Tie the feed bag at the county fair

When the fair comes to town, it’s a golden opportunity to taste unusual dishes. The Orange County Fair opened last weekend in Costa Mesa, so on Thursday photo editor Raul Roa ventured out to see what food specialties he could find. Continue reading:

With a roster of some 99 food and drink vendors, hungry visitors are spoiled for choice at the Orange County Fair, from the usual burgers, hot dogs and lemonades to more exotic foods like frog legs and fancy drinks covered in edible flakes.

One of the stands with the most unusual foods is the classic Chicken Charlie’s, whose owner has invented a variety of fried foods. Fried Oreos were introduced in 2001 by Charlie Boghosian, also known as “Chicken Charlie” or “The Man Who Fries Everything”.

Nancy Serrano, 18, of Costa Masa, shows off the fried Oreo cookies she ordered Thursday from Chicken Charlie’s at the Orange County Fair.

(Raul Roa)

But not only is Boghosian offering Oreos and a Krispy Kreme donut triple cheeseburger, it’s also selling around 10,000 servings of frog legs during the month-long event.

Boghosian said he has been preparing the breeding specialties for 20 years. “They’re one of the best sellers for us,” he said.

Frog legs are fried in a thick batter and served with a slice of lemon, a packet of tartar sauce and a mountain of fries. The delicacy of amphibian meat tastes and even looks very similar to chicken. And a serving of three pairs was enough to satiate the palate.

Fried frog legs from Chicken Charlie's fill a plate at the Orange County Fair.

Chicken Charlie’s Fried Frog Legs fill a plate at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa Thursday.

(Raul Roa)

Other popular items with visitors include the passion fruit and peach lemonade which is served in a tall glass rimmed with edible sprinkles and garnished with edible flowers and mint at Bangin Berries. Vendor Desteen Stroh said the drinks were popular with customers. His stall also sells a variety of chocolate-covered fruits and candies.

Bangin Berries offers peach blossom fruit lemonade with edible sprinkles and edible flower decoration.

Bangin Berries offers peach blossom fruit lemonade with sprinkles and edible flowers, at the Orange County Fair.

(Raul Roa)

At the Snax Shack, Marco Resendiz, 38 from Whittier, ordered a fried Gansito, a Mexican pastry like a Twinkie but covered in chocolate and filled with strawberry jelly.

Juan Sierra of Ten Pound Bun showed off a large slice of sourdough bread covered in Nutella and topped with bacon. The sweetness of the snack was evident to the olfactory senses.

Juan Sierra of Ten Pound Bun shows off the enormous Nutella Bacon Sourdough Concoction.

Juan Sierra of Ten Pound Bun shows off the enormous Nutella Bacon Sourdough Concoction.

(Raul Roa)

Rochelle Rivera, 30, of Huntington Beach, said she wanted to try the pastrami on sourdough bread with cheese and garlic.

“It’s really, really good,” she said after taking a bite of her sample.

Nannette Ancheta, 41, from Lakewood, said she has been a very happy consumer of Australian battered potatoes for more than 10 years. “These are my favorite dishes,” Ancheta said.

At Noel’s Mexican food, the fried avocado tacos seemed to be popular with the chipotle chicken fries. Avocado tacos are served like Baja-style fish tacos, except without the fish. They include sliced ​​cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, special chipotle sauce, and chipotle chili powder.

Yaqui from Noel's Mexican Food shows the Chipotle Chicken Fries.

Yaqui from Noel’s Mexican Food holds a serving of chipotle chicken fries, topped with shredded cheese, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, special chipotle sauce and chipotle pepper powder, at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa.

(Raul Roa)

Other items that can be found readily available are the ever-popular bacon-wrapped turkey legs, grilled corn on the cob, and a variety of foods for vegetarians as well as carnivores.

Bacon-wrapped turkey legs can be found at various food stalls at the Orange County Fair.

Bacon-wrapped turkey legs can be found at various food stalls at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa.

(Raul Roa)

For more details on the food stalls, visit the OC Fair website, ocfair.com, under the list of food vendors. As the site says, “You know you want it if it’s fried, wrapped in bacon, or sprinkled with sugar.”

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