San Diego County Fair 2011
Well, the San Diego County Fair was held from June 10 through July 4 of this year, so this post is too late for you to try anything that we had at the fair this year. But there’s always next year!
I scored free tickets to the fair, so of course we had to go! We ended up paying $10 for parking, which was not in our plans to spend a cheap day at the fair, but that’s what we get for arriving to the fair an hour after the gates opened (why are all these people at the fair at noon on a Friday?!)
Passing through the gates, I immediately steered us towards the food booths, because that’s the whole reason why we would even go to the fair! This huge booth was our first stop:
If you can’t quite see the signs properly, the Chicken Charlie’s booth sells chicken sandwiches encased in Krispy Kreme doughnuts, deep-fried Klondike bars, deep-fried Kool Aid, deep-fried frog legs, deep-fried avocado slices, deep-fried brownies, deep-fried Girl Scout cookies, deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried vegetables, chicken and waffles, deep-fried BBQ ribs, hot wings, rotisserie chicken, kabobs, and fries. I was here to get the deep-fried avocados.
Avocado slices are battered, then freshly fried and served with a lemon wedge and a very oil pesto. I tried deep-fried avocados at the Orange County Fair two years ago and I wasn’t particularly impressed with them then, so I don’t know why I had much hope for the deep-fried avocados at this year’s San Diego County Fair.
As you can see, the avocados are very fresh and creamy, but the problem tends to be the batter. There is too much batter for the amount of avocado, so most of the flavor is oily batter. And the pesto doesn’t help matters. I’m not sure why they serve pesto with this because the oil separates from the basil and Parmesan cheese, so dunking a deep-fried avocado into the pesto infuses the avocado and better with more oil. Dipping an oil-drenched food into more oil just results in a really oily flavor and makes the food settle very heavily so that I could only finish about half of the basket of deep-fried avocados.
Grasping my basket of freshly battered and fried avocados, Devin opted to get his own deep-fried fix in the form of a deep-fried bacon cheeseburger. What we received puzzled us because, silly us, we were expecting the entire cheeseburger to be battered and deep-fried, similar to the deep-fried White Castle burger! Absurd, right?! Because deep-frying Kool Aid or deep-frying sticks of butter isn’t absurd. We received a bacon cheeseburger in which only the beef patty had bee deep-fried, but not battered. This made for a pretty regular bacon cheeseburger, except the beef patty was very oily with each bite. The oil seemed to mask the flavor of the beef. We were expecting something outrageous and extreme, but this was just an oily bacon cheeseburger.
The Great Bandaloni! This one-man band (hence, BandALONi) mesmerized us! We could not stop watching as he used his mouth to sing and play harmonica, used his hands to strum the guitar and clap, and danced with his feet, which also triggered the drum and high top strapped to his back. We noticed that he used two microphones, one which played his single voice and the other which multiplied his voice, making it sound like he had a whole group singing along with him. In addition to other songs we can’t remember, he played TNT by ACDC. His equipment made us jealous and his performance was especially impressive.
These Australian Battered Potatoes are so good, but as I munch away on them, I ask myself, Why am I doing this to myself?! Large slices of potato are battered, then deep fried, and smothered with a variety of sauces, including ranch dressing, cheese sauce, sweet and spicy sauce, ketchup, and mustard. We always order our deep-fried potatoes with ranch dressing, which is watery, but ample tangy. We restrained ourselves by only ordering a plate of these deep-fried potatoes, but they are also sold by the bucket. They are served hot and are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. They’re delicious, but it requires ignoring the voice that keeps reminding you that you are eating deep-fried potatoes with cream sauce.
Our last stop on the way out of the fair was a freshly chocolate-dipped slice of cheesecake on a stick. The cheesecake slice includes a graham cracker crust and is prefrozen for two reasons: so that it adheres to the popsicle stick and so it does not fall apart when dipped into the melted. The popsicle stick allows the vendor to dip the cheesecake without his or her hands also being submerged in chocolate, which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. The cheesecake was too cold for me to comfortably enjoy it, as my teeth seem to be sensitive to cold foods, but Devin seemed to like it just fine.
San Diego County Fair
The Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard
Del Mar, CA 92014