The Skeptical Diner: State Fair Edition (Redux)

Social obligations led to a second visit to Fair, and eight more brief write-ups of the food.

ITEM: Battered cheese curds

SUMMARY: We got these from one of the more permanent-looking buildings, as opposed to a food cart. They weren’t the fine cuisine cheese curds of Town Talk Diner, but the Fair is a completely different venue and audience, so all we really can ask for is warm, cheesy, and a nice balance of crispy exterior and gooey interior. Check, check, check.

GRADE: A-

ITEM: Swedish Egg Coffee

SUMMARY: The theory behind this stuff is that when you brew coffee with a raw egg, the egg moderates the acidity and gives you a smooth, delicious brew. In reality, the stuff tasted like weak diner coffee and/or slightly tainted hot water. Either the brewers were terrible or the idea is terrible, and the Norwegians win yet another point in the Norway versus Sweden hatefest.

GRADE: FAIL

ITEM: Deep Fried Oreos

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SUMMARY: Like the deep fried Snickers (see yesterday’s entry) this dish suffered mightily from the overly thick / overwhelming breading. The light dusting of powdered sugar was a nice touch, and the actual taste sensation of warm crumbled Oreo was worth the purchase price.

GRADE: C+

ITEM: Tiny Tim Tiny Donuts

SUMMARY: Very small sugar donuts sold in a bag. They came out hot, sugary and just a bit spicy — above and beyond the call of Donut Duty. Thumbs up.

GRADE: A

ITEM: Sparkling Cider and Cinnamon Ice Cream Float

SUMMARY: This really could’ve gone in any direction, but the surprisingly delicate taste of the cider and the pleasantly mild flavor of the ice cream were nicely paired. It also really cut through the grease and weight of previous (and subsequent) Fair fare.

GRADE: A

ITEM: Peanut Butter Hot Dog

SUMMARY: This could’ve been a screaming disaster, and this potential for drama was actually a major draw. In reality, the honey/banana/peanut butter combination played relatively well off of the hot dog, but the whole thing would’ve been better served by a better frank (Hebrew National, for example) and something a little more tart — dare I suggest lingonberries?

GRADE: C-

ITEM: Kiwanis Chocolate Malt

SUMMARY: “Famous” it may or may not be, but “good” it was not. The ice cream tasted cheap, and what the drink boasted in thickness it failed to achieve with actual chocolate flavor or malty goodness. A sub-par malt in a setting that calls for excellence, or at least feel-good mediocrity.

GRADE: D

ITEM: Flowering Onion

SUMMARY: A fairly straightforward and competently executed giant deep-fried onion. When dosed with seasoning salt and dipped in either ketchup or ranch dressing, the onion bits were indisputably yummy. The major strike against it: due to insufficient pre-fry butchering, it was difficult to pull off onion parts without simply stripping them of their breaded coating.

GRADE: B-

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