Question: Is the Orange County fair a foodie paradise?
Answer: Uh, not so much… unless it’s based on pure and honest gluttony.
How does one prepare for dinner at the fair? I’m half-starved after my usual late Thursday hours and the only thing eaten since lunch was a measly garden salad. The only relief is that the press parking is in close proximity to the entrance and thereby the food. But once inside the fairgrounds, all senses go numb due to the bright lights, noise from the moving death traps, smoking BBQs, smell of wet animal and highly spasmatic kids running around with sticky fingers into stranger’s legs.
At the Orange County fair there is no shortage of oil. My only regret at this time and place is not owning a green car which can run on old vegetable oil. After wandering around for what seems like eternity, the first food purchased were freshly fried potato chips from Tasty Chips. For $6, a hat-sized amount of chips are served to you sizzling hot. Condiments include seasoned salt, hot sauce and ketchup but for a a few additional dollars, you can have yourself a cowpie. What’s a cowpie you ask? The edible version are chips served with chocolate for those looking for more calories. But the chips were good in comparison to the burger from Grant’s Burgers which need no further mention.
Unfortunately an example of something that looked and sounded good but was ultimately a letdown were the creampuffs made with real whipped cream. The pastry was dry and the Neapolitan-flavored interior was nearly flavorless. The first clue to the disaster should have been the lack of people at this vendor. Reminder to self: lack of people equals run for the hills.
The rest of the evening was a haze due to the oil and smoke permeating the air. I recall seeing officers eating smoked turkey legs, a chicken breast engulfed by two Krispy Kreme donuts trying to pass as a sandwich, deep-fried avocados, half-pound hot dogs and peanut butter, banana and honey, say it with me, deep fried. But my last remaining sight of the evening was something thought to be impossible: deep-fried Coke.
Anything is possible at the Orange County Fair!