The Minnesota State Fair 2013: A three-hour food tour

Joy Summers
All the fried food fit to eat, in under three hours (including this fried gold)

The Great Minnesota Get-Together can be a bit much to bite off. Trying to pack all that eating and gawking into one day -- it's never easy. This year, to kick things off, we decided to put the pedal to the metal and see just how much we could hit first off and fast. We rolled in at 11 a.m. today, hit some favorites as well as some new bites, and we're here to tell you -- it can be done.

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Fresh from the Park 'n' Ride, we marched uphill to the top corner by the Fine Arts building. Since it was still technically morning and the heat hadn't kicked in yet, there was time for an egg coffee from the fine Lutherans at Salem Lutheran Dining Hall. Raw egg is mixed into the grounds before brewing. The coffee isn't eggy per se, it's just an extra-rich, black cup o' joe. Plus it's only $1.

Walleye cakes divine

Over at Giggles, beyond the competing lumberjacks and nubile young ladies kicking up water at the log roll, we whipped out the handy-dandy fair coupon book for an order of the walleye cakes. Hunks of fish along with just a bit of soft-cooked wild rice are molded into patties and served atop a creamy mustard sauce. The sauce gave a great tang to each crunchy, lush bite. 

Down the hill, we wandered toward the food building. For our money, the Mouth Trap's are the cheese curds that hold the high standard. However, that line was unwieldly... and time is not on our side.

Next, we went over to the French Meadow, where images of the croissant-donut hybrid have been burning up Instagram. We'd heard there would be another line, but remarkably, there was none. None! We scored one of these octogonal little nuggets fresh out of the fryer for $4. After a minor skirmish over who would get first bite, we dug in. 

Joy Summers
Do believe the hype

Okay, we get it now. Buttery layers inside a crispy exterior, sprinkled with a judicious amount of powdered sugar. They were just sweet enough -- and collapsed with each bite. We could eat a dozen while standing outside one of the best-smelling booths in the fair. That fair-trade fresh-roasted coffee mingled with confections, and the workers were generously piling enormous cupcakes onto cake stands.

Continue onward for a savory treat at the fair...

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