Canadian National Exhibition: Summer 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014
My brother and his girlfriend flew up here from New York on Thursday, so we decided to coincide their trip with our annual excursion to The Ex yesterday. They don't have carnivals like this in Manhattan (and apparently Coney Island is way too ratchet), so they were even more pumped to go. As many of you know, I don't go to The Ex for any other purpose than to eat. Anything else is secondary. Because Ronsee had work and I had an afternoon freelance wedding job, we didn't actually get into the grounds until 7:30, so we met my brother and his girlfriend at the Food Building. (We don't mess around.) For whatever reason, there wasn't as much fanfare over The Ex this year as there was in previous years, but we still managed to get in some deliciously fattening foods, including:

"Jack'd" from Pull'd: Pulled pork between three red velvet pancakes and doused in Jack Daniels-infused syrup

"The Canadian" at Bouchard's Poutinery

"The Behemoth" from Epic Burgers and Waffles: Cheeseburger with grilled cheese sandwich buns

Chocolate fried chicken from Coco's Fried Chicken

Deep-fried Oreos

Our stomaches were too full to eat any more (we are getting weak in our old age), but I do wish that we had done more research prior to going in. There are so many things that I wish we had checked out: the Thanksgiving waffles (cranberry stuffing waffle filled with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, green onions, gravy, and cranberries) and maple toast breakfast boxes (deep-fried slices of egg bread drizzled with maple syrup, hollowed out and stuffed with bacon, sausage, and egg) from Fran's, the "s'more bao" (a Chinese bun filled with Nutella, marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs, condensed milk, and chocolate) from Far East Taco, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup "crobar" (a chocolate bar baked inside a buttery croissant) from Hula Girl. Not our most impressive year, but at least everyone had a good time and everything we did have was incredibly tasty. I think the chocolate fried chicken was the most surprising. It's just genuinely good fried chicken, chocolate or not. Tasty buttermilk batter, really moist chicken, perfectly crispy skin. It's not that chocolatey, either, just a tinge of sweetness. Really quite delightful.

We ended the night by walking thorough the midway, playing some games here and there (a novelty for my brother and his girlfriend, who found some of the games a little too addictive...) and spending a good half hour trying hard to find the deep-fried butter truck. Apparently, they weren't open this year which was really quite disappointing, because I feel like that's one of the things that everyone associates with The Ex now. I mean, we ended up getting deep-fried Oreos, but my brother and his girlfriend were super-intrigued with the deep-fried butter business so it was too bad that they couldn't try it. 

Did you go to any carnivals or fairs this year? Fellow Torontonians, did you go to The Ex? If so, what did you eat?
6 comments on "Canadian National Exhibition: Summer 2014"
  1. I think last year made half the people sick with all that food. Wasn't there a story on ill effects from that cronut craze? The only thing here that looks enticing is The Behemoth, but that's because I like my sweets separate from savoury. Still love The Ex and the nutty food scene though. :)

    1. Yeah, that's true. It's too bad because it wasn't the cronut's fault -- it was the maple bacon jam! I feel like they could've easily brought it back without the jam, but I guess people were already staying far away from it that it would've been pointless. Still, people were going crazy for the food this year (the Food Building was PACKED); the food poisoning from last year didn't seem to deter anyone, myself included, lol.

      I wish we had done more research before going in because there were SO MANY DELIGHTS that we missed out on just because we didn't know what to look for. We just went to our usual haunts, lol. The Behemoth is definitely the most reliably delicious, and it's quite similar to Burger Priest's The Vatican.

  2. OMG. Seriously, you have no idea how many cravings you just inspired in me, Denise. YOU ARE THE DEVIL. I wish we had something like this here in Halifax!!

    1. LOL! Sorry. :P Aren't there big fairs/carnivals in Halifax? I do think, however, that the whole food craze at The Ex here is unparalleled. It's a big draw for most people to actually even go. You just have to come visit Toronto next year!!!

  3. !!!! No fair here. :( We went to the state fair last year but it's definitely more of your rough and tumble country fair, with all the fried things and nothing that outrageous. Still had my fill, though :D

    1. Yeah, the CNE has become like, a go-to for new and exciting weird foods. Every year, we see what the hell they're gonna come up with to debut there. It's a big draw for many (and the main draw for me!), so they gotta out-do themselves every year, lol. You should plan a visit to Toronto around the end of August so you can check out the CNE as well as the rest of the city. ;)


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