It’s that time of year again folks… The Minnesota State Fair (a.k.a. Great Minnesota Get Together) has officially begun!! Yesterday marked the opening day and Nick and I were in attendance.
Our original plan was to go around noon with Curtis and Kristen. Unfortunately Nick landed himself in the emergency room on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning for a torn rotator cuff, probably about the time Curtis decided he would rather be up north windsurfing. Due to Nick’s injury we decided to go for a couple hours after work instead of all day.
It feels like just yesterday that I blogged about the state fair. It didn’t felt like an entire year had passed as we boarded the express bus. Too bad I didn’t read my blogs before I went because I would have remembered a very important fact: corn dogs came out the winner in the very scientific test that Kristen and I did (corn dogs vs. pronto pups).
Kristen and I compared Pronto Pups to Corn Dogs and agreed the Corn Dogs are the better of the two. There is more batter on the CD and it’s sweeter and has a nice grainy texture. I know I’ve said previously that they taste the same, but I’ve never actually compared them on purpose before.
We arrived at the fair around 5:00 pm. It was a nice evening. It was hot, but not uncomfortably hot. When the wind blew it felt really nice. Holding true to tradition, Nick’s first food stop was at the About a Foot Long Hot Dog booth where he bought a hot dog that was about a foot long, topped with fried onions, ketchup and mustard. He also got me a Diet Coke which he proceeded to complain about. For some reason I thought pronto pups won the taste test last year and I passed by the corn dog booth, all the while thinking that I was sure I had gotten a pronto pup in the general vicinity of the AAFLHD booth.
Nick and I both got pronto pups. His with ketchup and mustard, mine with just mustard. It’s really the only time I eat mustard. While I was eating it I kept thinking the layer of batter seemed a little thinner than I remembered. Since pronto pups come on a stick and are somewhat portable, we walked to the Tiny Tim donut stand to visit with Jordon. It was a nice chat, but I was feeling rather impatient because I felt my time would be better spent if I were eating something. Nick wanted pizza, but they only had pepperoni so we decided to get steak sandwiches from Butcher Boys.
Nick got his sandwich with raw onions and loaded it with BBQ sauce. I decided to change it up from last year and get grilled onions, banana peppers and melted cheese. It wasn’t the same with the melted cheddar, and the cheddar didn’t mesh with the banana peppers very well. I ate the top layer of sandwich which included the cheese and fixings, then I put some BBQ sauce on it to make it edible. It seemed like our meat came from the bottom of the barrel because there were little crispy burnt pieces in every bite. Nick was digging it, but since I prefer my meat mooing to crispy I didn’t think it was that great. I’m glad it wasn’t my first experience with Butcher Boys because I might not have gotten another one. Next time I’m getting onions, mushrooms and BBQ and hoping the steak is from a new batch.
After we finished our sandwiches we thought a nice malt from the Dairy Building would top things off nicely. My keen sense of direction pointed us correctly in the right direction. For a moment I became disoriented as the Haunted House traded it’s gray siding for a fresh coat of red and right next to it the International Bazaar was remodeled. Once we realized we were in the right spot it was full speed ahead to the Dairy Goodness Bar for malts. Nick ordered trusty chocolate and I got my favorite, raspberry. We consumed our malts as we strolled into the Bazaar.
Nick noticed a bunch of people eating what appeared to be lo mein noodles. We looked around and spotted Island Noodles and Nick decided to give it a try. I had a few bites, they were tasty. I looked around for the pretzel booth so I could get a pretzel-the-size-of-my-head but didn’t see any pretzels anywhere. I had hoped they relocated, but after checking the food finder on the state fair website, I’m pretty sure they aren’t at the fair any longer. :(
After the disappointment of not having a pretzel Nick and I meandered around aimlessly for awhile before realizing it was time to see his coworker’s band perform at the Famous Dave’s building. We moseyed in that direction until we stumbled upon FD’s, hung out on the street listening for a bit, then began meandering again.
The Grand Stand concert had begun. Nick wanted to listen to Hinder perform so we found a bench outside the GS to relax. Hinder wasn’t on yet and I was craving some Henry’s Kettle Korn, so after a short dispute on the general direction (I won) we booked to the location formerly known as Machinery Hill to get a bag, then promptly headed back to the GS. When we got back Hinder was on stage and we found a picnic table near Butcher Boys to sit at. As we sat listening to them the wind started to pick up and it became quite chilly. In the distance it looked like a storm was brewing. We started to think about leaving and decided to visit Jordon one more time.
On the way back to Tiny Tim’s Nick got a hankering for some Fresh French Fries so we detoured to it. We ordered the 16 oz bucket and the cashier tried to up-sell us the 20 oz because it was a better deal. You gotta love America. We stuck with our original decision. I needed some hydration so I got a Coke. Nick ate his fries with ketchup, I stuck to plain. Then we ran into one of Nick’s DTF softball teammates who was about to go on the newest Adventure Park ride: 2Xtreme. It’s similar to the Skyscraper but seats 8 people instead of 2. It looked freakin’ awesome. Nick agreed and it was at that moment that I realized how much his bum shoulder was raining on my parade.
Speaking of rain, a light sprinkle had begun. It was almost completely dark, but the sky looked like it was getting nasty. We decided to say goodbye to Jordon and take off. It started raining harder, but not hard enough for Nick to stop for another AAFLHD on the way out. We hopped on the bus and it took off shortly after. We got home roughly 5 hours after we had left.
Foodstuffs that still need consuming before the end of fair season: corn on a stick (a.k.a cob), corn dog, deep fried snickers on a stick with all the milk I can drink for whatever inflated price it is this year, giant pretzel-not-quite-the-size-of-my-head with cheese, Sweet Martha’s cookies, Australian battered potatoes, Tiny Tim mini donut (1), burrito from El Sol, Rice Kristie bar (?), some Italian thing located in the Bazaar that was referred to me, Dippin’ Dots root beer float and a Turkey to Go sandwich… to go.