Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Barbecue fans relish fair food

by on August 27, 2014 11:00 AM

Barbecue lovers, rejoice — there are a few new barbecue-themed options this year at the Indiana County Fair.

Pennsylvania Barbeque, of South Sixth Street in White Township, is a vendor at this year’s fair.

“We’re offering our signature pulled pork sandwich and also our baby-back ribs,” said Ray Schamus, owner of the restaurant. “Just for the fair, we’re selling a smoked kielbasa sandwich.”

The restaurant is a little outside of town, Schamus said, so they’re at the fair this year “letting everyone know they’re still alive and well.”

[PHOTO: Shane Isasky assembled a Steel City Samiches Donut Burger at the fair Tuesday. (Jamie Empfield/Gazette photo)]

Another barbecue option is through Tennessee Bar-B-Que Company, a part of Seivers Concessions, popular nationwide for their fair booths.

There’s only 52 weeks in a year, Roger Meirers, pit master of Seivers Concessions said, and they have a booth at fairs and events during each.

The vendor offers the only open-pit barbecue at the fair. Items available include pulled pork, slow smoked ribs, beef brisket, marinated chicken on a stick and more.

Seivers also offers a Wild West Soda stand this year, featuring old-fashioned sodain a take-home mug.

If you’re not feeling barbecue, a local favorite, Steel City Samiches, has the booth under the grandstand — the restaurant’s first year serving at the fair.

Using the fair as a test run for the items, the restaurant is serving a few new options for fair-goers, including a new Pittsburgh-style sandwich as well as The Donut Burger.

“We have our signature sandwiches with the fries, coleslaw and tomato,” Tony Lang, one of the owners of Steel City Samiches said. “We’ll also offer some cheeseburgers and our fresh-cut french fries.”

The new Pittsburgh-style signature sandwich is called the Barnyard, and is built using a cheeseburger, bacon, egg, fries and coleslaw.

For the more daring, The Donut Burger is another choice.

“People come (to the fair) to get unique items, so we decided to put a unique item on the menu,” said Shawn Lang, another owner.

Because they are serving breakfast items at the fair for the early visitors — donuts, eggs and bacon — they concocted a sandwich that combines the ingredients they already had at the stand.

The burger, when finished, is made up of two glazed donuts, a cheeseburger, bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato.

Of course, there are familiar favorites still at the fair this year: Glenda & Scott’s, Homemade Ice Cream out of Millville, Patty’s Grill, Red & Ethel’s hot sausages, Coy’s concessions, Aunt Dee Dee’s All Things Chocolate, Brush Valley chicken and the Indiana Lions’ Club funnel cake stand — to name a few.Jim and Betty Gallo, of Homer City, have been going to the Indiana County Fair for about 20 years now, they said, and they went to the fairgrounds for lunch on Tuesday just to get their favorite fair fare: hot sausages from Coy’s. They also added something new into the mix, trying an old-fashioned orange soda from the Wild West Soda stand.

For others, the decision of what to eat didn’t come so easy.

“I couldn’t decide (what to eat), said Matt Hahn, an assistant Indiana University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball coach. “I’m a big fair food guy.” He ended up with a plate from Tennessee Bar-B-Que.

READ MORE: Fair fare throughout the nation


Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at
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