New foods at the Minnesota State Fair!

This is a super belated post. I am like…2 whole weeks behind the times here.

But I have an excuse. I’m moving at the end of July! To an apartment with dishwasher!

And my haze of excitement (and the absence of an air conditioner) all blogging has stopped for the past 3 weeks.

But I can be silent no longer. I have to weigh in on the new foods coming to the Minnesota State Fair in my Try, Die, and Meh list.


Minnepumpkin Pie – from Minneapple Pie

It’s deep fried pumpkin pie. What more do I need to say about that? Plus I am a huge fan of Minneapple Pies already, and I can’t wait to try their latest creation.

Minnepumpkin pie

Bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp on a stick from Shrimp Shack

I’m not a huge bacon fan, but I adore shrimp, and depending on how it’s seasoned, I think this could be a winner.

Bacon Wrapped Grilled Shrimp On a Stick

Taco Slider Trio from Cafe Caribe

They’re little baby tacos! They win adorability points right off the bat. Plus the flavor combos of grilled jerk chicken with cheese, pulled pork smothered in a tangy BBQ sauce, and crunchy shrimp topped with creamy chipotle sauce – all garnished with citrus slaw sound refreshing and light enough to leave room for more deep fried pie.

Cafe Caribe's Taco Slider Trio

Chocolate chili ice cream from R&R Ice Cream

I know everyone takes a side in the chili/chocolate debate, but since I am a love of all things ice cream, I am curious to taste the spicy sweetness.

chocolate chili ice cream

Grilled glazed donut on a stick from Moe and Joe’s

The most original thing appearing on a stick this year. I’m excited to see what the grilling does to the glaze. I could take or leave the strawberry mint sauce.

Grilled Glazed Donut

Idaho Nachos from Tracy’s Idaho Taqueria

As a new vendor I feel it’s my duty as a Minnesotan to sample these “nachos”. Plus, where waffle fries are, so am I.

idaho nachos

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from Oodles of Noodles

Am I wary of lobster at the state fair? Yes. Does lobster mac and cheese sound fantastic? Also yes. Definitely a dish to be shared though as this looks like a one-and-done sort of thing.

lobster macaroni & cheese

Cicchetti Cones from Mancini’s Al Fresco

These bread tornados (as I am now referring to them) do look mighty tasty. I have a feeling I’ll be partial to the meatball and shrimp varieties, but the antipasti looks like a great quasi-healthy, vegetarian choice.

mancini's Al fresco - cicchetti cone

North Woods BBQ Taco from San Felipe Tacos

BBQ pulled pork, cork cake, and slaw. Yum. I could go without the extra flour tortilla and just eat it with a fork.

north woods bbq taco

Peanut butter and jelly malts and sundaes from Goertze’s Dairy Kone

Weird, yet possibly really delicious flavor combo. I love PB&J and I love ice cream, so by motus ponens…

Peanut butter and jelly malts and sundaes

Philly Fries from Andy’s Grill

If I’m going to eat a philly cheese steak, I want it served over waffle fries.

philly fries

Pork belly sliders from O-Gara’s

I had to work the hog in there somewhere, and pork belly is amazing.

pork belly sliders


Big Andy from Andy’s Grille

Could be tasty for a bite or two…I guess I’m just not really feeling another variation on the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and adding more meat (it’s all on top of a hamburger) seems like a good way to fill up your tank too quickly.

Big Andy

Bourbon Wurst from Sausage by Cynthia

Points for adding bourbon and nutmeg, it’s a unique flavor combo, I just hunt for the more exotic at the state fair, and your average sausage just isn’t doing it for me.

Bourbon Wurst

Comet Corn from Blue Moon Dine-in Theater

Caramel corn made with liquid nitrogen definitely scores mad scientist points here. If someone else buys it, I will give it a try for the experience, but my overall feelings towards the Blue Moon waver – they seem to be more miss than hit lately.

Comet Corn

Craft beer battered onion rings from Ball Park Cafe

These are probably very tasty onion rings, but since I have the lowdown on where the best of the state fair already are, I could pass these by.

craft beer battered onion rings

Deep fried bread pudding from O-Gara’s

I keep going back and forth on this one…deep fried bread with sugary goo…yes! But then again, deep fried bread with sugary goo….no? Will it be stodgy? Heavy? Too much for a hot August day?

deep fried bread pudding

English toffee fudge puppy from Granny’s Kitchen Fudge Puppies

I keep waiting for a flavor of fudge puppy I am really excited to try. Like a goat cheese and fig with balsamic fudge puppy, or a peanut butter, banana, and honey fudge puppy. But every year they seem to have a “new” variation on a chocolate/caramel/toffee dipped waffle. Tasty. But original? Not really.

english toffee fudge puppy

Idaho taco from Tracy’s Idaho Taqueria

This would be a really good option if I’m in the mood for something not deep fried. But it was downgraded to the “Meh” list because I love waffle fries more than I love baked potatoes, and this is quite similar to the Idaho Nachos listed above.

idaho taco

Mancini’s classic char-grilled garlic toast from Mancini’s Al Fresco

Word has it this garlic toast is crazy good. The buzz is what makes me want to try it. But then again, grilled garlic toast at the state fair? Is it covered with cheese? No? Then why?

mancini's classic char-grilled garlic toast

Porketta pig wings from Mancini’s Al Fresco

Just not a fan of porketta. But I wouldn’t say no to a bite.

mancini's porketta pig wings

Mancini’s signature steak sandwich from Mancini’s Al Fresco

Steak and bread. Not much to see here.

mancini's signature steak sandwich

Mini donut batter crunch ice cream from Hamline Dining Hall

Only on the “Meh” list because I’ve had negative run-ins with cake batter ice cream. Call me crazy, but that stuff just doesn’t do it for me. But I am holding out hope for mini donuts…mmm!

mini donut batter cruch ice cream

Pitchfork sausage from Pitchfork Sausage

So you score one of the most coveted culinary locales in all of Minnesota, and what do you bring to the table as a new food vendor? Sausage on a pitchfork. Really?

pitchfork sausage

Portobello bites from Minnesota Wine Country

Depending on the ratio of mushroom to creamy garlic sauce to grilled sourdough these could be fantastic, or just ok.

portobello bites

Curry Turkey Bacon Melt, Pressed Cuban Sandwich, and Deep Fried Monte Cristo (or should I say Monte Crisco?) from The Sandwich Stop

Points for unique flavor combos. Points for deep frying an entire sandwich. But do I want to eat a sandwich at the state fair? Maybe yes, maybe no.

the sandwish stop - curry turkey bacon melt, pressed cuban sandwich, deep fried monte cristo

Three little pigs torta from Manny’s Tortas

If I really really REALLY liked pig, I would get this. But I don’t love it that much. You can also reference my feelings on eating sandwiches at the state fair above.

three little ipgs torta


Candied Bacon Cannoli from Ole’s Cannoli

I’m just getting tired of the whole “Let’s throw bacon on it and call it new” trend. Adding bacon to something is becoming an excuse for culinary laziness.

Big candied bacon cannoli

Breakfast sausage corndog from Hansen’s Foods

Hasn’t this been done before? This is just too reminiscent of those microwavable breakfasts you know are loaded with enough sodium and preservatives to last a week.

Breakfast Sausage Corndog

Cajun pork rinds from Famous Dave’s

With so many other variations of pork available at the state fair, why would I go for fatty tissue and skin?

Cajun Pork Rinds

Chipotle chicken salad fajita from Juanita’s Fajitas

I adore Juanita’s Fajitas. But I am not a fan of “meat-goo” (aka chicken salad) filling for sandwiches, fajitas, wraps, you name it. Just one of my taste quirks.

Chipotle Chicken Salad Fajita

Chop dogs from Blue Mood Dine-in Theater

What the heck Blue Moon? A chopped up hot dog in sandwich bread? What, am I 5? Is this a continuation of your horrid breakfast cereal ice cream craze? To dredge up all the childhood memories of my least favorite things?

chop dogs

Cocoa cheese bites from Axel’s

Why? Just why? Why ruin all that cocoa and cheese by mixing it all together. Why?

cocoa cheese bites

Deep fried olives from Fried Fruit

I just really dislike olives. Otherwise I would probably be really excited for this.

deep fried olives

Fried pickes ‘n’ chocolate from Preferred Pickles

I do not like pickles. I really like chocolate. Why is everyone ruining chocolate by adding cheese and pickles?!

fried pickles 'n' chocolate

Funnel cake sundaes from Funnel Cakes

On the “Die” list because you might literally die if you eat this. In fact, I can pretty much 100% guarantee that anyone who eats this will eventually die. But I suppose its the logical next-step after the red velvet funnel cake. I just like my fried dough to have something in it I guess.

funnel cake sundaes

Gyros by G&G Concessions

Just not a fan of gyros. Shaving a giant pile of mystery meat on to a pita doesn’t do it for me, especially at the state fair. And with all the other offerings the state fair probably had to consider, why go with something as mundane as a cookie cutter gyro stall?


Jalapeno cheese, sweet corn, and double bacon corndogs from Campbell’s Flavored Corndogs

Points to Campbell’s for trying to add a new twist to a state fair staple, gutsy move for a new vendor, and I love it. When I read about the sweet corn corndog, I was excited to try it. Until I saw the pictures. It’s just stuff thrown on top of a regular corndog. Not cool.

jalapeno cheese sweet corn and double bacon corndogs

Persian Kabob Koobideh from Holy Land Deli

And speaking of unfortunate photography…..

persian kabob koobideh

Wine-glazed deep fried meatloaf from Minnesota Wine Country

I can’t stand meatloaf. Deep frying it and adding wine is a small step towards reconciling our long and rocky past, but it’s not enough to erase all the memories of forced meatloaf eating as a child.

wine glazed deep fried meatloaf

So what are your thoughts? Am I totally off my rocker with this list? Do you agree completely? What foods are you most excited for, and what foods are you still scratching your head about? Let me know in the comments!


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