Friday, August 26, 2016

Let's Go to the Ex -- A Left Chapter look at some of the sights and food of the 2016 CNE!

This year's edition of the Toronto end-of-summer institution the Canadian National Exhibition (otherwise known as "The Ex") kicked off last Friday and runs until Labour Day as always.

You still have lots of time to go or go for a second visit.

Just as we did last year, The Left Chapter paid a visit to track down some new food items, sights and sounds, as well as to return to some old favourites!

Pizza Nova offers up an always reliable and tasty snack slice in the Food Building.

The Bug Bistro, new to the food building, is literally a bug bistro! You can get a few dishes that come with crickets marinated in Tabasco and other sauces. One example is a cricket topped hot dog!  

I must admit that I did not try it. Maybe next time. 

Ali's Roti is one of my favourite food booths at the food building serving up terrific West Indian fare (as they do at their year round Queen St. W. location in Parkdale). 

I got the goat with rice and peas and a side salad ($11) and topped it with their fiery in house hot sauce!

Always a destination for my kids is the lollipop booth in the Arts & Crafts Building. Dozens of different flavours, the lollipops are $1 each or 6 for $5.

This year's hot sauce discovery, also at the Arts and Crafts Building, was the Spice of Life Gourmet Hot Sauce booth. They have five options, all delicious, that progress from a little bit of kick to the incendiary and awesome Million ++ Pepper Sauce! This is a GREAT hot sauce, but not for the timid with its blend of Ghost, Trinidad Scorpion and Naga Viper peppers.

Incredible stuff. You can order from them online here.

Art Show at the Arts and Crafts Building! 

Cookies and Jams from Nova Scotia

Turkeys at the Farm Building

Free recipes...something I can never say no to!

A Giant Squirrel Butter Sculpture

Get your fix of Ontario honey products at the Farm Building!

You know who...

One new food item, at least to me, was the $9 Big Pickle Corn Dog! It can be found at a booth by the midway, It is a hot dog inside a giant pickle that is then battered and deep fried. I hate to say it, but it was pretty terrific! 

At the Mac and Cheese booth in the Food Building you can get a variety of Mac and Cheese mains and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

They also have a tasty Tater Tots dish ($7) that has cheesy tater tots with beef and Mexican style nacho toppings and sauces. A solid treat. 

Could not resist getting a San Francesco veal sandwich with hot peppers ($8) from their booth at the Food Building. A Toronto classic, you can never go wrong with any of their Italian sandwiches. They have all the classic options: Veal, chicken, steak or eggplant. 

Bouchard's Poutinery in the Food Building offers a variety of well executed and tasty versions of the Quebec classic.

I like the traditional poutine option, and a large (and it is quite large) is good for a couple folks. They range from $11 to $15 depending on the toppings. 

See you next year!

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