Eating the Arizona State Fair: Red Velvet Funnel Cake, Gigantic Ribs, Pineapple Lemonade -- and the Hunt for the Cap'n Crunch Hamburger

Red Velvet Funnel Cake.jpg
Katie Johnson
Red Velvet Funnel Cake: I wanted to like this one more. Come on, red velvet cake and funnel cake together at last, how could you go wrong? Turns out that after deep-frying, red velvet batter tastes like plain ol' funnel cake. I saw a couple of stands making them, maybe one of the other ones does it better than the one I had.

Deep-Fried Cinnamon Rolls: Just when I thought I'd seen deep-fried everything, I found this carb-aholic's dream come true from a pink kiosk at the south end of the grandstand. It seems like the kind of thing that must have been around for ages, but this is the first I've ever seen such a thing. In addition to the hot, gooey cinnamon rolls, the stand offered seemingly scores of items that you wouldn't expect deep-fried, including deep-fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Pop Tarts, cheesecake, even Fruity Pebbles.

BIG Ribs.jpg
Katie Johnson
The BIG [sic] Rib: Too much dubious deep-fried food for you? Save the smoked turkey legs for the Renaissance Festival and get the BIG Rib, also pretty close to the grandstand. It's the vendor's idea to use all caps on "big", but in this case, it's entirely warranted. The stand serves up primal two-pound beef ribs that look like something right out of The Flintstones. If it's too much food for you and your friends (let's be honest, that thing could serve six easily), doggie bags are included with every purchase. And, I'm pretty sure that once you're done with the meat, the empty bone can double as a souvenir baseball bat.

Pineapple Lemonade: When wandering the State Fair, the drink of choice is fresh-squeezed lemonade. It's readily available from a great deal of food stands, and often comes in cherry or strawberry flavor. One flavor that was new to me this year is pineapple, and it is utterly delicious. There's only a handful of places that offer it, but they're worth seeking out.

There were two items that I excitedly combed the fair to find, to no avail. According to the handy-dandy map, there are sweet potato corn dogs somewhere. I'm curious just how those intersect, and if it is indeed possible to improve on that most revered guilty pleasure food, the corn dog. And, even better, and when I say "better" I mean "so much worse it has to be amazing", apparently there are Cap'n Crunch burgers available. Yes, sugary cereal and a hamburger together in unholy union. If you find either of those at the Fair, let me know where they are so I can go back and try them. The fair runs through November 4 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, more info at so there's plenty of time to pig out. Even if you don't find them, say hello if you see me out there. I'll be the one holding a corn dog the size of my forearm.

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Location Info


Arizona State Fairgrounds

1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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