Chow Down In Milwaukee

Restaurant Reviews

State Fair 2021 New Foods and Sporkies

After a long wait, the Wisconsin State Fair is back! And so is the plethora of new foods, sporkies, and of course, food on a stick. Neil and I, along with two other great palette friends, tried some of the new additions to the fair this year. I must say, along with everything else in life, some things are just a hit or miss. There is everything from sweet and salty and sweet and spicy, to home-made comforting and off the chart crazy - there is something for everyone! Here are just 12 of the items we tried. Enjoy!

Glazy Boy ($12)

The Glazy Boy was the Sporkies winner, and for a good reason! This is a large sandwich with sweet and hot flavors. The glazed donuts were sweet and had a nice outside, but were a tad doughy. Between the tender smoked pork and succulent fat with the sugary donuts, it was a great sweet and savory “burger” as they describe it – even though there is no burger patty on this sandwich. The spiciness came in to play when you bit into a jalapeno, but it seemed to overtake the sweetness. I loved the thick Fontina cheese that cut through the bold flavors and evened everything out.


Polish Puppies On-a-Stick ($6.50)

One Sporkie finalist that fell short was the Polish Puppies on a Stick. The description of these is highly deceiving and is what made this item such a letdown. The hush puppy was quite dry and bland, and there was nothing “stuffed” inside. There were neither chunks of sausage nor any hint of kraut or onions. The chive dipping sauce was what salvaged the last two of three puppies given in an order. The sauce was light, creamy, and flavorful, and definitely added the moisture these puppies needed.


Country Fried Steak On-a-Stick ($9.50)

This dish was what I was expecting - good tasting, meaty steak with a white gravy. The meat was cooked just right, with a few chewy bites every so often. The deep fried crust was seasoned and stuck well, but it was certainly greasy – easily falls off the stick so eating with your hands is inevitable. The gravy is creamy, had bits of meat and finished the bite with a strong kick of black pepper. This is a delicious, comforting dish to start with when arriving at the fair.


Lobster Rangoon ($9)

Everyone has probably heard of Crab Rangoon, but Lobster Rangoon? I was intrigued. The Rangoon’s were small, barely filled and hardly tasted like lobster. The sweetness was great, but it seemed like the lobster was too puréed with the cream cheese to even be accounted for. The sauce that comes with it has a sweet chili flavor and helped bring some tang to this dish. I’d say for three little Lobster Rangoon’s, this isn’t worth the money.


Cinnamon Roll and Bacon Cheese Curds ($10)

These super sweet, donut hole-looking cheese curds would have been spectacular if the cheese was actually melted, in my opinion. I loved the sugary donut coating around the curd; surprisingly, they go well together. I liked that the bacon gave this dish the crispy, salty aspect it needed – I just wish it came with more than half a piece of bacon broken into pieces.


Poutine Tacos ($10)

From the same place with the non-melted cinnamon cheese curds, we tried the Poutine Tacos. The two tacos are very well assembled and the shredded pot roast was fall apart tender, easily slow roasted for hours and seasoned perfectly. However, I wish the meat, along with the curds and fries underneath, were hot – heck, I would have even taken warm. They were cold. Not sure if the restaurant will fix this issue in the next couple of days, but let’s hope so!


Cruller-Crusted Chicken Sticks ($11)

These huge pieces of chicken breasts were juicy, cooked perfectly and was well coated. If you just want some deep fried chicken, here you go. The breading was not “Cruller”-like at all – there was absolutely no sweetness, just plain tasting breadcrumbs and seemed over-fried. It is a lot of chicken, I’ll give them that. The sauce, though, even that tasted simply like ketchup, not the chipotle honey mustard as we thought it would be.


Deep-Fried Pineapple Express ($6)

This was a refreshing dish on a hot day. You get three hearty pineapple rings that are very juicy. They are slightly fried and coated with shredded coconut. With me, coconut is a hit or miss, but I liked this dish a lot; it wasn’t too much coconut and paired great with the pineapple. The sweetest part was the glaze that held the coconut to the fruit, but it still could have used a a bit more on the side for dipping.


Deep-Fried Pink Squirrel ($8)

This was over-the-top sweet. Between the four of us in our group, two of us loved it and two of us did not care for it at all. The outer shell was hard but thin, easy to break through to the center. The center is where we disagreed. Two of them loved the extreme sweetness and thought the texture was smooth and creamy. The others appreciated the amaretto flavor but thought that the center reminded them of raw batter, the consistency and flavor just wasn’t appealing.


Deep-Fried Wisconsin Fish Fry ($9)

This was by far the best bang for your buck. Not only is it huge, it lives up to its description and is a complete fish fry in a bite. Lightly breaded, flaky warm cod with coleslaw wrapped together and deep-fried – it made me say TGIF (but on a Thursday). The tartar sauce accompanied had a great tang to it and topped off every bite. I highly recommend this to anyone who appreciates a good fish-fry dinner.


Cherry vanilla cupcake ($4.50)

This a regular size cherry vanilla cupcake with a tart cherry frosting. The texture of the cupcake itself was dense and moist yet had a crumbly texture. There certainly was a sweetness to it but also a pleasant tartness. Again, everything was in perfect balance. You may be taken aback at paying almost $5 for a regular-sized cupcake but considering the dense texture and amazing flavor, you will conclude, much like myself and my lady, that it was definitely worth it.


Spicy Southwest Pork Sandwich ($10)

One of the best things I have consumed at the fair in a long time. It is a boneless pork chop grilled and topped with jalapenos, cheese and salsa. It comes wrapped in foil when you order it, but you are still able to tell you are getting a thick and meaty sandwich. When you unwrap the foil the scent of salsa and pork is intense. I would not describe the flavor as spicy, but I would describe it as delicious. This is a hardy sandwich that is both filling and texturally enjoyable. The bun is soft and holds up well. The pork was done perfectly and not dry. The cheese was melted and tasted amazing. I would have enjoyed a slightly spicier salsa, but it does make this option a safe one for everyone and I think everyone should try one.

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