Once again it is that time of year again, when I stuff my face with food and spend an inordinate amount of money on food. Of course I am talking about the CNE. This year was no exception. I had heard about the Nutella stand a while ago but was not intrigued, not even slightly. Fries? With Nutella? It seemed to me they had run out of original ideas and were just throwing odd things together for oddities sake. The day before the Toronto Star had run a story after media day preview. One of the stand out (if you can call it that) items was the cronut burger from Epic Burger. I had tried a bite of the Krispy Kreme burger earlier this year and it was not that bad. Going on this assumption I thought it translated to cronut burgers. I was wrong. It would have been an ok burger… were it not for the icing sugar. Camilla had the Canuck burger from Bacon Nation. Instead of ground beef for burger patties, they replaced it with ground bacon. And then piled strips of bacon and peameal bacon on top. It was good in small amounts, but I had just eaten a burger patty with cheese (I gave up on the cronut and ate just burger). On the side we split an order of bacon cheddar fries, also from Bacon Nation. I watched the guy make my fries and I knew I was in for little bites of heaven. While it might sound gross to watch someone douse your freshly fried fries with nacho cheese sauce and the liberally sprinkle bacon bits on top- I was really hungry. The cheddar fries were the winner thus far. Alas there was no time for dessert as we were off to see the acrobatic show Tic Toc.
Something weird was going on at the CNE. For starters, Stitches actually had a decent amount of decent COTTON clothes! For the first time ever it occurred to me to ask the individual price of items that are usually sold in bulk (4 nail polishes for $10 and 3 books for $10 being the usual deals). I still cannot believe it took me that long to realize it.
Our first break from shopping, a chance to finally sit down, was at the Super Dogs show. Every year I insist on going, and it has yet to disappoint me. I was about to be mad and disappointed (they now advertise during the show for their sponsors- boring) but the Super Dogs dancing to Footloose more than made up for it.
Our next break was not until later in the night at the Food Building. I was finally ready to try deep-fried mac & cheese. I had avoided it for years, because it sounded atrocious. Alas, I was out of super-crazy things to try and this was at the bottom of my list. Turns out I was very wrong for having it at the bottom of my list. It was delicious! Except for the last little bits that were mostly just deep-fried batter, occasionally one deep-fried noodle. It was fun to eat and not at all messy. The problem was that by the end of it I was in desperate need of sweet. No desserts had caught my eye, and Camilla suggested Freshly Squeezed. I wandered around until I found that Yogen Fruz now had self-serve frozen yogurt. Even at the CNE, I cannot resist. I was so full though that I got a teeny tiny amount of lime sorbet. The cashier even made fun of me. It was so refreshing though.
On our way out we cut through the Arts & Crafts building where I discovered a cupcake stand. Never one to turn down a cupcake, I veered right. My eyes settled on a delicious-looking lemon number. I was a tad wary as they all featured buttercream (blech usually). And so it was. Having overeaten, I was not too happy with the too-buttery buttercream. The cupcake part was good though.
Earlier when we wandered around the midway I almost gave in and got deep-fried butter (even now, the thought of it churns my stomach) for lack of anything else deep-fried and new. I feel as though the deep-fried novelty wave has unfortunately waned at the CNE, giving way to odd-ball concoctions like Nutella on sweet potato fries and the like. I am not sure what I will get when I go back. I considered the Behemonth from Epic Burger but now having tasted their burger patties I am not sure. I will definitely be having the chowdah fries from the new food shop Jake’s something or other seafood-y.
* While we were eating the deep-fried mac & cheese I pointed out that I had eaten a LOT of various cheeses that day and joked that I would become lactose-intolerant. Camilla mentioned that Lactose IntolerCNE would be a great title, kudos to her.
EDITORS NOTE: As you may (or may not have) heard, there was a food-poisoning outbreak at the CNE a few days later, at where else, but the cronut burger stand Epic Burger. I dodged a bullet my friends.