You Gotta Eat: HOI Fair Food

By WEEK Reporter
By Tom McIntyre

July 14, 2011 Updated Jul 14, 2011 at 9:45 PM CDT

Thursday night on You Gotta Eat, it's off the Heart of Illinois Fair and this time, it wasn't exactly to eat fair food.

Ah, the fair: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the food. Yes, the food. You know what you expect.

Let's face it, the folks who work at the fair probably don't eat fair food all the time. I mean, you can't exist on lemon shake-ups, slushies and elephant ears, cotton candy and popcorn and nachos. So where do you find something that's,well, regular food at the fair?

Which is how photographer Larry Foulk and I made our way to the main fair building, which is where we found Aaron McCarty outside hard at work over a hot grill.

We don't know if it's all good, but what we ordered sure was. From Marty's Concessions' Menu is on the wall, I ordered a pork burger and baked potato with butter and cream cheese, while Larry got the pork shop and nachos. OK, the nachos are a concession to fair food.

The pork burger was thick and moist and tasty. I restrained myself and didn't have a second one.

If I'd added more to the potato, it would have been a meal. Larry said his pork chop sandwich was good. The nachos.... were nachos.

Having left room, we decided on pie ala mode for dessert. It was good comfort food, an oasis in the middle of deep fried ocean.

Marty's doesn't usually make receipts, but they made this one for me. Our bill, with soft drinks, was $18.50, plus whatever you put in the tip jar.

Marty's is open during the fair and frequently at other events when the fairgrounds are being used.