witnessed a group of 4 teenage boys try to finish this burger together and also watched them fail! Anyone want to attempt this with me?
The Texas Tenderloin Sandwich was a pounded cutlet of pork tenderloin that fit into a giant sandwich and dressed with lettuce, onion and tomato, it was large and suitable for two people!
We finished up with dessert! We sat in Hussong’s Cantina (only place at the Fair where you can purchase Hard-liquor) when two vendors came to deliver their monstrosities. The first was provided by Toucan Funnel Cakes, which brought out a Red Velvet Funnel cake which was drizzled with frosting ($9). The ladies in the group enjoyed this dish the most.
The guys all preferred the Bacon Doughnut from Texas Donuts! This desert was a Texas sized, maple glazed doughnut and topped with four strips of Farmer John bacon. This desert was intense with its high octane sugar and salty bacon combining to create an few bites on insanity!
To my readers, after an afternoon of eating all this rich food I had a big smile on my face, but was starting to suffer from fat and sugar overload. May I suggest that you visit the wine garden and get a glass of wine to wash it down. After all, wine helps break down fat The OC Fair is always a great time, especially for foodies! Although much of the food served at the fair will require you to hit the gym an extra day, it is well worth it! Plus, a picture of you eating a hamburger that is bigger than your head is definitely Facebook worthy material!
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