MORE

Stellar state fair stand-ins: 6 fair foods available year round

The Elote from the Sonora Grill, your cob away from the fair
The Elote from the Sonora Grill, your cob away from the fair
Sean McPherson

The Great Minnesota Get-Together starts tomorrow, and we're pumped. We love the fair. We love, love the fair. But some of you aren't going to make it. Maybe the ticket prices are too high, maybe you've had enough of the crowds, maybe it's only over-the-hill bands playing the Grandstand. No matter your reason for ducking the fair, there's no reason you have to miss out on some of your favorite state fair foods.

See also: The Best State Fair Food 2014

6. The Potluck Pickle Roll Ups from Psycho Suzi's

The Potluck Pickle Roll-ups are described as Minnesota sushi on Psycho Suzi's menu. When we order them, we just say "the pickle things please quickly pickles please." These addictive bad boys are made with dill spears wrapped in cream cheese and corned beef and are sliced up into perfect bite-sized bits. At the fair, one can find a larger version of the same dish at Pickle Dog (south side of Carnes between Liggett and Clough). The Psycho Suzi's version is a little less generous, both with the cream cheese and the pickle size, but it's plenty of food for a pre-meal snack and definitely enough to give you that feel-good state fair vibe.

The Frickles from Darby's
The Frickles from Darby's
Sean McPherson

5. Frickles from Darby's

You can skip this paragraph if you've never bitten into a pickle and thought, "There's so much more we could do together, little pickle." If you have indeed dreamed of something more, Darby's has you covered with its frickles: small discs of dill pickle fried up in a light batter. We were a bit worried when we didn't see the cream cheese inside the breading -- our go-to order at the Perfect Pickle (corner of Liggett and Dan Patch) -- but Darby's seasoned sour cream dip was a suitable substitution.

4. Slow-roasted turkey from Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go got their start at the State Fair, but soon moved into the food truck and brick-and-mortar world, where they serve up juicy, peppery pulled turkey. At the fair there might be no better way to enjoy this bird than in a big overstuffed sandwich, but in the non-fair environs of the skyway shop we recommend giving the entree salad a try. Turkey To Go offers an impressive list of vegetables and other toppings to add to your salad, and the portions are ample. Sure, salad isn't the first thing you think of when you think of state fair food, but why not avail yourself of this opportunity to enjoy slow-roasted turkey in a new format -- without being elbow to elbow with strangers.

 

Cheese Curds from the Red Stag
Cheese Curds from the Red Stag
Sean McPherson

3. Cheese curds from the Red Stag

It's a given that you won't find cheese curds as amazing as the ones from the Dairy Building at the fair. The taste is intrinsically linked to the location and the experience. But when you aren't at the fairgrounds and the cheese curd urge overcomes you, get thee to the Red Stag posthaste. Red Stag plays it safe (read: super fattening) with these little nuggets of cheese curd: Your basket will come out piping hot and served alongside a delicious house-smoked ketchup. This particular condiment is so good, you'll forget all about that authentic curd squeak and turn your full attention to the smoky ketchup dunk.

Elote from the Sonora Grill
Elote from the Sonora Grill
Sean McPherson

2. Elote from Sonora Grill

The Corn Roast on the corner of Nelson and Dan Patch is a State Fair rite of passage. Sonora Grill's analog isn't exactly corn on the cob a la State Fair, but this popular street food twist -- known as elote -- will hit the same buttons, scout's honor. Corn is covered in a creamy garlic and cilantro sauce dotted with hot sauce specks, and the whole ear sits on top of a bed of coconuty Peruvian rice that soaks up the sauce. It's definitely a different food from the state fair version, but if you're looking for a corn fix, we know of no better one in town.

The Corn Dog from Uncle Franky's
The Corn Dog from Uncle Franky's
Sean McPherson

1. Corn dog from Uncle Franky's

It's true that you can't throw a stick at the Minnesota State Fair without hitting a corn dog or Pronto Pup stand. But it's not quite so easy to track down one of these puppies once you've left the fairgrounds. Uncle Franky's is here to help. This corn dog is a simple affair, a standard size, and coated with that slightly sweet corn flour breading you crave. But something else clicks with this version, and it may very well be the relative comfort you can enjoy while you dine. Once you dress your dog with the preferred condiments, you can head outside and grab a picnic bench for an al fresco meal on a stick. Dig in and remember that you won't have to take a packed shuttle to get home.

Send your story tips to Hot Dish.




Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >