Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Handicapping the San Diego Fair Food – 2009
In 2007, I took my stomach on its first gourmand tour of the San Diego Fair. It still fondly remembers the fried rattlesnake bites and funnel cake, while continuing to lament the disappointing Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich.
In 2008, I ate so damn much that I began to question the greasy abuse I was heaping upon my arteries. The deep-fried White Castle slider for breakfast was better than an ol' bowl of cereal. But, 14-inch corn dogs? Fried Oreos? Frog legs? The lasting imagery was the "185 pounds" staring back at me from the scale the next morning.
One year later, I'm about 20 pounds lighter and still eating like crap. So, let's dispense with all this introspective nonsense and take a look at the tentative 2009 menu for the San Diego Fair. That Bootleg Family has already targeted June 25 for our annual visit. This leaves me less than three weeks to figure out what I need to eat.
Grilled Asparagus: Mrs. Bootleg will throw some fresh asparagus on the grill from time to time. It chars nicely and goes great with a well-marbled steak. That said, I'm not paying Fair prices for something I can occasionally get at home. [TBG Note: I will reconsider my stance if the Fair ever opens up a brothel exhibit.]
Caribbean Jerk Chicken: Intriguing. Although, I'm not sure how I feel about eating something at the Fair that – by comparison – is practically health food. Is it wrong to manipulate a woman's sense of self-image? With a few weeks of well-placed weight barbs towards Mrs. Bootleg ("Do you really NEED dessert, tonight?"), she might opt for the roasted chicken on her own and give me a few bites. After further thought, I see nothing wrong with this plan.
BBQ Spaghetti: "Barbecue sauce over spaghetti in a grilled bun". Umm…what? Admittedly, I'm a bit of a pasta purist. There are dozens of appropriate sauces to top a plate of pasta and barbecue sauce is not one of them. [TBG Note: Neither is chili, Cincinnati. Only you guys could make a "three-way" sound unappetizing. And, yes, I HAVE been sitting on that one for awhile now.]
Deep-Fried Bread Pudding: My mother frequently made bread pudding when I was growing up. I'm not a fan. When I mention this to people, they often respond, "You haven't had GOOD bread pudding". Maybe not, but am I willing to risk valuable esophageal real estate on something I'm reasonably sure I don't like to eat? Pass.
Deep-Fried Green Beans: Meh. Can we all agree that mankind reached the zenith of fried vegetables the moment zucchini took its first swim in a skillet full of Crisco? Besides, my mother made hers with sautéed bacon and onions. I'm pretty sure the deep-fried version ain't topping that.
Zucchini Weeni: "Hot dog inside a zucchini, then deep fried in a special batter". SOLD! I'm conflicted on the proper condiment, though. Ketchup? Mustard? Ranch dressing (which, I'd probably have to smuggle from home inside Mrs. Bootleg's purse – unbeknownst to her)? I can't decide!
Deep-Fried S'mores: I need to write a post on "foods I just don't 'get'". Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate should be segregated like 1950s Mississippi. Deep frying them together won't make S'mores more appealing to me. Black people don't go camping, so I was well into my 20s before I had one for the first time. All kinds of awful.
Zucchini Fries: My zucchini quota has already been filled, guys, thanks.
Oatmeal Cookie Chicken Sandwich: OMG, OMG, OMG! You guys! It's my all-time favorite kind of cookie making sweet, sweet love to my first choice in edible animal carcass! Now, you might be asking "Didn't you learn anything from your Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich experience"? "Nope!", I retort.
Deep-Fried Cheese Curds: M'man Smitty swears that these are quite tasty and a surprisingly good beer compliment. I'm torn. He's a former high school and collegiate offensive lineman, so you KNOW he knows eatin'. On the other hand, dairy products are akin to a round of Russian roulette with my own intestines. You've been warned fellow fairgoers.
Catfish/Crawfish: I've had enough of both to fill my belly for three lifetimes. Chalk it up to the benefits of being Black with a father from Georgia.
Deep-Fried Mexican Ice Cream: I usually save room for dessert, but the last couple of years at the Fair have produced some very underwhelming sweet treats. Also, I've had this before and while it's tasty, combining ice cream with the other possible contents of my stomach that day could be…tragic.
Chocolate Covered Bacon Strips: AIEEEEEEEEEE! Dessert found! Dessert found!
Big-T Texas Tenderloin: Hyped as a "giant breaded pork sandwich", a promotional ad for this is featured at the bottom of the Fair's food link. I'm a sucker for great advertising and any pork-product featuring a cartoon pig hold a smoldering slab of his own ancestor aloft… Aw, geez, I'm drooling. WANT.