TBT: CNE 2017 Eats
Throwback to one month ago when the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) was back in Toronto. Whenever this event appears, it’s a sign that summer is ending and it’s back to school for kids (Been there, done that!).
This year I didn’t find the new food attractions to be anything exciting. They were kind of reiterations of last year’s—copius stacks of foods or more deep fried concoctions. The only thing that stood out to me was Deep Fried Chicken Feet. For anyone that goes to Dim Sum, you know what I’m talking about.
Since nothing interested me, I didn’t plan an entire day to go. Luckily, I won tickets to see Matthew Good open for Midnight Oil (Thanks, Indie 88!). If you have tickets to a show at Budweiser Stage (formerly known as Molson Amphitheatre) or to a TFC game, you get free entry into the CNE grounds. Winning those tickets means I don’t have to pay extra for admission or go to it twice to try the foods.
I really wanted to see Matthew Good and not Midnight Oil (I only know one song of theirs) so my friend Lynda and I left after Matthew Good and headed back to CNE to get some food. We had about two hours after leaving the show to enjoy as much as we can and eat as much as we can. Sounds easy, right?
Prior to watching Matthew Good, I actually had a poutine from one of the vendors inside the Budweiser Stage, so I wasn’t too hungry but I still wanted to eat.
After walking around the Food Building at CNE, we ended up at Mac and Cheesery for their Tostos Taters. It’s just tater tots with nacho-style toppings.
It wasn’t the greatest but it wasn’t bad. It’s decent. The guacamole was creamy but it didn’t have that particular guacamole taste. Though it did help cool down the temperature-hot tater tots. The meat, which I believe is beef, was in big chunks. Tasty but not the greatest chunk of beef I’ve had.
While we were walking around the Food Building, we saw this place called Cake Shack with this decadent item called Sugar Mountain. From the photos, the Sugar Mountain looked amazing. Instagram worthy, right? Well, that’s pretty much its only value. Looks good but doesn’t taste all that great.
The Sugar Mountain consisted of a chocolate brownie as the base, with an icing-filled waffle cone, glued on with even more icing. Then, a sprinkled doughnut is placed on the end of the waffle cone, and lastly, topped with some cotton candy. Sugar Mountain is an appropriate name for it, indeed.
As I said, it didn’t taste great. The doughnut was stale, the waffle cone was OVERLY sweet due to the icing (which we scooped out), and the brownie was cold. I know it was near the end of the night, but if I’m going to pay ~$15 for a dessert, it better taste good.
We then walked around, looking for the funnel cake vendor (yes, we wanted more dessert). Instead, we stumbled across the Charcoal Ice Cream stand. This is where you could try the charcoal flavoured ice cream and the What-a-Melon.
Originally, we wanted to get the charcoal ice cream but we didn’t want to deal with possible black teeth. We went for the grape flavoured ice cream with the black cone.
The grape ice cream was actually pretty good. It’s not true grape flavour but that artificial one. It was sweet and quite flavourful. We recommended it to passerbys that asked about it and the watermelon sandwich. The only downside was that it started to melt quickly that it leaked at the bottom of the cone, hence why we put it upside down.
Now, the What-a-Melon was probably the most disappointing food I tried. I had known about this prior to it being featured on blogTO (or other influential media site). I actually found it out about it through these YouTubers – Simon and Martina aka Eat Your Kimchi (They’re originally from Toronto!), so I was pretty excited to try the one here.
First off, this was not cheap. It was at least $10 for a slice of watermelon and ice cream. Second- It didn’t look all that great either. The one in Japan looks so aesthetically appealing and looks like time was put into each order. Lastly- This wasn’t anything spectacular. Maybe because we got watermelon ice cream to accompany it but it was so mediocre. The watermelon ice cream did not taste anything remotely to watermelon – it was more like a bubblegum/cotton candy flavour. The watermelon slice itself was juicy and huge but $10 for a slice of watermelon and ice cream?! Ridiculous.
I was quite disappointed with the new food items at CNE this year. All hype and no game. I think next year I’ll try not to jump on the bandwagon for some of these food fads and go with my stomach.
If you had some good eats (or bad ones) at CNE this year, let me know in the comments below!