Minnesota State Fair announces new food lineup for 2014
The Minnesota State Fair has released its new foods list for 2014, and it’s a doozy.
The new Blue Barn, owned by the folks behind the Blue Plate Restaurant Group, looks like it’ll be hitting a home run from the get-go, serving fun items like Chicken in the Waffle, crispy chicken nestled in a waffle cone and covered with sausage gravy, and Blue Cheese and Corn Fritz, corn fritters stuffed with blue cheese and served with an herby chimichurri sauce. Blue Plate owns Highland Grill, Longfellow Grill, Scusi, Groveland Tap and many other Twin Cities restaurants.
Blue Plate co-owner Stephanie Shimp said creating the new menu made for a tough winter.
“I can tell you that I literally gained 6 to 8 pounds this winter, and I don’t think it was from holiday eating,” she said, laughing. “It was from State Fair food development.”
The Blue Barn also will serve breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and chipotle-barbecue glazed meatloaf on a stick.
“We had to do something on a stick,” Shimp said.
Beer brewed at Freehouse, the Blue Plate’s Minneapolis brew pub, also will be available at the bright turquoise barn, which is still under construction.
The other major new vendor in the new West End Market (located where Heritage Square used to be), LuLu’s Public House, will sport the Fair’s first rooftop patio. They’ve got some some fun new food items, too, like a Breakfast Juicy LuLu, two American cheese stuffed sausage patties served on an English muffin, and Fried Lobster on a Stick, which is served with a spiced dipping sauce.
Not to be overshadowed by the new vendors, old Fair favorites are definitely bringing their creative A-game.
Hamline Church Dining Hall near Visitor’s Plaza will be serving grandma’s favorite potluck item — gelatin salad — in ice cream form.
Sausage Sisters, inside the Food Building, has created a chocolate dessert salami, in which chocolate, butter, almonds and walnuts are rolled into a sausage-like log, dusted with powdered sugar, then sliced and served on a specialty cracker.
The new West End Creamery, also in West End Market, looks promising, too. They’ll serve 33 flavors of hand-scooped ice cream in cones, malts, milkshakes, sundaes and floats. Their signature item, though, will likely be the Hot Toasted Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich. The tagline listed on the Fair news release says, “It’s hot, cold and crunchy.”
Last year’s newcomer, Mancini’s Al Fresco, is combining two things we all want at the Fair — dessert and beer — with a Beer Gelato that will use “local craft beer.”
One of our favorite Mexican comfort foods, chilaquiles, which consists of tortilla chips smothered in chile verde and topped with a fried egg, is making its Fair debut at El Sol Mexican Food on the southwest outside corner of the Food Building.
Perennial innovator Blue Moon Dine-In Theater has created SnoRibbons for 2014, which are described as “a fusion of feather light cotton candy, flaky shaved ice and creamy layered snow.” The item is gluten-free, low in calories and sugar and includes fun flavors like strawberry pretzel cream cheese, coffee and doughnuts, grasshopper pie and green tea black sesame.
The full list of 28 “new items” can be viewed in a slideshow at photos.twincities.com.
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