Monday, July 22, 2013

The OC Fair is Lame - Try This Instead

Ugh, the fair. Does anyone go to that thing? I guess some people would find it fun, but those people are probably under the age of seven. Between the scary looking ride operators, rigged booths (not that I’m bitter that I never won anything), and crowds of people, is there any point in going more than once?

I present my alternatives that cover the basics of what makes a fair fun: deliciously unhealthy food, live music, and booze. Read on for my ideas on how to get the fun factor of going to a fair, without actually having to go.

The Maple Bacon Bar from Devilicious Donuts.
 It’s for real, people. (Image via Yelp user Phil C.)
Ah, vegetable oil. Is there anything you can’t fry and make delicious?
Fairs are notorious for offering the greasiest of everything, but who wants to deal with bumper to bumper driving for something that’s all kinds of bad for you?

Thanks to Devilicious Donuts, you can have your grease AND keep your sanity. 

Located in Mission Viejo, this place is someone’s sugar hallucinations come true.  Every concoction made with sugar is slathered on donuts with all kinds of ingredients, including Coco Puffs, candy bars, popcorn, and pop rocks to name a few. Yelp reviewers gave the place a mild 3 out of 5 star rating (out of 90 reviews), so if you need more motivation to go, I have three words for you: Maple. Bacon. Bar.

Because alcohol makes everything fun, right? You can’t go to a fair without gettin' yo' drink on. Actually, in order to have what resembles a good time at the fair, you might have to drink. If, however, you’re still interested in sampling Orange County’s alcoholic delights, here’s what I came up with:
The motto at Bootlegger’s is “Drink Fresh, Drink Local”
 (image via Yelp user Kumi K.)
Straight outta Fullerton, Bootleggers brings you beer goodness by the jug. 

Founded by a former Cal State Fullerton student, this microbrewery serves up ales, IPAs and stouts from its tasting room or your local store. 

Yelp reviewers gave it a whopping 4.5 out of 5 stars, and with names like Dr. Tongue and Knuckle Sandwich, it beats whatever they serve in a Dixie cup at the fair.

First opened in 1870 (then shut down due to a little thing called Prohibition), Anaheim Brewery has been serving up golden goodness in the city’s Historic District. Saddle up to the 30-foot vintage bar in their tasting room and try one of their four signature beers: Anaheim 1888, Anaheim Gold, Anaheim Red, and Anaheim Hefeweizen. You can get them at some stores, or make a day of it – come for Disneyland, stay for the brewery!

If you go to the fair to hear live music but aren’t really interested in listening to some kid that placed 9th on American Idol, there’s plenty of entertainment to go around. Try Sunset Jazz at Newport for some smooth sounds and gorgeous ocean views at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa, or double your fun and try Beer Loves Music at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. Sample beer and rock out to local bands and top DJs without the temptation of spending all your money trying to win a giant panda.

 53” panda courtesy of Costco
(image via There and Back Again Japan)
But If You Really Want One
Ah, just head over to Costco and buy the damn thing. Prices range from $19 to $50 bucks, which is still cheaper than what it would cost you in embarrassment trying to win one by tossing some rings on empty Coke bottles.

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