Culinary adventures at the Alameda County Truthful | News

Each individual day is a enjoyable working day at the Alameda County Reasonable. For me, Thursday afternoons are unique due to the fact the reasonable offers meals bargains at many booths. For $2, you can snack on a cup of mac ‘n cheese, lick a little Dole Whip or bite into a total-sized steamed bao bun.

Stories abound about the introduction of meals these kinds of as hamburgers and cotton sweet at fairs.

But extended prior to foods took middle phase, the initially county fairs in the early 19th century were being agricultural affairs with farmers holding sheep-shearing contests and sharing improvements. Custom operates deep at the Pleasanton good with pig races, livestock displays and horse racing. But there are drone shows, FMX motocross, concerts and considerably more to see, touch and flavor.

In the foodstuff arena, the honest hosts a whopping 80 sellers located from the Grandstand and Courtyard to the Agventure Park spot, Key Carnival and Young ones Park. At the honest, some people try to eat what is familiar at home or dining places and other folks appear to experiment.

On the 1st $2 Honest Food items Bites Thursday on June 23, accompanied by a warmth wave and plenty of drinking water, I found appealing food stuff at new booths and traditional choices presented in new methods.

Some reasonable foods are challenging to find in other places.

Get Dole Whip comfortable serve, a staple at Disneyland. In Pleasanton, you can get pleasure from strawberry-pineapple Dole Whip and be viewed about by two clowns on stilts. Specified that comfortable provide is not 1 of my leading culinary temptations, I preferred the lesser $2 Thursday portion and the Dole Whip, a clean, chilly and fruity treat.

Of program, one particular of the main draws of the honest is to indulge in sure calorific foods this sort of as funnel cakes or fried cheesecake. I very seriously abide by this point of view.

Recognizing the Sweet Cheeks booth shortly immediately after arriving, I made a decision to try to eat dessert 1st and described that to the server, Zane Bradbury. I shortly found out that his mother and father, Jackie and Brian, have brought Sweet Cheeks to the reasonable for 40 decades. With that background, Bradbury firmly told me, “Immediately after all, you can not go to the truthful without the need of fried meals.”

I concur with him for the most section. You can consume healthful foodstuff at the good with numerous selections from the vegetarian Teriyaki Bowls to salads at Smooth Greek. Due to the fact I consume salad so frequently, I deferred to my cravings.

Soon after eyeing the Thursday $2 exclusive, a fried Oreo cookie, I requested the comprehensive-sized fried cookie dough on a adhere. After I little bit into the real-to-name soft middle and tasted chocolate chips, I was happy and shared the relaxation.

Following up, Hog Daddy’s near the Grandstand, the place pork is the star, and the Thursday particular is a $2 pork kebab. But I obtained distracted by the new providing, Truman Fries. However I conjured up Truman’s declaring, “The buck stops below,” I understood absolutely nothing of his foodstuff predilections.

Because of to the “nuclear” mass of jalapeños and significant part, the dish evoked Truman’s historic relevance. A relationship of curly fries and jalapeño-heavy nachos, the shareable dish functions Hog Daddy’s freshly roasted, savory pulled pork — an aspect now saved in the foodstuff memory box.

New foods booths at the fairgrounds

For a transform of pace, I frequented a nearby very first-time seller, Piggly’s Seafood that made available a Thursday $2 fried fish sample. I tried out the oyster-on-a-adhere, a new offering at the reasonable. Curious about the provenance of the oysters. web page manager Charity Rocha reported, “With oysters arriving every day, we are serving Royal Amethysts from Humboldt Bay now.”

I questioned Rocha about her initially practical experience at the truthful. “This is a attractive fairground with beautiful trees and shade, so wonderful on scorching days,” she said. Website visitors ate Piggly’s lobster nachos and barbecue oysters grilled more than mesquite at shaded tables in entrance of the Grandstand.

The crust on the fried oysters on a stick experienced a non-greasy chunk, and the sprinkle of onions and peppers on best introduced further contemporary crunch. I requested Roshini Solano, a first-time oyster eater, about the Piggly’s variation. An intern at the truthful, Solano explained, “After viewing the texture of oysters, I in no way preferred to consume them. Organized this way, they are pretty tasty.”

Another new vendor is Bunbao, a food truck procedure from Fremont that serves a assortment of steamed and filled bao buns. I couldn’t resist the Thursday $2 distinctive, a normal-sized vegetarian steamed bun. Packed with bok choy, mushrooms and seasoned with ginger and garlic, the bun was restaurant high quality.

Intrigued by the fluffy bao dough, I requested server Jésus Zuniga about the preparing. “The dough and filling are prepared and steamed everyday in the Fremont central kitchen, which also prepares buns for supply and catering. It will take only a minute to warmth them up below,” Zuniga said.

The most well-known selections, added Zuniga, are the barbecue or beef jalapeño buns.

By this time, I was thirsty. Nevertheless there are a lot of lemonades, coffee drinks, beers, vodka sodas and other cocktails, moreover a Wine Slush Bar, I ambled more than to Boba King.

Usual of wandering the good, I located Boba King opposite the Major Carnival and upcoming to a pirate ship.

Boba King is new to the fair however boba — aka bubble tea — gained level of popularity in the 1980s and is broadly offered. I tasted the Thursday $2 banana slushie particular, and decided I also wanted the total-dimension Mango Madness Slushie with bursting mango boba. The consume was chilly, fruity and enjoyable with the pop of the mango bursting boba.

But I considered boba ended up tapioca pearls, and acquired a speedy tutorial from Sean Rocha, manager of the booth: “We make the boba pearls ourselves from ‘raw’ tapioca which we boil, simmer and then blend with vegan honey syrup that darkens the pearls. The bursting or ‘popping’ boba that we invest in are juice-crammed.”

The Thai milk tea is a group most loved, he extra, along with peach tea and the mango slushie.

Speaking of bubbles, I identified one more new food booth, Bubble Waffle, with a namesake offering. The baking mildew provides the waffles “bubble” pop-ups in the dough.

The waffle is served as a cone to hold strawberry or banana and various toppings or as pop-outs served together with mini-pancakes and fruit — or in good style, fillings with Oreos, Nutella, or s’mores.

Truthful favorites

Mac and cheese is a longstanding All-American favourite. Still at a further Hog Daddy’s booth typically termed the Mac Shack, I spied a signal for fried cheese balls and promptly believed of tasting arancini in Italy.

These breaded and fried balls of rice and cheese are rather addictive. The fried mac and cheese balls with ancho chipotle sauce ladled on major seemed exciting, but I experienced maxed out the fried food quota and also declined the Thursday $2 unique of a cup of standard mac and cheese.

Going on to the 50th point out, I stopped by Ricardos Hawaiian Feast for a remaining flavor of the truthful.

Quite a few individuals had been chatting about the Hawaiian bowls, and I realized the $2 Thursday distinctive was a pineapple slice on a adhere, a refreshing alternative as the afternoon warmth intensified.

Their signature choices are Hawaiian Mowie Bowls. Piled into a scooped pineapple, the shrimp Mowie Bowl was crammed with roasted pineapple, an ample part of grilled shrimp and rice and a dollop of coleslaw.

Since the scorching working day stored visitors indoors and he wasn’t overly active, I requested proprietor Ricardo Tapia and his wife Mariana from Bakersfield about their practical experience at the Pleasanton fair.

“We have been in the very same spot for 5 decades and have normal clients. Some appear early for a breakfast Moco Loco with eggs, rice and selfmade hamburger patty with gravy. We adore this site at the good, and the people today are pleasant,” Mariana Tapia stated.

Mariana brought above a virgin piña colada from the significantly side of the booth and pointed out that you can buy liquor shots at the nearby Farmhouse Bar. I continued sipping my Mango Madness slushie.

Favorites at other longstanding booths are the ginormous turkey legs, funnel cakes with a lot of toppings, Italian, Greek and Mexican food items. Will not overlook the corn puppies. I was content to hold the $2 Thursday exclusive of a cocktail-sized corn “dog” in contrast to its massive 18-inch brother.

My friends remarkably proposed gyros this year, but I will maintain them for a different time. The fair meals craze I skipped was Flamin’ Incredibly hot Cheetos. A much more the latest trend than bacon-wrapped anything, very hot Cheetos have been everywhere you go, crushed as a coating or component or placed entire as a topping on pizza, nachos or corn-on-the-cob.

The good is open up for two additional Thursday food items specials, this week and future (June 30 and July 7) working right until 5 p.m., and 10 a lot more days of enjoyable all round. Armed with a approach to try to eat lightly beforehand and a hope for cooler weather conditions, I will verify out more reasonable attractions and store right before I nibble on a gyro, flavor a slice of Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos pizza and devour one particular fried Oreo cookie for dessert.

Come across good food stuff

The Alameda County Truthful web page functions a foods finder site to assistance attendees find their most loved treats all over the Pleasanton fairgrounds. Go to stuff/ .

The fair is open for its third 7 days from now by means of next Thursday, apart from for a common closure working day on Tuesday. The truthful is open on diminished hrs on Monday for the Fourth of July, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the parking heaps closing at 3 p.m. and gates closing at 4 p.m.