Eating at the Ex

10 Nov

The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) runs for just 2 weeks every year from the end of August into the first week of September and millions of people come to enjoy this event. There are plenty of games, live shows, a casino, and many booths where you can browse or purchase clothes, home décor, hats, sunglasses; virtually anything (even hot-tubs…I’m not kidding you)! But the majority of people who come to the CNE are looking to accomplish one thing: to fill their stomachs with lots of delicious snacks and deep-fried foods that they might’ve never seen before!

This past summer, I went to the CNE in hopes of trying some of these tasty treats! The lines for some food stands were longer than others but nobody really seemed to mind the wait in order to get a taste of these foods. Every year, there is usually one food item that gains the most hype; last year it was the deep-fried butter, this year was the doughnut burger. Yes…you read that correctly.

 At the EPIC Burger & Waffles booth, they offered burgers that were truly extraordinary and have never been seen before. I had the chance to try the doughnut burger and overall, I have to say that I did not enjoy it as much as other people did. Apparently the doughnut burger contained approximately 1500 calories! Yikes! The gastronomical art piece consisted of a thick ground chuck patty, a slice of cheddar cheese, one slice of tomato, a couple pieces of iceberg lettuce, your choice of typical burger condiments and last but not least, two Krispy Kreme doughnuts in place of burger buns. If you were feeling extra hungry and wanted to indulge, you had the option of adding bacon and a fried egg to your burger for an extra $2 on top of the $8 for the plain doughnut burger. Considering how all foods sold at the CNE are generally overpriced anyway, I thought the price of this burger was not too bad given how thick the burger patty was.

THE doughnut burger

What I didn’t really enjoy from the burger was the overly sweet and salty combination of the burger. The mix of flavors just tasted strange and unnatural to me. I shared the burger among 4 people and in the end, 1/3 of it had to be thrown away because nobody could force themselves to eat any more of it. On a more positive note, the burger patty was actually surprisingly moist and flavorful from what I remember.

At a booth that specialized in all things mac and cheese, I shared a “breakfast mac and cheese” with my friend. The dish consisted of 2 breakfast sausages and a fried egg on top of a bed of mac and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is probably one of my favourite comfort foods and you can’t really go wrong with it but I was a little disappointed in this one that I bought at the CNE. The noodles were overcooked and as a result the texture of it in my mouth was quite starchy and unpleasant. Also, the cheese flavor (which is obviously one of the most important aspects of a mac and cheese!) was quite bland and not as prominent as I had hoped it would be. 

Breakfast Mac n Cheese


Another treat that I tried while at the CNE was the deep-fried mars bar. This was my second time eating it and I have to say, it was just as good as the first. A regular mars bar is coated in a batter (sort of like a corn dog batter, but lighter and sweeter), thrown in the deep-fryer, and then sprinkled with icing sugar and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. When you bite into it, the mars bar is perfectly melted so you’re left with a mouthful of fluffy cake batter and warm gooey chocolate. It’s definitely something to be shared though because I found it difficult to eat more than a couple bites as it is very sickeningly sweet! If Mars bars aren’t your thing, don’t worry because they were not the only sweets being deep-fried at the CNE. Oreos, Snickers, Twix, and even Twinkies and Pop-tarts were being deep-fried in batter at this booth! Has anyone tried these? I heard the deep-fried Oreos were good!  


Deep-fried Mars bar

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Cne photo:


2 Responses to “Eating at the Ex”

  1. shirley tam November 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    MMMmm chocolate bars… I’ve never had them fried but it sounds like it might be quite good- although not something you should have everyday. It should be worth a try! I’ve heard of fried oreos are really good too. My fried also tried the krispie creme burger.. she didn’t like it very much either… Great post!

    -shirley tam

  2. Wai-Yuen November 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Wow, it seemed like you had a very unique food tasting experience! Although I must say, the doughnut burger does not sound very appetizing, and from your comment I guess that was your impression too!
    I have tried a deep fried Mars bar, but the batter threw me off, haha.
    I am quite intrigued by what foods are offered at CNE now and ,may just have to go there this summer…

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