By the penultimate day of the fair, we'd pretty much seen what we wanted to see and were just batting cleanup. We also revisited a few favourites...
I started with my traditional $1 shrimp cocktail. They proudly boast at this stand that the price hasn't changed in 29 years...
...but I reckon it's shrunk a bit over that time.
The infamous Axel's (axelsbonfire.com) stand. They are always putting the crazy stuff out (witness the 2005 "macaroni and cheese on a stick" which was way into the awful side) - the new entries this year were the deep fried cookies, the frozen Red Bull pops and the....yes...
Sloppy Joe on a stick. Really, nothing's better than the Bull Bites, though. That's the other dish above - blackened rib tips.
The deal with the Sloppy Joe on the stick is they mixed up some ... I'd say Manwich (as it tasted more like that canned version that what I consider a proper Sloppy Joe, aka "envelope of mix combined with water, tomato paste, beef and loads of ketchup on top") ANYWAY they mixed it up, crafted ersatz hot dogs by enclosing it in some sort of casing, battering it up corndog style and serving it thusly. I wasn't excited but I knew James would be so I soldiered on.
In case you're wondering just how dumb the voters of Minnesota are, take notice of this booth.
Kim decided we couldn't go an entire fair without a bag of mini-donuts. I'm not big into the mini-donuts.
The little machines are cool, though.
The decorative bag
16 mini-donuts at bargain basement price
Here's my last look at the "Republican straw poll" (which I voted in despite not being a Republican). Winner was (as of then) undeclared candidate Fred Dalton Thompson. My man Ron Paul had finally dropped to fifth behind John McCain. Actually, I just checked and you can find the final FINAL results here (mngop.org).
Last pickle dogs of the year.
I did NOT try this. I can't imagine they actually fried them recently, or there, or both...
They had some great signs, though. (I didn't feel brave enough to try THIS, either)
And now, one more shared cream puff...
...which I once again forgot to take a picture of until we were halfway through it. (Also, milk!)
On to Famous Dave's building...
...where I had heard they introduced KOOLICKLES! (It's the red sign on the bottom) I didn't notice until later that they were offering "knuckle sandwiches" (blue sign on the bottom) because we ended up getting
a pulled pork sandwich with our coupon. I was pretty disappointed in the Kool-Aid pickle - clearly it hadn't spent much time in the punch because although it showed a little red on the surface, it hadn't penetrated any - it looked like a normal pickle on the inside rather than a striated red/white kinda look. Clearly I will just have to try making my own. (The mention of the Koolickle recently on "Feasting on Asphalt" has really ruined my ability to do web searches to find the definitive recipe...nonetheless, you can start here (blogs.usatoday.com))
Although I've never eaten from this building, I really really like this sign.
My highlight of the fair is picking up a free yardstick from Gopher State One Call (gopherstateonecall.com) - I am happy to say that over the past...what, three or four years I have managed to collect at least one of every colour.
So one day when you see I've made this into a banner, you'll know where it came from.
The RC booth. You can tell that years ago they had Sunkist but now they don't. We always use a coupon here as well and always seem to never get RC. (I like Dr Pepper and everybody else likes Diet Rite - I know, Diet Rite, can you believe it?)
At the KARE 11 barn, they had life size standups of most of the anchor talent. Here I am with Julie Nelson.
Chief meterologist Belinda Jensen is on maternity leave, but her standee isn't. This photo clearly displays which kid knocked her up.
To the DNR area, where they not only had the traditional pond full of many kinds of fish, but they also had this marshy swampy area with a lotta ducks. (None of those shitty geese I see everywhere!) It was kinda dark by now so you get the redeyes where the ducks are...
Or the non-flash version, which barely illuminates all the ducks.
Back in the food building, where we picked up some more cheap pop and a boat full of walleye (and tartar sauce) AND a birch beer for good measure
I headed to O'Gara's...
...because I've always wanted to try the Reuben on a stick. Sadly, it's another hot-dog shaped concoction, but the outside was VERY rye/pumpernickely which was neat. Inside was the expected corned beef/pastrami-alike as well as some caraway seeds, kraut pieces but no Swiss cheese, now that I think about it. Not that I noticed after I availed myself of that THOUSAND ISLAND PUMP
A look down one of the aisle of the food building, where you could tell it was close to closing - often times you just can't walk AT ALL in that place.
Having caught a second wind, we opted for one more serving of cheese curds (left) and deep fried pickle slices (right) - yes, the third pickle of the day
Finally, the ever popular (not by me) spaghetti and meatball on a stick - the noodles are molded into this meatball shape, the whole thing is battered and deep fried. I had it the year it came out and haven't bothered ever since...but they're still selling it!
Mrs AWA, after reading your accounts of the food at the MSF has announced that we must go, not next year, because our son will go off to college as a Freshman, but perhaps the year after. So.... Coupons - you speak of them frequently - where are they coming from - the Strib?
Originally posted by Super Shane SpearHave you taken off a lot of weight since the move? Despite the endless displays of delicious food documented over the last week, you seem a lot slimmer than your California days.
Although there was a lot of involuntary cardio involved in the move, I'm pretty sure I'm just as fat as I was before, if not more so. (I DID buy some bigger clothes, so maybe that's the secret)
Originally posted by AWArulzSo.... Coupons - you speak of them frequently - where are they coming from - the Strib?
There's a "Blue Ribbon coupon book" available from the fair itself ($5) or you can prebuy ($4) from anyone selling early tickets (e.g. any Cub Foods) - we always make back what we pay for it in soda savings alone. Also, $8 tix vs. $11 tix. (We also take the free bus from the U parking lots, because parking at the Fairgrounds is ALSO $8/$11 and totally not worth it given the traffic around there)
Here's an idea for you and teh missus ifn you ever *gasp* produce a little Z. My ex-wife and I took her kids down there in the morning, (meaning by 9:30 am), saw the sights, hit the food buildings, had a couple of things on a stick, blahblahblah, before the crowds hits, then aroun 1 pm took the kids 6 blocks straight east to the Como Zoo and let them ride rides to their hearts content. The really cool thing is that there was never any other kids there, and the ride operators let them ride like two-three times the length of what they usually did. The kids LOVED it. It beat the hell out of waiting in line for the outrageously priced fair rides.
Cheap, maybe, but in the long run well worth it cuz kids and big crowds = crabby kids and a looooooooong day.
Actually, I have yet to be to the new Como Conservatory since it was built. Drove by it, but it was on the work clock so never got a chance to swing it, but it looks really cool.
I'm not sure there is anything at the fairs any longer that I can eat safely since the replumbing. I am filled with envy.
As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004 OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005 OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005 OFFICIAL ONE YEAR COUNT: 187 pounds on December 7, 2005 As of 2/27/06: 202 pounds "I've lost a heavyweight" As of 7/31/06: 224 pounds
Now announcing for the NBWA! www.wdws.com home of DWS Sportsnight and downstate radio home of thecubsfan!
I loved this. So much emotion packed into 22 seconds. There was the slight rocking back and forth, the hair adjustment, the determined sigh, the realization that it was not going to happen, and then the announcement and sign off.