The Oklahoma State Fair let us judge their food competition…
11:35 AM EDT on September 14, 2017
Although it was discontinued in 2015, one of the most popular and well-known features in The Lost Ogle's 10-year history is our infamous Oklahoma State Fair Photo Contest. It was, to put it mildly, an extremely popular feature. We would receive hundreds of entries each year, and the final edition in 2014 drew-in nearly 200,000 total pageviews. In Internet terms, that's a lot.
Considering that we're well-known for poking fun at our State Fair culture and the people who participate in it, I was amused, surprised and somewhat worried when we received the following message in the TLO in-box:
When I first read the email, my Admiral Ackbar instinct clicked-in and I assumed the whole thing was a trap.
"The Oklahoma State Fair wants me to judge a food competition??? Yeah right. That would be like Arby's asking Jon Stewart to review their new bourbon BBQ sandwiches. There has to be a catch."
After doing some due diligence and determining the whole thing wasn't a ruse orchestrated by a vagabond band of rebel-rousing carnies (or this lady), I agreed. Turning down something like this would be the most Unoklahoman thing ever. I had to do it. At the very least, it would make The Pioneer Woman jealous.
So yesterday afternoon, I arrived at the State Fair Grounds, and along with a couple of Thunder girls, the Thunder arena emcee, KJ-103's J-Rod, The Oklahoman's Dave Cathey, THE GAYLON CULVER!!!, a decorated war veteran, and the Oklahoma Foster Parents of the Year, I sampled 15 State Fair food items and judged away.
Here's a clip of all 15 items, and my rolled up jeans...
I really don't have the time and energy to review each of the 15 items I sampled, but these were my five favorites:
Mexican Funnel Cake
This creation consisted of deep-fried churros, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a voucher for a courtesy visit to the State Fair cardiologist. It was rich, sweet, crunchy and tasty. If you go to the fair with a couple dozen friends and everyone wants the same desert, I'd suggest trying one.
by Roadhouse Concessions
This was one of the more simple and basic items I tried, but it was still great. The chicken was spicy and extremely tender, and tasted amazing when dipped in the jalapeño gravy.
Honey Pepper Bacon Dog
by The Urb Express
Thanks to a food poisoning incident I suffered at the age of six when helping my dad work at the Northeast High School concession stand in 1984, I haven't had a hot dog in, oh, 33 years or so.
Anyway, I decided to put on my big boy pants, wade into the deep end and say to hell with food aversions that make you want to gag and tried this masterpiece. If all hot dogs taste like this, I'm a new convert. It was sweet, spicy, and best of all, didn't make me want to throw up. Knowing that, it's probably no surprise the Honey Pepper Bacon Dog won the competition.
Carmel On Rocks
by Guiltless Concessions
When's the last time you had Fruity Pebbles? Better yet, when's the last time you had Fruity Pebbles served atop soft-serve ice cream with rich caramel and whipped cream. Pull a Barney and steal this thing. It was a nostalgic taste back to something I've never really had before. Braum's or Sonic should rip it off immediately.
Irish Breakfast Tacos
St. Paddy Cakes
Out of the 15 items, this was my favorite. And no, that's not because I'm a drunk Irishman named Patrick Riley. Filled with Guinness-marinated bratwurst, (honey?) bacon, scrambled eggs and other traditional taco fixins, it would make Louis Fowler scream out those Spanish words he occasionally infuses into his food reviews. Try this. You won't be sorry.
Anyway, I'd like to thank the Oklahoma State Fair for allowing my to review this year's cuisine and knock one item out of my Oklahoma Dream Job Bucket List. Hopefully they'll have us back next, otherwise we may have to bring back the photo contest! How's that for some blackmail?