Checklist, Please!

Illustration by Bob AulWe revealed last week a couple of food booths at the Orange County Fair that traffic in yummy eats. But let's be honest—90 percent of the snacks at Costa Mesa's preeminent social event (excluding the Fish Fry) are so noxious to consumer health, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld might reasonably transport these foul feasts to Iraq in order to declare the WMD search over.

CHICKEN CHARLIE'S BROASTED CHICKEN, located in the Baja Blues. Broasting isn't the healthiest way to prepare the bird, but the true cholesterol culprit prepared here is the deep-fried Twinkie ($3). The yellow block comes sprinkled with powdered sugar, has the density of lead and a consistency so viscous you'll pine for the subtlety of a Zinger. FRIED SNICKERS, located everywhere.This nine-inch club is everything that is right and evil with the fair. The fried Snickers combines the charm of melted nougat and peanuts with the heaviness of an apple fritter and the convenience of a corndog—it comes on a stick! And nutritional value? Let's just say the wax paper wrapped around the fried Snickers turns clear within a few seconds of contact. Mmmm…clear wax paper.FAT BOY'S DINER, located next to the Little Theater. After eating the fried green tomatoes ($3), I now know why the South will never rise again: it can't get up. The vegetable itself is juicy and fresh, but the golden batter encasing each tomato is wet with grease goblets. And dipping the coaster-sized bites in an accompanying ranch dressing is like smashing your head against a wall after a car accident. TERI'S BERRIES, located next to Collector's Corner. The chocolate-dipped strawberries at this too-cute-for-words stand have the texture of a warm glob of pudding but none of the allure. The fruit is tiny, not fresh or firm, and the milk chocolate coating tastes like sweetened mud. At $1 a plop, you're better off spending your Sacagaweas on trying to win a goldfish with a Ping-Pong ball. AUSTRALIAN BATTERED POTATOES, located next to the Orange County Building. Cheez Whiz on top of batter on top of butter on top of grease—now that's ripper num-nums, Bruce! The eight slices of Australian battered potatoes are so oleaginous they'll change your voice for minutes after the gunk passes through your larynx. Actual potato flavor? Who cares, drongo: chow down! — Gustavo Arellano with the assistance of Drew Farrington and Angie Driskell


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