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'Get Out There' and eat your way through the San Diego County Fair!

Nathalie Taylor

Special to the Village News

This story was originally published on June 8, 2023.

Machete-fresh or Flamin' Hot? These are just two of the food choices that guests have at the 2023 San Diego County Fair! "Get Out There" is the theme this year, and the food line-up is sure to inspire guests to get out there and eat their way through the fair.

Naked Shrimp is back! The stellar pineapple and shrimp dish that was such a hit last year will be available at Chicken Charlie's along with another favorite – the delicious frog legs. Even better news is that Charlie Boghosian, the friendly proprietor who is known for his innovative food creations, is debuting new and fun food items.

With his winning smile and enthusiastic demeanor, he explained the new creations, "Since the theme is "Get Out There," we got out there with some new food! I am the 'Fry Guy,' – I have to fry everything – so the ideas just came to me."

For those of you who love the hot and spicy Flamin' Hot Crunchy Cheetos, you are in luck. One of Charlie's new food items is, "Flamin' Hot Potstickers," which are potstickers encrusted with Flamin' Hot Crunchy Cheetos, then deep-fried. The Cheetos lend a hearty heat and flavor punch!

Chicken Charlie's "Deep-fried Marshmallow S'Mores on a Stick." are beyond delicious. One large marshmallow is dipped in batter, then deep–fried, and drizzled with chocolate. Powdered sugar is sprinkled generously over the entire luscious item. But beware, if you are wearing black you will wear some of the powdered sugar the rest of the day. Is it worth it? Of course! Luscious doesn't begin to describe it! I wanted to go back for more! I guess that's why they call them s'mores. This is just further evidence that whatever Chicken Charlie creates is always innovative, fun and delicious!

The Coconut Guy, a new vendor, lured guests to his booth with retro turquoise webbed chairs, the color of a sixties swimming pool. A neon pink sign proclaimed: "Life's Better With A Drink Umbrella." He offered refreshing coconut water served in a trimmed coconut, which was garnished with an umbrella. It's "Machete-fresh," according to him, and I could see the machete cut marks on the trimmed coconut! Sounds a bit dangerous, but the end result is delicious and refreshing.

SD Original Fish & Chips debuted an amazing new item served in a half coconut shell. Fried coconut shrimp was placed on a base of fluffy white rice, then mango chunks, with a sweet and spicy mango sauce, were nestled in the half coconut! The shrimp was tender and the mango was flavorful with a bit of a bite to it, but not too hot. It definitely took me on a mind journey to a tropical island.

Northgate Market offered plates filled with creamy and delicious house-made guacamole, along with fresh-made chips. Pork rinds completed the plate. I am not usually a fan of pork rinds, but after tasting these flavorful samples, I took a permanent spot in the cheering section. The texture was also perfect – not too crunchy or too soft.

Looking for food vendors? There is always that unmistakable aroma of various types of food to guide the way. Food vendors usually occupy the same places year after year. That is not only handy when you are hungry for your special hamburger, funnel cake, or ice cream, but it is a comfort – like coming home...

The San Diego County Fair runs June 7 through July 4. For further information, please access the website:


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