Oh the fair! One can’t live without this old pastime. I’d never gone for Tuesday Taste of the Fair before so this was the year Anh and I got to sample things abound…or so we thought! Anh begrudgingly helped me map out our eating destinations because efficiency in high concentration crowds is my preferred eating methodology at an event such as this. I thought this was a great idea. That is until we actually got to these places to sample things. I wish I would have taken pictures, but alas, I guess they were not picture worthy. I’ll try to sum them up quickly here.
The first spot we attempted to get a taste on Tuesday was at Monterey Bay. I wasn’t sure what the etiquette was for this so instead of just ordering it I asked the cashier what the $2 was going to get us. And she confirmed my initial fear: the taste of ceviche consisted of two chips and some ceviche. Me being the numbers guy and also someone who wants value for what I pay for didn’t see this being a fair deal (get it?). I’d hoped for a deal here but in the very least I was expecting equal value. This is just speculation but I think the normal order would include more than 6 chips plus ceviche. The $2 amount didn’t sound that appealing given I could get the regular order for ~$6 for a much larger amount. Even the cashier told me to just get the normal order. But didn’t she didn’t know we were there for Tuesday Taste of the Fair!? Our quest would have to continue elsewhere.
Next up was a mocha freeze from Country Fair Cinnamon Roll. I saw another listing for a blended mocha on the Taste of Tuesday list so I was expecting the same here. I was wrong. So wrong. The $2 taste was a shot in a dixie cup. Our disappointment was turning into a grim reality that we may not even get to experience what we came there for.
Surely Chicken Charlie could hook us up! He’s in the news and makes lots of money at the fair circuit. Nope! Two fried mushrooms for $2. Again, the ratio here was unsatisfactory.
Our friends at Pink’s were the only ones that we could find that gave us the $2 taste we were looking for. And a hefty serving of chili cheese fries they were. One thing I love is my potato compadre. But when you put chili on it, watch out! A hint for anyone that shares with me…my eating speed exponentially increases when presented with chili cheese fries so increase your pace accordingly. Back to the fries. They came out piping hot and crispy. The chili was not spicy and was a little thin, but at this point we were so hungry to eat something the details did not matter. We exhaled a huge sigh of relief and our Tuesday visit was suddenly justified.
I had read about the asteroids from the UT and I vaguely remember them from previous fairs. Again, another chili item I could not pass up. It consisted of chili fried in hush puppy batter. One thing we noticed was that the cheese seemed like yesterdays batch and a was a little hard. Not a good sign. This seems to be a post about ratios so why not continue the theme? The hush puppy to chili ratio was waaaaay off. At least for me that is. It seemed like it was a 2 to 1 ratio of hush puppy to chili when I’d like it the exact opposite. To top it off, the asteroids seemed to be aged to imperfection. The exterior was very hard and not easy to break open. Inside, the taste of the chili was completely masked by the hush puppy batter. They say on their menu at Del Mar Diner that their chili is award winning. You wonder how anyone could taste the award winning chili in all that batter. Such a shame since I was most excited for this one.
Last but certainly not least on this Tuesday was the beach fries by Reno’s Fish and Chips. Do you see a potato theme here yet? These fries were topped with fish taco sauce and salsa. I’ll admit, skepticism did seep into the picture before ordering the beach fries. But surely things would even itself out given the poor results we encountered so far. And the odds were in our favor! The combination actually worked! The sauce didn’t overpower the fries and the salsa was refreshing. The fries were not as crispy as Pink’s but they were fluffier inside. The only thing I wish they’d do was add more salsa. Other than that, we were super happy to end our Tuesday on a high note. Oh yeah I almost forgot. Anh needed something else that contained meat so she got a $3.50 hot dog.
Our experience with Tuesday Taste of the Fair was not up to par. But there are dozens of other options that may or may not live up to my internal hype. I guess I might never find out…