An ongoing review of new foods at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair

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31 official new foods will debut at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair. You will notice that foods on-a-stick are back (there weren’t any new on-a-stick additions in 2018). Another new trend: a vast amount of gluten-free options.

But there will be many more new menu items to find than what’s on the New Foods list.

Only the most sexy, buzzworthy food will make “the list.” But Fair officials will let vendors add additional new foods to their menus. They just don’t get the same attention.

This post will have reviews of both those official and “hidden” new Fair foods. If there’s a photo, that means I have tasted it!

The 2019 Minnesota State Fair runs August 22 – September 2.

More State Fair fun on Give Me the Mike:

Bada Bing Sandwich

  • From The Sandwich Shop, near the Sheep and Poultry Barn
  • An Italian flatbread with ham, salami, melted Mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
  • My take: not worth if you’re going to the Fair for one day. I’m there 9-11 days and will definitely try it once I’m tired of all the fried food

Blueberry Key Lime Pie

  • From the Farmers Union Coffee Shop, on Dan Patch near the main entrance
  • Blueberry key lime pie in a graham cracker crust, served with whipped cream and blueberries which are grown in Winona, MN
  • My take: It’s probably good. The Farmers Union teams up with Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis, and last year, they had a hit with the Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT. That menu item is back, and this year, you’re able to add a fried egg on it. However, it was $12, which is too expensive. Hopefully the pie is priced right.

Boozy Berries & ‘Barb Trifle

  • From The Hideaway Speakeasy, on the second level of the Grandstand
  • A five-layer cold trifle with pound cake, lemon cake, blueberry compote and rhubarb compote, along with Cannon River gris wine
  • My take: Everything from The Hideaway is overpriced and bad. Skip.

Breakfast Potato Skin

  • From The Blue Barn, in the West End Market
  • Deep-fried potato skins stuffed with scrambled eggs, peppers, beef and a bearnaise sauce
  • My take: a great add considering there aren’t many good breakfast options on the Fairgrounds. It tasted good, too!

Carnitas Taco Cone

  • From San Felipe Tacos, in the Food Building
  • Carnitas with a sesame-garlic ginger sauce, lime and queso fresco, topped with green onion and sour cream. It’s served in a deep-fried cone-shaped tortilla.
  • My take: it’s a must get.

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Also on Give Me the Mike:
San Felipe’s Fish Taco, one of the top 10 foods going into the start of the 2019 Minnesota State Fair

Carolina Pit-Smoked Brisket Taco

  • From Shanghaied Henri’s, located at the International Bazaar
  • Shredded beef brisket topped with gouda cheese, a pickled kale crunch and drizzled with BBQ sauce
  • My take: their Oslo taco is top-notch. This sounds like it’s worth trying.

Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites

  • From Funnel Cakes, on Dan Patch near the Butterfly House
  • It’s funnel cake with a three-cheese blend on top which you can dip in a Sriracha aioli sauce
  • My take: skeptical and probably not worth it.

Cuban Fusion Fajita

  • From Juanita’s Fajitas, located in front of the Grandstand
  • Pork, ham, Swiss cheese and a pickle all inside a tortilla
  • My take: it could be good. Just doesn’t sound that exciting

Deep-fried Dilly Dog

  • From Swine & Spuds, located in the Coliseum
  • A pickle stuffed with bratwurst, dipped in batter and deep-fried
  • My talk: I’ll try it. I’m sure it’s not good.

Duck Drummies

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  • From Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located in the North Woods
  • Deep-fried duck wings, served with a tequila lime dipping sauce
  • My take: Giggles’ will always show up on the new foods list. Their lines are always long and slow moving, so I try to avoid their booth. Duck drummies aren’t exciting enough to make me want to walk up there and wait.

Feta Bites

  • From Dino’s Gyros, located on Carnes near Ye Old Mill
  • Deep-fried Greek pasta stuffed with feta cheese, cream cheese and Greek seasoning and served with an olive tapenade
  • My take: Dino’s is another regular on the new foods list and they haven’t had a hit for year. This has the most potential for them, but I don’t have high hopes

Fried Tacos On-A-Stick

  • From Taco Cat, located at the Midtown Global Market booth in the International Bazaar
  • Two-stuffed, deep-fried tacos: one has green chorizo and potatoes and the other is filled with a vegetarian black bean and corn mix
  • My take: get it. But you gotta go the right days — these are only served the second half of the Fair (August 28 – September 2)

Grilled Sota Sandwich

  • From Brim, a new vendor at the North End
  • Cinnamon nut butter and Minnesota blueberry marmalade served on Irish soda bread
  • My take: I’ll be checking this out day 1. This food doesn’t excite me, but I really do want to check out the new North End.

Halo Cone

  • From Rainbow Ice Cream, located on the first floor of the Grandstand
  • Cotton candy meets blue raspberry soft serve ice cream in a mess of vanilla cotton candy with candy toppings
  • My take: these folks have had big hits with the Thai Rolled Ice Cream and the Rainbow Cloud Roll. I bet this could be a fan favorite.

The Hot Hen

  • From RC’s BBQ, located near the Skyride on Chambers
  • BBQ chips with pulled buffalo chicken, blue cheese fondue, pickled jalapenos, veggies and blue cheese
  • My take: sounds like a delicious thing to share to help keep your crew full

Irish Whiskey Boneless Wings

  • From O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on Dan Patch near the main entrance
  • Deep-fried white chicken tossed in a whiskey BBQ sauce (gluten-free)
  • My take: sounds pretty standard, but the Reuben at O’Gara’s is one of the best foods you will get at the State Fair

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Also on Give Me the Mike:
The O’Gara’s Reuben, one of the top 10 foods going into the start of the 2019 Minnesota State Fair

Jamm’in Brisket Grilled Cheese

  • From RC’s BBQ, located near the Skyride on Chambers
  • Brisket, red onion jam, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and BBQ sauce
  • My take: yes. yes yes yes.

Joey Mary

  • From Brim, a new vendor at the North End
  • An iced coffee slushie topped with gluten-free baked goods
  • My take: an iced coffee slushie sounds good. There isn’t much when it comes to good coffee at the State Fair. We’ll have to see about the baked goods.

Lamb T-Bone Chops

  • From Holy Land, located in the International Bazaar
  • Lamb loins seasoned in Holy Land’s marinade
  • My take: pretty normal, but I bet they’re good

Lavender Lemonade

  • From the Farmers Union Coffee Shop, on Dan Patch near the main entrance
  • Pink lemonade with fresh lavender
  • My take: Yes.

Mini Donut Latte

  • From The Anchor Coffee House, near the Ramberg Music Cafe
  • A latte made with mini donut flavoring
  • My take: Yes. Anchor Coffee House was new in 2018 and they were a site for sore eyes.

No Bologna Coney

No Bologna Coney .jpeg

  • From Mancini’s al Fresco, located on Carnes
  • Italian pork sausage with pistachios served on a buttered bun and topped with a muffuletta olive and pepper salad
  • My take: we had these on Twin Cities Live and although I didn’t get a chance to try it, the hosts loved them

Nordic Waffles: Pebbles & Bam Bam and Al Pastor

  • From Nordic Waffles, in West End Market
  • Pebbles & Bam Bam: a waffle with Reese’s peanut butter cups and Fruity Pebbles
  • Al Pastor: waffle with marinated pork, pineapple, onion, cilantro and salsa verde
  • My take: they are good. I liked the Pebbles & Bam Bam a lot. It’s definitely one to share. The Nordic Waffle line in 2018 was always extremely long. And know that what you’ll get most definitely won’t look like the publicity photo.
Courtesy MSF.jpg
Original publicity photo for the Pebbles & Bam Bam Nordic Waffle. Courtesy Minnesota State Fair.

Peaches n’ Cream Nachos

  • From Bridgeman’s Ice Cream, located near the Sheep & Poultry Barn
  • Cinnamon sugar pita chips with Bridgeman’s Peaches n’ Cream ice cream, a peach topping, honey and crush pecans
  • My take: I did try this one, although I didn’t get a photo. This ice cream is really good.

Shrimp & Grits Fritters

  • From Funky Grits, in the Food Building
  • Deep-fried cheddar grits with shrimp, onion and Creole seasoning and served with an aioli dipping sauce (gluten-free)
  • My take: yes. Funky Grits is a hidden gem restaurant in south Minneapolis. I’m thrilled that the state of Minnesota will be introduced to what they’re making.

Snow Cap Mini Waffle Sundae

  • From Hamline Church Dining Hall, located near the Visitors Plaza
  • It’s a mini waffle topped with Izzy’s cream cheese ice cream, maple syrup and a cherry
  • My take: sure.

Stuffed Cabbage Roll

  • From iPierogi, a new vendor located in the Food Building
  • Cabbage leaves wrapped around ground pork and rice
  • My take: I’ll try something from their menu, but probably not this.

Tipsy Pecan Tart

Pecan-Tart.jpeg

  • From Sara’s Tipsy Pies, located in the Food Building
  • Pecan pie infused with Irish whiskey and baked in a shortbread shell (gluten-free)
  • My take: we had a few of these get dropped off. I didn’t have the chance to try one, but multiple people said it’s the best pie that Sara Hayden has made to date.

Turkish Pizza

  • From Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located at Carnes and Chambers
  • A thin flatbread pizza with minced beef, onion, tomato and other veggies
  • My take: Blue Moon pizzas are actually quite good if you’re tired of eating deep-fried fare. I will be giving this one a shot.

Warm Cheesecake Tart

  • From LuLu’s Public House, located in the West End
  • Cheesecake tarts with your choice of chocolate, salted caramel or strawberry glaze
  • My take: LuLu’s had an epic fail last year with their deep-fried pepperoni chips. Pass.

Wingwalker Donut Flight

  • From The Hangar, located at the North End
  • Deep-fried donut holes with syringes of fillings so you can DIY your own Bavarian creme filled donuts
  • My take: like they give you legit syringes. Sounds like a legit waste of money. Last year, I had such a bitter experience waiting for their new food that I don’t want to give them another shot.
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