August 26, 2012

Lets Go to the Ex!

Usually I would be the last person you would ever find at the CNE. I hate the big crowds, the hot August heat, the big crowds, the over priced food, and those damn ass big crowds! But this year, there were two reasons calling me to check out the Ex: 1. The President's Choice Superdog show (I have no shame) and 2. The Food Truck Frenzy.  So Saturday morning, the Sok sisters and I dragged ourselves out of bed super early and headed out to the Ex! 

Naturally,  we head straight for the food! We planned the rest of our day around what we wanted to eat, and where it was at the park!

Gourmet Bitches was our first stop! Love the concept; A bunch of chicks just kickin' ass cooking up yummy grub.  I got one fish taco and the fries. First off, is that kale? Did those bitches have the nerve to put kale in my tacos?! Who the hell has the balls to throw in something as horrible as kale with something as godly as pork??? - these ladies did, and it was bomb.

What was also bomb? Their deep fryer. It was set at the most heavenly temperature because the fries came out crispy and no where near soggy or greasy. The beef and jicama (at least I think it was jicama) slaw on top was really different...and refreshing. It was sweet, and crispy and helped add a tonne of flavour to the fries. It lightened something that is generally greasy and heavy ... and being at the Ex we definitely saw a few of those! One of the girls working the window, recommended I add meat to my fries and for that, I would like to give her an internet high five.

Our BFF's (not really) Buster Sea Cove was there so naturally the Sok sisters and I had to stop by and order a thirteen dollar lobster roll - two in fact! Yeaaah. We got a crab roll to go as well. For thirteen dollars, you also get chips, a lemon wedge, and a big 'ol pickle! 

Okay, I get it, seafood is expensive and pretty labour intensive so the thirteen dollar price tag is somewhat understandable. But the rolls just weren't up to par with the flavour profiles I am use to with Buster's! There was hardly any seasoning on the lobster & crab filling itself. 

This made me very sad. 

But what made me really happy was that they do give you all lobster and crab, they don't load it up with mayo or celery or any of those crummy fillers - it's all seafood! The pickle was pretty kick ass though, and the roll itself was nice and buttery.  Next time, I will satisfy my seafood cravings at their flagship location at the market. 

Next comes the big daddy of all carnival foods. Dun, dun, dun ... DEEP FRIED MARS BAR! No words, just scroll down and look for yourself!

Listen. Don't judge me. I only get this once a year and I shared a bar with two other people!

The Sok sisters introduced me to these beautiful puppies. It is a freshly made, before your eyes, waffle and a wedge of Chapman's vanilla icecream. It was the perfect treat for this heat! The combination of warm waffle and cold ice cream was completely divine. I could have had a second, third, and fourth one of these. 

After all that eating, and walking around the food building, we decided to take it easy, and eat some more at the Food Trucks.

Round Two:  I got the Texas Brisket poutine, as well as the "Dirty Bob" Sandwich from Urban Smoke, two orders of wings from Gourmet Bitches, two cupcakes from Pretty Sweet and an organic raw sugarcane lemonade from the Per Se Truck - for four dollars this was better than the lemonade stands you see throughout the park.

The Poutine from Urban Smoke was a favourite between all of us. The gravy was't too salty the fries were crispy and the brisket was delicious. Lots of flavour! But be warned cheese curd aficionados - these come with none. Correction: the guys at UrbanSmoke just informed me over twitter that they melt the cheese curds into the gravy & brisket. I know, mind = blown.  The same brisket was in the sandwich as well and it was also a crowd pleasure. We completely devoured it! I felt like the poutine was also a good bang for your buck... for convention prices that is! It was eight dollars for that plate.

Ken joined us for round two and ordered the chicken wings from Gourmet Bitches. This was definitely a miss amongst all of us. It was unfortunate because we got two orders of it! We all found the dry rub on the outside to be really gritty, almost burnt and completely void of any flavour. The chicken was cooked really nicely though, still moist and plenty of meat on the wing, too bad the flavours on the outside weren't complimenting enough. Oh well, you win some you loose some! The cupcakes were 'aight. I had one bite and found it too sweet for my liking but the girls enjoyed them.

Oh yea, I also ate a corndog (WIN!) and indulged in a few glasses of lemonade as well. Oh, and we  also hung out in the Garden Show, checked out the markets and saw the adorable Superdog show. I didn't just eat all day you know!

Honestly, I wish they would have made room for more food trucks! - shoulda kick out Tiny Tom Donuts (they had three stands in the park already, why did they need a truck too?) Surprisingly, the crowd wasn't that big and the waits weren't too long. The trucks did a great job managing the flow of traffic. 

So check out the Food Truck Frenzy happening at the CNE, it'll be on for one more day tomorrow. There are supposed to be about fifteen food trucks parked out there all day - even though it didn't really look like it! Try the fries and taco at Gourmet bitches and get the Brisket Poutine at Urban smoke! You'll love it. Oh, and while you're at the Ex, eat an onion bloom for me, I was too full by the end of the day to satisfy this craving. 

*Some pictures were "borrowed" from the lovely Jandary Sok. You can stalk her here:

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