October 17th, 2010
05:52 PM ET
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The sights, the sounds and the smells of the N.C. State Fair midway.

It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed the guilty pleasure of walking down the midway at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh.  It is a stroll with sound effects.  The deep engine whine from the tractor-pull.  The shrieks each time the “Surf’s Up!” ride hits the stomach-churning crest.  The howls as the free-fall ride hits terminal velocity.

My dad and I were  searching for something much more dangerous, though,  than a death-defying  ride.  We wanted to find the ultimate in artery-clogging cholesterol.

The fair, held every October, has always been a tribute to junk food aficionados.  It is the Super Bowl and World Series of junk food squeezed into less than a square mile.

The signs were tantalizing:  Sausage Dogs.  Hot Roasted Corn-on-the Cob.  Turkey Drumsticks.  Cotton Candy.  Candied Apples. Popcorn. Hot Wisconsin Cheese.  Jamaican Oxtail. Funnel Cakes.

But we were in it for the hard-core.  A mere sausage dog wouldn’t cut it.  A candy apple?  Way too healthy.

The ultimate State Fair challenge!

We thought we found it in a corner of the Governor Kerr Scott Pavilion.  Next to a sign for Deep-Fried Twinkies, a banner proclaimed what only a hard-core junk foodie could crave:  Krispy Kreme  Bacon Cheeseburger.

Carey Jones, 22, of Elizabeth City ordered one as his girlfriend grimaced.  He confessed he had succumbed to a dare.

“Tastes pretty good,” Jones proclaimed, sugar icing coating the corner of his mouth. “I kinda like the bacon and the doughnut together.”

His girlfriend rolled her eyes.

Next up to the counter was Cathy Greenlaw, 43, of Winston-Salem.  Winston-Salem is where Krispy Kremes got its start and where warm Krispy Kreme doughnuts are given the reverence they deserve.

Looking around to see who was watching, Greenlaw changed her order from a Deep-Fried Twinkie to the Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger.

Such a burger, she admitted later, “wouldn’t be allowed in polite company” back home.

It was now my turn to order.  I decided to try one.  My dad had more sense.

The tray was pushed across the counter.  The burger sizzled.  The doughnut was cool, but fresh and light.

Jones was right about the combination of the bacon and doughnut, but I wasn’t sure about the hamburger-and-doughnut combo.  The cheese stuck  the roof of my mouth.  I started calculating calories and cholesterol, but I couldn’t add numbers that big in my head.

Two bites later, I’d had enough.  Not wanting to offend the servers behind the counter, I looked around for a trash can.  I spied one over near the exhibit for North Carolina Milk.  I discretely dumped the burger and ponied up a dollar for a carton of cold 2 percent.

Cold, fresh milk to wash down a doughnut.  That’s more like it.

We wandered off to find the N.C.  State University Dairy ice cream booth. Cups of mint chip and chocolate were calling.

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Filed under: Fair Food • State Fair

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Joshua

    I tried one and loved it , the only dressing i put on it was lettuce (maybe mayo, can't remember).. i loved it , to me the flavors seemed seperate.

    October 19, 2010 at 2:15 am |
  2. Junk Food Snob

    Food fantasy: Waffle cone filled with fried chicken skin. Huge scoop of cookie dough or icing instead of ice cream. Eat the dough, then shake out the delicious "crunchies," then saturate the cone in olive oil. Fine dining, yes.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  3. Wendy X.

    That is the Luther Burger from the show "The Boondocks" on adult swim.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  4. msj

    ummmmmm good, cajun turkey legs and fried cheese this weekend at the fair....diet starts today o_0

    October 18, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  5. imking4aday

    The KK Burger has been around since 2006, a baseball team (Gateway Grizzlies) used to sell it. Also known as the Luther Burger after Luther Vandross, I think the Atlanta Braves used to sell it. Each packs a 1,000 cal punch with 45 g of fat, and that was with just one donut cut in half.

    We used it at a tailgate party one morning, it wasn't bad right off the grill.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  6. name

    went yesterday, total food orgy. complete godmode. bathrooms problems on the horizon.

    October 18, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  7. krispy kreme lover

    richard, you wimped out - it sounds disgusting and wonderful, the ultimate stupid american treat!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:29 am |
  8. Donald

    I got chest pain just from reading the story.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:47 am |
  9. Jake

    I though the same thing when I first heard of it. KK burger??? no way thats any good but it was the IT thing to try this year so I got one today while I Was at the fair and let me say OMG was it delicious. My friend had one too and he loved it so much he went back and got another. I do admit the sugar was sticky and I opted not to put Mayo on mine * I drew the line there* but with cheese and bacon? oh my good.

    October 18, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  10. kazz

    Paula Deen must be stopped.

    October 18, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  11. V Saxena

    Oh I love the State Fair fair! As a very shy guy, it's quite difficult for me... what with it being so crowded. But I always try to attend (assuming I can afford it at the time) because it's a wonderful experience. Great food and great rides!

    October 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  12. Sarakenobi

    the chocolate funnel cake was unbelievable - a 1x a year thing for sure :)

    October 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  13. Loved NC

    The deliciousness that is the NC State Fair is fabulous! I went every year for 8 years – living back in Texas I could go to the State Fair of Texas, but somehow it just doesn't make the grade. There are so many great foods at the NCSF... I *highly* recommend the ham biscuits at the Cary United Methodist Church booth. No matter what you eat, you'll love the Fair experience!

    October 17, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  14. BHF2350

    I am a native Tarheel, lived there most of my life, but now living in the Pacific Northwest. I really miss the NC State Fair. It was always fun and the food was out of this world. I LOVE Krispy Kreme donuts. A couple of years ago we finally got them in my area. Cars lined up for blocks to buy them. Can't say that I would like a Krispy Kreme cheeseburger. That's a little bit too far out there. Enjoyed reading this article. Made me a little bit homesick. You can take the girl out of the South, but cannot take the South out of the girl.

    October 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Anon_e_mouse

    Hope you found your way to the best Fair restaurant of all... the one run by the Amran Shrine Temple. Top-notch food, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Shrine Hospitals for Crippled and Burned Children – which makes it taste even better!

    October 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • tyre on maui

      You also can take a chicken bucket and make one of those shrines cool hats.

      October 18, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  16. Curtis S.

    The Luther... They're also selling these at the Arizona State Fair. One wonders if I would be safer consuming a chocolate-covered scorpion instead.

    October 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Lee

      Exactly...the Luther....after Luther Vandross! Let's not forget!

      October 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When I was a child my father always taught us to try something before saying we didn't like it and his advice was good. It opened my eyes to different cultures and not just my own which I've found many people to be so very limited.

    October 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • horseyonze

      I've tried cuisine from all over the planet and keep an open mind. I would never try this though, because it is just so **mned bad for you!
      Truly, it is a heart attack on a small plate. Be careful and keep your arteries clear. Some people don't get a second chance with a heart attack or stroke.

      October 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
      • takeout

        No its not, how is this worse than a burger and fries? Theyre just donuts. Ever had fettucini alfredo? Thats worse than this. And theres no such thing as a "heart attack on a plate", eating something unhealthy every once in awhile, even something extremely ridiculously unhealthy, does nothing to your body. Skipping out on things because they might be "too unhealthy" is foolish and a waste.

        October 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
      • Hamburglar

        You wouldnt be saying that if it was a normal cheeseburger with a donut for desert. Imagine if instead of fries on the side there was a smaller order of fries ON the burger, wow! heart attack city even though putting 2 different foods together does nothing to how healthy they are individually.

        October 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • milesinnc

      always followed the same general principle – damn near killed me in Indonesia once, though...

      October 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Also from Texas

      This was good advice from your father. My parents taught me the same. However, I can't see how the foods mentioned in this article are cultural. The donut cheesburger doesn't go back to any culture I know of, except the culture of fat Americans.

      October 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  18. takeout

    that doesnt look like a krispykreme donut to me, more like dunkin donuts

    October 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • Going to the Fair next weekend

      It's very MUCH a KK doughnut. DD doesn't make a glazed doughnut that looks like that. My son and I will (attempt to) share one of those bad boys. He had a deep fried cheeseburger last year at the Fair, I took a bite – YUM.

      October 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
      • dual

        and yet we still wonder why there is an obesity epidemic in the US

        October 18, 2010 at 8:38 am |
      • elliepants

        Indeed – DD doesn't make anything like that, nor anything nearly as good.

        And a few bites of a fried cheeseburger (or the above creation) once a year is hardly an obesity epidemic. I plan on trying one at the fair this week. I'll try each year's over-the-top fatty creation without a problem...but just once a year, not daily.

        October 18, 2010 at 10:43 am |
      • Hamburglar

        krispy kreme donuts are perfectly round, not tall and squarish like that. And they have a smooth glaze shell with no texture, this donut doesnt have either of those characteristics.

        October 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  19. jimmy

    I'm holding out for someone to make a deep fried liver stuffed chicken heart covered in caramel and powdered sugar. When oh when will someone make it?

    October 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  20. carny

    Fried twinkies? Donut cheseburgers? Ha! I have been trying to get people to back a take a bite out of a live pig booth, but so far there are no takers. Wimps!

    October 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • dreez


      October 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
    • Zach

      Where do you learn about these take a bite live pig booths?

      October 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
      • carny

        One can't simply learn about a golden idea like this one. It must be envisioned.

        October 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • John

      Carney is my anti-hero!

      October 18, 2010 at 7:07 am |
  21. Run4DaHills

    NASTY. I'll stick to a big cup of fries with vinegar or a butter and cinnamon elephant ears or plate of funnel cake.

    October 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  22. Ervin Raab

    Always remembered the special candy-corn popcorn one of my co-workers in Texas. He made for the local farmers markets and fairs/etc fresh batches. I still can't get close to the way he did it, the flavor.

    Ervin Raab.

    October 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  23. lolololo

    I can't wait until I can get there! Funnel cake here I come!

    October 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
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