San Diego County Fair: Games and Bacon (Yet Again)

SD Fair entrance

The fair season is kicking off once again and the doors to the San Diego County Fair will be open June 8 until July 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Game Car

Pac Man veggie platter

The theme for this year’s fair is Game On! focusing on classic board games as well as the more computer-oriented variety. And to fit that theme, the entrance features a rotating Donkey Kong climbing a Jenga tower with arcade machines at either side. As for mascots or interesting characters, this was the hardest to pull off. Last year there were aliens walking around to fit in with the Out of This World theme. Instead, there were giant replicas of chess pieces, Connect Four and cakes decorated as games scattered throughout the fairgrounds.

Fair mascot

There was one exception. One person was walking around dressed as a pig to promote Big Bite Bacon Fest on June 16. If there wasn’t enough bacon already, this day (sharing it with Father’s Day) promises to fulfill any porcine fantasy. Cost is $55 per a person and includes unlimited tastings of all things with bacon, craft beers along with admission. Donut Bar will be selling their Jim Beam Maple Bacon Donut and other stalls plan to have similar pork-based products. If you can’t make it June 16, there is still a lot of food to be had, with or without bacon.

Bacon Beer

Boar skewers

One thing that caught my eye was the bacon beer by Bacon-A-Fair. It’s root beer infused with visible floating pools of bacon lard and several bacon swizzle sticks. There’s really not much to make this creation, just soda and crisp bacon. (A perfect waste of bacon if you ask me.) Bacon-A-Fair’s other new items are boar skewers threaded with veggies with pineapple, their addictive jalapeño jack cheese-wrapped bacon and drizzled with garlic butter and bacon truffle fries.

Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe's

Chicken Charlies

Chicken Charlie’s steps up to the plate again and this year introduces the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe. It’s as exactly what a ground beef with tomato sauce on a glazed donut tastes like. Out of curiosity I took one bite and that was enough; it seemed a lot of people felt the same way. Chicken Charlie’s tries to out do each other every year. Other new items include bacon pickles (my feelings are mixed on this), deep-fried cookie dough and waffle dogs (both which were unavailable at the media party).

Bacon Candy 2

Bacon Cotton Candy

On the sweet end of the spectrum, bags of bacon-flavored cotton candy will be sold at the Odyssey. With its odd brown color, it looks anything but unappealing but might be a nice sweet-salty treat for someone who enjoys dredging their bacon in maple syrup. As someone that doesn’t like cotton candy, the bacon flavor with the fluffy texture is a bit off-putting.

Pina Colada parfait

A surefire hit this year is the Piña Colada parfait from the Gingerbread Shop. Formerly called the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, their newest offering isn’t as sweet as you’d expect (despite the copious amounts of whipped cream) and served warm. They had a misstep last year with their overly sweet butter beer inspired by Harry Potter.

Turkey Shack

With all the bacon-centric items going on, it’s easy to miss the healthier options, notably The Turkey Shack. Sliders, sausages, sandwiches, bowls and turkey legs are available for the health-conscious consumer.

I’m hoping next year that bacon goes away completely, and this year’s solitary day devoted to bacon will be its final send off.

There are other days devoted to food than just bacon. There’s an International Beer Festival June 21-23 for $55 that touts unlimited samplings of more than 300 beers from around the world with fair admission. (For $90 you get all the above and it bumps you up to the VIP brewers lounge plus early admission and unlimited food pairings.) Wine lovers should attend the fair on June 15 for the Wine Festival. Tickets are $58 per person and includes fair admission and unlimited samplings.

Related posts: San Diego Fair 2013,  San Diego Fair 2011, San Diego Fair 2010

11 thoughts on “San Diego County Fair: Games and Bacon (Yet Again)

Add yours

  1. I have always wanted to visit Chicken Charlie’s but I live on the wrong side of the country. Hate to hear this year’s attempt didn’t work out so well for them, though a donut sloppy joe doesn’t sound like a very good idea in the first place.

    1. I didn’t realize that Chicken Charlie’s was only on the West Coast. Between Bacon-A-Fair and Chicken Charlie’s, they seem to have a lot of unusual fair food.

  2. The sloppy joe donut sandwich thing made me cringe when I first heard about it. Just… yeah, no thanks. I tried the butter beer last year and it was so sweet that I could only had two sips before I promptly gave up. I’m not sure what other new treats I’ll want to try, maybe I’ll have to stick to the standby favorites this year!

  3. When I read about the sloppy joe krispy kreme idea from Chicken Charlie’s as their big offering, I was definitely not impressed. Not only does it not sound good, but it’s ridiculously easy to just make yourself rather than pay for it at the fair. The bacon root beer seems really oily with the bacon sticks sitting in there. I am curious about the waffle dog. It’s too bad that wasn’t available for your tasting.

    1. That’s a good point about paying to have someone split open a donut and put sloppy joe meat on it. It doesn’t make sense and overall it’s gross. Deep frying something at least takes a bit of technical know-how.

  4. When I read about the sloppy joe krispy kreme idea from Chicken Charlie’s as their big offering, I was definitely not impressed. Not only does it not sound good, but it’s ridiculously easy to just make yourself rather than pay for it at the fair. The bacon root beer seems really oily with the bacon sticks sitting in there. I am curious about the waffle dog. It’s too bad that wasn’t available for your tasting.

  5. I agree with you. Bacon is overdone and anything other than bacon in a sandwich or for breakfast is too much. Having bacon beer makes no sense.

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