Let’s get right into it. The Food Bros have tried some of 2013’s new fair food items so maybe you won’t have to waste your money on nasty new fair foods and stick to your favorite classics. Don’t worry not all was bad this year, there were a couple of standouts that all must try. We didn’t get to all the new items, some classics just have standing reservations in our stomachs, but a few of the most talked about are on this list. So we are going to break this down in 3 categories:
Damn Good: our favorites and stuff you definitely should try
1. Deep Fried Bread Pudding from O’Gara’s (Corner of Dan Patch Ave and Cosgrove St.) – Hands down THE BEST NEW ITEM OF THE 2013 STATE FAIR! The sweet crunchy outside protected a soft center that was so rich and satisfying that I don’t think we spoke a word as we destroyed the entire boat full. I have been describing these as a mini donut but with a crunchy crust and creamy center. Make sure you have someone to share these with because they will take up a lot of room in the belly.
2. Porketta Pig Wings from Mancini’s Al Fresco (on Carnes Ave., near Nelson St.) – If you have ever been lucky enough to have pig wings before, then you know the potential these tasty buggers have. Mancini’s pig wings were tender and well seasoned but don’t live up to my past pig wing experiences. I prefer them cooked over a flame with some bbq sauce. Don’t worry these are not a waste of money. If you’re at the fair with pork lovers head on over and get you some.
3. North Woods BBQ Taco from San Filipe Tacos (Food Building) – BBQ pulled pork topped with bourbon syrup and fresh coleslaw, served on a house-made corncake then wrapped in a flour tortilla. It was as good as it sounds. This taco was probably the sweetest and most savory taco I have ever had. It could definitely fill you up, so make sure you share it with someone.
Meh: Can’t recommend but if they sound good to you maybe try
1. Mini Donut Batter Crunch Ice Cream from Izzy’s Ice Cream at the Hamline Dining Hall (Dan Patch Ave near visitors plaza) – If you are looking for Mini Donut flavor you will be sorely disappointed. All agreed that the flavor of a gingerbread snickerdoodle was all we were getting. If that’s something you are into then by all means enjoy, otherwise steer clear.
2. Signature Steak Sandwich from Mancini’s Al Fresco (on Carnes Ave., near Nelson St.) – A Choice sirloin steak served on grilled focaccia bread. This sandwich was basic and made right. However at $9.00…it was not worth the price.
Blaaaaahhhhh!(yes those are vomiting noises): Do not waste your money or precious stomach space on these
1. Cocoa Cheese Bites from Axel’s (Outside Food building) – Nasty! Even chocolate sauce couldn’t make these tolerable. We wasted $5.00. With four people sharing, only four pieces were eaten and I couldn’t give the rest away, so they were thrown in the trash. Do not waste your time on this gimmicky food item. You are very welcome.
2. Pork Belly Sliders from O’Gara’s (Corner of Dan Patch Ave and Cosgrove St.) – Again a massive let down. The meat was thin and wasn’t crispy at all, the Big Fat Bacon is 5,000x better. This reminded me of a shitty version of the McRib. And even though we will partake in the occasional McRib(we are fat its mandatory), it’s a pretty bad sandwich itself, so to be a shitty version of something kind of shitty is saying something. Save yourself $8.00 and avoid the pork belly sliders.
3. Classic Char Grilled Garlic Toast from Mancini’s Al Fresco (on Carnes Ave., near Nelson St.) – We didn’t buy this ourselves; we harassed a friend into buying it. We made fun of this for weeks and for good reason. This toast is absolutely nothing special. I had high hopes for Mancini’s and as it stands they are maybe pushing a B- in their fair debut.
Did we miss some hidden gem? Let us know in the comments. We will be at the fair a few (ya that’s right at least a few more, don’t be jealous) more times so we got time to try more. things.