Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Classics Countdown: Walleye Cakes

Today is the final day of our Classics Countdown, because tomorrow we will be at the MN State Fair sampling new classics!!!

The last Classic is:

Walleye Cakes

Location: Giggles Campfire Grill Southeast corner of Lee Ave. & Cooper St. at The North Woods

Sarah: Walleye Cakes is one of the only foods we have tried to bring home to our parents (who are not annual fair-goers) so they could taste the rainbow, so to speak.

Walleye Cakes are like crab cakes, except with walleye insetad of crab (doy.) You get two, served with a side of tartar, and the cakes are flakey, and delicate and flavorful and I could stuff my face with 8 of them right now if I had some in front of me.

I CANNOT WAIT to eat these. Luckily, I don’t have to wait much longer.

Anne: Oh Giggles--once again you win with your palate-satisfying comestibles. Walleye cakes are a newer item--it debuted just a few years ago but it was hands down the best new item we had that year, and as a result we get it every year (true story- sometimes we bring them home too).

Perfectly fried cake and a tangy dipping sauce. I don’t know how to describe these other than that they are, in fact, the best seafood cake I have ever had in my entire life. And I’m very glad I can get them every year. Unlike other items, you may not want to share these--they’re that good.

Patrick: Giggles has been serving this for a while I think, but we only more recently gave it a try (because Giggles only serves up delicious haymakers to your tongue).

Like a crab cake, but with delicious walleye meat, and served with some sort of spicy Cajun ranch or something, this thing is the bomb.

It’s crispy, crumbly, flaky, and fishy…the good kind of fishy, not suspicious or anything. If you like crab cakes, you’ll love walleye cakes, and you’ll love Giggles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Classics Countdown: Deep Fried Banana Split

Day 12 of the Classics Countdown brings us a dessert:

Deep Fried Banana Split

Location: Ole and Lena’s stand West side of Liggett St. between Carnes &Judson avenues

Sarah: There are so many delicious ice creams at the fair. The dairy barn is a must, as is the nitro ice cream in the food building (so smooth and creamy.) But. The ice cream that I get every year, even when I’m full and can’t eat anything more, is the Deep Fried Banana Split.

The banana is wrapped in lefse before deep frying, so it has a crispy shell. Then it is nestled between vanilla ice cream, nuts, strawberries and chocolate.

It’s warm and cold. Salty and sweet. Gooey and Crispy.

It is all things.

Anne: This is one of those secret food items that no one ever knows about. It’s at the Ole and Lena stand which is mostly famous for its Hotdish on a Stick. But people blow right past the Deep Fried Banana Split and they have no idea what they’re missing.

Take a banana, wrap it in lefse, and then fry it! Serve it with ice cream, nuts, chocolate, and whipped cream? Hoo boy is this delicious. I cannot describe to you the finished texture and flavor of the banana--it’s something you have to experience for yourself (but my mouth is legit watering right now thinking about it).

Do I get Deep Fried Banana Split every dang year? You Betcha.

Patrick: Ok, of all the fruits, bananas are on the bottom of my list. I hate the texture, especially really ripe bananas, and the flavor doesn’t do it any favors.

That said, if you’re going to eat bananas, you might as well batter and deep fry them and serve them up banana split style.

I don’t usually get this, but the twins do, and I’ll sometimes have a bite. I smile and say it’s pretty great, then I go buy a two dollar cheeseburger to wash the flavor out of my mouth.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Classics Countdown: Australian Battered Potatoes


Seriously, the MN State Fair is one of the main reasons we even started this blog.

We cannot wait.

But we're still continuing with our Classics Countdown and today is:

Australian Battered Potatoes

Location: Australian Battered Potatoes stand North side of Judson Ave. between Liggett & Clough streets

Sarah: Oh man. OH MAN. Aussie Potatoes, you glorious bastards, you.

You get slices of potatoes, battered and fried, and served with ranch or cheese dipping sauce. Or both! And they are so, so good. Crispy and soft and pillowy.

And both the cheese and ranch are so good on the potatoes.

The only issue I’ve ever had with them is that they’re too much. You definitely get your money’s worth, but there’s not, like, a smaller option. So unless you’re sharing with, like, 5 people (not even an exaggeration) you’re either going to fill up on taters, or have to chuck some of them in the garbage.

Anne: God. I don’t know what kind of batter they use on these Australian Battered Potatoes, but it’s wonderful- those aussies must have stumbled across some sort of magical concoction to submerge their tubers in because these are just potatoes, battered and fried, but they are so, so good. You can get them with cheese, ranch, or go all out (you’re worth it) and get both cheese AND ranch.

Make sure you share these with a friend--not because you don’t want to eat every bit by yourself, but because if you do you’ll be done eating for at least a few hours--portions are large and you’ll be full up by the end! (I really wish I could just get like a single potato slice- I’ve got a lot of food to eat here, Australia!)

We usually leave this item for later in the week when we’re not trying all the new foods. It’s so filling I need to eat it on a day when I’m not committed to the task at hand (eating all the foods)

Patrick: I don’t know how they make these so damn good, to be honest. Thin sliced potatoes that are battered and deep fried, for a crispy potato with nacho cheese or ranch, this is a filling confection that requires a lot of friends to polish off.

They drizzle that ranch or cheese all over it because they derive pleasure in watching people fumble with eating and not slathering condiments all over their mugs. But, we just smile and eat it anyways, because we’re sheep. Sheep that want to shove those battered potatoes in our craws no matter how messy it is.

Can’t you get dipping cups instead of pouring it over the potatoes like gravy? Maybe. I think I asked once, and the vendor just glared at me and whispered “eat that shit with your fingers you disgusting mess.”

I did it too. You don’t stay classy at the Fair, you just spiral ever lower towards devolving into a morlock.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Classics Countdown: Deep Fried Candy Bar

Day Ten of our Classics Countdown brings us something sweet today:

Deep Fried Candy Bar

Location: Stand on Carnes Ave. between Nelson & Underwood streets

Sarah: I remember back in the day when Deep Fried Candy Bar on a Stick was the new darling of the MN State Fair.

And they were so, so good.

There are a couple of options but I always go with Snickers because I like the crunchy nuts as a juxtaposition. Because once you batter a candy bar and deep fry it, all those insides melt into a gooey, chocolatey, delicious mess. So I like the crunch in there.

But, for me, these have become too rich. As a kid, I could a whole one myself. Now, as an adult, I’ll take a bite, maybe two, of someone else’s and that’s enough for me for the year.

Anne: This is exactly what it sounds like--candy bar, battered and deep fried. There’s a pastry-like shell and inside is a melty, ooey-gooey candy bar.

Sarah and I prefer Snickers (the peanuts help break up the richness) but Patrick usually goes for Milky Way (nougat!). They also have deep fried Oreos which I have heard nothing but good things about.

This treat is so rich you need to split it with a friend or you’ll be done with sweets for the day (and it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to pace yourself, readers).

To be completely honest, some years I skip this because it’s SO RICH that it takes a while to recover from (or I’ not able to finish it and then I’m just wasting money). But the deep fried candy bar is consistently fantastic every time we imbibe.

Patrick: I seem to recall thinking, “deep fried candy bars? Ok, that’s going too far.”

I’ve since been proven so very wrong…both by how delicious it is, and by how so very too far they have gone beyond that. Probably too sweet and sugary to safely eat alone, but I don’t let that stop me.

A brand name candy bar, dipped in sweet pancake batter and deep fried so it is like a soft pillow wrapped around melty chocolate and nougat, this dessert is best with a Snickers, or my favorite, a 3 Musketeers bar. Give me all that sweet, whipped nougat, hot damn.

Don’t expect to eat anything after; this is a show stopper, and toilet starter.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Classics Countdown: Milk

We are officially one week away from the start of the MN State Fair!

And today for our Classics Countdown, we're going for a drink:


Location: Milk stand at Northeast corner of Judson Ave. & Clough St.

Sarah: I know. Milk, right? You can get that anywhere and anywhen.

And that is true.

But there is something about the Milk stand at the MN State Fair that blows everything out of the water. Whether you get white, chocolate or half and half, it’s all you can drink, and it’s fresh, literally from the fair livestock. It’s whole, thick and bubbly, and COLD (which is the best part on a hot, August afternoon.)

And I know Ron Burgundy tells us the dangers of milk in the summer, but in this case, he’s wrong. Milk at the State Fair is thirst quenching and wonderful.

Anne: It does a body good!

 All you can drink milk is a heckuva deal (of course- you have to stay on the sidewalk outside the milk building- if you leave you have to buy a new cup. Of course- no one is policing this, but let’s be good Minnesotans and play by the rules).

I used to think milk would be too heavy of a beverage to drink on a hot State Fair day (milk was a bad choice), but I was wrong. It’s a great way to rehydrate and to give yourself a break from all the water (or maybe pop or beer) you’ve been drinking. You can have your pick of white milk or chocolate milk, but let me tell you a secret- the best way to drink the milk is half chocolate and half white. That way you cut the richness of the chocolate but still get to enjoy its sweet flavor.

If you’re a Sweet Martha’s cookie fan, bring your bucket of cookies and enjoy them with some milk

Patrick: First corn, now milk? That’s stupid! NOT ITS NOT!

A great man once said “It’s so hot…milk was a bad choice.” That man was Ron Burgundy, and he was wrong.

Something about a cold, cold (seriously cold) cup of milk during a hot day is so damn refreshing. All you can drink milk? Yup, even better.

You can choose between classic white, or chocolate, but the true foodie will make the right choice and go half and half. What about strawberry milk? Nope, that’s garbage, so don’t hold out hope.

Oddly enough, I never have the forethought to get a brownie or cookies to go with that milk. Ah well.