The People's Choice: Giggles' Campfire Grill

  • Updated: August 17, 2014 - 1:00 AM

It was almost on a whim that restaurateur Tim Weiss decided to open a State Fair eatery 15 years ago. “If you’d have asked me 16 years ago if I’d ever be in the carnival or concession business I would have probably looked at you like you were nuts — only being politically correct about it,” said Weiss, owner of Giggles’ Campfire Grill.

With its log-cabin-style building and picnic tables, the restaurant has an Up North ambience. The food is made from scratch and has a Minnesota flavor, featuring an elk burger, smoked salmon on a stick and several forms of walleye — including this year’s new item, walleye macaroni and cheese.

Weiss had always heard that fair businesses made good money, but says that wasn’t his main motivation. For Weiss, who grew up a mile from the fairgrounds, a State Fair business was about honoring his roots. “Tell you what, I live and breathe the Minnesota State Fair,” said Weiss, who also operates Gabe’s by the Park in St. Paul and Gabe’s Rinkside Bar and Grill in Blaine. “I’m up there almost on a daily basis. It’s hard, grueling work, there’s no doubt about that. But it gets in your blood.” □

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