Chicken Charlie’s Tony Boghosian had a simple explanation for his stand’s Hot Cheetos inspired dish: “You see it everywhere, and why not? It’s awesome. It’s delicious.”
The food purveyor, best known for deep-fried anything, now sells a Buffalo Chicken Chimichanga, which includes buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, bacon, wrapped in a green tortilla shell, and deep-fried and topped off with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The dish is offered with a side of buffalo ranch sauce.
A number of fair food vendors are in on the Hot Cheetos trend.
The Flamin’ Cheetos Trend
“The young kids are the ones who requested it,” said Monica Jackson, manager of the Colossal Dog and newcomer Luigi’s Pizza.
Other vendors are serving meals with the popular spicy snack.
At Colossal Dog, they offered at least two Flamin’ Hot Cheeto entrees: an all-beef corndog smothered in nacho cheese and Cheetos. The corndog batter is also made with crushed Cheeto dust.
The other offering is a giant brick of curly french fries, topped with cheese and Cheetos.
Corn Stars offers a Hot Cheetos baked potato; Good Ol’ Burger has “Crazy Fries” with the choice of Hot Cheeots or alternate Taki’s.
Mexican Pizza Selection
A new vendor this year, Luigi’s Pizza, offers the usual cheese and pepperoni slice selections. However, they are trying something new — chili verde pizza.
“We changed it up a little. We threw in Mexican style pizza,” Jackson said.
In place of red tomato sauce — refried beans. Jack cheese replaces mozeralla, topped of course, with pork chili verde and smothered with sour cream and cilantro.
Tricia Aguilar of Sanger sampled the slice.
“It is so good. We are definitely buying some more,” she said.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Back at Chicken Charlie’s, deep-fried anything includes dessert, namely Oreos. Boghosian said Chicken Charlie invented the dish nearly 20 years ago and has now become a nationwide fair staple.
“It’s still one of our best sellers,” he said.
Calorie counting? Don’t worry about it, Boghosian said. “You’re at the fair. It’s OK.”
“It’s really soft,” Alexus Murillo from Fresno noted, while dining on the chocolaty and gooey dish.
Chicken Charlie’s (in the Sports Zone, next to the horse racing grandstand):
Buffalo Chicken Chimichanga, $13.99 (feeds two)
Deep fried Oreos, $7.99 for four
Luigi’s Pizza (by the Industry Commerce building on the opposite side of the carnival area):
Slice of Chili Verde pizza, $8
Colossal Dog (between Fine Arts & Photography and Commerce buildings):
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos corn dog, $9
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos french fries brick, $15 (feeds four)