Locally Grown


Iowa State Fare
2010/08/17, 4:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Hello, friends.  Wow, so much going on this past week, almost forgot that my hands are not only for gripping stick-pierced food stuffs, but are also useful for tap tap tapping out words on my little keyboard for your reading meh-njoyment.  I am currently typing with fried pineapple on a stick clenched in my fist, making for a very greasy blog entry and putting the Geek Squad on 24 hour emergency stand-by for keyboard replacement.  They will have to pry the Fair Food from my cold, dead hands!!!

Speaking of the Iowa State Fair, it is going on this week.  BUT, as all “good” things it will be coming to an end and all that will be left will be the memories, acne, increased waistlines, and country concert t-shirts…or is there more?  Myself and Mrs. The Cook have come up with a game to keep the Iowa State Fair spirit alive year ’round.  I like to call it the “Iowa State Fair Fare Game.”  The rules are simple, as are the rules of the real fair.  Here’s how you play:

  1. Go to your bank (if you have one) and withdraw some cash, say $150.00 or more.
  2. Stop by a convenience store, preferably someplace like the QT on East 14th and Grand.
  3. Buy a few hot dogs, sausages, corn dogs, one 32oz fountain soda, and six beers.
  4. Devour all food items in the parking lot.
  5. Throw the rest of the cash in a dumpster.

There you have it.  Simple and fun.  Just like the real fair.  Sure, you probably didn’t get to see any sheep or pigs, and there are no rides, but no home version of any game is ever perfect (and it didn’t cost ten bucks to enter the store).  There ARE some optional additions to the game to heighten your post-fair experience:

  1. Play the game during lunch hour or on a Friday or Saturday night, it will give a better feeling of fair crowds
  2. Convince everyone in the parking lot to select a different radio station and turn their car stereos to full volume with all windows down.
  3. Carry your own Bamboo Skewers, and affix any food items to said skewers for your eating pleasure.
  4. Constantly talk about having “Non-Stop Fun.”
  5. Take it further, and carry around a picket sign stating “Non Stop Fun” protesting all of the not-fun everyone else is having.

You get the idea

There you have it, the “Iowa State Fair Fare Game.”  I hope to see you all playing August 23rd…

Maybe your parking lot will have one of these:

Can you say "Midway Simulator?"

More Iowa State Fair News:

There is an almost endless array of food vendors at the fair, but a very small number of them cater to our Vegetarian friends, and Vegans are totally excluded from the food festivities (well, ribbon fries are Vegan, but I can tell you from experience that being relegated to only fries and beer is not much of a State Fair Experience). Here are some Vegetarian State Fair Highlights:

  • The Veggie Table (across from the Grandstand) has veggie corn dogs, fried vegetables, and jalapeno poppers.  I highly recommend a visit to the fair’s only all-vegetarian food vendor.
  • Cajun Fried Cheese (across from the Budweiser Beer Garden) serves my favorite “fat guy” food at the fair, Cajun Fried Cheese.  You choose from Mozzarella or Pepperjack cheese, then it is hand dipped in a Cajun spiced Corn Dog batter and fried.  Yes, they use a separate fryer and batter for meat and cheese.  I asked, then watched to make sure they weren’t bull-honkeying me.  They passed the test.
  • Blue Ribbon Fries (just south of the Fried Cheese joint) is a great place to get side dish to complement your Cajun Fried Cheese, a giant basket of ribbon-cut fried potatoes.
  • Cheese Pizza, at your various pizza suppliers. Classic lazy-vegetarian fare at its best and most expensive.

I also heard something about Baked Potatoes, but didn’t investigate…and of course you can get the deserts, Fried Twinkies, Oreos, Fried Pineapple (my favorite), and the new Twinkie Roll, which I did not have the pleasure of devouring.  I DID get to eat one Fried Oreo.  It was good. Too good.  Pretty much spelled out the reason I don’t eat sweets that often.  These places are safe for vegetarians as most don’t sell meat items, therefore cannot futz up the fryer oil.

[a comprehensive listing of food and food vendors can be found at the Iowa State Fair Official Food Directory]

For those of you who are beer drinkers, you understand that there is a premium to be paid for your libations.  Here are some tips:

Small Beers are 12 oz, Large beers are 22 oz.

  • Budweiser Beer Garden smalls are $5 and large $10.
  • Budweiser/ABC5 Stage prices are $5/$7
  • Jacobsen Center (the new place) is also $5/$7 and is indoors with Air Conditioning and server local Newton-made beer from Madhouse Brewing for one dollar more.
  • AE Stage $5/$9

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these are the places I have been, and you see where the deals lie.  The Jacobsen Center is a pretty sweet deal, with air conditioning and brand new clean bathrooms. The beer counter is also a concession stand, serving a variety of foods, including cheese pizza.  Makes for a good college-life simulator.

Hey,to be fair, I hope you all don’t think I am anti-State Fair.  I love the fair, I went nine times last year and have been three so far this year.

Anyhoo, I really do hope those of you who are out there doing your Fair business are enjoying the bejeezus out of the Iowa State Fair.  I have been and plan on enjoying it many more times this week.  Maybe we will see each other out there…

The Cook

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think if you hang out for a bit at Quick Trip, you’ll see a fair share of pigs, as well as cows. Might even see a cougar or two.

Comment by The Rooster

Great post! Informative and humorous. Love the part about the “Iowa State Fair Fare” game. Excellent idea. 🙂

Comment by Emily Beckmann

Best beer at the fair is at The Stockman’s Inn (place by the barns with the big cowboy hat). It’s cold as hell and decently priced. ($7 for small $8 for large, but the beers are bigger than most).

Also, the Steer and Stein on the grand concourse has $11 big beers that I believe are the best Beer/$ ratio.

Thanks, that is all.

Comment by InthewaterDSM

Also, anyone see the freaky big robot guy on a scooter, or something? Couldn’t tell if it was a robot or a person in a suit….it freaked me out.

Comment by InthewaterDSM

Sweet potato fries at the Veggie Table. Also, the fruit and vegetable growers assoc. stand in the Ag building has actual fruits and vegetables, non-fried.

Comment by Christa

Don’t forget Fair Squares on Grand and Beeties Watermelon Patch next to the Giant Slide!

Comment by 3bchristmas

There’s also salad-on-a-stick in the Ag Building, but it’s not fried, (un)fortunately. And Applishus in the Cultural Center. But really, I’m all about the veggie corn dogs and pineapple whip.

Comment by maria

I tell you, I used to only go to the fair to eat at the Veggie Table. Love those folks and their fried veggies and Not-corndogs. good good good. I had Salad on a stick, but unfortunately salads hold a little stigma from my Vegan days, when people bombarded me with salads. I am not a rabbit!

Comment by locallygrown




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