Friday, August 8, 2014

A Trio of Italian Grinders to try at the Iowa State Fair!

UPDATE: Jennie's Grinders has ceased operating a food stand at the Iowa State Fair. 2015 was their last Fair.
A "must have" at the Iowa State Fair is the Jennie Grinder. The sandwich consists of loose-meat Italian pork sausage, packed into a hoagie roll, topped with shredded mozzarella and melted. The sausage seasoning is a proprietary family recipe, tasting rather like a cross between Italian sausage and Mexican chorizo. Also available year-round at Sandwiches by Reca [see blog post].

Another fine grinder is the legendary Gizmo, served up at both the Iowa and Minnesota State Fairs, and at Urbandale, Iowa's Fourth of July celebrations. Similar to the Jennie Grinder, but made with a mix of ground beef and Italian sausage, and an added layer of seasoned tomato sauce atop the meat before mozzarella is applied and melted. If you like your grinder saucy and a little less spicy, I recommend the Gizmo.

Aunt Mary's Italian Great Grinder can easily be overlooked with the lure of both the Jennie Grinder and the Gizmo, an oversight I hope to rectify. I passed by their little stall several times, equally mesmerized by the sound of sausage sizzling on the open-air grill tucked behind the wee building, and the ensuing aromas that wafted over the back fence. Saucy and moist loose Italian pork sausage, topped with shredded mozzarella, then toasted in a soft Rotella hoagie bun. Mildly spicy; do ask for banana peppers if you want an extra kick. For moistness its a happy medium between its aforementioned cousins. The toastiness makes Aunt Mary's the closest thing to restaurant grinder. If you've still got room in your belly, do give it a try!


Road Tips said...

Where is Aunt Mary's at the fair? I'm thoroughly partial to the Gizmo, but willing to try something new if I can get there.

slakingfool said...

Aunt Mary's is on Rock Island Ave., just north of Diamond Jack's, and across the street from the pavilion. It's a red shack.