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The Most Colorful Foods To Try At This Year’s LA County Fair

County fairs are widely known for fun and decadence, whether it be through the rides, attractions, or the food. And speaking of the food, in recent years its become the main attraction for many looking for some prime time indulgence. Usually deep fried, a sweet treat, or both, fair food scratches cravings that you didn’t know you had, like a sudden hankering for deep fried butter. However, most of these foods are noticeably missing some pops of vibrant color. That’s why the LA County Fair is going POP this year for their theme and rolling out a special discount POP Menu, where select foods are full of color and only $6.50. Check out some of our favorite picks below:

Tajin Dole Whip

Nitro Treats is taking Dole whip from Disneyland and bringing it right to your favorite mangonada stand. In a varied take on the treat, they’re topping a smooth pineapple Dole whip with Chamoy and Tajin to give it that sweet chili flavor with a little bit of spicy zest.

Deep Fried Uncrustables

Chicken Charlie is a Southern California fair staple that’s serves up a constantly rotating menu of off the wall fried foods. This time they’re using a familiar after school snack: the Smuckers Uncrustable. By dipping it in a colored batter, they’re turning the Uncrustable into a red nugget of deep fried deliciousness. Topped with a strawberry drizzle, powdered sugar, and fruity pebbles, this treat is bursting at the seams with vibrancy and flavor.

Rainbow Pop Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches might be the most comforting of comfort foods, but they’re not much fun to look at. The Dog House is addressing this by giving the cheese some POP. By using four different colors of cheese, once this sandwich has been grilled, it becomes a gooey, yummy rainbow.

Unicorn Elote

Though delicious, all elote is usually similarly colored. Crazy Corn is here to fix that. They’re covering their corn with the usual mayo and butter combo, and then smothering the whole thing in different colored cheese to give it a full rainbow spectrum of colors.

Poprock Texas Donut

Everything is bigger in Texas, even the donuts. Aptly named Texas Donuts, this donut shop is covering a massive donut with a classic glaze, and then pop rocks. This gives the donut some color pop and a literal pop once you bite in.

32Oz Root Beer Float

How could you make a root beer float better? It’s already sweet, creamy, and delectable. Well, you could super-size it, shooing the disappointment of finishing off until later. And that’s exactly what MacPherson’s Ice Cream is doing. This root beer float comes with a leaning tower of soft serve surrounded by a 32 oz. moat of root beer.

Chocolate Dipped Jerky

This sweet meat just got even sweeter. Timbo’s Beef Jerky will have giant sticks of their chewy, savory jerky covered in luscious chocolate and sprinkles, to give it some color.

Which of these items sounds best to you? Luckily, it doesn’t matter, as each item on the POP Menu only costs $6.50, so it’s entirely possible to try all of them. And you can do this all at the LA County Fair in Pomona, CA, until September 22nd.

Created in partnership with LA County Fair. 

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The Wildest Eats You Can Find At This Year’s LA County Fair

This year, the LA County Fair is going on a bit of a nostalgia trip with a Route 66 theme. As an homage to the iconic highway, several vendors at the fair will be serving up special items that cost just $6.60.

We’ve eaten our way through the entire fair and found some of the wildest $6.60 deal options that you can find. Each of these has visual pop and loads of flavor, making them worth putting both in your mouth and your Instagram feeds.

Of course, there’s also plenty of regular items at the fair that are just as out-of-bounds, and you’ll want to check those out too. Below is a list of both $6.60 and other festival foods that are worth heading to the LA County Fair for.

$6.60 Items

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Waffle Cone | Chicken Charlie’s

SoCal fair food legend Chicken Charlie is back at it, this time with a spicy, creamy mac & cheese waffle cone. It’s a combo of spicy buffalo chicken with cheesy mac, piled inside of a hot rod-red cone that’s sure to catch some eyes.

Texas Panhandle Pastrami Fries | C&C Concessions

If you’re looking for loaded fries with a twist, these pastrami fries will satisfy that craving. Crispy spuds are loaded up with hot pastrami, a blend of shredded cheeses, and pickles.

Nitro Popcorn | Nitro Snack Dragon Breath

Nitro Snack Dragon Breath is bringing back this viral item from last year’s fair. The kaleidoscopic popcorn is served after a dip in some liquid nitrogen, so you’ll be breathing “smoke” like a dragon when you take a bite.

Deep Fried Pecan Pie | Fried-a-Fair

It’s not a fair unless something outlandish heads into the deep fryer. This time around, it’s a hefty slice of pecan pie that’s getting the treatment.


Other Items To Check Out

Nitro Sourbomb | Nitro Snack Dragon Breath

Sour Bombs, wafer-like candies with sour powder in the middle, are also getting the liquid nitrogen treatment. Nitro Snack dips a stick of them into liquid nitrogen so they’re served at temperatures way below freezing, creating a smoky effect.

Cowboy Sundae | Chuckwagon

If you’re looking for dessert, this is not the treat for you. But if you want BBQ, this IS what you’re looking for. Chuckwagon’s “sundae” consists of beans, slaw, mashed potatoes, meat, BBQ sauce, and topped with a “cherry” tomato.

Giant Rib | Biggy’s

Biggy’s is selling a MASSIVE beef rib that you can show off to everyone. Mad props to anyone who struts around the fair chomping on this like a carnivorous badass.

4 On The Floor Pizza | Absolutely Italian

Pasta and pizza unite in this creative mashup of Italian foods. A creamy penne pasta is loaded onto cheese-covered pizza dough before taking a trip through the oven.

PBJ & Sriracha Funnel Cake | Dutchman’s Funnel Cake

The classic combo of peanut butter and jelly gets piled onto a funnel cake, but with a spicy kick. A hit of sriracha is added to take this fair food classic to the next level.


The LA County Fair runs through September 23rd in Pomona, CA. You’ve got until then to check out all of these crazy eats PLUS everything else the fair has to offer.

Created in partnership with the LA County Fair. 

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This Man Revolutionized Fried Food With An OREO

It’s opening day of the OC Fair, and Charlie Boghosian is being pulled into so many different directions, it’s a surprise his limbs haven’t fallen off. His phone is ringing off the hook, as every local morning news program covering the fair wants a piece of his new deep-fried goodies. As he walks toward his newest “Pineapple Express” stand to see what’s going on in the kitchen, his family arrives at the fair. His oldest daughter Abby, 6, passes by, realizes it’s him and yells, “Daddy!”

It’s total chaos as summer fair season kicks off in Southern California, and as is the case every year for the last 20+ years, “Chicken Charlie” is the man of the hour, every hour.

“Let’s take this into my office,” Boghosian tells me, as the attention storm seemingly passes and he finally gets a chance to breathe and give his wife and four children proper hugs.

His office is a trailer behind one of his four food stands within the Orange County Fairgrounds. Before we go inside, we walk by a graveyard of pineapple boxes, easily in the hundreds, as he debuts a deep-fried pineapple on a stick, to accompany his classic hollowed out pineapple bowls.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

With beads of sweat dripping from his brow, the 95-degree Southern California heat was in full effect, but still not stopping the hottest summertime commodity.

Boghosian is living the classic American dream: At the tender age of 11, his family immigrated to the U.S. from Syria, with dreams of working toward a better life. Boghosian took those dreams into a new dimension, however, creating a name for himself as the “Fry King,” and bringing off-kilter concepts into the mainstream, paving the way for the mind-blowing fried fair foods that have now become commonplace.

Charlie and his father atop the World Trade Center on their first day in the U.S./Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

Make no mistake, that very American Dream that Charlie is living, has been molded by the fair.

Before foods such as fried Kool-Aid or bacon-wrapped pickles launched him into stardom, Boghosian was a kid who just wanted to get out of the routine of working at his dad’s San Diego grocery store.

“I saw an ad for the [San Diego County] fair, Del Mar Fair at the time,” Boghosian recalls. “I said, ‘Hey, Dad, can I go get a job at the fair? We can call it my vacation.'”

His dad gave him permission, and Boghosian worked the 1984 summer with a fair vendor by the name of Robert Jackson, who sold charbroiled corn at the Del Mar Fair and showed him the ropes.

What was supposed to be a break from monotony for Boghosian, turned into 12 straight summers of working the fair with Jackson.

With two criminal justice degrees in hand from San Diego State University, Boghosian was done with school. But instead of joining the force like he originally planned, he knew his true passion was making people smile with the power of food.

Deep-Fried Filet Mignon/Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

The inspiration for his fried foods can come from anywhere, whether it’s strolling through the supermarket or sitting at a drive-thru. However, there are times that Boghoshian’s innovation comes, literally, from home.

Charlie and his wife Dawn Boghosian will take a couple of days out of the year to gather friends and family for what they call “Fry Fests.” The Fry Fests are a free-for-all at their San Diego home, and some items even make it onto the fair menu, like the iconic deep-fried Kool-Aid.

“They’re fun, crazy and a whole lot of mess, but all worth it,” Dawn Boghosian said of the backyard Fry Fests. “We invite whoever wants to be part of our shenanigans—family, friends…anyone who’s a little creative and likes to eat.”

Charlie with Guy Fieri/Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

Boghosian recalls 1996 being special, as it was the year he took the fair into his own hands. After purchasing a vendor’s old broasted chicken trailer, and re-branding it as “Chicken Charlie’s,” Boghosian finally decided to take what he learned the last 12 years, and start his own fair food legacy.

After a couple of years selling broasted chicken, Charlie felt he needed to mix things up from just chicken and fries — that’s when the deep-fried Oreo was born.

“I went to the Hostess rack at 7-Eleven and started frying everything under the sun,” Boghosian said. “The Oreo cookie ended up being the best tasting one.”

Being a huge fan of McDonald’s growing up, Boghosian was inspired by the McDonald’s apple pie, which was previously fried before the 1992 baked version debuted. He knew his chicken needed a sweet pairing, and the Oreo experiment ended up being a hit.

Content with the deep-fried Oreo’s success, Charlie didn’t even anticipate going any further with fried items, but when pressed for more by a reporter at the Fresno County Fair, Boghosian felt he had to think of a way to top himself the next year.

“I was like, ‘Well, I fried an Oreo and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. What do you guys want?” Boghosian remembered.

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An expectation of new fried foods was set, and Charlie wanted to deliver.

The following years, Boghosian started deep frying strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and even avocados — and the reputation of Chicken Charlie catapulted into stuff of legend.

“I’ll deep fry just about anything I can get my hands on. I’m looking at your glasses right now, and I want to fry them,” teased Charlie.

For the summer of 2018, Chicken Charlie’s hot new item is deep-fried filet mignon, where he fried 7,000 pounds of the premium cut for the San Diego County Fair alone. You’d never expect that a steak that’s considered a top cut, would work as a deep-fried food, but Charlie made it work, deliciously.

To produce such a massive frying operation for the fair, Chicken Charlie requires five truckloads, carrying around 22 pallets full of frying oil. Not to mention another two truckloads for the flour that coats all these delicious fried concoctions.

And the fairs love it all.

“Charlie is a great ambassador for the OC Fair and his innovative creations keep fairgoers coming back year after year to see what’s new, and what’s crazy,” Terry Moore OC Fair spokesperson said. “He has a knack for combining things that shouldn’t work together, but do. He really is an institution at the OC Fair.”

Being in fairs across California, Texas, and Arizona, Boghosian has launched an unexpected food career that has transitioned into the brick-and mortar Chicken Charlie’s FRYBQ in San Diego, California. At the FRYBQ, Boghosian offers an array of fried foods that he has built his name with, along with some less intense salads and wraps, for those who need a breather from all the fried food madness.

Grilled teriyaki chicken and rice inside a pineapple bowl/Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

Now, Charlie is opening a second San Diego location, as he envisions his restaurant becoming a nationwide chain, and eventually even finding a spot on The Las Vegas Strip.

“I want to be a legit restaurateur and have restaurants across America,” a determined Boghosian expressed. “My dream is to have a restaurant in Las Vegas, on the strip. Las Vegas, here I come.”

Chicken Charlie sure has come a long way from the young boy who just wanted a new summer job.

“Coming to America as a young kid, I wanted to work. I wanted to do great things. Who knew a little Oreo cookie would change my life the way it did?”

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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


Chicken Charlie’s Reveals New Fried Items for 2011 Summer Fair Season

Chicken Charlie’s is a notoriously delicious and equally talked about Del Mar, CA-based restaurant that gets it shine in the summer season. For summer 2011, the folks behind Chicken Charlie’s stand will be at four summertime fairs serving up the craziest of the crazy in fried goodness: San Diego County Fair, the OC Fair, the LA County Fair, and the Big Fresno Fair.

New on the menu for this year include Fried Kool Aid, Fried Girl Scout Cookies, FryBQ Ribs, and Totally Fried Brownies. We visited Chicken Charlie’s last year for a great behind-the-scenes as he let us go nuts on all his amazing fried delicacies during the 2010 OC Fair.

Deep Fried Klondike Bar:

Here’s a quick look at the making of this year’s Fried Kool-Aid, made by making a batter out of the Kool-Aid, combining the refreshing summer drink with flour and water before dunking it in hot oil:

To find out Chicken Charlie’s summer fair schedule, check out their website and stay tuned to our Chicken Charlie’s coverage!