Long a staple of state fairs and Food Network obsessing, deep-fried novelty foods are nothing we haven’t seen. But a truck dedicated solely to frizzled sweets and savories—yep, that’s new, at least in these parts.
“There’s nothing like us,” states Croft Bracken, one of several people behind the Frandy Bar, a mobile operation based out of Mount Vernon, Washington. For the past several months the four-wheeler’s been hitting up area festivals and fairs. Bracken and crew, which includes his wife, mother, stepfather, brother, and sister-in-law, are bringing their long list of deep-fried treats to Bumbershoot.
There are candy bars (Snickers, Milky Ways, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) and cakes (Twinkies, double-stuffed Oreos). Pickles (a top seller), peanut butter and jelly sammies (a favorite of Bracken’s), and pizza, though that won’t be on hand this weekend. Then there are the signatures: a Coca Cola float and a pudding, both somehow cookable. Frying butter sticks also has been discussed.
Yum? Yes, insists Bracken. He says the goodies aren’t as indulgent as one might guess—nutrition-wise, the Twinkie is on par with a serving of a la mode pie—and besides, how much fun is nutritious fair food, Bracken puts forth.
So has health-nut Seattle embraced Frandy Bar? Not surprisingly some Seattleites are apprehensive but others “see [us] and say, ‘Gosh, I’ve always wanted to try’” a deep-fried this or that. The curiosity Bracken credits to extensive television coverage and a proliferation of the treats in the Midwest and out East. “The best part is watching people take their first bite.”
Bumbershoot marks Frandy’s last stop for the season but Bracken says the truck will be rolling again in April. Eventually the family hopes to operate the Frandy Bar on a full-time “bread and butter” schedule.