Top 5 places to get State Fair-quality curds outside the gates
Cheesy, greasy, salty, melted love
It's hard to imagine now, as you nurse that case of curd-induced gut rot, that there could ever be a time when Dan Patch Avenue won't smell like deep-fried cheese. But in less than a week your curd cravings will have to be addressed outside the fair's walls, and an addiction to the greasy, salty goodness can't be taken lightly. Luckily, plenty of local restaurants understand the importance of locking down fair-caliber curds year-round.
1. Conny's Creamy Cone The closest you can get to fair-grade curds without paying a gate fee. Conny's serves up piping hot curds in a traditional paper boat, and since it's an outdoor stand you get to suck down those curds the way nature intended--while slapping mosquitoes and watching the long line snake around the building. Word of warning, though: Conny's closes for the season in late October, so this will not solve your curd cravings should they strike mid-winter.
2. Blue Door Pub When Blue Door first opened, its curds were hit (greasy, melty deliciousness paired perfectly with a happy hour-priced Surly) and miss (battered husks, free of cheese, mingled in the basket). But rest assured, the kinks have been worked out, and each bite crunches into a hot blast of cheese. Pair 'em with a Blucy for State Fair levels of gorging.
3. Town Talk Diner When you think Town Talk, you probably think frickles (deep-fried slices of pickles, folks). But expand your mind and embrace the curd, which sets itself apart with a scallion batter that hugs a classic Carr Valley curd. Throw in a side of bacon ketchup for dipping and you'll be cheating on the State Fair with your new greasy lover.
4. Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge It might go against your State Fair instincts to seek out curds at a tiki lounge, but you have to fight through that. Psycho Suzi's beer-battered greaseballs will satiate even the most diabolical cheeselust. And if you're feeling like you should balance out your curd-heavy diet with something --ahem--healthier, you can always opt for an order of fried asparagus.
5. Red Stag Supper Club The emphasis on 'sconnie in the listing for Wisconsin cheese curds on the Red Stag menu is the first clue that these curds mean business, but when they arrive in a paper cone you know it's time to buckle up. These flaky delights melt in your mouth and make the 353 days you have to live without the fair in your life seem slightly manageable.
More State Fair posts:
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.