Among the folks at the Fair on Monday was my good friend, I'll call her Baby Beres' Mom. Her, along with her husband and a group of friends ate an insane amount of food. But brilliantly, they created and applied a rating system (which, going forward will be called the BBMRS for Baby Beres' Mom Rating System).
Being a person that can't quite leave well enough alone, I am modifying it a bit (calling it the MBBMRS). I liked using colors not unlike a stoplight (red for "Bleh", yellow for "Meh" and green for "Yeah!"). We also needed a couple more colors, so My-Sugar-Na and I came up with chartreuse to land between yellow and green, and purple with fuchsia polka dots for a food that exceeds green.
So with the MBBMRS in mind, here is what was munched on during today's Crazy Grazin' Day...
PURPLE w/ FUCHSIA POLKA DOTS -
- Chocolate covered licorice from Ultimate Confections (4 pieces for $1.00) - Sweets are in my wife's wheelhouse (though I took about a centimeter long taste), She said "It was amazing (with an eye roll)"
- Italian sausage from Charlie's Sausage ($6.50) - This is one of those "Every year" treats for myself, it was just a bonus that it was on the Grazin' menu for a half-a-buck off. (Disclaimer; I didn't actually eat this at the Fair, I took it "to go" and had it after I got home. Still counts, though, as this is my blog.)
- BBQ Pork sandwich from the West Allis Shrine Club (mini portion $2.25) - My wife had this, and she said that it was very good, and would buy the regular size on a future visit.
- Deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the Machine Shed ($3.00) - This is another "must hit" for me. Crusty, oily, melty, ooey-gooey. Oh yeah...
- Garlic cheese dippers from Barside Pizza ($3.00) - This is the building that used to be Shakey's, and also Mojo's Pizza when (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Stepson, Grizzly, worked the Fair. These dippers were very flavorful with herbs and garlic. Points off, however, as the marinara dipping sauce was ice cold.
- Smoked Jalapeno Cheese Brat from the Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill ($2.50) - This was, by far, the best deal of the Crazy Grazin' items we tasted. It was a full sized brat, cooked perfectly and dripping with cheese. I crossed off all other tubular meats off my list (well, except for Charlie's sausage) as they couldn't be as good as this, especially for the price. Sorry Benno and Slim McGinn.
- Door County Cherry Wheat beer from The Micro ($7.50) - This wasn't on the Grazin' menu, but came at a time when my whistle needed whetting. I don't like a really bold or hoppy beer (I like wheat beers, and also fruited brews like Summer Shandy). I talked to the bartender about this or the Pomegranate Lemonade, and he asked if I wanted sweet or sweeter. I made a great choice.
- Orange sorbet from Sprecher Landing ($1.50) - I like sherbet. I like orange sherbet. This was very good. But it couldn't be GREEN because (me not being a fan of sweets) there are other sweets that I'd prefer. Also, this is too hard to eat while carrying 2 pounds of coffee grounds that I had purchased from the Berres Brothers stand.
- Root beer sorbet from Sprecher Landing ($1.50) - My wife chose root beer over orange. And she said it was good, not spectacular. I did not try it, as I was happy with my orange.
- Cream Puff from the Wisconsin Bakers Association ($4.00) - In other years with the MBBMRS, it would have been an easy GREEN, maybe even PURPLE w/ FUCHSIA POLKA DOTS. But these have fallen. Hard. Compared to past years, they are tiny. Two used to easily fill-up a plate, with enough cream to match. Very disappointed in the size, and for the price, too. I can't recall the price last year, but I didn't think it was $4.00 (not sure). But to raise the price and reduce the portion? Whomever made this decision needs to rethink it, fast, as I think they are relying way too much on "Everybody has to have a cream puff at the Fair". I certainly no longer "have to".
- Reuben-on-a-stick from Jake's Deli ($4.00) - The taste is great. Love Jake's corned beef, and that cheese sauce they use (when combined with the Thousand Island dressing) is quite lovely. However, the rye bun that is served is very dense and chewy. The stick is more for garnish, and you pretty much need to separate the sandwich like a cream puff so that all the filling doesn't fall out. If they could de-densify the bun, this moves up to CHARTREUSE.
- Chicken shish-kebob from Eleni's Greek Foods ($3.00) - My-Sugar-Na had never had a shish-kebab before, so she was a bit apprehensive. She tried it (and liked it) and even liked the tzatziki sauce served on the side. I was allowed to eat her peppers (dipped in sauce) and I liked it, too.
- BBQ Western burger from Double K Ranch ($5.50) - Each year there is a klunker (Deep fried bratwurst bites and Island noodles from past Grazes, to name a couple). This was another item my wife had, but allowed me to taste. It didn't taste bad, but it just wasn't exciting. The burger was a little burnt so the edges were crispy, but no real spice, nothing resembling BBQ (which has me wondering if they gave her the wrong order) and was horribly overpriced, even at the discounted price. I asked my wife for an official quoted, and she said "It was yukky.". Last year from Double K, I had a pizza burger which (if I had the MBBMRS last year) would have been yellow at best. I think next year, we avoid Double K altogether.
As for our Fair experience, we had another great time. A little bit too much of same-ol'-same-ol', though consistwncy is part of the charm. We didn't bother with the Racing pigs this year, and never set foot in the Expo Center (too many strollers). We did make it to the north end of the grounds to the 99.1 WMYX booth, and although they refused to play "Master of Puppets" from Metallica ("I have no control over the playlist" said the talking head) we did talk for a little while with "Dammit Man" McNeil.
We got to the WMYX booth near the top of the hour, so we were able to spin the prize wheel (which they have for ten minutes at the top of each hour). I won a $10 certificate to the Horny Goat, and my wife won a gift card for an apparel store, so it was a good stop.
I don't know if I will make it back to the Fair again this year (but I still have one ticket, so someone could invite me). If I don't get there, I am already missing it and waiting for next year.