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DINING: A fair amount of pork

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Dining - A&E

This year, the Indiana State Fair is celebrating the Year of the Pig. And that means pork is the main attraction in five dishes that were selected as finalists in the Fair’s Signature Food contest.

First, it needs to be said that the selection process for this award is absurd—even by local contest standards. In short, submissions from vendors are commented on by judges, but those judges don’t pass judgment. Instead, Indianapolis Star readers look at the pictures, read the comments, then vote without having tasted the food.

Seriously.

To counter that, we hit the Fairgrounds on a (surprise) blisteringly hot afternoon and sampled all five. Here are our thoughts after actually eating them.


 

State Fair food: Pig in a pancake(IBJ Photos/Perry Reichanadter)

R.E. Smith Concessions’ Pig in a Pancake, top right. You’ve got to love an entrée that has its own cartoon character logo. Here, a squishy sausage link is given the corn-dog treatment, only with Aunt Jemima pancake batter. The warm dipping syrup helps bring out the pancake flavor, but our sausage should have been cooked longer. Look for it near the Cattle Barn. ($5)
 

State Fair food: Garbage Burger

Indiana Pork Producers’ Garbage Burger. Where the rest of the finalists were, at best, appetizers, this was a real meal. Our concern was that the shredded pork and the pork burger it topped would cancel each other out, flavor-wise—or would seem like just more of the same with different textures. But the combo proved a winning one—both for us and the non-tasting voters. Our only suggestion: something better than the out-of-the-bag bun. Find it at any of the Indiana Pork Producers’ tents. ($7)
 

State Fair food: Country Fried Bacon

Barto’s Catering’s Country-Fried Bacon. The peppercorn country gravy is a definite plus for these too-chewy, breaded bacon strips, but the dish was a bit heavy for the hot day. Warning: The south Barto’s location doesn’t carry the bacon. Find it on the north side in the vicinity of the Farm Bureau Building. ($2 for 3, $4 for 5)

 

State Fair food: Pulled Pork Taco

Delia’s Pulled Pork Taco. If we stop back again, we might ask for Delia’s delicious barbecue sauce to be added to this soft-tortilla, open-faced taco, in addition to the standard cheese, lettuce and salsa. As it stood, though, the tasty mini was gone in a few pleasant bites. Find it near the DNR Building. ($4)
 

State Fair food: Rootbeer Ribs

Delia’s Root Beer Ribs. So what if we had to try really hard to taste the subtle root beer marinade? These were still Delia’s ribs—smoked on site—in the purveyor’s signature barbecue sauce, which is a little spicy and a lot delicious. Find it near the DNR Building. ($5 for two bones)•

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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