The San Diego County Fair opens June 5, but they opened the door to the press last night for a culinary preview.
If you are wondering which deep-fried delicacies or served-on-a-stick specialties you should prioritize, here’s a review rated one to five on the defibrillator scale.
Sriracha Corn Dog
Basically a corn dog with a Sriracha-flavored batter and sausage-and-Sriracha sauce on the top. If you like Sriracha, you will like this. I usually fill my corn dog fix at Hot Dog on a Stick, but this is my new go-to.
Deep-Fried Starbucks Coffee
Coffee grounds wrapped in dough and fried doesn’t sound good, does it? Well, Bacon-A-Fair’s java balls were the real surprise at the fair, tasting sweet with a nice buzz. My wife tried it and was texting disbelieving friends.
Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Wasabi Bomb
The Bacon-A-Fair loves to play up the heart attack risk threat — the signage even includes a nurse holding a defibrillator.
If you’re going to have a coronary, the bacon-wrapped wasabi bombs are an okay way to go. The bacon is crispy and surrounds a spicy sausage flavored with wasabi. It’s hot, spicy, and flavorful.
For the past few years, bacon has been the king of carnival foods. This year, deep-fried pork skin is making inroads. Bacon-A-Fair’s chocolate-covered chicharrónes are better than previous attempts of combining chocolate and pork because the pig skin is crisp, crunchy, and plays well with the chocolate.
Deep-Fried SlimFast Bar
Every year “Chicken Charlie” Bogosian tries to top himself with a creation that sounds insane at first but doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds.
This year, the king of “carnie-vores” is attempting that with a deep-fried SlimFast bar, breaded and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Not surprisingly, the addition of fat, calories, and sugar to a snack bar designed not to have any of those things tastes better than a plain SlimFast bar.
Deep-Fried Peanut Butter-Stuffed Pickle
Chicken Charlie’s other creation seems like the bizarro creation of an 17-year-old stoner left to fend for himself for a weekend with a fully stocked kitchen.
Believe it or not, the breading and pickle blend well together with the chocolate sauce, but I couldn’t taste the peanut butter and the blend of sweet and sour is the selling point. Charlie said he may switch out the creamy peanut butter with chunky style before the fair’s opening day.
Not as good as it could be nor as bad as it should be.
Corn Ice Cream
Roasted Corn is always great at the fair so no need to review, but corn ice cream is something new. Like many strange-sounding fair foods, it sounds stranger than it tastes. It sort of tastes like corn but also like vanilla.
Worth a try if you can convince a friend to buy it and then scarf theirs.
Deep-Fried Philly Cheesesteak
Everything is good in a tortilla and dipped in nacho sauce? Theoretically, yes, but the meat and peppers in this attempt at a philly cheesesteak burrito lack flavor, and the cheese sauce isn’t spicy.