Friday, October 9, 2009

Palate Excursion: LA County Fair

Recently, hubby and I went to the LA County Fair with some friends. I love the fair...especially eating some classic favorites like funnel cake and kettle corn! The fair is also notorious for showcasing some interesting (though not necessarily good) food creations.

Was I glad there were 5 of us to share because by the end of the night, we gobbled down 1 funnel cake, 2 hot dogs, 2 corn on the cobs, 16 pcs. chicken wings, 1 large bowl of potato chips, 2 orders of pork ribs, 1 deep fried avocado, and 1 deep fried Twinkies.

Our first stop was the Funnel Cake stand. We got the works -- powdered sugar, raspberry sauce, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and strawberry toppings. The funnel cake was soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Perfect and Yummmyyyy!!

Before (above) and After (below) :D

Not even 10 minutes after we devoured the funnel cake, we came across the famous Pink's Hot Dog stand. It has been around since 1939 and is frequented by celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people. I've always wanted to try their hot dog but just never had the motivation to drive over 60 miles to their actual location in Hollywood and wait in their consistently long line. So now here's my chance.

We ordered the Spicy Polish Dog with mustard, chili, and onion (below Left) and Martha Stewart Dog - 10" Stretch Dog, relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut, and sour cream (below Right). The spicy polish dog was good but 'spicy!' and I'm a light-weight when it comes to spicy food. The 10" hot dog tasted ok but I think what sets them apart is the unique and often heart-clogging toppings you can add to it.

We also saw some mouth-watering grilled corn seasoned with garlic and herbs that we couldn't pass up.

As we walked around the grounds we stopped for fried chicken wings that were made to order and we can choose 2 out of the 8 flavors available. We chose lemon pepper and garlic Parmesan. Being fans of The Wing Stop, we were expecting something similar but were disappointed. The wings were huge and tasted bland. Wing Stop's chicken wings are smaller so they're crispier when fried and absorb all the wonderful flavors. While both are greasy, these were literally swimming in oil. Our fingers were too greasy to handle the camera so no picture of this one.

Continuing on, I was so excited to find the potato chips stand. My first encounter with these scrumptious potato chips was at the OC Fair. They cut the potatoes to order (with skin on) and deep fry them to the perfect crispiness and piled them onto a large oval red plastic bowl. They provide different Seasonings and spray bottles filled with vinegar that you can add to your liking. I have to say this was my favorite snack of the night! I was so excited that I realized after we almost finished the chips I had forgotten to take a picture of it yet. Bummer!

After about an hour walking around, we finally decided it was time to have a "real" dinner. So we went to one of the BBQ stands and got 2 orders of BBQ pork ribs. The marinade and BBQ sauce were delicious but the ribs were cooked inconsistently. One order was cooked perfectly, with the meat tender and falling off the bone. The other order, the ribs were tough and chewy. But overall they were decent. Ughhh...I forgot to take a picture again! :(

We thought we were done...but on the way to the exit gate, we passed by this "Totally Fried" food stand that sells deep fried White Castle (mini burgers), Smores, zucchini weeni, frog legs, avocado, and Twinkies. We were too stuffed to try every single one but still curious to taste some. Frog legs sounded the most odd but I figured nothing can beat House Special Deep Fried Frog Legs from Capital Seafood. :) So we went with the avocado and Twinkies.

Once again, we got too excited when the avocado came and forgot to take a picture of it. But it didn't live up to the hype. I think they used the same batter for all the items. The avocado was cut into wedges, dipped into the batter, then deep fried. The skin was thick and greasy and didn't have much flavor and didn't really add anything special to the avocado. We ended up peeling most of the skin off and just ate the avocado. The Twinkies tasted much better and had a better texture with the soft Twinkies on the inside and crispy skin. You can taste the richness of the combination of sweet and salty from the cream filling and batter.

Deep fried Twinkies with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar.That concluded our short LA County Fair palate excursion. Unfortunately, my heartburn began approximately 2 hours later...

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