WRAL.com at the State Fair

Matt's Shark Shack

Posted October 19, 2005

I don't know when I started making a trip to Matt's Shark Shack part of my yearly Fair experience. Not everybody knows about the Shack -- it's not on the main drag for food. Instead it faces the kiddie area, across from a couple of the rides.

You never quite know what's going to be there either. I went Friday and there was no shark. (In addition to shark you can also get shrimp, gator, and other goodies. Ribbon fries are available if you want something more traditional and less seafood.) Monday there was no gator. There's always something good available, you'll just never know quite what it is.

This year marks the addition of an enormous grill and the offering of Pork Butts on a Stick. That's a sign that'll make you stop in your tracks. (I didn't have the nerve to actually try it, but I did stop in my tracks.) Now you can have your shark fried or grilled.

I recommend grilled, though it takes a few minutes. Your shark will be covered with sauce and left on the grill for a while. The guy running the grill is also the guy in the booth, so he'll run back and forth waiting on customers and getting food ready. You'll stare off into space and wonder about going to buy some lemonade.

Just when you're thinking that your shark has been forgotten and it's going to sit there and burn, he'll hustle back, pile on a little more sauce, turn it a few times, and voila, you will have shark onna stick. Be careful! It's hot, though it cools down quickly. Grab some napkins and wander over to the benches under the trees by gate 11. People watch for a while.
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