really x loco

Fair food favorites

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 · 11:59PM

This coming Saturday, the first Saturday of June, would have been the opening day for the ~~San Diego County~~Del Mar Fair. Thanks to 2020 being a big dumpster fire, it was one of many events that had to cancel because of our friend COVID-19. This leaves a big hole in my life, specifically in the stomach area, as I am an avid fair food enthusiast.
I can't say I have a long history with the Fair. My first visit was when I was a pre-teen, and I didn't return again until I think 6 years ago. Since then, it's been a yearly tradition of eating strange, delicious, and sometimes strangely delicious foods. To be honest, I feel like I've been slowing down; either the choices have become uninspired or my appetite is waning. Maybe a year off (hopefully not forever) will reignite that spark.
Anyway, since there won't be a deep-fried adventure this year, let us talk on my favorite dishes of all-time.

Donut Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese-a-Fair | I actually don't remember what clever name this had. Regardless, I had this twice when it debuted in 2018. It really is quite a combo of foods—eggs (I think fried), sausage patties, bacon, and cheese (quite a bit of it) sandwiched between a glazed bar with the glaze side smartly on the inside. I vaguely remember the cheese levels being slightly high. Obviously wasn't enough to turn me off. Funnily enough, they did bring this back last year, though they ditched the donuts. Not worth my while.

Bacon-wrapped pork belly on a stick

Biggy's Meat Market | For all you meat lovers out there. Really quite simple but so delightful. The first time I encountered this, I actually got the pork belly "dog," which was just the pork belly on a stick and battered like a corn dog. Not a bad choice at all, but when you get that bacon game going, there's none better. There is an array of condiments you could dress this up with, but all you need is that crispy bacon and juicy pork belly. A work of art.

Deep-fried cookie butter

Mexican Funnel Cake | Okay, this is not a funnel cake. Nor particularly Mexican. This place is really a fancy churro joint; the funnel cakes are definitely more like squiggly churros. Anyway, deep-fried cookie butter. Yummy dough balls with a cookie butter center. I'm not sure how they accomplished this, but it does not matter. They did it, and the world was better for it. Unfortunately, it only made one appearance. Also, shout out for them doing deep-fried butter one year. It was just a churro injected with butter (or a buttery substance), but it was the best churro injected with butter.

Maple bacon Texas Donut

Texas Donuts | I love donuts. It is the best food group probably. Then, someone adds bacon to it, and that's like some next-level galaxy brain stuff. I'm not sure what you've thought of me up to now, but I have to say this—I eat 90% of this stuff on my own. YOLO, right? Imagine eating three donuts in a single sitting. That's what this is like. Now imagine doing that after eating dinner first. A challenge, but worth it. This place also does a really good Reese's donut and s'mores donut. The maple bacon donut is a staple though.

Krispy Kreme triple cheeseburger

Chicken Charlie's | I love donuts. It is the best food group probably. Then, someone adds three burger patties and three cheeses, and that's like some next-level galaxy brain stuff. I know, I know. Heart attack on a plate. Diabeetus. Friends, as much as I'd like to, I'm not eating this every day. Now, as a "burger," it's so-so. The patties are fine, and the cheese is never melted, so whatevs. But those donuts though. Eating this like a normal sandwich is a challenge, which is why I've since started to eat it using a knife and fork. If you like sweet and savory, this is the jam. There haven't been many things worth repeating, and even in recent years when I've been less enthused about the food choices, this is still a go to. Excitement every time.

Some honorable mentions:
  • Chicken Charlie's ice cream chicken sandwich. Really surprisingly good.
  • More grilled cheeses: BBQ pulled pork with mac sandwich and jalepeño popper grilled cheese. The latter I received mistakenly after ordering the former, but couldn't hate on it at all.
  • Bacon-infused baklava.
  • Cinnamon rolls! Not special at all, but warm cinnamon rolls can't be messed with.
  • Shout out to the corn ice cream which I never got to have. Sold out every time I went, then never made a return to the menu. Most disappoint.

del mar fair
pork belly