the l.a. county fair officially opens tomorrow! you know what that means...my quest for that pink 4th place ribbon continues. i dropped off my cookie entry a couple of days ago as instructed, and while i decided to do unicorns because they're kind of THE thing right now, i was kinda kicking myself after the hub asked why i didn't do route 66-themed cookies since that's the theme for this year's fair. oh well. i still think these are pretty cute. 4th place worthy, at least? we'll see.
and as in previous years, i got to attend the annual media preview day with a few of my mom friends from the bean's school. this time, we arrived right at the beginning of the event and caught the shuttle (AKA golf cart) that took us from the gate up the hill to where the event was being held.
on the way we caught our first glimpse of the theming decor, which looked promising.
here was our first glimpse of where we'd be spending the next couple of hours, enjoying samples of all the newest and best grub that would be available at the fair.
we decided to start right at the beginning, which happened to be some delicious "4 on the floor" pizza and garlic pizza bread.
chicago-style hot dogs were being served here. the lady who was running the booth told us that they were having almost all of the ingredients shipped directly from illinois for the duration of the fair, so it was really authentic.
everyone's favorite booths are always the ones run by chicken charlie. he brought back a favorite from last year, the cotton candy ice cream sandwich:
maui chicken and shrimp rice bowls served in a fresh pineapple. he won awards for the healthiest menu items at the fair with these.
this year, though, he threw in a fun twist: ramen burritos, also served with either grilled chicken or shrimp. i'm a fan.
the deep-fried filet mignon sounds (and let's face it) kinda gross. but i'm not gonna lie...it was really tasty and super tender. just close your eyes and eat it.
and his newest creation: the buffalo chicken mac & cheese served in a freshly made cherry flavored waffle cone. sounds a little weird, but it works.
it got pretty crowded there for awhile, so we were glad we'd managed to snag the best table with a lovely umbrella that kept us in the shade. we had a ball eating and chatting and watching the various local news channels do interviews and get footage of all the various eateries.
remember the nitro pop candy from last year
? they were back this year with a new treat - satellite wafer candies on a stick dipped in liquid nitrogen and served cool and smoky.
the colorful candied popcorn was back too, although i'm not sure if they're doing the nitrogen thing with it this time. they were focused on those fun satellite skewers.
at the biggys booth, the hot cheeto-covered treats were back too:
along with this thing that i never did figure out. looks kinda like a tomahawk steak, but not quite.
and this was a pb&j funnel cake. this is right up the old lady's alley, so we may actually try this when we hit the fair this weekend.
but the real star was the new biggys creation:
these are freshly cooked french fries, doused in melted salted butter and covered with cinnamon sugar. then they drizzle on some sea salt caramel, add some whipped cream and a sprinkle of fruity pebbles, and you have caramel crack fries. i know they sound kind of odd, but i swear to you they lived up to their name. i couldn't stop eating these.
there were other fair foods too, like tacos and fresh potato chips with parmesan cheese and a chili cheese fries burger on a pretzel bun.
and none of us could resist a good old fashioned hand-dipped ice cream bar covered in our choice of sprinkles...also known as a balboa bar. we all chose the almond toffee topping, which we found out is the most popular option.
once we were stuffed silly (with a few things tucked away in ziploc bags and foil we'd all packed in our tote bags), we headed over to the route 66 display to walk some of those calories off.
it was really nicely done, with a themed area representing each state along route 66. i thought it was fun to look at, and totally got me fired up to do that route 66 road trip that the hub and i have talked about for years.
before we left, we chatted up a lovely older couple who was hanging out at the "hollywood sign," eventually asking them to take a group photo for us.
it was such a great day! it was pretty warm, but not nearly as hot as it's been in previous years, and with a lot of our time spent in the shade with a nice breeze kicking up every few minutes, this was probably the best media day we've done yet.
can't wait for next year!