Longing for island food

I haven’t been to the Minnesota State Fair yet — still avoiding the crowds. Still, as a newcomer to Minnesota, I should go, for no other reason to explore the food booths.

Now, I’ve been warned that fair food can be unhealthy and if not eaten soon, less than appetizing. But I might find something good there — and I’m not talking about corn dogs.

Tim Nelson’s story on fair food has me wondering whether at the fair I might find the Caribbean food I grew accustomed to in Florida: Cuban, Jamaican, Haitian and Puerto Rican cuisine — though I kind of doubt it.

And since this is Independence Day in Trinidad & Tobago, roti is in order.

Can anybody help a newcomer out?

  • Maggie

    First place I think of is Cafe Caribe on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Clough.

    It looks like Margaritaville, and the live music agrees with me.

    Here’s the description of the foods from the State Fair website:

    Carribean breakfast wrap (eggs, cheese, andouille sausage in a soft wrap),jambalaya, mango chicken, buffalo shrimp creole, sausage on-a-bun, chicken breast sandwiches (plain grilled, jerk, teriyaki, buffalo, barbecue, cajun), buffalo chicken wings, shredded pork sandwiches, island blackened prime rib sandwiches, pork rib, hamburgers, cajun cheeseburgers, caribbean crab cakes, gumbo, red beans and rice, cornbread, spicy nachos, Spanish rice, french fries, (cajun) fries, cajun fish strips with jalapeno dipping sauce,calamari with Cajun dipping sauce, coffee, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-UP, Mt. Dew, Dasani bottled water, iced tea, Red Bull Energy Drink. Beer and brewed malt beverages: Michelob Golden Draft Light, Miller Lite, Grain Belt Premium, Summit Extra Pale Ale, Leinie’s Honey Weiss, Leinie’s Summer Shandy, Red Stripe, Fat Tire, Budweiser, Bud Light Lime, Corona, Coors Light, Bacardi Mojito, Smirnoff Ice, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Mike’s Hard Cranberry, Mike’s Margarita, Mike’s Raspberry Margarita, Kaliber

  • Andrew

    Harry Singh’s Caribbean Restaurant on 27th and Nicollet. Whittier is a never-ending carnival.

  • Mike

    Found at the MN State Fair Food Finder:

    Manny’s Tortas

    Description:

    New for 2010: Gourmet Mexican Sandwiches or Tortas, served on a crusty roll as a Cuban, Chicken, Vegetarian or Hawaiian style with with cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado, jalapenos, refried beans, chipotle pepper mayo, fresh-blended Pina Coladas (non-alcohol) served in a pineapple, fresh pineapple pieces in a bowl.

    Directions:

    Inside Food Building, northeast corner

    West Indies Soul Food

    Description:

    Jamaican patties (beef, chicken), jerk chicken legs, jerk chicken wings, jerk pork chop on-a-stick, sweet potato pie, grits, Caribbean lemonade, sweet tea, Jamaican (Blue Mountain) coffee

    Directions:

    Inside the Bazaar, south wall

    Café Caribe

    Description:

    Carribean breakfast wrap (eggs, cheese, andouille sausage in a soft wrap),jambalaya, mango chicken, buffalo shrimp creole, sausage on-a-bun, chicken breast sandwiches (plain grilled, jerk, teriyaki, buffalo, barbecue, cajun), buffalo chicken wings, shredded pork sandwiches, island blackened prime rib sandwiches, pork rib, hamburgers, cajun cheeseburgers, caribbean crab cakes, gumbo, red beans and rice, cornbread, spicy nachos, Spanish rice, french fries, (cajun) fries, cajun fish strips with jalapeno dipping sauce,calamari with Cajun dipping sauce.

    Directions:

    South side of Carnes between Liggett and Clough

  • anna

    Harry Singh’s is at the State Fair too!

  • Kim E

    Can’t go wrong with the International Bazaar. It’s always one of my must-see favorites at the fair.

    Also, welcome to MN!

  • Heather

    David, I was a newcomer four years ago (and probably still count as one), and I think you should TOTALLY go to the fair! Not for the food, necessarily, but for the fact that it will blow your mind. Crop art. Big pig. Giant slide. All the people. Live fish in the DNR pond. Free stages. 4-H kids hanging out in the barns. Midway after dark.

    Great crash course in MN culture.

    Also? Mini-donuts.

  • Kevin M

    I love the Jamaican Patties at West Indies Soul in the Bazaar, and yes, Singh’s is in the food building right across from the space tower and the iconic ag/horticulture building. Their roti is awesome, and they don’t pull punches on the hot sauce like so many MN establishments do. Enjoy your inaugural run of fair cuisine.