Food newcomers on fire at the fair
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Jul 25, 2013 | 1794 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
07-25-2013--Brett Brill of San Leandro of New Orleans Catering holds up a bowl of Crawfish Etoufe'e at the Stanislaus County Fair Wednesday, July 17. --Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
07-25-2013--Brett Brill of San Leandro of New Orleans Catering holds up a bowl of Crawfish Etoufe'e at the Stanislaus County Fair Wednesday, July 17. --Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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07-25-2013--Michael Baballe of Lucky 7 foods of Hilmar holds up a deep fried five alarm burger at the Stanislaus County Fair Wednesday, July 17.--Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
07-25-2013--Michael Baballe of Lucky 7 foods of Hilmar holds up a deep fried five alarm burger at the Stanislaus County Fair Wednesday, July 17.--Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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It was hot in temperature and spicy on an especially warm day. The deep fried Five-Alarm burger Wednesday, July 17 from Lucky 7 foods out of Hilmar may have been the most decadent thing I have ever tasted. It was so hot and rich and I couldn’t eat the whole burger.

Michael Baballe, of Hilmar, who manages the Lucky 7 Red Hot Harry’s food trailer at the Stanislaus County Fair said the cooks start out by deep frying the burger in batter, then adding a layer of cheese and jalepeno peppers followed by another layer of batter and a trip back to the deep fryer. It is even served on a stick. Baballe said deep-fried food is the craze among fairgoers currently and hence the Five Alarm Special. Boy was it.

Baballe said he knows California fair food in and out. He’s been traveling the circuit for years from April to October.

“We finally got together,” he said of Red Hot Harry’s and the Stanislaus County Fair. “They had a spot and we finally had an open weekend.”

That is along with stomachs full of jalepenos and hamburgers.

Right next to Red Hot Harrys near the Budweiser Variety Free Stage was New Orleans Catering, which served up sweet, hot Cajun spiced foods straight out of the Big Easy itself. New Orleans Catering offered up pot cooked fresh daily Cajun cuisine, according to Brett Brill, of San Leandro, by way of New Orleans, where his family once owned a restaurant.

“We pot cook everything in the morning for three hours,” he said of his food, which is tasted everywhere from the Jazz Fest in San Francisco to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. His fare included fried alligator and a crawfish etouffe’e that was scrumptious.

Closer to the center of the fair near the new Farmer’s Market and was a new Sharky’s trailer which was cooking up lobster corndogs with—you guessed it—freshly made lobster sausage in them.

Sequoia Schoonover from Sacramento said his two trailers, which included the new Indian Fry Bread were flourishing.

Mid-way through the fair Sharkey’s had met all of the volume the he had at the 2012 Stanislaus County Fair. He said the new Sharkey’s trailer had something to do with that along with the food they were offering which served a lot of fish products including crab cakes, shark bites (fried cod bites) and the aforementioned lobster corn dogs. They also featured deep fried avocados and pickles. At the fry bread booth, which is a Native American product, people were still discovering the delicacy.

“Where there is a population of Native Americans, we sell a lot,” he said, noting sales were “Okay, but in Fresno we sell 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of dough.”

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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