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Sneak Peek: San Diego County Fair Food

From deep-fried SlimFast bars to deep-fried Starbucks coffee

Deep-fried Philly cheesesteak oozing at the San Diego County Fair
Deep-fried Philly cheesesteak oozing at the San Diego County Fair

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

Deep-fried 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.

4.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Starbucks Coffee

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.

4.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Wasabi Bomb

Deep-fried bacon 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.

4 defibrillators


Chocolate-Covered Chicharrónes

Chocolate-covered chicharrónes

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.

4 defibrillators


Deep-Fried SlimFast Bar

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.

3.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Peanut Butter-Stuffed Pickle

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.

3 defibrillators


Corn Ice Cream

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.

3 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Philly Cheesesteak

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.

2 defibrillators

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Deep-fried Philly cheesesteak oozing at the San Diego County Fair
Deep-fried Philly cheesesteak oozing at the San Diego County Fair

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

Deep-fried 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.

4.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Starbucks Coffee

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.

4.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Wasabi Bomb

Deep-fried bacon 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.

4 defibrillators


Chocolate-Covered Chicharrónes

Chocolate-covered chicharrónes

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.

4 defibrillators


Deep-Fried SlimFast Bar

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.

3.5 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Peanut Butter-Stuffed Pickle

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.

3 defibrillators


Corn Ice Cream

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.

3 defibrillators


Deep-Fried Philly Cheesesteak

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.

2 defibrillators

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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