The gastronomical delight that is Spokane’s Pig Out in the Park is back this weekend, with the usual mix of the sublime and the deep-fried ridiculous.
There are 45 food booths open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through Monday in the west end of Riverfront Park downtown. In addition to live music there are special $3 food bites from 3-5 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. daily.
The menu includes the usual elephant ears, ice cream, barbecue and plates of noodles, but there are also a few more unique offerings.
Joey Azar sells several flavors of deep-fried lasagna as well as deep-fried mac and cheese, which are rich, gooey bites of cheesy goodness. It was something he started selling through his catering business a few years ago.
“It blew up,” he said. “They kept on requesting it.”
You can get a combo of two half orders for $10 if you can’t decide which one to try. Azar’s booth is near his father’s Azar’s Cafe gyro booth.
“I had to get into Pig Out, so I had to come up with something good,” Azar said.
Shiznits is new to Pig Out and so is its mashed potato sundae. It’s a cup of mashed potatoes topped with meat, cheese sauce, onions, peppers and jalapeño bacon for $8. In addition to being tasty, it is also apparently irresistible to yellow jackets.
Owner Tyler Bransford said he and his partner Sheila Arnzen operate the trailer, which used to offer just sandwiches and sausages. But Arnzen doesn’t like bread, so they came up with the idea to put their sandwich toppings on mashed potatoes. Bransford calls it a “hug in a cup.”
“It turned out really, really good,” Bransford said. “They’ve been very popular today.”
The award for most retro food item might go to the Saucer Burger and Planetary Pie stand, operated by Sandpoint resident Todd Cole and his three sons.
The miniature “burgers” are actually a ground beef, sauce, lettuce and cheese filling inside two crust-free pieces of white bread. Small toasting irons seal the bread’s edges, giving the sandwich its saucerlike look.
Cole said the burgers are inspired by “Space Burgers,” an item sold in Seattle during the 1962 World’s Fair.
“We did our best to replicate that. We kinda stole their idea,” Cole said.
They also offer cherry and apple “Planetary Pies” with fruit filling, topped with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and sprinkles.
Flavor-wise, the burger and pie were nothing special, but both options make for a good snack without being too filling. At $3 a pop or $5 for 2, they’re among the cheaper snacking options at Pig Out.
There are many choices for dessert, such as deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies and apple pie on a stick. Those with a sweet tooth concerned for the state of their arteries have fried-free options, including strawberry shortcake and bananas dipped in chocolate.
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