Saturday, August 23, 2014

Food Truck Frenzy at the CNE

While my boys may go to the CNE for the rides and the midway games, for me the highlight is the food. The Food Building itself is well-known for variety and the chance to try new things. And over the years the CNE has become a hub for new and crazy culinary creations, like deep-fried butter and anything made with an excess of bacon. I am so all about that.

This weekend The Ex is playing host to some of the city's finest street food with their Food Truck Frenzy event. Running Aug-22-24, the food trucks will be serving up their goodness until 11:00pm each night, just inside the Prince's Gate. And the options are fantastic, ranging from standard poutine and burgers, through fish tacos and churros, right up to soft shell crab caesar salads and lobster mac and cheese.

The line-up includes some of my absolute fave trucks - The Food Dudes, Bacon Nation, and Fidel Gastro. But I decided to try a few different options when I visited on Friday.

Important to note - Food Truck Frenzy takes place right next to a Beer Garden, so there's a great spot to grab a table and enjoy a cold Creemore Springs beer with your meal. They also serve wine, mixed drinks, and lots on no-alcoholic options. It's a family-friendly space, so your kids can sit with you too :)

My food choices - Brisket Poutine from Urban Smoke; Arancini from Frankie Fettuccine; and Fish Tacos from Gourmet Gringos. The fish tacos were 2 for $10 and well-worth the price, each featuring 2 generous portions of beer-battered mahi mahi, chipotle aioli and guacamole. They were tasty, but not as spicy as I'd like. So if you're a fan of milder fare, try these. Arancini are fried balls of cheese and rice, served with a marinara sauce. Do I even need to comment? Delish at 4 for $5. But the highlight of the meal was the Brisket Poutine. Curds, gravy, BBQ sauce and brisket bits on Urban Smoke's "Magic Fries." These were absolutely divine. You can get a full portion for $10, but I opted for the sampler size at $4 and it was more than enough. The BBQ sauce gives a slight sweetness to the poutine, and the brisket bits give a nice smoky flavour. Yum. My beer choice, by the way, was a raspberry ale - nicely crisp and slightly sweet. It went great with the meal.

Sandwiches, pulled pork, meatballs, pasta, and so many other things I would have loved to try. I recommend going with a bunch of friends and fanning out. Then come back together and have a sampling of all your various finds. Be sure to grab lots of forks!

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