Geddes, N.Y. — Today we are celebrating Dairy Day at the New York State Fair. You can start your visit with a visit to the butter sculpture, get a cup of milk for a quarter and then check out the local media milkshake competition. The crew at syracuse.com will be mixing our non-award-winning milkshakes at 11 a.m. in Chevy Court.
After that, we’ll be on the hunt for more delicious food. So let’s get to it. …
I write about food for syracuse.com and The Post-Standard, I rely on readers to tell me what’s good in Central New York. That’s exactly what I’m counting on during the State Fair. I’ll be taking your suggestions and highlighting the best food and drinks here. If you eat or drink something that knocks your socks off, text me (315-382-1984) and I’ll give it a try. Heck, I might even join you for a meal and pick up the tab.
Entrée: BBQ Split at Porky’s Barbecue & Grill on Restaurant Row ($20). I’m not going to lie. This thing is just dumb. It’s so stupid because it’s just so (expletive) amazing. I mean, who thinks turning the best-ever dessert into an entrée is a good idea? Well, the folks running this place did, and thank God they did!
Vito Marotta and his son from Massachusetts, have been cooking barbecue pork, brisket and turkey legs for 35 years. This is their first year here. Consider this savory sundae a collage of their best offerings. It’s pretty simple: two ice-cream-sized scoops of garlic mashed potatoes on top of a slap of beef brisket and a mess of pulled pork. (Mind you, that meat will have been slow-cooking for hours before it lands in front of your hungry face.) They top the taters with a few cherry tomatoes, and they line the edges with coleslaw. And just when you think you haven’t had enough, they sandwich the whole platter with two ribs.
That’s the reason this thing costs $20. This is plenty big enough to feed you and a hungry companion. For me? I had to get an Uber home because I was too full to drive.
DISCLAIMER: The photo does not depict a true BBQ Split. We had to order ours without slaw because the reader who suggested this place to me doesn’t like slaw. I still picked up the tab, even though he has questionable tastes.
Drink: Flower Power India Pale Ale on tap ($5). This just might be the best liquid deal at the State Fair this year. This fine beer costs just as much as some stands are charging me for Miller Lite and Utica Club. Trust me, I know, because that’s all I’ve been drinking up until now. My boss is also fully aware because he’s the one approving my expenses.
This was such a great deal, I had to get one for me and one for syracuse.com’s booze writer Don Cazentre. And another one for me, and another one for Don.
Seriously, you’re not going to find 14 ounces of this Ithaca Beer Company for this cheep in any Central New York bar. And this is the Fair, where everything is going to cost a little more.
>> Bad Mama’s Blues Band, 2 p.m. at Chevy Court
>> Dangerous Type, X p.m. at Chevy Park
>> Three Dog Night, 7 p.m. at Chevy Court
>> Bell Biv DeVoe, 8 p.m. at Chevy Park
Tickets: Admission this year is $3 at the gate; children under 12 are free every day, and those 65 and older get free admission. The Fair will not accept cash at the gates this year. Buy tickets in advance on etix or use a a credit card at a nearby kiosk.
Hours: Door open at 11 a.m. each day this year, three hours later than previous fairs. The buildings close at 10 p.m., but the Midway shuts down at 11 p.m.
Parking: The parking lots surrounding the fairgrounds can accommodate more than 23,000 cars. Parking is $5 (advance sales or EZ-Pass) for all lots. They will not accept cash this year. (Click here for parking map and directions.)
Masks: Face masks are required for everyone inside buildings. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear one outside. Workers will have masks available at each building’s entrance.
Other rules: You can bring coolers with food and non-alcoholic drinks. No pets are allowed, unless they are working dogs or in a competition. All bags, backpacks, coolers, purses and fanny packs are permitted but subject to search upon entry. You cannot bring firearms or other weapons, signs, roller blades, skate boards or bicycles onto the grounds.
NYS Fair newsletter: Stay up-to-date on all New York State Fair news, food, music, schedules and more with our free newsletter. Get it in your inbox all 18 days of the 2021 NYS Fair. Sign up here.
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