State Fairs are often an afterthought. A relic of times past when most of us lived in rural areas and guessing the weight of a pumpkin was the best entertainment of the month. They offer variations on the same rides, foods and entertainment that you find at your local Memorial Day Carnival or County Fair and, I mean, how many people even go to those? But the Minnesota State Fair is so far from an afterthought that it seems to be on the minds of Minnesotans for the 50 weeks of the year in which it is not in operation. Plans are made, new foods are devised and longed after; then, just like that, it’s over again. This year, however, the Unvegan paid a visit to see how it would all stack up.
Apparently, the Twin Cities are about more than just Jucy Lucys. And while some may question that, Black Sheep in St. Paul gives reason to believe in life beyond cheese-stuffed burgers. A coal-fired pizza place, Black Sheep still relies on cheese, but in quite a different manner. Walking in to the below-ground-level spot, I was immediately inundated with the scent of garlic, a smell that signaled good things ahead, as well as a scent that would remain with me for the rest of the day.
The Twin Cities may have a few claims to their name, but none so big as the Jucy Lucy. This burger stuffed with cheese may have originated at Matt’s Bar, but many other Lucy spots have grown from there and tried to make improvements to an already incredible creation. Despite my desire’s to visit Matt’s Bar, I was convinced by a lawyer (typical) to head to Blue Door instead, as Blue Door is one of those places that supposedly took the Jucy Lucy to the next level.
Arby’s has always been kind of a fringe fast food chain. You can find it all over the country, but it isn’t exactly on every corner. Perhaps this is the reason it has taken me so long to review them. Or perhaps the reason is because I once heard their meat begins its life as a liquid. Whatever the case, a golden opportunity to chow down on some potentially formerly liquid meat presented itself at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
Before leaving the Northwoods, I made a stop at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota to eat at Crave. Although the Mall of America can hardly be considered part of the Northwoods, it’s close enough to be included in my weekly special.
Crave was a nice and spacious restaurant that came highly recommended by my family that was taking me there. A whole lot of food on the menu looked great and we started by ordering appetizers. We got the Mini-Burgers, which the menu said came with bacon, cheddar and rosemary. We also ordered the Lemon Garlic Wings, which came with “Amablu cheese dressing” and cucumbers. Since the family likes cucumbers, I didn’t order the dish without them and just hoped they didn’t touch any of the wings I wanted to eat.
Stuck in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on a layover, I set out to find some good food to eat. This isn’t exactly an easy task, especially considering that I had a very limited amount of time to eat and had to resort to fast food. I found Charley’s Grilled Subs and decided to try it out. The had a grill where you could actually see what was being cooked, plus the prices weren’t out of control.
I quick glance at the menu revealed to me what I needed to eat, the Bacon 3 Cheese Steak, three of my favorite foods in one sandwich. They actually had a pretty efficient system set up, where the guy grilling asked you your order before you made it to the cashier, so it could be prepared ahead of time. I guess when you’re eating in an airport, you notice these things.