Sunday, October 23, 2011
nc state fair - a foodie tale
we took friday off to enjoy the nc state fair and go to the newsboys concert. we'd been looking forward to a day away from work, a day to sleep in, some perfect weather, the kk burger, roasted corn, and hearing "born again" live and in person. friday did not disappoint. we slept in until about 10am. even the doggies (with a few potty breaks) took advantage of the chilly fall weather and snuggled with us in the bed under the covers until we'd all had more than enough sleep. we woke feeling rested and ready to enjoy the day. after a few errands we made our way to the fair. the air was crisp and cool and there was not a cloud in the sky. when we arrived at the fair we were starving. we skipped multiple meals friday just to get bites of various things we'd wanted to try.
we started with the roasted corn. you can get fooled and get corn from a lot of vendors on the fair grounds, but the best one is in the back of the park by the camper set up. we waded through the crowds with our stomachs rumbling with the smells of the various food stalls and made our way to the vendor we'd sampled before. it was worth the jaunt. the corn was charred and roasted and fully cooked. the smoky flavor was amazing! (by far the best fair food we had yesterday.) on our way back through the food maze will got lured into the sausage kiosk. it smelled divine and so i clutched our hand squeezed lemonade while he waited in line for a sausage and pepper roll. i was not even going to take a bite, but after he ordered it and it was so mouth watering i just had to indulge. meh. it tasted so much better than it actually was. i told him if he did not love it to chuck it, so into the waste bin it went. next we had to try the illusive krispy kreme burger.
we'd wanted to try this since we heard about it last year, so this had a lot to live up to. we made our way back through the crowds and over to this stand. we pondered the menu on what would be good on this burger. we were going to order just cheese and the burger, but that seemed like a cop out. we ended up getting a hamburger patty, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, pickles, and tomato sandwiched between two original glazed krispy kreme donuts. we were both leery, but braced ourselves and will took the first bite. he was not impressed. i ponied up and took a bite myself - there was just something so weird about it. i honestly feel like the tomato was the deal killer. i did like the pickle, hamburger, and donut combo. will thought it was the cheese that threw it off. i think they are using day old donuts, which gave them a sort of chewy texture that i did not love. either way, we tried it and now can say we tasted it. another partially eaten item chucked in the trash.
after all of this traipsing around and not really fully eating anything we were looking for something that really tasted good. will saw a sign for hand dipped corn dogs, but he could not recall where he'd seen it. we walked around the entire fair until we found that booth. there are a lot of booths for corn dogs, but not very many that are hand dipped. there is a big difference. we don't want to waste our energy on anything we could make for dinner at home. the hand dipped corn dog did not disappoint. it was delish and was painted with yellow mustard. loved it!
after enjoying the corn dog we took a walk around and looked at all of the rides. with will's chiari we have to be careful about what we should not put him on and we decided we'd rather not try anything out. we did have fun watching everyone else scream their lungs out on some pretty precarious things! i also don't think i am as adventurous with this stuff as i used to be. something about plummeting from the sky just does not look appealing anymore. this long detoured walk lured us into the smoked turkey legs. we've seen these before at past fairs, and always laughed as we saw people walking around with giant turkey legs in hand. but, we just had to try it. will ordered up one turkey leg and a bottle of water. we thought it was strange that the fella wrapped it up in tin foil and put it in a bag. however, once we found a bench and unwrapped we noticed he'd given us two turkey legs! whoa! we did a cheers with our turkey legs and settled in for some chow down. these were smoky and delicious - the outside was like turkey jerky - yummo!
we could not go to the fair and not have a fried dessert so we both agreed we had to get something. we'd seen fried oreos, fried cheesecake, fried, twinkies, fried snickers, on and on and on. however we elected for the tried and true funnel cake. where else can you get a good funnel cake? the funnel cake was freshly fried and looked fantastic, but the oil must not have been fresh or hot enough. the cake just tasted off. boo! another item half way eaten hits the waste bin!
after this food tasting extravaganza it was time to sit and watch the sunset. we hung out by the waterfall and got ready to head into the dorton arena for the concert. the sun looked spectacular setting on the water. then it was time to head in for the show. the opening act was a group we'd not previously heard of, but they were pretty decent. however, just after 8 the newsboys came on stage and their show was amazing. they started out with two of the band members on raised panels that were about 60 feet off the ground. they played the guitar and keyboard while floating above the audience. at one point the drummer's set rose up (drums and all) about 40 feet off the ground and then tilted 90 degrees (picture him now looking at the ground) and then rotated 360 degrees, spinning! the band as is good in person as they are recorded and we really enjoyed the show. will's make it through your brain surgery song was "born again". it was a song that really empowered both of us through this time, and we really felt like it gave us a fresh start at our lives and living them the way God had intended. we held each other's hands and sang a little louder for this one.
once the show was over we headed back outside into the crowds for this one last strange food item. i'd heard advertisements for the kool-aid pickle, so i just had to get one. i LOVE pickles more than just about anything. will had an app on his phone that allowed you to search for food vendors or food items. he found the pickle. it was tucked in a permanent booth inside a building. we would have never found it without the miracle app. will ordered up one kool-aid pickle and we went back outside to try it out. will declined to take a taste, so it was all me. i took a bite and found that it was really too kool-aidy. they'd advertised "sweet and sour", but it was all kool-aid with a pickle texture. good concept, but failed execution. last item half eaten and pitched in the waste bin.
after the pickle we decided to linger just a little longer so we could see the fireworks. nc spared no expense with these puppies. the show was impressive and we're glad we stuck around. once that show was over we made our way back to the shuttle bus and eventually back to our car. we were so tired that we both fell asleep at 11:30, which is unheard of in this house! we had a great day together, loved the fall air, enjoyed the search for the freaky food, and will always remember the concert.