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OC Fair 2014 Food Guide – Your Diet Ends Here

OC Fair 2014 Food Guide – Your Diet Ends Here

New Food Items at OC Fair 2014

Enter to win (2) free tickets to the 2014 OC Fair on bottom of post

OC Fair 2014 is underway and residents of Southern California are migrating to Costa Mesa for the annual right of Gluttony. For me, the OC Fair is about the food, all of the other exhibits are just fluff. Every year I have been reporting on my favorite dishes that I tasted at the OC Fair.

OC Fair 2014 is underway until August 10th

OC Fair 2014 is underway until August 10th.

In the past I have attended a media tasting experience of all the dishes, that way I can report back to you my readers the best of the best at the fair. This year I unfortunately missed the tasting event and had to do a walkabout on my own with just a couple vouchers.  This is probably a good thing because last year I over indulged and had to put myself to bed. This year the list of food vendors is quite impressive (click here to see them all).

See other foods at the OC Fair from my 2013 OC Fair Food Guide. many of the same vendors and dishes will still be there.

Also Check out my Award Winning 2012 OC Fair Food Guide. This post won Tom’s Foodie Blog the “Theme Award” from the 2013 OC Fair Blogger Competition.

OC Fair 2014 17

OC Fair marks my annual right of over indulgence

Innovate or get Fried – A Case Study at Chicken Charlie’s

Year after year, my favorite food vendor continues to be Chicken Charlies. Why you may ask? I think Chicken Charlie’s does the best job innovating their menu. Just like Game of Thrones, your favorite item may get killed off, but a new favorite item will emerge.

OC Fair 2014 Chicken Charlies and gerald

Chicken Charlie’s creations go through an in-depth developmental process. (Upper Left) Tom with Chicken Charlie and Daniele (Upper Right and Lower Left) Some of Chicken Charlie’s creations (Lower Right) Jerald is part of Chicken Charlie’s inner circle and menu developer. You can find him most days manning the grill.

I chatted with Jerald, one of the managing partners at Chicken Charlie’s, and he described to me how they decide on new items every year.

The process is the stuff of reality television.The core management team meets for an emotionally charged pitched session where there are no sacred cows and hurt feelings are left at the door. Think of it as a combination of Shark Tank and Couples Therapy with Dr.Drew.  There is a four person vote, majority wins. Charlie has the tied breaking vote. The results of this year’s deliberation are the Fried Doritos and the Totally Fried Skins. 

OC Fair 2014 Chicken Charlies newest creations, Fried Doritos and Totally Fried Chicken Skins

Two of Chicken Charlie’s newest creations, Fried Doritos and Totally Fried Chicken Skins

Did you know that the Travel Channel filmed a pilot for a reality T.V. show around Chicken Charlie’s fair operation? You can still find the Pilot airing on The Travel Chanel. Do a search for a show called “Fried.”


New Food at the OC Fair 2014

Deep Fried Doritos

The Deep Fried Doritos are made by coating Nachos Doritos in a seasoned batter and then processing them through a flash fry. The results are a little magical.  The chips gain a little thickness from the battered exterior and takes on a texture that is both crispy and chewy. 

They taste really good with the Frank’s Hot Sauce they serve at the condiment station. I recommend you order extra ranch to go with the Doritos. 

OC Fair 2014 Chicken Charlies Fried Doritos as coasted in a seasoned batter and flash fried

Chicken Charlie’s Fried Doritos as coasted in a seasoned batter and flash fried

Totally Fried Chicken Skins

Perhaps my favorite new item at the fair this year was crafted again by Chicken Charlie.  If the deep fried Doritos is not your thing, how about battered and deep fried chicken skins?  Yes this dish is not for everyone, but it should be tried at least once. 

OC Fair 2014 Chicken Charlies Totally Fried Chicken Skins are battered and then fried crispy!

Chicken Charlie’s Totally Fried Chicken Skins are battered and then fried crispy!

Think about the last time you ate fried chicken. What did you do with the skin? 

  • If you answered: I throw away the skin. Just do me a favor and close this site and never come back.  😉 Just kidding, I love you anyways.
  • If you answered: I eat the skin and meat together.  You will probably like this concoction, but you may want to share a basket with some friends. You may tap out after your third piece. 
  • If you answered: I peel off the skin and eat it alone, let me give you a big hug.

OC Fair 2014 eat like a jking

If you eat the fried chicken skin, you will  LOVE the double fried nature of this totally fried chicken skin creation.  This is Charlie Chicken’s answer to the chicharrone and I think it is pure genius. Just for the record, I ate the whole basket by myself. Also note I ate a couple bowls of oatmeal the next morning to counteract the grease 😉

Bacon Wrapped Jack Daniels

OC fair 2014 Bacon WRAPPED jACK dANIELSThis is a new creation from the folks at Bacon A-Fair. If you just scratched your head and wondered how they pull this one off, it is fairly simple. First they take a churro, hollow out the center and pour in some Jack Daniels whiskey. As a result, the Jack permeates into the  fried dough.  Next, they roll the Jacked up churro in sugar, wrap it in bacon and grill it until the bacon is crispy and alcohol burns off.

Give the Bacon wrapped Jack Daniels to your unruly kid. I don’t know if they will get hyper, sleepy or fall into a food coma. Let me know if it works better than Benadryl.

OC Fair 2014 34

Bacon Wrapped Jack Daniels from Bacon A-Fair are made with bacon wrapped, booze infused churros

I did not personally try this item, I ran out of cash , but I interviewed a gentleman named  “Ted” about his experience. According to Ted, 

“Brah, It reminds me of  this binger at my frat’s beach house in Rosarrito. It tastes like whiskey, churro, bacon and regret.”

I gave him a high five for this answer.

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Giant Doughnut Creations

The folks at Texas Doughnut have come up with a couple new variations this year, including the cherry pop rocks, Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Cream. doughnuts.  As I reported in last year’s post, the bacon covered doughnut is still the most popular crowd pleaser. 

oc fair 2014 Texas Doughnut's creations have expanded this year to include the new Cherry Pop Rocks Doughnuts

Texas Doughnut’s creations have expanded this year to include the new Cherry Pop Rocks Doughnuts

Deep Fried Deep Dish Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

The deep dish fried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was one of our favorites. The folks at Texas Doughnuts take a deep dish Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, insert a stick, dip it into a batter, then deep fry it.

This concept has been done before with Snickers and Twinkies, but I thought that the melted chocolate and peanut butter went together remarkably well together.

Not of caution. Take your first bite carefully! The molten peanut butter is very painful on your chin, if you bite down too hard on the tip. Start with nibbles,  before you bear down on it.

oc fair 2014 The Deep Fried, Deep Dish Reese's Peanut Butter cup

The Deep Fried, Deep Dish Reese’s Peanut Butter cup

The Colonel Klink at Pink’s Hot Dog

This year’s the new item at Pink’s Hot Dog is the “Colonel Klink”, which is named after the character on  the T.V. show Hogan’s Heroes.

OC Fair 2014 Pink's Colonel Klink Hot Dog

Just like the Hollywood Pink’s, just much shorter lines

The hot dog is topped with pastrami, sauerkraut, cheese, and mustard. The hot dog itself had the distinct snap with each bite. I really like the addition of the high quality pastrami. The sauerkraut had the right balance of sour, acidity and sweetness. Altogether, this is a great tasting hot dog.

Pink's Hot Dog Colonel Klink is made with pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut

Pink’s Hot Dog Colonel Klink is made with pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut


Culinary Demonstrations and Competitions

This year I will be judging the “Water” Chef’s Challenge on Friday July 25th at 7 p.m. The Chef Challenge with pit Chef Mike Doctulero from Scott’s Restaurant and Chef Ben Wallenbeck from Ways & Means Oyster House.

I judged the Doughnut throw down last year and everyone had fun. If you come by, please stop by and say hello! I will be the guy wearing the Tom’s Foodie Blog t-shirt; lets take a selfie together.  

There are also other daily culinary demonstrations,  cooking classes, and eating competitions. Follow this link for a daily run down of food events at OC Fair 2014.

OC Fair 2014 Chef's Challenge

Taste the OC Fair for Cheap

The OC Fair 2014 runs until August 10th  (Closed Monday and Tuesday).  If you want to try a lot of items and save some cash, I suggest you try the $2 tastings. The $2 tasting runs every Friday from 12-4pm. Eat smaller portions and get more a diversity of tastings for your hard earned money. http://www.ocfair.com/2014/docs/2014_Tastings_Flyer.pdf

Win Tickets to the 2014 OC Fair

OC Fair Location and Hours

88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, Ca


July 11 – August 10 
(Open Wednesday – Sunday)
Wednesday – Friday: Noon – Midnight
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – Midnight

Enter to win tickets to the 2014 OC Fair

Win (2) tickets to the OC Fair by liking, commenting or sharing. The more entries you submit, the better your odds. Follow this link to enter to win tickets to the 2014 OC Fair.
a Rafflecopter giveaway. Entering is easy.

OC Fair 2014 04

Llamas are friends not Dinner. Make friends with the animals at the petting zoo and take a selfie use #llamaselfie

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. I’m so trying the fried chicken skin!!!

  2. I loved the deep fried Doritos! Make sure you get a group with you to share because they give a really large serving

  3. The chocolate banana cream donut and bacon wrapped Jack Daniel’s. Yum!!!

  4. OK, the thought of deep-fried Doritos don’t turn me on but fried chicken skin I could definitely bite into. Crispy chicken skin is delish!

  5. Hahah that is a great title “your diet ends here” it certainly does. I think these fairs are just one of those days when you need to kick back and forget about eating healthy..

  6. Added new item to bucket list. Must take selfie with llama!

  7. that looked like a fun time! Fairs are always nice! I do love the pic with the llama

  8. Great photos and funny wording my love! That picture of you and the llama on the bottom scares me since they always spit on me…I would never get that close. I cannot wait to watch the reality show bout Chicken Charlies! Loves Chicken Charlie and Chicken Jerald! :)

  9. Fair food is absolutely a heart attack waiting to happen. Or at least high cholesterol in one day. But my favorite “fair food” is the good ole traditional “fair fry’s” Where would this world be without that greasy glob of over salted spuds?

  10. I’d love to try the fried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!

  11. I cant wait to go win ticket or not I will see you there :)

  12. I heard there was deep fried birthday cake. Can’t forget about dessert after the deep fried skins!

  13. Deep Fried Chicken Skins–Chicken Charlies

  14. I would like to try the deep fried reeses

  15. Deep-fried Doritos sounds so good!

  16. Love oc fair woo hoo!

  17. Kathy Viernes-Lacy

    I am so looking forward to trying the deep fried chicken skin my mouth just waters looking at the picture

  18. My husband and I have gone to the OC fair every year since we first met. I’ve been both times when I was pregnant so of course the best part is the FOOD!!! I want to try the Doritos and the pickle dog!!!

  19. I want to try the Doritos!

  20. Anything reese is awesome, pinks hot dogs sound good, too on a hot summer day.

  21. Let me win this.

  22. Excited to try the jack Daniels bacon wrapped churo

  23. If I win this,it will be the first amazing experience at OC fair!I’ve heard this long time ago,but did not get chace to go!Good luck to me!!!Go,Go,Go

  24. Really expect!

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