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Way to go, Minnesota State Fair.

This was my 20th year of hitting the Great Minnesota Get-Together on the first day, draining my pocket of its Star Tribune-provided cash as I taste tested and rated the new-foods landscape from the midway to the former Machinery Hill.

This year’s crop of 27 “official” new foods was among the best I’ve encountered during this two-decade slog. Sure, there were a few requisite flops, but their numbers were the smallest in memory, a highly promising trend.

Even more encouraging, I encountered 15 off-the-books (meaning they didn’t receive the fair’s considerable public relations efforts) items, and this diverse group included some of the year’s top gotta-have delicacies, including the BLT to end all BLTs, glorious grilled peaches, a palate-cleansing apple developed by the University of Minnesota and a Thanksgiving-worthy cranberry-apple pie. Truly delicious food, a legacy that the fair should continue to foster.

As always, what a day. Miles walked: 4.7. Hours invested: 10. Dollars spent: $444.85. Calories consumed: Immeasurable.

★★★★ out of 4 stars

First Kiss Apples

First Kiss Apples, Minnesota Apples, Agriculture Horticulture, $3. I'm ending my long day w/this perfect palate cleanser. It's a new Honeycrisp relation, and it hits all the right crisp-juicy-tart notes. Thanks, Pine Tree Orchard in White Bear Lake, for the thrilling preview. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
First Kiss Apples, Minnesota Apples, Agriculture Horticulture, $3. I'm ending my long day w/this perfect palate cleanser. It's a new Honeycrisp relation, and it hits all the right crisp-juicy-tart notes. Thanks, Pine Tree Orchard in White Bear...

Rick Nelson

The 2018 fair’s unofficial palate cleanser. This Honeycrisp relation — a recent U of M invention — hits all the right crisp-juicy-tart notes, and fairgoers have Pine Tree Orchard in White Bear Lake to thank for the thrilling preview. Don’t miss it, and yes, the price is worth it. $3.

Location: Minnesota Apples

Grilled Peaches

Grilled peaches, Produce Exchange, Carnes/Underwood, $5-$7-$9. Freaking glorious. What better way to take advantage of peak peach season than to warm them on the grill? They're served w/goat cheese/herbs (pictured), yogurt/pie crumble or just straight up (my favorite). Don't miss. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Grilled peaches, Produce Exchange, Carnes/Underwood, $5-$7-$9. Freaking glorious. What better way to take advantage of peak peach season than to warm them on the grill? They're served w/goat cheese/herbs (pictured), yogurt/pie crumble or just straight...

Rick Nelson

For years, this stand has been exploiting the peak of Washington State’s superb Sweet Dream peaches. This year, consulting chef Alexandra Motz (her day job is at top-rated Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis) goes further, brilliantly, using heat to unlock even more juices and sugars. Motz grills them straight-up, but also finds success with Greek vanilla yogurt (topped with a gluten-free pie crumble) and chèvre (peppered with thyme, rosemary and parsley). Still, the peaches’ inherent goodness requires no embellishment. $5, $7 and $9.

Location: The Produce Exchange

Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT

Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT, Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $12. How do I love thee? There aren't enough characters in a tweet to count the ways, so I'll just go with "spectacular." A new-foods must, and worth every penny. Seriously, wow. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT, Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $12. How do I love thee? There aren't enough characters in a tweet to count the ways, so I'll just go with "spectacular." A new-foods must, and worth...

Rick Nelson

The BLT is God’s gift to sandwiches. In the hands of Birchwood Cafe chef Marshall Paulsen — and his vast network of Minnesota organic farmers — it’s elevated into a heaven-sent fair experience. No detail is left to chance in this ingenious and obviously labor-intensive effort, from the swipes of basil-kale-sunflower seed pesto and chipotle-fueled sweet corn purée, right down to the sturdy focaccia, baked by Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in Minneapolis. Truly spectacular. $12.

Location: Farmers Union Coffee Shop

UpNorth Puff Pasty

UpNorth Puff Pasty, Sausage Sister & Me, Food Building, $8. What better way to twist the pasty tradition than with flaky, golden puff pastry? Another gotta-have delicacy (the cheese curds are a clever touch) from this fair foods innovator. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
UpNorth Puff Pasty, Sausage Sister & Me, Food Building, $8. What better way to twist the pasty tradition than with flaky, golden puff pastry? Another gotta-have delicacy (the cheese curds are a clever touch) from this fair foods innovator. Photo by...

Rick Nelson

Siblings and fair-foods standard-setters Cherie Peterson and Merry Barry shrewdly twist the Iron Range’s pasty tradition by using flaky puff pastry to envelop snappy porketta sausage, vinegary dill pickles and — why not? — chopped cheese curds. Delicious. $8.

Location: Sausage Sister & Me

Wood-Grilled Elote

Wood-Grilled Elote, Tejas Express, the Garden, $5. With sweet corn season in full bloom, why has no one done this before? What a treat: the charred corn is still juicy, the mayo/sour cream spread has a wicked bite from a jalapeÒo powder. A total six-napkin indulgence.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Wood-Grilled Elote, Tejas Express, the Garden, $5. With sweet corn season in full bloom, why has no one done this before? What a treat: the charred corn is still juicy, the mayo/sour cream spread has a wicked bite from a jalapeÒo powder. A total six-napkin...

Rick Nelson

Chef Mark Haugen does justice to this Mexican street food classic, and then some. Grilling over hickory (“I like everything to be smoky out here,” he said), the charred kernels retain their juicy snap, and the mayo/sour cream spread has a teasing bite, thanks to a jalapeño powder Haugen unearthed in Albuquerque, N.M. Not to be missed. $5.

Location: Tejas Express

★★★½

Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler at Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $8. Lovely. A taste of Minnesota summer, in a cup. Warm compote, real whipped cream. Not too sweet, a miracle at the state's largest sugafest. A total winner. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler at Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $8. Lovely. A taste of Minnesota summer, in a cup. Warm compote, real whipped cream. Not too sweet, a miracle at the state's largest sugafest. A total winner. Photo by Rick...

Rick Nelson

A (beautiful) taste of Minnesota, in a bowl. Birchwood Cafe’s Paulsen uses Winona-raised berries and rhubarb collected from a half-dozen Gopher State sources to create a warm, barely sweet compote that’s spooned over tender cornmeal cakes. Yeah, that’s honest-to-goodness real whipped cream. $8.

Location: Farmers Union Coffee Shop

CranOrange5

CranOrange5, Sara's Tipsy Pies, Food Building, $6. It's the hand-held goodie that should be on everyone's Thanksgiving menu. In August. Really fabulous. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

During her sophomore year at the fair, owner Sara Hayden plans to sell 26,000 handmade pies, and a hefty percentage should be this festive blend of green apples, vodka-soaked cranberries, orange zest and a dream of a crust. $6.

Location: Sara's Tipsy Pies

Nordic Waffles

Nordic Waffles (seven varieties), Nordic Waffles, West End Market, $8 and $9. The street food of Norway lands at the Great Minnesota PIg-Out, hurrah. The tender waffles make great vehicles for tasty, thoughtful fillings. Kudos to the b'fast and raspberry-strawberry versions. Go. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Owner Stine Aasland uses soft, golden waffles from her native Norway as sandwich-like vehicles for seven thoughtful flavor combinations, from sweet to savory. Gotta-tries include an all-day breakfast (eggs, Cheddar, bacon), raspberry-strawberry with vanilla-scented cream and a simple, lefse-like cinnamon-sugar-butter combo. $8 and $9.

Location: Nordic Waffles

Stacked Chicken Enchiladas

Stacked Chicken Enchiladas, Tejas Express, the Garden, $11. Hereís something not seen too often at the Great Minnesota Get-Together: subtlety. Chef Mark Haugen prepares a smoked tomatillo salsa verde, then adds tender hickory smoked chicken, and radishes for crunch. Terrific.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Subtlety and nuance are not normally associated with the slapdash “cooking” that is often the fair’s default mode. But not here. The centerpiece is a smoked tomatillo salsa verde, which complements rather than overpowers hickory-smoked chicken, crunchy radishes and garden-fresh cilantro. Impressive. $11.

Location: Tejas Express

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade, Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $5.50 and $7. Super-refreshing, with a sweet, colorful punch of organic, Minnesota-grown berries. The basil is a tasty touch. Drop the Coca-Cola and pick this up.
Photo by Rick Nelson
New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Strawberry-Basil Lemonade, Farmers Union Coffee Shop, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $5.50 and $7. Super-refreshing, with a sweet, colorful punch of organic, Minnesota-grown berries. The basil is a tasty touch. Drop the Coca-Cola and pick this up. Photo by Rick...

Rick Nelson

A bracingly refreshing swirl of fresh-squeezed lemons and a compote fashioned from all-local strawberries, with a delicate basil finish. Near perfect. $5.50 and $7.

Location: Farmers Union Coffee Shop

Swedish Meatball Smörgås

Swedish Meatball Smorgas, Blue Barn, West End Market, $8.95. Just-like-Momís pork-beef meatballs (my Lutheran motherís, anyway), with all the right touches, in a sweet Kingís Hawaiian Roll (which my mom would have loved). Whatís not to like?Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Pork-beef meatballs, straight out of a Lutheran church cookbook, with all the right trimmings, and a sweet King’s Hawaiian bun. Hearty and fabulous. $8.95.

Location: The Blue Barn

Yucatán Shrimp Cocktail

Another example of fresh, vibrant, so-not-the-fair fare. Serrano chiles give the cocktail sauce its welcome punch. More of this, please. $10.

Location: Tejas Express

★★★

Bacon-Stuffed Tots

Bacon-Stuffed Tots, Blue Barn, West End Market, $8.95. More like croquettes than Tots (which is a good thing) and the bacon is great. The bacon fat in the sour cream is even better. A guilty pleasure.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

More croquette than Tot, in a good way. The reason the sour cream is so irresistible? It’s boosted with bacon fat. $8.95.

Location: The Blue Barn

Bananas Foster French Toast

Bananas Foster French Toast, Hamlin Church Dining Hall, Dan Patch/Underwood, $9.25. A favorite fair breakfast destination has a new hit on their hands. Love the cinnamon, rum and orange accents. Totally shareable. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Good things happen when chef Erik Hendrickson coats thick-cut, cinnamon-swirled bread in a rich, eggy custard. The hot-off-the-grill results are garnished with freshly sliced bananas dunked in a caramel sauce redolent of rum and fresh orange rind. Served 7 to 10:30 a.m. only. $9.25.

Location: Hamline Church Dining Hall

Bierfest

Bierfest, Sara's Tipsy Pies, Food Building, $6. The savory side of this gotta-visit stand marries Cheddarwurst with sauerkraut and a robust mustard. The flakiest crust. A great lunch. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Oktoberfest, in a handpie, a mix of Cheddarwurst (made by Anoka Meats), pungent sauerkraut and gutsy coarse-ground mustard. Too bad owner Sara Hayden doesn’t have a beer license. $6.

Location: Sara's Tipsy Pies

Earth Wings

Earth Wings, French Meadow, Carnes/Nelson, $13. Great idea, and hurrah from the vegetarian and gluten-free among us. The cauliflower's texture comes through (w/a tantalizingly crispy fried oomph), and the zesty sesame BBQ sauce is a winner. But $13? Steep. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Cauliflower, the garden’s chameleon, gets treated like chicken wings, with winning results, a victory for those following vegan and gluten-free diets. Love the sticky, sesame-fueled glaze. $7.

Location: French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

Mangonada Shave Ice

Mangonata Shave Ice, Minnesnowii Shave Ice, West End Market, $6. They should call it "Fire and Ice" for its super-refreshing flavor juxtapositions. Love the boba garnish. Get it. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Otherwise known as “Fire and Ice,” this refined snow cone has a split personality, with coolly restorative mango playing against the feisty one-two punch of Mexican hot sauce and chili powder. $6.

Location: Minnesnowii Shave Ice

Pepperoni Chips With Roasted Red Pepper Queso

Pepperoni Chips With Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce, LuLu's Public House, West End Market, $7. The strangely addictive snack that is giving nightmares to cardiologists everywhere, and a beer vendor's best friend. Totally fun fair fare. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

This ideal meat-eater’s bar snack (and a cardiologist’s nightmare) is potato-chip-thin and nearly as wonderfully crisp. Super-fun, and totally beer-friendly. $7.

Location: LuLu's Public House

Root Beer Float & Cream

Honey Cream Soda Float, Minnesota Honey Producers Association, $9. A charming concept, and the fizzy honey soda is a treat. But the ice cream? Boring, certainly for the price. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Here’s an on-a-stick concoction we can all embrace, especially when it deftly channels all of root beer’s nostalgic essence into a cold, creamy bar. $4.

Location: JonnyPops

Turducken Sausage Sandwich

Turducken Sausage Sandwich, Giggles' Campfire Grill, Lee/Cooper, $7. The word "Turducken" was made for carny barkers, right? Snappy casing, and a hearty, peppery nite. Love the fennel bun. Worth trying. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Leave it to the gregarious Tim “Giggles” Weiss to introduce this fun-to-say mix of turkey, duck and chicken into the fair’s food vocabulary. He’s tapped St. Paul’s Big Steer Meats to fashion a lean, peppery, snappy-skinned sausage that’s boiled in beer, grilled, then served in a fennel-flecked bun. $7.

Location: Giggles' Campfire Grill

★★½

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Ahi Tuna Poke, Cafe Caribe, Carnes/Chambers, $9.50. On-trend, and not bad. The coolness of the avocado (and mango) are countered by some chile-fueled heat, and the tuna is fresh. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Yes, the fair is not immune to culinary trends, and this by-the-book version isn’t bad. Avocado and mango crank up the cool, while the (fresh) tuna’s ginger-soy marinade kicks in a bit of heat. $9.50.

Location: Cafe Caribe

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin, Anchor Coffee House, Underwood/Carnes, $6. Gluten-free baked goods often get a bun rap (deservedly so, in some cases), but not here. Margaret Doran of Margauxís Table in White Bear Lake knows whatís sheís doing, clearly. Well done.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Gluten-free baked goods often get a bum rap, but not here. This fair newcomer has tapped Margaret Doran of Margaux’s Table in White Bear Lake, and she’s turning out jumbo muffins that sport impressive texture and flavor. $6.

Location: The Anchor Coffee House

General Tso’s Chicken Tacos

General Tso's Tacos, Taco Cat, International Bazaar, $12. The chicken is plump, juicy and plentiful, and the sauce has the requisite sweet-hot back-and-forth. (And the hot is totally Minnesota Hot, if you know what I mean). Wonderfully shareable. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

What Panda Express and its food-court brethren should aspire to. The portions are hefty and the sweet-hot sauce teases “Minnesota spicy” boundaries. Available though Aug. 28 only. $12.

Location: Midtown Global Market's Taco Cat

Loaded Fries

Loaded Fries, Taco Cat, International Bazaar, $12. Carb-loading, to the max, and cheese fries taken to the Nth degree. Fortunately, the super-crisp fries stand up to the challenge, and the components are first-rate. Maybe the fair's most shareable new food item. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

This bruiser elevates carb-loading to dizzying heights. The crispy fries stand up to the challenge of the just-right combo of black beans, pickled jalapeños and a blanket of molten cheese. Shareable, to the max. $12.

Location: Midtown Global Market's Taco Cat

Smoked Black Bean Tacos

Smoked Black Bean Tacos, Taco Cat, International Bazaar, $10. Too bad the stand is only around until Aug. 28, because this is primo vegetarian fare. Love the smoked beans, love the crunchy cabbage slaw. Next year, Taco Cat, won't you stay the whole 12 days?
Photo by Rick Nelson
New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Yes, a vegetarian option with some flavor. A cabbage slaw inserts crunch, cotija cheese adds much-needed salt and the smoked beans have real depth. Available through Aug. 28 only. $10.

Location: Midtown Global Market's Taco Cat

Smoked Soft Serve Ice Cream

Smoked Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, Carnes/Chambers, 7 and $8. The ìsmokedî doesnít dominate (frankly, itís barely there). The cold brew coffee version (pictured) is swell, especially with the bourbon-cherry garnish. Huge portion.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

It’s tough to discern any smokiness in either version — vanilla or cold-brew coffee — but the latter has a wonderfully mellow flavor. Garnishes (hello, bourbon-soaked cherries) are first-rate. $7.

Location: Blue Moon Dine-in Theater

Sweetie Cakes

Sweetie Cakes (three varieties), Sweetie Cakes, Food Building, $7 each. Still warm, crowned with whipped cream. Kids will love them, especially the colorful, confetti- popped "Birthday" version. One quibble: $7 is a stretch. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Kids will dive into these three fragrant, warm-from-the-oven variations — especially the colorful, confetti-filled “Birthday Cake” — all crowned with a lavish swirl of whipped cream. $7 each cake.

Location: Sweetie Cakes

★★

Blueberry Saft and Lingonberry Saft Lemonade

Lemonade with Blueberry or Lingonberry Saft, Nordic Waffles, West End Market, $4 each. Super-refreshing on a hot fairgoing day, if maybe a tad too sweet.
Photo by Rick Nelson
New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Bottled berry concentrates from Sweden add bursts of color and flavor to summer’s favorite coolant. Both are perhaps just a tad too sweet. $4.

Location: Nordic Waffles

Lime in the Coconut Shake

Lime in the Coconut Shake, West End Creamery, West End Market, $8. Lusciously creamy, and the coconut really comes through (the lime, unfortunately, not so much). That price is maybe a dollar or two too high. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

There’s plenty of coconut (can there ever be too much coconut?) in this lusciously creamy concoction, but the lime side of the title doesn’t really come through. $8.

Location: West End Creamery

Messy Giuseppe

Cheers to the gutsy, garlicky pork sausage and lively marina. Jeers for the dreary bread. $7.75.

Location: Mancini's al Fresco

Mini Sconuts

Mini Sconuts, French Meadow, Carnes/Nelson, $7. Can I say that I miss the Dough-Sant? These replacements are exactly as advertised, a bit on the doughy side and filled with all kinds of gooey goodness. Are they worth waiting in line for 40 minutes for them, as I did today? No. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

The fair’s best bakers have replaced their cruelly addictive doughnut-croissant hybrid with these doughy, deep-fried scones, their centers filled with all kinds of gooey goodness. It’s not an even trade. $7.

Location: French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche, Shrimp Shack, Carnes/Underwood, $7. It's "ceviche" in quote marks, because the shrimp is cooked (a reassuring food safety move here in the state's largest temporary food court). Think "pico de gallo" with shrimp. Cool, refreshing, light. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Technically not ceviche because the shrimp is cooked, which, come to think of it, is a reassuring food safety strategy. It’s cool and light, a kind of shrimp-boosted pico de gallo. $7.

Location: Shrimp Shack

Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, The Strawberry Patch, Liggett/Judson, $6. For chocolate cake with chocolate chips and a fudge-like topping, it's doesn't radiate "chocolate." The berries are delicious. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

The eternal appeal of the chocolate-dipped strawberry is at play. Oddly, this chocolate cake — studded with chocolate chips and topped with a fudgy glaze — isn’t terribly chocolaty. $8.

Location: The Strawberry Patch

★½

Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado, the Hideaway, Grandstand, $14. A pleasant shrimp salad, served in underripe, clumsy-to-eat avocados. A country club luncheon (with prices to match) at the fair. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Country club luncheon fare (with prices to match) in the form of a perfectly pleasant shrimp salad that’s scooped into underripe, clumsy-to-eat avocados. $14.

Location: The Hideaway Speakeasy

Honey Cream Soda Float

Rick Nelson

There’s “nuanced,” and then there’s “one-dimensional.” The second one applies here. Overpriced, too. $9.

Location: Minnesota Honey Producers

That’s S’more Like It Malt

Rick Nelson

Lovely idea to channel this campfire favorite into a cup (there’s a sundae version, too, $5), but the weak, fake-tasting chocolate sauce tarnishes the sterling s’mores reputation. A missed opportunity. $6.

Location: Dairy Goodness Bar

Irish Tater Kegs

Irish Tater Kegs, O'Gara's at the Fair, Dan Patch/Cosgrove, $8. A good-on-paper idea that peppers jumbo (but soggy) Tater Tots with bits of corned beef and Swiss cheese, on a sauerkraut base. A salt bomb. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Soggy, salty, skippable, even for corned beef fans. $8.

Location: O'Gara's at the Fair

Moroccan Sausage Bowl

Moroccan Sausage Bowl, Sausage by Cynthia, Judson/Nelson, $7. Meh. Beef/lamb sausage with cumin-forward seasoning that bears a close resemblance to school cafeteria taco meat.Photo by Rick NelsonNew food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

“North Africa” doesn’t exactly come to mind with this one-note array of ground beef-lamb sausage. $7.

Location: Sausage by Cynthia

Rainbow Cloud Roll

Rainbow Cloud Roll (with "Superman" ice cream), Rainbow Cloud Roll, Grandstand, $8. "It's kind of like a sugar burrito," said the nice young woman, as she rolled cartoon-colored ice cream and Fruity Pebbles in cotton candy. Hilarious, very state fair, and toothache-inducing. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

“It’s kind of like a sugar burrito,” said the nice young woman, as she rolled cotton candy (tinted a vivid “My Little Pony” pink) around three scoops of cartoon-colored ice cream and, yes, Fruity Pebbles. The cavity-creating results are hilarious, totally within the midway ethos and borderline inedible. $8.

Location: Rainbow Ice Cream

Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs

Sweet Greek Cream Puffs, Dino's Gyros, Carnes/Nelson, $5. An ill-fated cross between baklava and a cream puff. Sticky, sweet, greasy, forgettable.

Don’t waste the calories on this sticky, greasy baklava/cream-puff mash-up. $5.

Location: Dino's Gyros

Za-Waffle Sticks

Za-Waffle Sticks, Green Mill, Cooper/Randall, $5. Hard to hate, but the love doesn't exactly come through, either. Not sure if breadstick-ey savory waffles are the way to go, and the pepperoni-infused "maple" syrup is icky. Not sure the marinara is a better bet. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Za-Waffle Sticks, Green Mill, Cooper/Randall, $5. Hard to hate, but the love doesn't exactly come through, either. Not sure if breadstick-ey savory waffles are the way to go, and the pepperoni-infused "maple" syrup is icky. Not sure the...

Rick Nelson

Another hybrid, this time with pizza and waffles. No. $5.

Location: Green Mill

Zesty PB&J Sausage

Zesty PB&J Sausage, Gass Station Grill, Carnes/Cooper, $6. Sure, the title is catchy, but everything else about this novelty-on-a-bun isn't. Skip it. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
Zesty PB&J Sausage, Gass Station Grill, Carnes/Cooper, $6. Sure, the title is catchy, but everything else about this novelty-on-a-bun isn't. Skip it. Photo by Rick Nelson New food at the Minnesota State Fair 2018

Rick Nelson

Whatever. $6.

Location: Gass Station Grill