Friday, September 15, 2017

Muldoon’s Pasties & Gifts – Munising, MI



When you’re in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, you need to eat a pasty (pronounced “past-ee”) – it’s a sort of lunch-time hand pie filled with chicken or beef, or they have vegetarian versions. They also throw in a lot of root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, carrots, and other things before they bake it. They’re delicious.


Muldoon’s is ranked highly in the grand scheme of pasties, so we thought we’d go check them out. These things are densely packed, but in a good way. D.Rough and I got a chicken one and a beef one, with gravy. I have heard tales that people know you’re an outsider if you get your pasty with gravy, but I don’t care – that’s one of the things I like about them. (They do have a special pasty sauce, which is sort of like ketchup, but I prefer the gravy.)  The chicken one has a chicken gravy and the beef one has a beef gravy. Both were served with coleslaw, as well – bonus!

These things are substantial. When you think it isn’t enough food, you’ll end up being wrong and having to pull your car over for a nap in about 45 minutes. That’s just science. Muldoon’s has some great flavor in theirs and I liked both equally. Packed full of veggies and perfectly baked. I really can’t go much into a more in-depth review, since the whole concept is simple, but it’s worth getting. Muldoon’s is a great place to grab a pasty!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery – Marquette, MI



D.Rough and I were in Marquette, Michigan, for a big beer festival with my sister PalmMapper and brother-in-law Uncle DumDum. We needed to do some sobering up afterwards, so we headed to a well-rated creole restaurant called Lagniappe. We had to wait a bit for a table since it was fool of beer festival folks.  A group of folks we recognized from the beer festival decided to buy our first round while we waited for our table – Did we need them? Nope. Did we drink them? Yup. I got a Vieux Carre Cocktail, which was Sazerac rye whiskey, courvoisier, sweet vermouth, B&B, and a lemon twist, so it might have had some booze in it… Possibly.

The menu at this place is pretty substantial, but everything looks great on it. We looked at the appetizer section for a bit and then the server came back and told us our new beer fest friends were now buying us the alligator bites for an appetizer.  That worked out super well, since I was definitely going to order that anyway! 

And it was wonderful. The bites were battered and deep fried, which was great because then you could actually taste the meat. Perfectly cooked and not dried out, and also delicious. There was a REALLY light mustard sauce on these, but it was so perfectly light, it didn’t overpower anything. These were really quite good.

I wanted everything on this menu, especially the etouffe, the jambalaya, and the gumbo. But I got adventurous and got the Bayou Bouillabaisse. D.Rough got the frog legs and catfish platter – something she wouldn’t normally get, either. We were feeling sassy and thought we’d step out of the safety zone today.

D.Rough was really happy with her fried catfish on this platter, but she wished there were more than just the one piece. She was just ok with the frog legs, but I thought they were pretty delicious. Great seasoning, but you could taste that chicken/fish combination of the meat inside. I liked them a lot. The hushpuppies were also really good and not too onion-y, like at some places. And tons of fries, in case you weren’t full enough! I liked her dish a lot.

My dish was even better than I expected. Each bite felt like there was something new in it. It had delta catfish, gulf shrimp, crawfish meat, andouille sausage, red potatoes, and other veggies in a tomato broth. Seriously, each thing in here, you could taste, and then you’d go back in for more. I thought the portion size was going to be too small, but by the time I finished the whole thing, I was stuffed. It was plenty of food. It had a little bit of heat to the seasonings, but mostly just fantastic flavor. Get this thing.

Normally, we’re not dessert people, but since we thought we’d split one four ways, we opted in. The bread pudding sounded great to all of us, and I’m glad we got it. When it came out, you could tell right away it was dense. Like, the densest bread pudding I’ve ever had. And it was slathered in what we’d soon find out was Jack Daniels sauce. Super boozy and tasted just like they reduced Jack Daniels. It was great, but immediately made us all ready for a nap. (but we went back to the hotel and drank more – hahahaha)

This place was one of the best Cajun/Creole places I’ve ever been to, and I’m definitely going to recommend this to anyone I know that goes to Marquette, Michigan. The servers were fantastic. The managers were really nice and talkative, and the food was out of this world good. I’ll go out on a limb and agree with the people that rated this the best restaurant in Marquette.

Top 5 things about Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery
  1. Bayou Bouillabaisse
  2. Alligator Bites
  3. Frog Legs and Catfish
  4. Bread Pudding
  5. really extensive food, cocktail, and beer menus

Bottom 5 things
  1. You will likely have to wait (but it’s worth it)
  2. It isn’t bar food prices, it’s real restaurant prices (but it’s worth it)
  3. It’s got a loud but fun energy inside
  4. Who am I kidding? There’s nothing bad about this restaurant at all!
  5. ?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, MN



Every year (or at the very least, every other year), I hit up the Minnesota State Fair. It’s one event of the year, I really look forward to and actually put some prep work into: new foods, concerts, animal events, maps, etc. I generally try to take a day off work, so I can truly maximize my time. Some people like to go on multiple days, but I like to really blow it out of the water on one day, and then let my body recover. I go all day – like ALL DAY. This year, I got there at 9am and left at 10pm, pretty much eating the whole time. How much can one person eat in a day? Read on, my friends…

1) I walked in the gate and immediately went to the Blue Barn – everything they do there is genius and well-executed. This year, it was no different. I decided between the new French toast sticks they had and the Wild Bill’s Breakfast Bake. I think I made the right decision. Scrambled eggs, roasted chicken, chorizo sausage, baked and topped with salsa, lettuce, pickled onions, and cilantro. The baked ball in some sort of corn meal or smashed tortilla chip ball was fantastic. The right proportions and everything. This was the best thing I had at the fair this year and it was right off the bat. Go there and get this (before 10:30am when they only serve lunch foods). You’ll be glad you did.

2 & 3) Next, was Lulu’s Public House for a Breakfast Buddy Bowl. A waffle bowl filled with hashbrowns, maple syrup, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, bacon, and topped with a biscuit covered in sausage gravy. I also got a Boozy Red Bull Slushie (tangerine flavored). And, yes, I know, it’s breakfast. Tangerines are great for breakfast. I didn’t like the Breakfast Buddy Bowl at all. I didn’t taste any syrup or cheese, the hashbrowns were mostly onions, the biscuit was dry, and the sausage gravy had neither sausage nor flavor. Not even the waffle cone bowl helped this one. Skip this breakfast item, but DO get the boozy slushie.

4 & 5) Off to French Meadow for Mini Sco-Nuts. These are buttermilk scone donut holes filled with chocolate, marshmallow, and Nutella, and covered with powdered sugar. These were better than I expected them to be. Fried perfectly and not too sickeningly sweet, like I expected them to be. I also popped next door at Dino’s to get Loukamades (honey puffs). These were dough balls fried, then dipped in syrup or honey, and then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. These were good, but not magical. If you’re going to eat both of these things, eat the Loukamades first and THEN the Mini Sco-Nuts. Also, apparently, I’m on a mission to put as many ball-shaped items into my mouth as possible.

6) I’m a cookie dough fiend, so I headed to the Blue Moon Diner for a cookie dough flight. Three different kinds of dough: Brownie Swirl, Euro Cookie Butter (with biscoff cookie type crumbles), and a lemon ricotta cheesecake with blueberries. They also throw a small scoop of sea-salt ice cream on top, just for fun.  When you’re in line ordering, I’ll call your attention to the fact that the menu board says “Safe To Eat” on it – why don’t more fair foods proclaim that so explicitly?!?!? Here’s the quick run-down. The brownie swirl was fine, the Euro Cookie Butter was fine, but the lemon ricotta cheesecake (the one that was the least like cookie dough) was pretty life changing. I’d go back there just for this one by itself. The sea-salt ice cream was also a welcome flavor in the whole mix. Kudos for Blue Moon for putting in a potato chip, a couple of pretzel sticks, and a mini nilla wafer cookie to add some salt and texture to it all. Brilliant!

7 & 8) I headed to Mancini’s al Fresco for some beverages. I got the Schell’s Red Sangria Lager and Bad Weather Brewing’s Lemon Sunshine ale. The Red Sangria Lager was fantastic. I liked this one a lot. Much lighter than I would have suspected – I wish I had been drinking this all summer while outdoors. The Lemon Sunshine just wasn’t lemon-y enough for me. I wanted to really taste it, especially since it’s described as a limoncello-inspired ale. I love limoncello, and if you hadn’t told me that’s what it was, I would have missed it all together and thought it was just a light summer beer. Get the Red Sangria Lager and thank me later.

9) Off to the Coliseum for Swine and Spuds. They had a pork belly on a stick contraption that sounded good. Bacon-wrapped pork belly and mashed potato croquettes, served with your choice of sauce – I got the sweet chili sauce. The pork belly was sadly overcooked to the point of being tough and dry (I didn’t even know that was possible and I’ve had Asian super fried pork belly, which somehow isn’t dry, nor tough). The bacon was done about perfectly for my taste, which I totally understand means it was underdone for most people’s taste. The mashed potato croquettes were actually delicious, though. Not even sure how they got flavor into those, but they did. And everything went well with the sweet chili sauce they had. Maybe pass on this one and try something else from here – other things on the menu looked good. (I also ate this while watching them judge cows, since it's air conditioned in there.)

10) Also in the Coliseum, there’s a shop (hidden in the south concourse that you need to traverse the animal crossing to get to) called the Snack House. They have something called Memphis Tatchos. I’m a sucker for tater tots of any variety, so I had to get these. Tater tots (in the Taco John’s Potato Ole or Burger King Hash Rounds style) covered with banana slices, bacon, and covered with a peanut sauce – just like Elvis would have liked. The tots, bacon, and bananas worked really well together, once you get used to it. I liked these a lot and for some reason, I thought these would feel heavier in my guts. I DO wish the peanut sauce was a little more peanut forward, but it was still there. And kudos to the guy that drizzled it on there like a PRO. I’ll also go out on a limb and say if that peanut sauce was more like a Thai peanut satay sauce, it would have beaten all the other foods at the fair. This was better than expected.

11) Off to the grandstand to find Hideaway Speakeasy (which isn’t hidden at all, aside from being on the second floor concourse). They have something new this year called Cotton Candy Bubble Trouble. They take a champagne flute and stuff it full of cotton candy – yes, like the cotton candy you get at any fair in the country. Then they pour Cannon River Winery’s Sparkle Edelweiss (Minnesota’s FIRST sparkling wine) over it to dissolve the candy into the bubbly wine. First off, you’re going to get some really odd looks as you walk around the state fair with a champagne flute filled with pink champagne, but embrace it like the baller you truly are. Secondly, this mainly tastes like prosecco UNTIL you get closer to the bottom where all the sugar has settled and it begins to taste more and more awesome. Interesting chemistry experiment and one you need to witness being poured right in front of you. Fun, weird, and increasingly tasty!

12) Beer flight at the Agricultural Building – always fun! I went with the Dark and Roasty flight (all Minnesota beers). In order of most favorite to least favorite: Steel Toe’s Dissnet Dark Ale; Lake Monster’s Last Fathom Dark Lager; Summit’s Great Northern Porter; and F-Town’s Moon Boots Peanut Butter Porter. But they were all pretty good, though. When I went out to a bench on the street, a random old guy asked me if I was drinking a lot of coffee (indicating my beer flight), and I told him these were all beer. He couldn’t believe it, but then he got very serious and told me to remember to hydrate and take it easy. YOU DON’T KNOW ME, OLD MAN! Hahaha, I assured him I would.

13 & 14) Off to O’Gara’s for some deep fried avocados and a Sweet Corn Summer Ale from Lakes & Legends Brewing. The deep fried avocados were just ok. I think I would have preferred them not fried (which is amazing I’m even saying that). The chipotle ranch sauce REALLY overpowered these, as well, sadly. But the fried flavor really hid the avocado flavor. The Sweet Corn Summer Ale didn’t taste enough like corn, which is what I was really hoping for. Not necessarily corn-water from a can, but I wanted there to be at least a HINT of corn flavor there. Bummed about both of these.

15) I headed to the Texas Steak Out booth for Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob. This is like Texas’ version of elotes, for those of you that love Mexican corn. It’s corn on the cob covered with Mexican crema (like a mild sour cream), then covered with crushed Doritos, and THEN covered with pump nacho cheese. This is probably one of the messiest foods I’ve ever eaten. But it was reeeealy tasty. Just get a billion napkins when you pick up your food. The three cops I was sitting with in the dining tent behind Texas Steak Out were quite impressed with how little I got on my shirt, and then they admitted the only reason they were eating in this particular tent was because people were coming out of it with the faces completely covered in sauce, chips, and cheese. It was pretty hilarious, honestly. But this stuff is fantastic. (Sorry for the color. The tent above me was red.)

I popped by the Pet Center to pet some of the dogs there. I’m a sucker for dogs of all kinds and there are people who literally sit there all day and let tens of thousands of strangers pet their dogs. Best idea ever. I love that there is a Husky Club of Minnesota – yeah, you and me both, buddy. I didn’t have anyone along with me to make fun of me freaking out over every dog in the building, so that worked out well for me. Hahaha

Then, when I walked outside, they were doing a golden retriever agility course demo, so I got to squeeeeee a little bit more. I’m like a 6 year old sometimes.

16 & 17) Giggle’s Campfire Grill was up next. I needed to try the Duck Bacon Wontons and a Dill Pickle Beer. The wontons had duck bacon, sweet corn, and cream cheese inside a wonton skin and were served with some sweet dipping sauce (which was great, and now I’m wondering if it wasn’t that orange-ish “duck sauce” that you get in a little condiment packet from Chinese restaurants – maybe). The wontons weren’t very full (portion-wise), but they had decent flavor. Probably more hype than anything, but they were good. The dill pickle beer was odd, but definitely drinkable. It smelled a TON like pickle juice, but only tasted  like a moderate amount of pickle juice. I like that it was served with a tiny pickle and a cheese curd garnish. More fun than tasty, in my opinion, but worth trying to horrify your friends.

My next stop wasn’t food related, but it honestly was number one on my list of to-dos at the fair this year. Even before all the food and beer. It was the All-Star Stunt Dog Splash show. All kinds of dogs jumping crazy distances off the dock into the water. I was flying solo, so it was easy for me to get in the front row (especially since I showed up extra early to get primo seating). These dogs are jumping like 25 feet and appear to love every second of it. There were a couple of trick dogs and a Frisbee dog, as well. I’m so glad I went to this thing. It was tons of fun.

 Then, I watched some kids learning how to log roll. It's pretty serious up north, here.

18) Off to Vegie Fries for the new fair food item: Cherry Bombs. Battered and deep-fried licorice bites. I love that they were on toothpicks, to be honest. I also love that the ratio was right. Small bites of sweet red licorice with salty batter and powdered sugar. I’m not sure these were at the top of my list, but they were better than I thought they would be. And I like that they really went for it.

19 & 20) Ball Park Café always has the best beers, so I went and got Bauhaus Brew Labs’ Shandlot and an East Lake Brewery Kirby Pucker. The Shandlot is one of the best shandys I’ve ever had. Great balance of beer and lemon and very refreshing. I hope they bottle this. The Kirby Pucker was claimed to be a sour wheat beer, but in my non-beer-snob opinion, it wasn’t sour enough to be a “sour” but yet it was too sour to be a regular wheat beer. It’s probably a gateway sour for some people, and thankfully, I still enjoyed it. Try it or not, I won’t be offended.

21) Back to Giggle’s Campfire Grill to get Sociable Cider Werks Raspberry Hard Cider. It was really good and tart, and I’d drink a lot of this in the summer. I’m not usually a fan of their ciders, but this one I DID like a lot. Great work!


22) Against my better judgement, I went to the Green Mill booth (I’m not a fan of their restaurants, but their new 2017 food item intrigued me). The Pizza-rito is a parmesan-crusted flour tortilla filled with pepperoni, sausage, risotto, mozzarella, and marinara (and served with even more marinara on the side). This thing was surprisingly good. Good ratio of ingredients to tortilla and sort of like a fancy hot pocket. I liked this more than I wanted to. Hahaha

23) To the Sandwich Stop! A lot of people have been talking about this Bacon Fluffernutter sandwich. It’s a grilled cinnamon bun sandwich with a bacon, marshmallow, and crunchy peanut butter filling. It comes with some sort of dipping sauce, but I asked for a side of maple syrup and a side of raspberry dip. The maple syrup was good, and it even accentuates the chunky peanut butter flavor. But, if you can get that raspberry sauce, you’ll love it. This sandwich is being talked about for a reason – it’s really good.

We walked by the KBWB radio booth and they were interviewing The Pentatonix on the air. They were the headliner at the Grandstand Stage this night, and they're a pretty big deal (if you like a capella singing groups). I may or may not have been man-handled by the police when I tried to get closer.
24) My friend LooseChange and I both wanted to try RC’s BBQ’s newest food item: the double Dose of Pork Belly. It’s a 100% ground pork belly burger topped with crisp smoked pork belly, pepper jack, coleslaw, and pickled onions. I heard some harsh reviews of this, but I really didn’t care. It was good. The pork burger was the best part and was the winner between the two doses, but the pork belly on top was also good – I just wish there was more of it. The coleslaw was a fantastic addition this this. I didn’t taste much pepper jack, but I think it had melted into the meat, which is fine. I liked this one.

LooseChange and I also had to hit the Llama costume contest. If you’ve never been to one, you should probably do it. You should also drink a LOT before you go. It’s so bizarre and funny, and yet, the contestants and the judges take it as serious as the heart attack I probably should have had by now. The costumes MUST be worn by both trainer and llama and I thought you were supposed to entirely cover the neck of the llama, but a few llamas made it into the event with exposed necks. Most of the kids in this event (all 7th graders through freshmen in college ages) really tried hard and got creative. But a few of them… I’ll be blunt… kind of phoned it in and threw a sheet over their llama and made up some speech about what they were supposed to be. It was a fun event and I’m glad I got to see it. I've done a separate Llama Costume Contest post, so you can see all the costumes.

25) Had to get a 1919 root beer. This is probably a record year for how long I actually waited before getting one of these. I love this root beer so much.

26) One place that was on my “maybe” list was the Fried Fruit & Fried Olives stand. Might as well go there! I got the bacon-wrapped olives that were deep-fried. I thought they’d be individually fried, but they were fried as one long corn-dog looking unit (but you can still break them off individually if you try hard enough). These were pretty good, especially with the ranch dip – keep in mind, I’m not a ranch-on-everything kind of person, but in moderation, it can be a nice sauce. This thing was SUPER salty, which is my style, so if you’re watching your salt intake, maybe don’t get these. Otherwise, GET these.

27) I was slowing down, so I went back to the Ball Park Café and got a Bent Brewstillery Hungarian Cheery Wheat Ale. It had just a little bit of tart-ness to it, which was perfect, and a solid cheery flavor. It was almost a cross between a beer and a cider. I really liked this one a lot.

28) I can’t claim I ate all of these, but I did have more than my fair share of a bucket (not a boat) of Mouth Trap Cheese Curds – they’re the best at the state fair and always have been.

29) just when I thought I was done eating, one of our friends appeared holding a Puff Daddy On A Stick from Sausage Sister and Me. I have had these before and they’re always good. It’s a Thai sausage wrapped in a puff pastry. He definitely had over-imbibed by this time of the night and, while brandishing this meat-filled skewer like a knife at my mouth, told me, “Rule number one: Don’t be scared!” then he shoved the pointy skewer into my cheek, missing my mouth completely. Only a small amount of blood, thankfully hidden by my beard. I did eventually get a piece of pastry-wrapped sausage off the skewer and into my mouth, which was pretty much the perfect way to end this evening at the fair (minus the bleeding part). My apologies, no photo.

We finished the night watching the great Tanya Tucker perform at the free Leinenkeugel's stage. She's a legend and still has the pipes.

Overall, this was probably my most gluttonous year at the Minnesota State Fair. I spent 13 hours eating and drinking non-stop. The animal events I went to were pretty choice this year and nothing let me down in that aspect. A few food items were meh, and a few were unexpected wins. That’s how it goes with these things.

Here are some stats from the day.
  • 13 hours at the fair
  • 29 food items eaten/drunk
  • Of those 29, 11 were boozy (I’m including the beer flight as one) plus one root beer
  • 8 items had some sort of fruit or vegetable in them (so more than I usually eat in a day)(that means this was a healthy day, right?)
  • Only 10 items were fried

The best foods at the fair this year (in my opinion):
  • Breakfast Bake from Blue Barn
  • Cheesy Nacho Corn on the Cob
  • Bacon Fluffernutter
  • Memphis Tatchos
  • Mini Sco-Nuts
  • Two Doses of Pork Belly

The best beers at the fair this year (in my opinion):
  • Bauhaus Shandlot
  • Bent Brewstillery Hungarian Cherry Wheat Ale
  • Schell’s Red Sangria Lager

I hope you get to try some of these before they’re gone after Labor Day! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Llama Costume Contest at the Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN

This year, I FINALLY made it to the Llama Costume Contest at the Minnesota State Fair. You're probably asking "why", and once you see the photos, you'll know why.

Disclaimer: I'm a llama outsider and don't actually know what I'm talking about, but I've learned a lot from listening to friends, announcers, and contestants talk about it, so I know a small bit about this activity.

Apparently, there is some sort of llama circuit. There are multiple events, but I really only know about two events. There is the costume portion, and then there is the obstacle/agility portion (think dog-show agility events). There are also some sorts of "freebie" events, like the Running of the Llamas, which sadly has ceased operation after almost 20 years. But it was a REALLY fun event. And, there are things like therapy llamas that go to retirement homes - which I find hilarious because they're rumored to be stubborn and obstinate (both llamas and older people). I'm only ginog to focus on the costume portion in this post, however.

The costumes include both trainer and llama and are supposed to be themed, like a couples' Halloween costume. I heard that the neck must be covered in these contests, but clearly, there are a few that snuck into the event with exposed necks. From the copious commentating (I should talk...) of the announcer, I learned that the more coverage you've got on the llama, the better. If it looks challenging to get the llama into, then you get higher scores.

Apparently, this event at the Minnesota State Fair is the largest of its kind in the country - so go us, right? There were three different age groups: 7-8th graders, 9-10 graders, and 11-13 graders (implying people who went away to college and absolutely couldn't dream of stopping the llama activity would still be able to compete for one more year).

The announcer talked about how each of the contestants deserved blue ribbons, but I really beg to differ. It looked like a few of these kids either were phoning it in, or had woken up that morning and freaked out because they hadn't thought of a costume yet. Some looked like they were covered in a random blanket and that's as far as they got.

As you can see, it's a packed house. Which surprised me, but is a good thing.

Little Miss Muffet and her spider.

Bacon and eggs. 

Bride and groom (complete with garter).

A bowl of mac and cheese with a spoon.

A zookeeper with her giraffe.

Ghostbusters.

Viking and Packers fans.

Some minions (complete with fart gun). 

I have zero idea. (but, weak sauce)

Mulan theme with a flying carpet on the back of the llama, being ridden by a monkey.

Taco John (the trainer is IN a container of potato ole's, which rules) and the llama is a taco.

Party Animals. (weak sauce)

A painter and the llama is the canvas. (weak sauce)

Best costume in this age division: Top Gun. The llama has a bomber jacket with tiny arms. The llama also has clouds around his legs and flames coming out of its butt like an afterburner. The crowd loved this one. 

Bee and beekeeper, complete with smudge pot.

Some sort of cowboy situation, but not sure why the trainer looks like a teddy bear.

The trainer is a strawberry and the llama is the strawberry bush. (weak sauce)

Swan Lake theme. Weakest sauce of all. Like ranch sauce weak.

Uncle Sam theme, which prompted the announcer to wax poetic pro-Trump style. Not kidding.

Black Pearl theme. Yes, the llama is dressed as a pirate ship.

The trainer is a cookie and the llama is a monster (according to their neck-sign).

Dinner for two. The llama is the table and the trainer has spilled spaghetti on her tablecloth dress. (not the best effort I've seen) (exposed llama neck)

Cat in the hat. (weak sauce) (exposed llama neck)

Farmer and her chicken. This was pretty comical and well done.

1940's Salvation Army Bell Ringer - she was very specific about the 1940's part. The llama is the money bucket.

Tropical llama. (D for effort)

Steampunk llama. I guess if you put two gears and a clock on something, you've steampunked it.

Bubble bath and the trainer is a rubber ducky. The bubble machine in the llama costume helped.

Trolls.

Left Shark with beach llama, and a hobo llama (which is culturally insensitive and they didn't do well in the competition).

My favorite: this girl made her alpaca a Harley. The tiny arms with fake tattoo sleeves was awesome, and the trainer's outfit was appropriate. Nicely done and super creative.

Little Red Riding Hood with the llama dressed as the wolf in grandma's clothing.

This one took a few seconds for the crowd to get. The llama is dressed as a pig and her babies are feeding. Hilarious.

Batman and Robin. That llama wasn't happy about it.

Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa.

Another giraffe and its zookeeper.

Another bathtub llama.

Finding Nemo - extremely well done. Pool noodled mad the llama a sea anemone. The bubble machine was rulin', as well.

Such a fun time and despite not ALL of the contestants deserving blue ribbons, many of them put in some serious work. Really impressive.