Commentary: My vegetarian diet vs. South Florida Fair food… who won?


I’ve been a vegetarian since birth and that typically means I eat pretty healthy.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I won’t indulge in the occasional greasy slice of pizza, but I cook many of my own meals and put kale and other healthy vegetables in everything I eat.

So what better place to have the ultimate day of pushing the limits of my will than opening day of the South Florida Fair, which I covered last week.

Many who attend the fair are there for the food above everything else.

I wasn’t about to try meat for the first time — that eliminated the doughnut burgers and turkey legs — but there were still plenty of fried foods and desserts to whet my appetite.

By the time I arrived, the delicious smells of oil and grease were already wafting over the whole fairgrounds.

I immediately stumbled upon a burrito joint, which is basically my kryptonite. Anyone who has met me likely knows that I would happily eat a burrito for every meal (if only it wouldn’t make me fat).

I snagged a veggie burrito, found a nearby bench and chowed down right away. Don’t get me wrong, it was good and all, but I felt like it didn’t completely leave me satisfied.

I quickly found a stand that was serving slices of pizza that just came out of the oven. A little cheese and grease was the perfect way to supplement my first meal of the day. I gobbled up the pizza and kept walking.

At this point, my stomach wasn’t feeling so great and I still hadn’t eaten anything fried. I took a lap all the way around the fair to get in a little mild exercise and worked my way back to the food area.

I passed by several stands that were serving fried vegetables and paused for a second. Fried vegetables are tasty, but I figured that would be too stereotypical.

Of course the vegetarian is going to get fried vegetables. I’m sure you were predicting that from the start of this.

Nope, I decided. Not good enough.

Fried cheese? That’s more like it! Cheese and sour cream are basically the only two reasons that I’m not a vegan but those are two big reasons.

I love cheese and getting some fried mozzarella at the fair seemed like the perfect way to end off my lunch.

I plunked down another $8 and was handed four hot, crispy mozzarella sticks. I didn’t wait for them to cool down. I just dived right in.

They were everything I dreamed of, but now my stomach was in decline. I had to at least take a break before I got anything else.

After an interview with Fair Director Rick Vymlatil and talking to people who ran an old -Western photo booth for a story.

At this point, I had to make a decision — call it a day and leave or cap off my eating extravaganza with some kind of dessert.

I passed by a stand that serving fried candy bars, and my decision was made for me. I’m not the biggest fan of sweets, but I adore Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.

It’s not every day that I can eat them straight out of the deep fryer topped with powdered sugar … so I went for it. They were a little too sweet for me but obviously delicious.

All in all, I spent $26 and had nothing to show for it other than a satisfied, albeit slightly queasy, stomach.

Totally worth it.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

UPDATE: Police officer injured on Beeline in Gardens crash 
UPDATE: Police officer injured on Beeline in Gardens crash 

A West Palm Beach police officer was injured in a crash Monday night on Beeline Highway near Jog Road, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. A vehicle and semi-truck were involved in the crash, authorities said. The injured officer was taken to the hospital by the trauma helicopter. Firefighters from Palm...
Jury to decide alleged Jupiter hate-crime killing of Guatemalan teen
Jury to decide alleged Jupiter hate-crime killing of Guatemalan teen

With a single swing of an ax, David Harris said, he was able to buy his younger brother Jesse just enough time to get up and run away from an early April 18, 2015 melee with a group of men in the 300 block of 4th street in Jupiter. The 22-year-old’s testimony in his own defense during the murder trial were the last words jurors heard...
BREAKING: Lake Worth falsely sends out ‘zombie’ alert during power outage
BREAKING: Lake Worth falsely sends out ‘zombie’ alert during power outage

A city power outage alert in Lake Worth on Sunday caused concern in residents for its mention of zombies. That’s correct. Zombies. The message was sent during a power outage at about 1:45 a.m., but it also warned of “zombie alert for Lake Worth and Terminus,” potentially referencing the city in the zombie TV show ...
What’s the work on Alt. A1A in Gardens, and when will it be finished?
What’s the work on Alt. A1A in Gardens, and when will it be finished?

A big landscaping project in the city is ahead of schedule, despite the rain that’s been drenching Palm Beach County for the past couple weeks. RELATED: How $350,000 will make Alternate A1A in Gardens look prettier Palm Beach Gardens is prettying up a roughly 1-mile stretch of Alternate A1A for $350,000. The city expected the contractor to finish...
NEW: Florida man tries to eat endangered gopher tortoises, sheriff says
NEW: Florida man tries to eat endangered gopher tortoises, sheriff says

A Martin County sheriff’s deputy response to a man-down call quickly changed when he found the man wasn’t lying helpless on the ground — he was pulling endangered animals from their hole, according to officers. Robert Herndon Lane, a 28-year-old from Lake City, was lying on the ground in Seabranch Preserve State Park in Stuart and...
More Stories