2014 Wisconsin State Fair – Digested

Our 4th and final trip to the fair on Day 11 (final day) went a little late and ended with a final (unsuccessful) push to kill a keg at The Micro. So, I never got around to posting that final round-up. But now that the food has all digested, it’s time to say goodbye. And that’s ok. That much fairing does something to a man. Things that take a while to undo. I’ll be Cravin D. Cream Puff for weeks yet, and I still long for all my food to be fried and on a stick; but alas, that lifestyle is unsustainable and it’s time to get back to my normal only slightly unhealthy ways. 

Rants:

  • The milk house was closed pretty early on Sunday. We were pretty devastated. Back at home We’ve be going through gallons of milk at breakneck speeds but it never tastes quite as milky as it does at the fair.
  • The crowd was something on Sunday. Not sure where they though they were but I’ would’ve like to let them know that it was still the fair – the place with barn animals, gut busting food, and as-seen-on-tv miracles, amongst other wonders. So, there is absolutely no reason anyone needs to see your midsection and even less reason (if possible) anyone needs to see your butt.  Most of you have no business showing those features off in the first place, and even if you do, it’s really not the correct venue.

Raves:

  • Among the numbers summing up the fair:
    • 10,000 Chicken-n-Waffle Cones – And this was my favorite new food of the fair proving you don’t have to deep fry the entire entrée for me to love it! Well done.
    • 400,678 Original Cream Puffs – We bought our 6 pack!
    • 1,030,881 people went through the gates – we were good for 11 of that total, or 0.001%. In spirit and food consumption I think we were more like 10% though.
  • Well done by the Milwaukee Bucks (don’t hear that phrase everyday) for keeping the Milk House going after Herb calling it quits. They had the 2 new flavors this year too – which was a nice change of pace.

And here’s a few loose ends to wrap up the 2014 State Fair:

Turkey Donut

TurkeyDonutI was leery of this from the second I walked up to the booth but I was not about to back down to some measly deli meat / confectionary combination. I confidently ordered one. Two minutes later I had the warmish quasi-sandwhich you see pictured above. Big surprise is that it was pretty good! The doughnut was soft and fresh, the turkey was…well really normal turkey, and then there was some cranberry something in there too. I ate ever last bite. I’m not saying I’d recommend it but I didn’t hate it.

Hank Cookie

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Yep, even the fair is on the Hank bandwagon. Beckett was happy to oblige though.

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I scored this sweet piece of fair wear off the clearance table. I understand the innuendo that some of you may be tempted to make towards me if you saw me wearing this shirt. I’m ok with it. And besides, a lady never tells.

Unlicensed mascots?

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Pretty sure this was just some guy dressed as a wolf. A frickin’ awesome (and creepy) looking wolf at that. You may question why I would send my son up to him for a picture  (I think hippie dude eating a twister dog in the background might have been wondering). But it’s mostly just because I was too embarrassed to ask for one with me…

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If you’re going to buy a giant flagpole you better bring transportation.

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See you next year!

 

Wisconsin State Fair Day 8 Round Up

1 of 1 fair goers agree (that’s me); Imodium Plus beats Pepto Bismol in state fair torture tests. What does that mean? It means my carefully calculated lunch worked its magic on my gastro intestinal tract and I was back in business for day 8.

Great weather and a small(er) crowd meant easy pickins wherever the mood struck. And it struck me in the old favorites. First stop Machine Shed for a Krispy Kreme burger that went down so fast that I immediately got back in line to wash it down with a deep fried PB&J. (Both reviewed in past posts here and here). I washed all that down with some good old fashioned Robinade.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are hard to pass up in the Wisconsin Product Pavilion so nabbed one of those on the way through. You can get 5 for $10 if you want to feed your whole family – I wanted to order it so I could say “gimme a full house” and see if I got three cheddars and two swiss. On the way out of the product pavilion we grabbed an apple cider donut. At $.75/piece they’re infinitely delicious.

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Baked Potato or work of art? Both.

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More Milk!

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Two milks down the hatch for Beckett! He is my son after all. If you do the math 2 milks for his 40 pounds would be 10 milks for my weight! This kid is going to give me a run for my money someday.

Bacon Wrapped Cherrywood Smoked Pork Belly

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Meh. I’m a fan of combining meats but chunks of pork belly are just kind of chewy and this wasn’t that special. Pick another bacon treat at the fair instead.

Sprecher Root Beer Sorbet

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Good stuff but I liked the grape better.

Mascots at the fair!

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Sponsoring the Milk House was the best deal the Bucks have made since drafting Lew Alcindor.

What is this? A poop chute? (Technically it’s the worlds largest piggy bank slide).

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Wisconsin State Fair Live Blog #4 (Day 8)

I’m going to eat it anyways…

-Adam Scheuerman, famous last words

Ok, last words is a bit dramatic but I have been off since Sunday’s trip to the fair and Ivan only look back at those words in regards to my pork burger and the following start to that conversation, “Tara, does this pork burger look right to you? I’m not sure it’s supposed to be pink,” I pondered. “No, no that does not look right,” she semi-disgustedly replied.

And that’s when I said what I said and ate every last bite. Which brings us to today. Not even potential food poisoning can get between me and my fair food. So here’s today’s lunch in anticipation of this afternoon’s trip back to the fair!

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Wisconsin State Fair – Tips, Tricks, and Thoughts

Just because I’m taking a couple days off from the fair doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it, so here’s a few tasty nuggets for you to chew on until my next visit:

1.  Parking. The fair can be expensive, especially when you eat your weight in food. Don’t waste your money on parking, we’ve never paid. Here are some “secret” areas for your next visit. (And don’t worry, the walk is just far enough that you might just feel less guilty for eating an entire bag of deep fried oreos on the way out).  Our favorite area is north of Greenfield between 76th and 70th Streets. Look out for certain areas restricted to 2 hour parking. Park close to Washington St if possible and follow it right to the racetrack and on to the tunnel entrance. Boom goes the dynamite.Google Maps 2014-08-05 21-26-39 2014-08-05 21-29-59

2.  Free water. Sometimes things get hot ‘n heavy at the fair…and you need a quick cold drink to wash down all that rich food. (What’d you think I was talking about? Although Beckett was born May 1st…) But if you just can’t wait in that long milk line, there is an easy fix. About 100 yards south of the Milk House is a Salvation Army tent with free ice water. Throw some change in the kettle if you’re feeling generous.

3.  Worried about what all those fried foods are doing to your body? Worry no more. Read the New York Times article “Deep Fried and Good for You” and stop feeling bad! I pretty much took the title on it’s own but if your really read it there’s something about moderation and about deep frying plants. Good thing I love Corn Dogs!

4.  Attire. I’ve mentioned it before but it’s important to get this right. A moisture wicking shirt is nice (just don’t make it look like you’re there to exercise). A not too light but not too dark color keeps the sun from baking you but hides those little oops that are bound to happen with this much food intake. Wear comfy shoes but pick an older pair. Why older? A. You might step in something warm and gooey (and it didn’t come from a food vendor. And B. There are nice ex-cons (pretty sure) that sell these shoe cleaning kits in the expo center. Don’t pony up for the kit but just ask them to show you how it works (on both shoes) and then slip ’em a 5 spot so they don’t end up with another tear tattooed on their face.

5.  Man’s Best Friend. No, you can’t bring your dog. But coming in at a close second place is Gold Bond. Powder early and often. Or get yourself some of the new spray! I can’t say enough about it. Shaq has never been so right.2014-08-05 22-23-55 2014-08-05 22-24-19

6.  And finally, for all of you Bucks fans out there (cricket, cricket) I enjoyed this nice little video of John Henson reviewing some new fair foods.

 

Wisconsin State Fair Day 4 Round Up

This was meant to be part of the live blog series but connectivity issues prevented that. It was packed tighter than a rabbit barn in the springtime today! But being there without Beckett means rapid fire fooding. No time to get full if you never stop eating.

1. Chicken Waffle Cone:
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Wow. Great presentation and great taste. The waffle cone was like some kind of bread stuffing flattened and conified. The chicken was seasoned with some heat offset by the creamy coleslaw and some bacon thrown in for good measure. Two sticks up!

2. Cheese Pierogis:

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An oldie but a goodie. I finished em off for Tara cause that kinda guy.

3. Deep fried Kringle:

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Hidden back in that World Cafe Village place this was worth the search. It was sort of like a Pilsbury toaster pastry but better. Can’t replace normal Kringle but is a nice addition to the deep fried line-up nonetheless.

4. Pork Burger:

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Simple and pure if not outwardly appetizing this guy hit the spot – not fried or on a stick (I’m not a robot after all) it was just what I needed.

5. Milwaukee Brewing Cream Puff Ale:

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A traditional beer at the Micro to wash it all down. As a bonus it is physically impossible to feel any alcoholic effects with that bounty of food in my gut.
And on the beer note, I’ll pimp this rad shirt again:

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The original and still the best; get it here:

Wisconsin State Fair Live Blog #2

Day 4 of the fair brings us upon our 2nd trip. Absence does make the heart grow fonder – even if it had been only a couple days. I’ve got a fresh short haircut (ready to more quickly release the milk sweats) and I’m ready to get going.

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Wisconsin State Fair Day 1 Round Up

Day 1 is always great. The fair feels like a home away from home – a crowded home mostly full of people I don’t want to talk to with – but home nonetheless. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes – they’re a feast for the senses. And feast I did! My fingers are about all that moves at this point as I’m in full on food coma. I just took down a still fresh cream puff to complete the full fair experience (it wouldn’t be right not to).

Here’s today’s food reviews:

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First stop, the Milk House. The above picture shows the 4 milk hold finger configuration – maximum milkage per trip through the line. It could also be my gang sign if I ever start one. Initiation will probably include main lining some white milk. Then we’ll hit the corners in them low lows girl – holding milks high of course. (BTW, get the rad shirt I’m sportin’ here: http://etsy.me/1s9tzO5 )

Big news at the Milk House is that there are 2 new flavors this year, Fruit Hoops and Birthday Cake. Worth trying. I tell the milk the same thing I would tell multiple offspring – I love you all the same.

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Beckett made me proud today – downing 2 full milks in the first stop (and 1 later on) and then feeling the full effects and fake “water falling” out the side of the stroller. Atta boy.

Deep Fried Maple Bacon Cookie Dough
CookieDoughI’m not sure how I felt about this. The bacon wasn’t crispy enough and maple flavored cookie dough isn’t as good as the chocolate chip standard bearer. I finished it all – I have a problem – but it was just “ok”.

Here we have the Mac & Cheese Pizza Cone
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Another disappointment. Nothing wrong with it really, lots and lots of cheese, bacon bits throughout but it just didn’t click quite right.

Sprecher Grape Soda Sorbet
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Beckett let me try his sorbet – it was great. We try to feed him a deep fried cheese curd while he ate it.

Machine Shed’s Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Melts
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Yep. Worked on all counts. Optional drizzled BBQ sauce is a nice touch. You should try these.

And then some other random fair fun:

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I swear I saw a goat crying once when I ran out of that food they eat out of the quarter machines at the petting zoo.

IMG_9632Cream Puff guy is kinda creepy. His real name is Cravin’ D. Cream Puff. Beckett loved him.