Keith Johnson, Deseret News
Dianne Warner-Kearney picks up her order at Moochie's food stand Friday in the Utah's Own food court at the Utah State Fair.

At the Utah State Fair, food vendors are scattered throughout the park, offering delicacies from deep-fried sausage to pork chops on a stick.

Deep in the fairgrounds, a specific type of food vendor is concentrated in a single area, each united by a common thread — they are all Utah's own.

The Utah's Own food court started as a showcase for Utah commodities, but grew into a full-fledged venue to sell exclusively Utah-prepared foods, according to fair marketing director Denise Allen.

One such vendor that has been selling to Utahns since 1883 is Morrison's.

"Our flagship product is the Morrison meat pie," said business partner Bill Boel. The pies, filled with ground beef in a cracker-like crust, can be eaten as is or smothered with chili, gravy or broth, cheese and/or onions.

Morrison's also has a new line it is selling at the fair called Aussie Pies. These pies have chicken and vegetables, steak and mushroom, or lamb and vegetables baked into a pastry crust. They can also be smothered to the purchaser's taste.

Morrison partnered with local provider Morgan Valley Lamb for one of the new pies, Boel said.

After the fair ends, meat pie lovers needn't despair — Morrisons sells the pies at the Farmers Market in Pioneer Park and at Harmons, Associated Foods and other grocery stores.

Over at Moochies, fairgoers can eat an authentic Philly cheese steak, according to owner Don MacDonald. He uses ribeye steak, onions and American cheese, the way his Philadelphia-native wife, Joanna, taught him.

"We do cheese steaks right," MacDonald said.

Making its premiere at this year's fair is fried ravioli on a stick. It's been such a hit that it will become a staple on the menu at his Salt Lake City sandwich shop.

"It's good on your fingers," MacDonald said.

They also serve meatball and marinara sandwiches with meatballs so big they are cut in half so the eater can get a mouth around them. The line often extends around the building.

Serving Norbest turkey is what Sanpete BBQ is all about. They sell shredded dark meat turkey sandwiches covered in barbecue sauce on a hoagie bun. They also serve their own marinated sliced turkey breast dinner cooked over a char-broiler. Both are served with locally grown corn on the cob.

Their business is booming, especially at night and on the weekends.

"Its been 20 deep on both windows," Terisa Fowles, human resource director, said.

At Chaparro's tamales, Leonor Jose Chaparro said they are selling tamales made from a recipe handed down from generations past. They also serve traditional Mexican dishes of enchiladas, chile verde and rice and beans. Chaparro employees said they get so busy it takes six people in the cramped kitchen to keep up with the demand.

For those looking for a little Greek, it's no myth Zorba's is serving lamb and chicken gyros with traditional cucumber sauce, with sides of lemon rice and baklava, according to clerk Anastasia Dakis.

There is much more at the Utah's Own food court, but the fair has only two days left — today and Sunday.


E-mail: lwilde@desnews.com