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Food Guide for the 2011 San Diego County Fair

Courtesy Photo

“Race to the Fair” is the theme for the 2011 San Diego County Fair, but more often, it’s a race to the sometimes fabulous, sometimes odd, but always interesting fair food that captivates the crowds.

If you’ve been to the fair, you know there are a bounty of booths and kiosks ready to tempt you with delights you never thought possible. Mind you, there are far too many opportunities for gluttony, so we will do our best to steer you to the best of the best. So enter the Midway, be prepared for anything, and let the games begin.

First up, the Cheese Curds. We are talking deep fried (we will now use DF to designate something as deep fried, with it being the most frequently used descriptor in this missive) white cheddar cheese, breaded and delivered in random curly shapes and sizes. These babies were oozing with cheesy brilliance. Accompanying them in decadence are the DF Zucchini and onions with a raucously crunchy exterior. Can this be considered as eating your veggies? Probably not when drenched in the accompanying tartar sauce.

Across the way are the deliciously grilled corn on the cob and feisty cheese-stuffed chili peppers. How are they able to make corn taste so incredible? Add butter and salt, let the taste meld, and prepare for your taste buds to be kicked into high gear with the spicy, hot chili pepper with molten cotija cheese. Make sure to have some water standing by. Also not to be missed are Buffalo potato wedges reminiscent of baked potato with blue cheese and chives, all on an easy to carry wedge.

Next up is the ever inspiring (and way delicious) Chicken Charlies. This is DF heaven, so you may want to visit Charlie and then just go home. New to this year’s festivities are the DF Girl Scout Cookies, DF chocolate and DF brownies. Some were more satisfying than others, but all were certainly unique in their own way. There are also traditional DF stuff like Oreos, Twinkies, chicken-Krispy Kreme sandwich (scrumptious), DF White Castles (double scrumptious), chicken & waffles, and DF Frog Legs. Yes, you read right.

Down the way are the Tasti Chips, which are fresh homemade potato chips slathered in toppings like bacon and cheese. Who knew chips could taste so good? The Mile High Hot Dog stand delivered just that – super sized hot dogs that were satisfying, yet a little lacking in a variety of condiments.

I nibbled on delightful Indian Fry Bread, crunchy hand-size pieces that offered several choices of toppings from sweet to salty. Some topping choices included cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, garlic butter, parmesan cheese, and even pesto! Pass on this one if you’re full, but it's worth a quick bite. The Caramel Apple Tower stand satisfied my sweet tooth with a cup full of love that included thick, oozing caramel, whipped cream, hot fudge, and ice cream. It was not to die for, but it offered a nice change from savory to sweet after DF overload. Looking for pizza-on-a-stick? Look no further than Pap Gino’s Pizza, which offered regular pizza and cheesy bread. The pizza show-stopper for us was Pat's Pizza Palace. If you’re going to get pizza, this is the place to go. It tasted like a pizza should taste, lots of flavor and bursting with oregano. Such a cut above some other choices.

A first for the fair is the world famous Pinks! An icon in Los Angeles for more than 70 years, Pinks is bringing its game at the fair this year. Chili dogs are their signature dish, so have a taste with cheese, bacon or just as a dog. You can also order some chili cheese fries that can clearly feed two people. Gotta love it. Finish the evening with a sinful cinnamon roll from the Hot Cinnamon Rolls kiosk. Order them with cream cheese, frosting or walnuts. Warm, messy and delicious.

The reason everyone loves the fairis without a doubt the food and the guiltless nature we allow ourselves to indulge in while we are there. The 2011 San Diego County Fair will not let you down with all of the unique, sweet, savory, interesting items at your disposal. Enjoy!

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  • City: Del Mar
  • Phone: 858-755-1161
  • Name: 2011 San Diego County Fair
  • Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd