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Tag: Puyallup Fair dining


Fair dining: Feasting on pork sandwiches and ribs

BBQ Pete's "bandits" grill slabs of pork ribs at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
BBQ Pete’s “bandits” grill slabs of pork ribs at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

My Washington State Fair grazing has included just about every category: Deep-fried desserts, burgers piled with onions, stuff smothered in cheese, other stuff covered in bacon and even a tour of food-on-a-stick. One year, even healthy food got a turn.

But there was still one category of fair food I had yet to tackle: pork.

Ribs and pulled pork sandwiches, to be exact. Last week, I spent two days eating my way through the fair to find the tastiest standouts in the fair’s porky realm.

I found pork sandwiches in an array of flavors and styles, and I stopped by a few booths that were smoking ribs using the slow-and-low method over wood smoke.

Here’s a tip. Whether coincidence or not, the booths with pulled pork and ribs also happened to provide some of the best covered seating for fair dining.

Here’s where you should head if you’ve got a hankering for pork at the fair, which operates through Sept. 21 in Puyallup. Read more »


Gut busting: Feasting on onion burgers (and Tums) at the Washington State Fair

The cheesequake from Earthquake Burgers.
The cheesequake from Earthquake Burgers.

After piling my way through eight burger stands at the Washington State Fair, I found myself uttering two things.

“Wait, how much did I pay for that?!?” and “More grilled onions, please.”

The first was irritating, the second a defining standard for a just-right fair burger.

A fair burger really isn’t a fair burger unless it’s stacked with supple onions straight off a grill. Perfect grilled onions should be colored somewhere between honey and dark caramel. They should be sweet and wispy, not crispy, chunky or oily. Deduct points for pasty whites stewing in juices. Those aren’t grilled onions, those are an abomination.

My burger mission at the fair – which continues through Sept. 22 in Puyallup – was straightforward: Find the best burger with the best grilled onions. I definitely found those, along with a few burgers that sounded as if they should come with a warning label. Read on. Read more »


Sweet treats: Feasting on Puyallup Fair desserts

The scone, elephant ear and funnel cake are the trifecta of classic fair desserts, but the Puyallup Fair introduced three new sweet treats this year – fried apples with caramel sauce, a waffle cone filled with sweet potato fries and something called the “apple wallup.” We gave them a try.


Puyallup Fair chowdown: Deep-fried gluttony and other things that will kill you slowly

Deep fried, topped with melted cheese, stuffed with goo and drizzled with marshmallow fluff – vendors at the Puyallup Fair seem to compete every year to see who can pack the most fat and calories into a single piece of food. This year is no exception. Read about classics like the Earthquake burger and Krusty Pup, as well as a few new fried offerings.


Food fight: Healthy dining vs. deep-fried bombs at the Puyallup Fair

Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers are served at the Totally Fried booth at the Puyallup Fair.

This story started as a debate in the newsroom. Greasy, fried fair food: yea or nay? Half the reporters in the conversation said, “Blech.” The other half solidly voiced support for Team Fried Food.

So we hatched an idea to take on the Puyallup Fair with nutrition in mind. Could healthy eats even be found at the fair? Really? This is an event, after all, that used 1,232 35-pound containers of shortening during the 2008 Puyallup Fair (that was the most recent figure that concessions manager Dan Sharp could find).

My mission: Find tasty gut bombs. (I got the easy assignment, clearly)
Craig Sailor’s mission: Find food that is reasonably healthy.

We spent a day at the fair over opening weekend, and here’s what we found. Read more »


Leave your diet at home: Deep-fried eats are what’s on the menu at the Puyallup Fair

The Totally Fried booth will offer chocolate covered bacon, deep-fried cookie dough and all kinds of deep-fried food at the Puyallup Fair, which opens today.

If there are two things Ben Hilberg knows about fair food, it’s grease and portability. His Puyallup Fair food booths, Totally Fried and Food on a Stick, generated food buzz last year thanks to a menu full of kitschy eats.

Case in point: A fried chicken patty with Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns. Yes, you read that correctly. Hilberg served fried chicken doughnut sandwiches at the Puyallup Fair last year. And people ate them.

Both booths will return to this year’s fair, which opens today and continues through Sept. 26, with food that’s exaggerated on the caloric scale. Pair his fried eats with an Earthquake burger and you better make sure you eat a week of vegetables to detox. Read more »