Eating @ the Big E

 

Big E 101

The Eastern States Exposition, aka the Big E, takes place in late summer every year in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This one is tough to describe. There's so much variety at this event! You got your standard fair food and carnival rides, exotic fare like camel and bison, exhibitors hawking their wares, craft beer, and barnyard animals. There's also the infamous "state buildings" wherein each state in New England exhibits the finest they have to offer. For example, Vermont features Ben & Jerry's, Connecticut boasts LEGO, and Rhode Island has some tantalizing seafood. Each building is unique in its own way, and it's amazing to see the diversity that New England has to offer. It's not all coastline and maple syrup!

It's relatively easy to get there. I met my cousins on Riverdale Street, and we caravan-ed over to the fairgrounds. We arrived around 1:00, but not before sitting in about twenty minutes of traffic. Onsite parking was $10.00. 

Gluttony reigns supreme at the Big E. You can eat practically anything here, and I mean anything. They even have fried Kool-Aid!  Crazy. Here's what Cousin Dave, Cousin Laura, and I devoured:

Fried Fare

We stuck with the more traditional options in this category, sampling from a food truck specializing in tempura.

Corn dog. $4.00. Nothing special, but tasty. I do not believe these were hand-dipped, but I saw those elsewhere.

Corn dog. $4.00. Nothing special, but tasty. I do not believe these were hand-dipped, but I saw those elsewhere.

Mozzarella sticks. The cousins sampled these. Laura was not a fan, but Dave (who loves mozzarella sticks but not fried cheese curds oddly) enjoyed them. The cheese was plentiful, but not as gooey as we would have liked.

Mozzarella sticks. The cousins sampled these. Laura was not a fan, but Dave (who loves mozzarella sticks but not fried cheese curds oddly) enjoyed them. The cheese was plentiful, but not as gooey as we would have liked.

Blooming onion. $10.00. The onions were cooked just right; however, extra seasoning was in order as each successive bite was a tad bit more bland.

Blooming onion. $10.00. The onions were cooked just right; however, extra seasoning was in order as each successive bite was a tad bit more bland.

Baked Potato

Anyone who's been to the Big E knows about the backed potatoes inside the Maine state building. They're quite good, but sometimes the line to get them is unbearable. Last year on Reddit, I read that Connecticut has baked potatoes that rival Maine's. My cousins were skeptical, but Reddit has never let me down! Nestled on the side of the Connecticut building facing New Hampshire is Danny's Little Taste of Texas Smoke House Grill. Unlike Maine which offers melted cheese, these guys have shredded cheese. And, more importantly, they have pork! I never thought that shredded pork on a backed potato could taste so good, but it does!

Baked potato from Danny's Little Taste of Texas Smoke House Grill. $9.50. It doesn't get better than this. Best thing I had all day. Combination of melted shredded cheese, buttery potato, and tender pork was not only unique and obviously unhealthy, but memorable.

Baked potato from Danny's Little Taste of Texas Smoke House Grill. $9.50. It doesn't get better than this. Best thing I had all day. Combination of melted shredded cheese, buttery potato, and tender pork was not only unique and obviously unhealthy, but memorable.

Miscellany

Corn on the cob with garlic butter. $5.00. I got this on the main drag before I saw the corn at New Hampshire. Sweet and savory. Easy to enjoy while walking.

Corn on the cob with garlic butter. $5.00. I got this on the main drag before I saw the corn at New Hampshire. Sweet and savory. Easy to enjoy while walking.

Lemonade. $6.00 with $3.00 refills. Forget about refills. It's OK. It is freshly squeezed. How fresh? You see that seed on the top of the cup? I sucked up about five of those through the straw.

Lemonade. $6.00 with $3.00 refills. Forget about refills. It's OK. It is freshly squeezed. How fresh? You see that seed on the top of the cup? I sucked up about five of those through the straw.