L.A. County Fair 2010 – Pomona

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

Our little apartment would’ve roasted us alive had we not left the premises this past weekend. After a summer of moderate weather, temperatures hit over a hundred degrees throughout the city seemingly out of nowhere. To escape our overheated pad, I suggested to The Astronomer that we troll for cute dresses in an indoor mall. He nixed that idea and offered that we head to an air-conditioned bar for NFL action instead. I couldn’t get behind that plan either. In the name of compromise, we sought respite in the least likely of places: the L.A. County Fair.

Spending the day in Pomona probably wasn’t much cooler than staying at home in Pasadena, but it was far and away more fun. It’s not every day that I can attend a pig race and then eat barbecued ribs afterward. No sirree, just once a year when the fair rolls into town.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

The L.A. County Fair is equal parts food, rides, and exhibits. We focused solely on eating and observing during our visit. Before deciding what to consume first, The Astronomer and I strolled through the fairgrounds scoping out the goods. The 1/2 pound dogs glistening in the sun looked mighty enticing roasting next to a pile of onions and peppers. Truth be told, these were the largest wieners I’d ever seen.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

The giant turkey legs nearby smelled and looked terrific as well. My friend Laurie attended the fair a few weeks before and reported that the turkey legs were seriously delicious.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

We eventually stumbled upon Chicken Charlie’s mesmerizing booth and couldn’t pull ourselves away. The menu boasted “totally fried” Klondike bars, White Castle burgers, avocados, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Twinkies, frogs legs, smores, and best of all, Krispy Kreme chicken sandwiches.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

We deemed the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich the most ridiculous creation of the bunch and ordered one to share. When we lifted the “bun” to smother the patty with honey, we spied a puddle of jelly in the center. As the junk food gods would have it, it was a raspberry jelly-filled doughnut!

The Astronomer bravely took the first bite and seemed to enjoy it well enough, so I went in for a taste as well. The glazed doughnut was soft and sugary, while the meat was two notches above the chicken patties my elementary school cafeteria used to serve. Eaten together, it was a sweet and savory mash up, not unlike a monte cristo sandwich. The sandwich was also the ideal size; had it been any bigger, we would’ve been sick.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

Next, we hopped on over to Fair Fix, one of a dozen booths selling deep-fried sweets like Twinkies, Oreos, and cheesecakes.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

With so many gluttonous choices to consider, it was difficult picking just one. Since I’d been curious to try deep-fried Oreos for years now, they edged out the deep-fried cheesecake. The man behind the counter asked if I fancied my Oreos with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup on top. I answered, “Yes, please.”

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

While I was hesitant to taste the Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich, I dove right in with the Oreos. I was expecting the cookie to retain its signature crunch, but battering and frying caused it to wilt into a cake-like state. I liked the deep-fried Oreos, but probably won’t order them on a future outing.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

After filling our gullets with all fat and no nutrients, we checked out some of the fair’s non-caloric fare, including a junior rodeo…

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

…a world-famous Mexican trick roper name Benny Martinez…

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

…a sheep shearing demonstration…

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

…a bee farm…

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

…and the highlight of my day, pig races!

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

The little pigs were so fast that my camera could barely catch them in action. It was a pleasure hooting and hollering for the little guys! After the races concluded, the master of ceremonies handed out coupons for free bacon courtesy of Ralph’s supermarket.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

By the time dinner rolled around, the novelty of deep-fried foods had thankfully worn off. Instead, we lined up for Texas-style ‘cue. Our lightly sauced ribs were the tastiest things we ate all day. The meat was smoky and tender, while the sauce was tangy and spiced real nice. It was a pleasure gnawing the bones clean under the shade of a tree.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

The Texas toast served with the ribs wasn’t ideal, but it soaked up the sauce from our fingers like a charm.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

Our final bite of the day was a cup of chocolate mint Dippin’ Dots, which is one of the cheapest and tastiest molecular gastronomy experiences available. It had been at least a decade since my last serving of icy dots, and I gotta say, it tasted even better than I remembered.

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

Before leaving for home, The Astronomer and I checked out some of the culinary exhibitions. Plenty of ribbons were awarded to pickles- and preserves-filled jars…

L.A. County Fair 2010 - Pomona

…as well as artfully baked cakes. I hope to enter some goodies into the competition next year—cook-off style!

The L.A. County Fair is in town until October 3. Check out the complete set of photos via Flickr.

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12 Responses to “L.A. County Fair 2010 – Pomona”


  • You left the fair without the signature cinnamon roll????
    I live in Costa Mesa where the OC fair is held, and the LA fair is pretty much the same stands and booths thats the OC one has, they just move locations when the OC one ends. But how could you not buy yourself a cinnamon roll?? they are to die for. My sis and I bought a super pass for the fair and literally went everyday to buy a cinnamon roll. If you ever stop by the fair again remember to buy one.

  • Lisa - Yum! Cinnamon rolls would’ve been a great addition to our eating adventures. Vern and I did’t recall any vendors selling cinnamon rolls, but we’ll have to investigate closer next year. Thanks for the tip.

  • yum! i actually kinda liked the oreos. ours weren’t crunchy either, but it was like a soft, melted candy bar version of an oreo. still not something i’d eat ever again (until next year). i also loved the pig races. when we were there, the last race was a duck race, but duck #4 had gotten pregnant, so they replaced her with a goose. one of the funniest things i’d ever seen!

  • The fair looked like fun, always interesting to see what they have in terms of food. Btw, was that the astronomer that I spotted at Saigon on Friday?
    David

  • David - If you mean last Friday at Saigon Bakery and Sandwiches, then yes!

  • I love county fairs! We’ve gone to the Iowa state fair a few times while visiting family out there. I remember pork chop on a stick, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick, deep fried candy bars, and last but not least: the hot beef sundae. It was an ice cream cup filled with roasted beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, then cheese, and a cherry tomato on top. My uncle waited in line for30 minutes for it.

  • That was perfectly delightful to read! It sounds like quite the gastronomical journey! From Krispy Kreme chicken sandwiches to deep fried oreos to Dippin’ Dots…. this clearly deserves a bravo!

    I’ve actually never had Dippin’ Dots before. I think I will have to investigate how I can get my hands on some…

  • oye, just reading this almost gave me a heart attack! …although i must admit that the oreos do look tasty.

  • I decided to hand off my tickets so I can avoid the 5000 calories I would’ve ingested if I go :P
    With a raspberry-filled krispy kreme, I don’t think I’d be needing to smother that chicken “sandwich” further with honey!

  • You didn’t get the fried beer?? For shame! I need SOMEONE I know to try that ridiculous-sounding dish.

  • You and the Astronomer deserve the blue ribbon for consuming all this Fair food!

  • How ironic–bacon coupons being handed out at a pig race!

    Thanks for taking one for the team and trying out the chicken sandwich and the fried oreos. Fried oreos are a specialty at my local amusement park, but I’ve always been too scared to try them.

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