This is not a gourmet post. This post contains no recipes. This post is about me eating. In the most visceral way. Why? Because when you decide to haul your family to the LA County Fair, you better be willing to get your grub on.
I've driven to the fair 4 times, and have attended it 3. That's how horrific the traffic getting there is. One year, we spent an hour and a half on the freeway exit ramp. By the time we made it off the ramp, we were over it. I hopped right back on the freeway and went home.
So why did I end up behind this on Labor Day?
Good PR. As a former PR person, I'm a sucker for a relevant pitch. I'm not going to mention her name or Twitter handle in case she prefers to remain behind the scenes, but the PR person for the LA County Fair saw me tweeting about how much my new Verizon Droid was driving me nuts and how short its battery life was. She immediatley emailed me about tickets to the fair (with wine tasting tix), and sent me an iGo Charge Anywhere.
Hey, I don't run advertising on this blog, but if you offer me an opportunity to drink for free and solve a pressing woe at the same time? You're getting a post. Does this suffice for disclosure? Good enough for me.
I'm not really into rides. I actually won't ride anything that completes a circle more than once. I will throw up. I don't do carnival games either. I have no place in the house for a 5 ft Sylvester. That leaves beer and food.
But as bad luck would have it, I was (and still am) on the Paleo Diet, otherwise known as the Caveman Diet. Basically, I can only eat meat, vegetables and fruit, i.e. whatever our hunter-gatherer ancestors could rustle up. No dairy, no sugar, no starch. Alcohol is also a no-no, but I want to lose weight, not my sanity, so, no. Beer is greenlighted in my version of Paleo.
I'm not sure if the Caveman Diet actually requires you to eat like a caveman, but...
Turkey legs are totally Caveman-compliant.
So are porkchops-on-a-stick. I have a personal rule: if it's cooked in a stick, I eat it. You think I'm kidding. I ate coccoons on a business trip to China back in '07 because they were lightly dusted with garlic-chili powder and grilled on a stick.
It's not a County Fair without people trying to sell you a hot tub.
In my opinion, it's also not a true fair without a fried dough stand. But I think that's a California problem, not an LA County Fair problem. People in CA are SO MISSING OUT because if you haven't had fried dough, you simply haven't experienced all life has to offer. Every carnival or fair on the east coast, no matter how tiny, has at least one fried dough stand. Funnel cakes don't come close. Don't even try to convince me. If anyone can tell me where in this great state I can find a hunk of fried dough, I will owe you for life.
I'm glad these guys bought "Awesome County Fairs for Dummies" and read that no fair is complete without at least one python molurus bivittatus, better known by its 3rd grade name, Freaky Albino Snake.
And it's always fun to get caught on the wrong side of the tracks...
Nearly getting squashed by a train makes you re-think your life. My immediate thought was, "you only go to the LA County Fair once a year. What's a little fried carb really going to do to my diet?"
Friends, when you fall off the wagon you might as well get mangled in its spokes. May I present to you the "Everything Fried" food stand:
Going back a fuller, carbier man.
All in all, it was a killer time. I only have one regret. I came on the wrong weekend:
But you? You can take advantage of the above. I'm giving away two general admission tickets (concerts are extra, but can you really put a pricetag on Hall and Oates? Or Bad Company?). Just leave a comment sharing your favorite fair/carnival junkfood indulgence by midnight Thu Sept 23 and I will do a random drawing on Friday morning.