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Now this is a taco: a porky, color-packed exercise in contrasts: spicy-cool and tender-chewy, all wrapped in a soft blue corn tortilla. Love the price, too. The Produce Exchange Carnes Av. Because that darling of the Minnesota apple world, the First Kiss, is still awaiting harvest, owners Sharon and Kevin Hannigan turned to New Zealand to introduce this newbie to lucky fairgoers. With its firm, juicy flesh and golden skin, this not-too-sugary, not-too-tart beauty makes for an ideal fairgrounds palate cleanser.
Hot Indian Foods International Bazaar. Tender chicken thighs, sporting a crisp breaded coating, are dressed in a dreamy tomato-cream sauce perfumed by smoked sweet paprikatopped with a cabbage-cucumber-cumin slaw and stuffed into first-rate slider buns. Available through Aug. Tejas Express The Garden. How do you improve this seemingly unimproveable BLT? By inserting a fried egg into the proceedings, and letting its runny yolk spread across that bacon, tomato and sweet corn goodness.
Love these. Who needs chicken wings when there are duck drummies to relish? Glorious with beer, and well worth the price. Another hit from chef Mark Haugen. Brisket is slow-braised in ancho, guajillo and chipotle chiles until it achieves fall-apart and wickedly slow-burn status.
Then out comes salty blue cheese, peppery arugula and tender and gluten-free corn tortillas from the talented La Perla folks in south Minneapolis. The restaurant infuses its sumptuous custard in its famous Key lime pie with tangy blueberries from Blue Fruit Farm in Winona, Minn. Chef Janene Holig relives her foray into Mumbai street foods with a gotta-have vegan snack.
Thanksgiving in August. Simple pleasures, indeed. Funky Grits Food Building. Another innovative newcomer.
Owner Jared Brewington is focusing on a single, gotta-have item: a trio of piping hot fritters redolent of a rich aged Cheddar. Not so much. Not that it matters, because the are terrific; ditto the creamy aioli dipping sauce. Great price, and gluten-free. The Blue Barn continues its hot streak with this on-trend item.
The chicken thighs are juicy, and a cornflake coating adds a pronounced crispiness. The heat — feisty for the fair, tame-ish for Tennessee — comes from chile-infused butter sauce, offset with brown sugar. Of all the new alcohol-free beverages on the fairgrounds, this one is the most vividly refreshing. The cocktail-like rosemary sprig is a smart, summery touch.
Grilled cheese and barbecue, a happy marriage. Thick-cut, butter-drenched bread is piled high with tender smoked brisket and Cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses. Spiced-up barbecue sauce and quietly sweet onion jam duke it out for flavor supremacy. Easily shareable.
Brim North End. To stay dairy-free, the sandwiches are toasted, in panini presses, using cinnamon-scented coconut oil. Inventive and delicious. On paper, the particulars appear to be very kitchen-sink: cold brew coffee, cardamom, chocolate-covered espresso flakes and pops of toffee crunch. Potato skins seem very TGI Fridays circabut they work here, too. Jonny Pops West End Market. Kind of perfect, right? Soft, puffy naan, its edges blackened in a wood-burning oven, gets liberally topped with minced beef in a cumin-forward tomato sauce. A pile-on of fresh finishes follows, including a cucumber salad and a sweet splash of pomegranate molasses.
Would it be easier to eat if it were rolled, burrito-style? A textbook version of the genre, expertly grilled and smothered in a not-too-pungent sauerkraut. The wisely chosen ciabatta-style roll stands up to the demands placed upon it. Nordic Waffles West End Market.
Tender waffles are transformed into sandwiches filled with all kinds of harmonious ingredients. This Iowa import is a welcome State Fair addition, hawking a variety of soft, buttery cookies including a gluten-free Snickerdoodle that are paired with a long list of flavorful ice creams.
Yes, an on-a-stick version of gooey, warm-from-the-oven sticky buns. This iteration, an homage to the baking skills of Marilyn Hultgren of Willmar, Minn. An improved-upon version of the cream cheese wonton, and semi-irresistible. Delicate and crisp on the outside, with a creamy feta interior. Great price, too. San Felipe Tacos Food Building. Pork butt, redolent of ginger and sesame, gets a final sear on the grill, crisping and caramelizing its edges.
A novelty, certainly it resembles a big — albeit porky — ice cream cone and a tasty one. The Sandwich Shop Clough St. Forget wacky, deep-fried or on-a-stick. Soy-based ice cream — and soy milk — manage to re-create much of the creaminess of their dairy counterparts, hurrah. In acreage riddled with hot dogs and brats, this mortadella-inspired pork sausage stands out, not only for its fatty, pistachio-peppered bite but also for its abundant olive salad topping.
Ripe, fragrant berries, stemmed, hulled and piled, parfait-style, into a cup, a little slice of late-summer heaven. Apologies to vegans everywhere, but this would be a stellar treat if the counterfeit whipped cream not bad, it must be said was the real thing.
A riff on the Egg McMuffin nothing wrong with mimicking the master, right? The price is a smidgen on the high side. The Hideaway Speakeasy Grandstand, upper level. Paging the Ladies Who Lunch. Creative and elegant with a price to match. Imagine a taco masquerading as a folded-over waffle. Not bad, right? This version combines tender marinated pork with brightly acidic pineapple, sharp onion and cilantro.
The palm-size dessert hits all the right cheesecake marks, right down to the chocolate, strawberry and salted caramel toppings. But are overheated fairgoers clamoring for warm cheesecake? Salty green olives, robed in crunchy, slightly sweet-hot Peppadew peppers and speared on-a-stick. Anchor Coffee House Underwood St. Holy Land International Bazaar.
This is the place to dig into a pair of grass-fed grilled lamb loins, nicely charred but somewhat bland. Go the basket route with Tater Tots or terrific crinkle fries. The Hangar North End. Doughnut holes, ponderously doughy and tasting mostly of oil, demonstrate two bright spots: an enormous portion, and a trio of not-bad dipping sauces.
But why not just stick with mini doughnuts? This State Fair version of Turducken amusingly stuffs a bratwurst into a giant hollowed-out dill pickle, dips it in batter and dunks the whole shebang, corn dog-style, into the deep fryer. An acquired taste.
A sloppy pile-on of seemingly incongruous ingredients. These nugget-size snacks bear an uncanny resemblance to the sweet-and-sour chicken found at any strip mall Chinese restaurant. Rainbow Ice Cream Grandstand, upper level. A novelty act, with semi-molten dough inside wonton wrappers and fried like egg rolls. Lift the basic elements of a Cubano, roll them into a flour tortilla, and yawn. Funnel Cakes Dan Patch Av. An overpriced, shimmering-with-grease gutbomb, with cheese.
At a time when the fairgrounds are peppered with some seriously impressive tacos, along comes this limpid, ill-conceived embarrassment. In its defense, the price includes two tacos. Dairy Goodness Bar Dairy Building. Rick Nelson ed the staff of the Star Tribune in and is the newspaper's restaurant critic. Home All Sections Search. Log In Welcome, User. Coronavirus Minneapolis St.
Paul Duluth St. Scene at the fair. The Minnesota State Fair's new foods roster includes the perennial mix of attention-seekers, potential gut bombs and trend-observant hopefuls. Our food critic, Rick Nelson, spent opening day at the fair, working his way through the entire list. He's ranked them from best to worst, so you can try the standouts and skip the rest. Tacos Al Pastor. Lemonade Apple. Kentikka Fried Chicken Sliders. Kentikka Fried Chicken Sliders Hot Indian Foods International Bazaar Tender chicken thighs, sporting a crisp breaded coating, are dressed in a dreamy tomato-cream sauce perfumed by smoked sweet paprikatopped with a cabbage-cucumber-cumin slaw and stuffed into first-rate slider buns.
Duck Drummies. Brisket Tacos. Blueberry Key Lime Pie. Behl Puri. Tipsy Pecan Tart. Snow Cap Mini Waffle Sundae.Sexiest woman at the mn state fair
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18 Must-Try Minnesota State Fair Foods