Fair serves fried, frozen, fun food

The Australian Battered Potatoes stand at the Los Angeles County Fair features potatoes with a variety of toppings, including ranch and cheese. This item, as well as other variations, are located at The Australian Battered Potatoes. The Australian Battered Potatoes stand is located in the Downtown area of the Fairplex, near the expo halls. The Los Angeles County Fair runs through May 29. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
The Australian Battered Potatoes stand at the Los Angeles County Fair features potatoes with a variety of toppings, including ranch and cheese. This item, as well as other variations, are located at The Australian Battered Potatoes. The Australian Battered Potatoes stand is located in the Downtown area of the Fairplex, near the expo halls. The Los Angeles County Fair runs through May 29. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor 

Abelina J. Nuñez
Arts Editor 

The Los Angeles County Fair is back in full swing, which means so are the deep fried foods and other mouth-watering treats. Some are worth it, while some can be skipped over. Before guests break their wallets at the fair, here is an honest review of the foods we tried. 

Taylor’s tastebuds 

The Australian Battered Potatoes have been a fan-favorite at local county fairs across the U.S. for 29 years, and it was no different at the L.A. County Fair. The specialities at this booth featured a variety of battered and deep fried slices of potato that were smothered in various sauces and toppings, as well as the freshly squeezed lemonade. 

Going into it as someone who loves anything potato related, whether that be fries or chips, I was excited. Being that I grew up as someone who never drank soda or any other fizzy drink, I would consider myself a lemonade enthusiast, meaning I was ready to have my tastebuds blown away.

I decided to get the ranch and cheese battered potato plate, which cost a whopping $11.95, though that is not a surprising price for food at the fair. I had to wash it down with the lemonade, which meant this meal cost me close to $20. 

To say it was worth it would be an exaggeration. It would have been a nice snack to share between friends, but it did not make the best meal. 

For six decently-sized slices of potatoes, each were smothered in my two favorite dipping sauces- cheese and ranch. I did find myself going for the cheese covered potato more than the ranch one, since we all know how soggy potatoes become when they are drenched in ranch. There was a good balance between the two sauces, but it was very apparent that I was eating a deep-fried potato, which meant I was feeling the effects very quickly in my digestive system. 

I could not tell how much I was enjoying it or disliking it since I found it was very hard to put down once I started eating. Being that the Australian Battered Potatoes are so favored at the fair, I would say it was worth the try, but I would not order it as my lunch the next time I go. 

A sweet treat that cannot be skipped came from Fabe’s Churros and Gelato. The Dark Knight chocolate shake, named after the iconic movie, was made of rich chocolate ice cream, topped with a thick chocolate brownie, covered from head to toe with whipped cream, and complete with sprinkles all around the rim of the cup. 

While the shake cost $16, it came with a souvenir plastic mug with a picture of the fair’s signature ferris wheel combined with Fabe’s company logo. 

One quality I look for in a shake is the consistency. A shake is a drink, which means I want to be able to drink it through a straw without my face cramping. This shake met the mark. While I did have to scoop off the brownie and whipped cream to eat them, I cannot complain one bit. I was too busy being in chocolate heaven with my taste buds bursting from the delicious sweetness. 

This shake was the perfect treat to share on a date, so long as you ask for two straws. You will definitely need them because you and your date will be battling to devour this cup of rich, sugary goodness. 

Other flavors to keep an eye out for are the strawberry shortcake, which is topped with a strawberry skewer and angel food cake, the s’more shake, topped with marshmallows and graham crackers, and the grasshopper, a mint and chocolate milkshake rolled in Oreo crust and topped with Oreos and Andes Chocolate Mints. 

Abelina’s appetite 

The Chimango is a mango soft serve dessert with diced mango, chamoy, tajín, a tamarindo candy straw and a chile spiced-covered rim. The Chimango is available at the Dole Whip concession stand near the Fun Zone at the Los Angeles County Fair. The soft serve is gluten- and dairy-free, as well as 100% vegan. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
The Chimango is a mango soft serve dessert with diced mango, chamoy, tajín, a tamarindo candy straw and a chile spiced-covered rim. The Chimango is available at the Dole Whip concession stand near the Fun Zone at the Los Angeles County Fair. The soft serve is gluten- and dairy-free, as well as 100% vegan. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

When arriving at the fair, I was very drawn to all the different foods but took a while to choose what I wanted to try first. I did see Kool-Aid in a big baby bottle and wanted to get it but decided not to due to it being $20. If you plan on getting it, there is a $1 refill. 

I knew that I wanted to try two plates – a meal and a sweet, cold treat due to the hot sun beaming down. I first laid my eyes on the chicken kabob and the bacon-wrapped jalapenos at Backyard BBQ but decided to pass. 

But I did get the Philly Cheese Steak Fries at the Fair Favorite Concession. Their menu featured cheeseburgers, chili cheese fries, roast beef sandwiches and hot dogs, but it was the Philly Cheese Steak fries that drew my attention. 

The Philly Cheese Steak fries contained crinkle-cut fries with bell peppers, steak, grilled onions and provolone cheese, and decided to skip the grilled onions. It cost $20, and it was totally worth it. 

If you are a fan of fries with some sort of meat with it, then this is the one for you. After ordering, I did not have to wait long to get my fries. Once I laid my hands on it, I could not stop eating it and if you are a huge fan of cheese, this is most definitely for you. 

The melted provolone cheese continued to stretch with every bite and it was amazing; I love when cheese continues to stretch until it can not anymore. It is the best thing in the world. 

The bell peppers gave that extra crunch which was probably my second favorite thing from this meal. I am a sucker for eating ketchup with fries, and the fries were seasoned so well that there was no need for ketchup when eating the fries just by itself. 

While eating the fries, I kept having eyes on me because it looked so delicious and the couple next to me even complimented on it looking so good. 

I wish they did a bit differently by cutting the steak into smaller pieces instead of just having a big one on top. The steak was really good and was not too meaty or chewy. I would definitely order this again. They also had a lemonade which I am a huge fan of. 

They only had the yellow lemonade, so if you are a massive fan of pink lemonade, I am sorry, but it is still worth having. The medium lemonade cost $5.25 and took me a while to finish it. The price was worth it and I was able to drink the whole lemonade without getting that weird aftertaste when drinking lemonade. 

When looking for a sweet treat, I was not in the mood for something fried but when looking I got pulled in with a Dole soft serve. 

I was thinking of just getting a mango Dole soft serve but once I got closer to the cashier to order, I saw the Chamango and I knew instantly that I wanted it. 

The Chamango has mango dole soft serve with diced mango, chamoy chili spiced rim and a chili straw. This is the perfect dessert if you are a huge fan of tajín, chamoy and tamarindo candy straw. 

When eating the Chamango, it reminded me of the Lucus candy which was a huge plus for me since I would get the Lucus candy powder when I was a kid. The only thing I wish they did was have the diced mango in the middle of the cup and on top because when eating it, I had to wait at least halfway to get to the diced mango. But overall, it was still fantastic and I will definitely get it again. 

The Chamango cost $15.42. They also had pineapple, strawberry and lemon Dole soft serve. The soft serve is gluten-and-dairy-free, while it is 100% vegan. 

While we did not try a lot of the deep fried foods at the fair, they are definitely worth mentioning. The deep fried Oreos and deep fried Twinkies made their return, as well as fried s’mores. All could be found at Chicken Charlie’s, which had people lining up and around the booth. 

Of course, we cannot forget about the funnel cakes, which were featured in several different booths. The ones that caught our attention were from Texas Funnel Cake, which had also had an array of donuts covered in various sweets, including the M&M donut and the strawberries-n-cream. 

Terri’s Berries is another hot spot for sweet treats at the fair, featuring several chocolate-dipped goodies like chocolate-covered strawberries, marshmallows, Rice Krispies, Oreos, as well as caramel apples. If sugary sweets are not your thing, then you might go for one their $10 smoothies, with flavors from strawberry banana blast, peach, and a mixed berry blend.

When going to the fair this year, make sure to go on an empty stomach like we did to enjoy as many foods as possible. They might cost a pretty penny, but almost everything will be worth it. 

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu

Abelina J. Nuñez can be reached at abelina.nunez@laverne.edu.

Terri’s Berries, located near the Fairplex clock tower at the Los Angeles County Fair, features a variety of healthy dessert treats. They have smoothies, caramel apples, chocolate dipped strawberries, fruits and dipped Oreos. The fair is open until May 29. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Terri’s Berries, located near the Fairplex clock tower at the Los Angeles County Fair, features a variety of healthy dessert treats. They have smoothies, caramel apples, chocolate dipped strawberries, fruits and dipped Oreos. The fair is open until May 29. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Taylor Moore is a senior broadcast journalism major and Campus Times editor-in-chief for Spring 2024. In her sixth semester on Campus Times, she has served as the LV Life editor and social media editor twice, as well as a staff writer. She’s also worked on the University’s television news broadcast Foothill Community News as an anchor and reporter, and was a on-air personality for the University’s radio station 107.9 LeoFM.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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