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Foodbeast Guide To 2018’s OC Fair Food

While I shed a tear for the beach bod I never really got this summer, I take solace in the fact that it’s fair season and I can just try again in the fall.

Yes, that means we’re ready to be buried in fried foods, sweets, and snacks, not unlike that kid from Kazaam.

On Friday, June 13, the Orange County Fair opened its gates to the public and we eagerly high-tailed it into the fairgrounds.

Returning are some all-star vendors like Chicken Charlie’s and Biggy’s — the Deep Fry King and Sultan of Turkey Legs, respectively, and they’ve added a handful of new items that had us wiping drool from our chins.

Check out all the new foods and returning favorites served that this year’s OC Fair. Just be sure to leave some time between snacking, for rides and games.


Deep Fried Filet Mignon (Chicken Charlie’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

This year’s star dish from Chicken Charlie’s booth is the deep fried filet mignon. Hulked out medallions are skewered together, breaded, and deep fried. Imagine eating chicken fried steak on a stick, because that’s essentially what this is. Just wish we had some sausage gravy to dunk those steaks in. Next year, Charlie.

Caramel Crack Fries (Biggy’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

I’ve always been a fan of the marriage between sweet and salty. Give me some kettle corn or a maple bacon donut and I’m a happy dude. Biggy’s new Caramel Crack Fries is a stunning example of sweet and salty that combines salty cinnamon sugar fries, a generous drizzle of caramel, whipped cream, and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Deep Fried Pineapple (Chicken Charlie’s)

Many feel pineapple doesn’t belong on a pizza, but no one said you can’t deep fry it. Chicken Charlie’s is offering freshly sliced pineapples that are plunged into Charlie’s special pancake batter and dunked in a vat of hot oil — the origins of a delicious fruit-themed superhero.

Lasagna Nachos (Pignotti’s)

Photo: OC Fair

Looks like lasagna nachos are slowly making it into the mainstream and I’m totally on board with it. Pignotti’s version takes deep-fried pieces of lasagna noodles and douses them in a bed of rich marinara sauce before being introduced to a second friend…Mister Cheese Blanket.

Spicy Turkey Leg (Biggy’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

Hardcore carnivores will likely go straight for the massive turkey legs found at Biggy’s. This year, they’re trying something a little spicier with a Cholula hot sauce variation of the classic turkey leg. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the same smokiness and girth as a regular leg, just with a extra helping of heat.

Mermaid Floats (Candy Factory)

Photo: Peter Pham

Between all the salty meats and the scorching summer heat, you’ll probably want to track down something sweet and refreshing to cool off with. Candy Factory has a smorgasbord of floats named after mythical creatures, such as the Unicorn and Mermaid Floats. These multi-colored refreshers feature a sweet soda sprinkled stacked with rainbow toppings and a heap of cotton candy.

Ramen Burritos (Chicken Charlie’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

Another new addition to Chicken Charlie’s lineup are these chicken and shrimp ramen burritos. Ramen noodles and Funyuns are joined with Charlie’s savory grilled chicken or shrimp in a warm tortilla, offering a trio of textures. Charlie tosses the noodles in his famous House Maui sauce and some Sriracha for a gentle hit of flavor.

Spaghetti Donuts (Pignotti’s)

Photo: OC Fair

I never knew spaghetti could be enjoyed without utensils until I saw Pignotti’s spaghetti donuts. The noodles are formed using a donut mold and tossed into the deep fryer with the love of an Italian grandparent. Instead of glaze, they’re topped with traditional pasta sauces — pesto, Alfredo, carbonara, or marinara.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly (Biggy’s)

Photo: Oscar Gonzalez

It’s not really a trip to the fair without some bacon. Biggy’s bacon-wrapped pork belly serves guests a skewer full of bacon inception. The crispy cured strips are wrapped around hunks of tender Duroc pork belly and slow roasted. Bacon lovers will definitely want to zero in on this item.


If that’s not enough to whet your whistle, here’s everything else you need to keep an eye out for at this year’s OC Fair:

  • Ice Cream Tacos (Bacon A Fair)
  • Truffle Tots (Tater Twister)
  • Mac and Cheese Tots (Tater Twister)
  • Cheeseburger Tacos (Juicy’s)
  • Gouda Wontons (Pignotti’s)
  • Gouda Nachos (Pignotti’s)
  • Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches (Totally Baked Cookie Joint)
  • Big Skillet Cookie (Totally Baked Cookie Joint)
  • Bubble Waffle Cone Sundae (Fried Affair 2)
  • PBJ Sriracha Funnel Cake (Dutchman’s Funeral Cake)
  • Deep Fried Cheese Curds (Tasti Burger)
  • Chili Chamoy Candy Capple (Brander Candyland)
  • M&M Donut (Texas Donuts)
  • Unicorn Cotton Candy Donut (Texas Donuts)
  • Holy Coa’s Boba Tea (Pignotti’s)
  • Poke Bowls (Eddie’s)
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7 Crazy Foods To Eat At The 2017 LA County Fair

Each year as summer comes to a close, the Los Angeles County Fair begins as a way to bookend a long, hot summer. From the hundreds of vendors, to the delicious-looking and beautifully fried foods, and the variety of exciting exhibits, there’s always has something new people can’t wait to experience. 

Here are seven must-try items from the 2017 LA County Fair.  

1. Chicken Charlie’s: Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sandwich

2017 la county fair

It’s safe to say Chicken Charlie’s is an innovator when it comes to creating amazing fair foods that are just as delicious as they are memorable. This year, Charlie’s is giving us a reason to celebrate dessert with two never-before-seen items.  

Charlie’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sandwich is a colorful creation of sugar, sweetness and creaminess. Picture one large scoop of vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two cotton candy patties and rolled in Fruity Pebbles Cereal.  

2. Chicken Charlie’s: Funnel Cake Burrito  

2017 la county fair

Another sweet creation from the mind of Charlie is the popular Funnel Cake Burrito. Starting with a funnel cake and a giant tortilla, this burrito is topped with cinnamon apples, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Then, this sweet and savory behemoth is wrapped up burrito-style and ready for consumption!

3. Afters Ice Cream: Strawberry Funnel Cake & Mango Sorbet Milky Buns

2017 la county fair

Afters Ice Cream has quickly become an LA and OC favorite for milk buns and exotic ice cream flavors. With that said, Afters will be showing off its skills with Strawberry Funnel Cake And Mango Sorbet Milky Buns during this year’s festivities. Make sure you swing by!

4. Pink’s Hot Dogs: The Enchilada Dog

la county fair

Introducing, Pink’s Enchilada Hot Dog. It’s a foot-long hot dog topped with cilantro, onions and cheese. But, in order to make this true enchilada-style, the hot dog is wrapped in a tortilla with a bit of enchilada sauce. If you love hot dogs and Mexican food, stop by Pink’s for this 2017 LA County Fair exclusive.  

5. Cowboy Kettle Corn: Unicorn Nitro Candy Pop

2017 la county fair

This isn’t your average kettle corn – it’s Unicorn Nitro Pop from Cowboy Kettle Corn, and it’s dipped in liquid nitrogen. In addition to being delicious, this treat is definitely something to capture on Instagram. Each mouthful of this frozen treat produces a cloud of icy vapor that will keep you entertained for hours.    

6. Plant Food For People: Vegan Jackfruit Nachos

2017 la county fair

It wouldn’t be the LA County Fair without nachos, but you’ve probably never had these nachos before. PFFP, or Plant Food For People, serves an all-vegan, gourmet menu that includes these very popular vegan jackfruit nachos that are potato-based, and topped with jackfruit, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

7. Chef Cricket’s Culinary Kitchen: Bug Tasting Bar

2017 la county fair

If there’s one thing you try at the 2017 LA County Fair, make sure you check out Chef Cricket’s Culinary Kitchen and Bug Tasting Bar. Offering an assortment of freeze-dried and chocolate-covered bugs, this is definitely one of the most unique culinary attractions the LA County Fair has seen, and apparently they actually taste pretty good!  

The Fair is open from Friday, September 1st to Sunday, September 24th this year. We hope to see you there!

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with LA County Fair

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There’s A Restaurant Devoted ENTIRELY To Fair Foods And It’s Inside A Walmart

fair-stk-onions

Imagine if you didn’t have to wait for the fair every year; that there was a single place open 365 days that served nothing but fair foods. According to Dallas Morning News, that dream just came true. A Walmart in Plano, TX, will open the first-ever State Fair menu restaurant inside the store.

Set to open on September 20th, State Fair Treats will be the first in a region-wide expansion. The restaurant will be run by Isaac Rousso, an all-star veteran of the State Fair of Texas. State Fair Treats will feature an ambitious 45-item menu featuring classics you can only find at the annual event.

While the menu remains pretty secret, we can expect to see a fair amount of deep-fried foods.

Walmart is already known for housing fast-food chains like McDonald’s or Subway. Though they do sell state fair-like items like deep-fried Twinkies and Donut Cheeseburgers in their frozen food aisles, the new restaurant will be a sizable addition to the usual assortment of sit-in dining choices.

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Cravings

Dip These Mini Corn Dog Muffins in Sriracha Sauce

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This simple recipe puts a spin on the classic corn dog while using a bit of imagination and ingenuity in the process. The traditionally corny batter is given a makeover with the addition of green chilies for a hint of spice but not overwhelmingly so — that task is left to America’s new favorite condiment, Sriracha. Yes, these bite sized morsels are paired with spicy sriracha sauce for dipping, just in case you felt the need to eat a fireball. Did I mention everything is placed inside a mini muffin tin and baked in the oven?! Too cutes.

So for the love of county fairs, crack out the cobwebbed muffin tins you once believed to be useless and give this one a shot! Peep the recipe here.

H/T Tablespoon

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Cravings

Craving: BBQ Turkey Leg

Turkey_Leg_001

I’m at the Orange County fairgrounds all weekend for the Maloof Money Cup, but no matter how good the skateboarding is there is always time to go walk the fair and see the amazing food. Turkey legs the size of my arm are in abundance as is every other type of weird fair foods you can think of. Considering I’m still pretty hungover from last night, this just sounded really good to me.