Gallery: First Impressions: We Eat Most Everything at State Fair, and You Should, Too

Sliders with Cheese ($2.25 for a single, or $6.25 for a 3-pack)
Sliders with Cheese ($2.25 for a single, or $6.25 for a 3-pack)

These days, any mini burger is called a "slider," but this may be Chicago's only true take on the New Jersey classic. With its squishy, steamed dinner roll sized bun, properly seasoned smashed 80-20 beef patty, and nicely caramelized onions, this was the surprise hit of our visit, and one I'll be returning for damn soon.

Fresh Cut Fries ($2.75)
Fresh Cut Fries ($2.75)

Skin on and twice fried to a satisfying crispy brown, the only thing keeping these away from greatness is salt. An easy fix.

Chicago Style Dog ($4.00)
Chicago Style Dog ($4.00)

This version is a steamed bun and natural casing away from being wonderful. Zealots may clamor for poppy seeds, too, but taking the first two suggestions alone will up Logan Square's proper Chicago dog spots to two.

Coney Style Dog ($4.00)
Coney Style Dog ($4.00)

For those whose first question is, "which one?" the answer is Cincinnati, and the take here is pretty good. The aforementioned steamed bun and natural casing dog (this is Chicago, after all—the rest of the Midwest can keep its skinless wieners), as well as a slightly more generous hand with the onions and cheese, would make it great. And while we're on the subject of cheese, freshly grated would be worlds better than the starch coated pre-grated stuff currently on top.

Corn Dog ($4.00)
Corn Dog ($4.00)

Unlike many versions where the dog itself gets lost in the batter shuffle, the bready flavor here is subdued, allowing the beefy hot dog to take center stage. Slightly more time in the fryer would help though, as the batter had a tendency to skew toward gummy.

Skewered Chicken Spiedie ($5.50)
Skewered Chicken Spiedie ($5.50)

This chicken kabob with dressed lettuce sandwich eats more like a grilled chicken caesar salad than the chicken and bread version found throughout Binghampton, NY. No complaints here—this is one satisfying sandwich, though a sturdier bun would make the affair a little less messy.

Pork Tenderloin ($5.50)
Pork Tenderloin ($5.50)

I never really encountered the manhole cover-sized version of this sandwich where I grew up in Indiana, but I do know enough to know that this hoagie shaped version is nowhere near traditional. Keep on keepin' on, I say: the pork is crispy and moist, and the honey mustard, lettuce, and tomato garnishes dress this sandwich up quite well.

Deep Fried Cheese Curds ($3.75)
Deep Fried Cheese Curds ($3.75)

The slightly floury batter would benefit from a stern whisking (and some salt, come to think of it), and a longer cook time would mean gooey, melty, and crunchy nuggets of fried cheese with beer-soaking potential all over them.

Fried Twinkie ($4.00)
Fried Twinkie ($4.00)

If you're still eating Twinkies, this is probably the best way to do it. However, skip the fair food newcomer in favor of the classic...

Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake ($4.00)
Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake ($4.00)

This is the purest distillation of the "state fair" concept here, and it's on point. With just the right amount of crunch and chew, I can't imagine ending a meal here any other way.

Hot Fudge Cream Puff ($4.00)
Hot Fudge Cream Puff ($4.00)

Forget what I just said. This, with its housemade pastry shell, vanilla ice cream innards, and healthy dousing of hot fudge, is the thing to beat. Forget it: bring a friend and order both.

Boston Cooler and Root Beer Float ($4.00 each)
Boston Cooler and Root Beer Float ($4.00 each)

Vanilla ice cream plus Vernor's Cream Soda or root beer. These sell themselves.

State Fair
State Fair