Mondays are usually my grocery shopping day with the kiddos. Although I get to be home with my children, it’s not a day that I typically look forward to. It’s another day that I hope I can get through like the rest of America. However, this past Monday was amazing and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Why? Because I was invited by the lovely Alice of Dining with Alice to attend a sneak peek of what will be at this year’s Minnesota State Fair. On top of that, I got to meet a group of awesome, local bloggers at the event, and together, we indulged in some yummy deep-fried goodness. I was in heaven. I mean, it was pretty much a dream come true.
But enough of me gushing about my feelings. Let’s get to talking about food, baby. Let’s talk about you and me eating deep-fried, calorie-filled goodies. Let’s talk about all the good things, because there really isn’t anything bad to talk about when we are dealing with our State Fair food here. Let’s talk about food.
I had the pleasure of tasting seven new foods that will be at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year. While all of the foods were delish, these foods were my favorite:
Caribbean-Style Lobster Roll. This is not deep-fried or served on a stick, but this chilled lobster salad is a delightful summery snack packed with Caribbean flavors. Oh, it is also served on a buttered and grilled roll. Butter. Lobster. Chipotle mayo. You had me at butter. Want one? You can find the lobster roll at Café Caribe located on Carnes Ave. near Chambers St.
Iron Range Pierogies. I didn’t even know what a pierogi was until Monday, and my goodness, it is amazing. I should also mention that these stuffed dumplings are deep-fried and served with a horsey sauce. This hearty treat will be served at The Blue Barn, a new food vendor located at West End Market.
Jello Salad Ice Cream. This new ice cream flavor was created by Izzy’s Ice Cream, so it is no surprise that this is excellent. You just can’t go wrong with some ice cream on a hot day at the fair, especially when you’re talking about mixing lime juice, cranberry sauce, marshmallows and sweet cream together. I’m salivating as I write. You can find this refreshing dessert at the Hamline Church Dining Hall located near the Visitors Plaza on Dan Patch Ave. Did you know that the Hamline Church Dining Hall is the oldest food concession at the fairgrounds? It’s been around since 1897. True story.
PB&J French Toast. After eating a million PB&J sandwiches in my life, I was skeptical about trying this food. However, you can’t go wrong with starting your day out at the fair with this French toast for breakfast. This food is also served with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. Yeah, my kids will be getting this for breakfast when we go to the fair. You can find this new food item at the Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall, which is next to FAN Central on Underwood St.
I lied. I can’t group these foods into my favorites and non-favorites because they are all so good. So here are the last three items that I tasted on Monday:
Pizza Tots. Think tater tot with sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella and Green Mill seasonings stuffed inside. Need I say more? Think stuffed tater tot topped with Parmesan cheese. Are you a dipper? Good, because these tots are also served with pizza sauce on the side. These pizza tots are created by Green Mill and can be found at Baldwin Park just west of the Family Fair Stage.
Deep-Fried Lobster On-A-Stick. Yes, you read that correctly. Deep-fried lobster on-a-stick. Dipping sauce is included in case deep-fried lobster on-a-stick isn’t quite good enough for you. You can find this food at the brand-spanking new LuLu’s Public House located at West End Market.
Rustic Stuffed Scone. Did someone say scone? This baked butter scone is stuffed with yummy goodness including Ham, Swiss, mozzarella and Parmesan. I could have eaten several of these scones, but I had to share with the other bloggers. The rustic stuffed scone is the creation of French Meadow Bakery. You can find them on Carnes Ave. between Nelson and Underwood.
Since I am going with my family, I want to make sure that my kids have plenty of opportunities to play and see new things that will hold their interest. The 2014 Official State Fair Guide has highlighted some cool events including the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show. This is a daily show that is free with fair admission. You can catch a show at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in The North Woods, which is located near the Eco Experience Progress Center. In addition to checking out some new events, you can find my family at Kemps Little Farm Hands, Kidway and the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park.
The kids are not the only ones who get to have fun at the fair. I plan on hitting up the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit as usual. I also hope to relax with a cold beer and some deep-fried lobster on-a-stick at LuLu’s Public House. Lulu’s Public House is located at the new West End Market, and it features the fair’s first roof-top patio. The patio overlooks Mighty Midway and the new Schilling Amphitheater, making it a prime spot to hang out with friends.
In addition to checking out LuLu’s at West End Market, I’ll also be visiting the new History and Heritage Center. The State Fair is a big deal, folks, so check out some artifacts, photographs and facts about the fair’s 150+ years of history in Minnesota.
When you get hungry again, be sure to order something from The Blue Barn, which is also located in West End Market. This building is a beauty, and the pierogies inside are calling your name.
Hey, drinking beer isn’t the only activity I participate in at the fair. I also enjoy walking through all of the buildings and looking at the amazing creations that folks have entered in contests. I am especially looking forward to seeing the new The Common Table exhibit. I got to take a peek and see what has been built in the exhibit so far, and I am intrigued by the makers’ goal. Seventeen partner organizations will share their stories about creating and working toward a sustainable and community-based food system, and they hope to inspire visitors to make changes that support this goal. I hope to be inspired and learn more about how I can make better choices about where I buy my food, how I grow my food, and how I can reduce food waste.
This little review of mine is just the tip of the iceberg. You can read more about the Minnesota State Fair and the blogger sneak peek event from these lovely ladies:
The Minnesota State Fair starts in six days! Will I see you there?