(Update: Check out the new food at the 2019 NC State Fair!)
If you’re a fan of the NC State Fair, you’re probably a fan of over-eating! You know what I mean. You show up at the NC State Fairgrounds, check out some animals, maybe ride some cheesy rides but it’s all about the food amiright? Salty, fried, food that’s normally never on your ToEat list but maybe just this once? After four visits to the NC State Fair I can say I’ve got a pretty good idea of what keeps me coming back and what to avoid. In the end you’ll probably go home with a stomach ache and have crazy dreams but what would October be without the excesses of the NC State Fair?
I always like to start easy with the eats and the roasted corn option is always great! Find a stand that specializes in just corn and check out their product from people walking away. If you’ve got a nice roasted cob that’s silk-free, you’re probably in good hands. They dip the corn into a delicious bath of warm butter and you’re ready to eat! Maybe sprinkle on some lemon-pepper salt, cayenne or cheese, nom nom nom…
While we’re talking about veggies, how about a bowl of freshly fried chips covered in cheese? You’ll see bowls of these fried beauties go by under the name of Millennium chips. Drop your order in and they’ll take several potatoes, put them on a stand and use a power drill to slice it into one big spiral! Into the fryer they go and when they come out, we’re talking about a light, greasy bowl of potatoey goodness. Add in some cheese sauce and bacon and you’ll be in 7th heaven!
Moving on to the main meal I’ve had the chance to try the Elvis sandwich (fried peanut butter, banana) along with a Goober burger (krispy kremes, hamburger, peanut butter-jelly). And while they’re interesting treats that are fun to try, I’m pretty happy with a simple, ginormous turkey leg at the fair! Smoked on a grate all day, these huge turkey drums are a meaty treat full of salty smoky goodness. Just be warned that it’s a LOT of meat and you’ll need a big glass of water to wash it all down. But it feels cool and caveman-like to walk around, gnawing these huge drumsticks…
Now how about those famous Krispy Kreme burgers? Yeah, they’re still available their but not as appetizing as they sound. The donuts have been sitting around a while and they’re cold and crusty. I did try the goober burger which was ridiculous Take a Krispy Kreme burger and add some PBJ, are you kidding me? Let’s just say it was a rush of salty, sweet and fruity which nearly took my stomach out. I’ve also done the Elvis sandwich (banana, peanut butter, honey) at the fair but you can find renditions out at local cafes (Parker & Otis for example).
New for 2019 is the Chickenator sandwich! A crispy fried chicken filet topped with bacon and cheese all lovingly placed in a soft cinnamon roll and drizzled in honey, wow. Think sweet, think cinnamon and think salty, it’s all wrapped into one sandwich. Enjoy your dinner and dessert in every bite! Available at the Chef’s D’Lites stand.
But when you are ready to move on to the sweets, the State Fair will deliver you the deep-fried goods in spades. Twinkies, snickers, cupcakes, cheesecake and even Girl Scout cookies! I’m mixed here, don’t recommend the twinkies but the snickers bar was pretty good. Another good option is the mini-donut stand which seems vaguely healthy. Hey it’s just a donut with cinnamon sugar, eh?
So yeah, the State Fair will probably take a year off your life but it’s worth it! When you get to check out the locals, play some silly carnival games and check out the latest in cake decorating, cows, goats and more, you really can’t get any more American than that. Just choose wisely with your fair food because things can get expensive and super fattening! It’s going to take me a year to burn off the fat from this past visit. Bon appetit, y’all!
North Carolina State Fair
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
Location on Google maps