Monday afternoon, Beloved and I took our lives in our hands, along with a sizable bankroll, and braved the streets and gastronomic challenges of the Minnesota State Fair.
The Weather Channel promised there would be overcast skies all day, with a decent chance for scattered showers, so we thought the final-day crowd would be slimmer than normal.
We were wrong...and not just from the viewpoint of the calorie-rich, batter-dipped, deep-fried carbohydrate bombs being passed off as food by the unending parade of vendors. There were tons of people, some weighing close to a ton individually, on almost every square foot of horizontal surface.
We carefully tip-toed our way to what passed for a line of people waiting to purchase different seafood offerings from a place called Giggles. Beloved had her palate poised to enjoy what Giggles calls a "Boatload of Perch", but what the picture on the menu board made clear was three small filet in a tiny paper basket. We'll never know what it was really like, because after the 15 minutes it took for the barely-dressed gal in front of us to decide which authentically-crafted beer she wanted in a souvenir plastic cup, we were told that Giggles had run out of perch...but we could have a crab cake if we'd like.
No...we would not like.
Beloved settled for a bowl of Greek-flavored chicken and rice from Flavored Chicken & Rice in a Bowl. (Okay, that wasn't the real name of the place, but it should have been.) Me? I tried one of this year's new offerings: SpamCurds.
I've found a new fair favorite; worthy of piling up next to Australian Batter-Dipped Potatoes with Ranch and Cheese. These little cubes are lightly breaded with a crisp burst of flavor that perfectly complements the marvelous mystery of Spam®.
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Now, go back to the 4th paragraph and revisit the phrase "barely-dressed gal."
First, what an interesting oxymoron barely dressed is.
Second, the gal in front of us in line, with her napkin of a top and sliver of denim of a bottom, was in no way an anomaly in the crowd. Between cover-ups that didn't and pantyhose posing as leggings posing as pants, there was nowhere safe for my eyes to focus except for my ever-expanding belly. Beloved just grabbed my hand and tried to keep me from running into people.
Ha! Fat chance!