Kern County Fair’s meatless options go beyond


Oreo sundae from ice cream booth. Photo by Baylie Ruiz.

Baylie Ruiz, Features Writer

As my boyfriend Jay and I walked into the Kern County Fair, we were instantly met with the savory scent of chicken being grilled and the sweet aroma of funnel cakes. You could hear children laughing, the carnival games playing, and people on the fair rides screaming. It was around 4 p.m., so it was still sunny and warm out. The atmosphere was just as it used to be-, one filled with nostalgia.

We walked down the main strip in search of what we would be trying that evening. After looking at each vendor, we decided on a few items we wanted to try.

First, we decided to head to Noel’s, which was a Mexican food booth. Jay ordered an original taco for $5, and I ordered a fried avocado taco for $7. The original taco allowed you to pick your choice of meat, along with onions and cilantro on it if you chose. The original taco had an authentic taste, and we rated it an 8 out of 10 stars.

The fried avocado taco, one of their meat-free options, came with fried avocado, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, sour cream, and a chipotle sauce. I opted out of getting sour cream because I am not a fan of the taste. The chipotle sauce was exceptional, and the taco had a good mix of textures with the cabbage’s crunch and the avocado’s softness. I gave it a 10, and I would definitely order this again.

Noel’s did offer a good variety of meat-free options as well. These options included the fried avocado taco I got, a veggie taco, a veggie burrito, quesadilla, and Noel’s bowl with no meat.

Next, we made our way to Maddy Moo’s Cheese Works. I am always in search of a great macaroni and cheese, but I was unfortunately disappointed with theirs. I had ordered their macaroni and cheese in a cup for $8.50. It tasted like a regular box of macaroni and cheese, only with more cheese added. There was nothing special about it in terms of taste. Therefore, we only gave it a 3.5.

However, a good thing about this vendor was that their whole menu was meat-free. They offered deep-fried grilled cheese sandwiches, rainbow grilled cheese, and mozzarella sticks, along with many more cheesy items.

After the macaroni and cheese, we decided to try Papa Gino’s pizza, as pizza is one of Jay’s favorite things to try. We ordered the pepperoni pizza on a stick for $7. The crust gave the pizza a nice crunch and the sauce was very flavorful. The stick was all the way through the pizza rather than just halfway, and Jay, unfortunately, found that out the hard way after he bit down onto it. The pizza was quite good and one we would definitely purchase again, so we also gave it an 8.

As far as meat-free options go, they did offer a cheese pizza.

Then, we moved along to the Original Bratwurst booth. We ordered a battered brat for $12. Think of a corn dog, but in the center is a brat instead of a hot dog. It looked very burnt but did not taste like it. We both preferred this over a regular corndog, so we gave it a 7.

At a bratwurst booth, you can imagine the meat-free options are very slim. The only meat-free option they had at this booth was the fries.

Lastly, we decided to cool off and round out our trip with a sweet treat. We stopped at an ice cream booth that was shaped like an ice cream cone. We ordered an Oreo sundae for $10. The soft serve was sweet and creamy that greatly contrasted with the crunch of the Oreos. The sundae was good and very similar to an Oreo Mcflurry. I would have preferred to have a more ice cream and a little less Oreos just to balance it out. Once I got to the end of the sundae, it was mostly Oreos with very little ice cream. As a result, we gave it a 6.

After taste testing various foods for a couple of hours, we both left the KCF with full bellies.