Two Awesome New State Fair Foods, and Two Big Disappointments
There are only a few days left to get out to the Great Minnesota Get-Together in 2022. My husband and I have been going to the State Fair together for almost a decade now, and are total die-hard fair foodies. If you are heading to the fair this year, here is what to be on the lookout for when it comes to food, and what to skip to avoid disappointment.
Must-Have: Tandoori Fried Chicken Pizza - West Indies Soul Food in the International Bazaar
White chicken meat, bell pepper, onion medley, whole milk mozzarella cheese, West Indies Soul Food’s signature Jamaican Jerk Sauce, and Pizza Karma’s Tikka Sauce on a mini crust. My husband claimed this was his must-have of the fair this year. The way the spicy jerk sauce is balanced by the sweetness of the red tomato sauce worked perfectly together.
Must-Have: Earth Sliders at French Meadow Bakery & Cafe (by the Giant Slide)
Don't let this vegan option scare you. Earth Sliders are a marinated, battered and crispy fried “chicken” patty topped with house-made, slightly spicy secret sauce, shredded lettuce, and house-made cucumber pickles that have been marinated in turmeric, garlic, and sweet onion, served on a grilled bun.
The patty on the slider has the texture of flaky fried fish, but the flavor was that of fried chicken.
I have a dairy allergy, so I know that eating vegan food is always safe for me. THESE BLEW ME AWAY. If I were to do the fair again this year, this would be the only food item I need to be happy. They are my new favorite fair food of all time.
Skip It: Tot Dog at Lulu's Public House
All-beef hot dog dipped in corn dog batter, rolled in a mixture of minced tater tots, cheddar cheese, and onions, then deep-fried.
This one my husband was super excited for, and it was a major letdown. We have had some of our past favorite foods from LuLu's Public House (looking at you deep fried lobster on a stick in 2014). But this offering didn't live up to the online expectations.
The photo from the state fair website makes it look like it is coated in a layer of tater tots, but the tot dog my husband got resembled a lightly battered Pronto Pup. Nothing to write home about.
Major Let Down: No Dole Whip Stand
I am a self-proclaimed Dole Whip Queen. A classic Dole Whip in a cone is how I like to start and end my fair food experience. The fact that they weren't at the fair broke my heart and I know I'm not alone. I was behind a man in line who asked another food vendor where Dole Whip was at, and I had to be the one to break the news that they weren't at the fair this year.
37 years this iconic stand has been at the fair, and they weren't there this year. I talked to the owner's daughter on Instagram, and she told me that they have been put on the list for next year. So cross your fingers they will be back, because I know we all could use our pineapple fix.
Honorable mentions (Great food that we had, that just didn't make the "must-have" cut):
- Fried Green Tomatos from the booth outside the U of M building
- Herbivorous Butcher "Steak-xorcist" vegan dish from stand in the Food Building
- Lemon Cookie Tortilla Chips from Blue Moon Diner (definitely shareable)
- Sweet Cheese Blintz from iPergoi in the Food Building
@abbeyminke Come eat at the Minnesota State Fair with us! #minnesotastatefair #statefair #statefairfood #deepfried #onastick #fyp #minnesota #minnesotacheck #foodreview ♬ original sound - Abbey Minke Graves