CNE 2015 & Food Truck Frenzy

Bacon Nation - Slaw Dog Millionaire - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Slaw Dog Millionaire – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again; and as fast as the CNE arrives it means summer is almost over; but I get to try some of those crazy CNE foods and enjoy the Food Truck Frenzy once again. This year I found a sneak peak listing of the new and interesting foods available this year and some of the must tries on the list were: Cake Poutine, Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, Poutine Balls, Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese, Red Velvet Oreos, Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli, Timbit Poutine, Deep fried Cheesecake and Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick. I really wanted to taste the Frosted flake Chicken as that is my favourite cereal; but I decided not to this time around.

I went two times again this year the CNE to spread out my food consumption: once to try the CNE foods and then back for the Food Truck Frenzy with my girls. Here is a quick rundown of the foods I tried or got reviews from other tester I went with. I ate so much at the food Truck Frenzy it was criminal and I really don’t know how I managed to pack all that away and not be in a food coma.

Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli – Jack’s Lobster (Food Building) – $10
Jake’s Lobster in the Food Building was serving up snow crab over fresh cut fries and garnished with garlic aioli and fresh herbs and topped with a lemon wedge. This was one of the food items on the top of my list and it was delicious. The potion size was a little small and I could have eaten two easy; but it was delicious. The ratio of seafood to fries was bang on. I appreciated seeing some crab legs and the fries were perfectly salted. I would eat this again and again and will try to make this at home.

Cake Poutine – Culinary student from Humber College (Direct Energy Building) – $5
The cake fries are made from a rich vanilla bean infused cake and lathered in warm chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Bacon bits, marshmallows, strawberries and maple syrup are just some of the toppings. I had the O’ Canada Cake Poutine which was vanilla cake fries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips. This was a must try for me as I had to support these two ladies who created the booth that were from my Alma Mata Humber College. The cake was dense but soft and held up to the sauce. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a creative spin on a Canadian classic. I even took a little home as I was beyond full at the end of the night.

Chicken & Waffles on a Stick $8
It’s like a corndog but with the hog dog replaced with the chicken and the cornbread casing is now a waffle batter. I was told it was overrated and I still really wanted to try it but I couldn’t find the booth.

Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese – Bacon Nation (Food Building) – $10
Bacon wrapped cheddar & mozzarella sandwich served with special ketchup. A review of this sandwich was it was overpriced and shrunk a lot upon cooking and the bacon wasn’t crispy; which defeats the purpose as how can you eat a sandwich wrapped in bacon and chew through it with chewy bacon. I believe this was an opening problem as when I saw pictures as the days passed the grilled cheese started having a crispier bacon covering.

Red Velvet Oreos –3 for $8
Double stuffed Oreos dipped in red velvet batter and deep fried; dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese icing. A common review I heard was it was little pricy and wasn’t necessarily worth the price; which makes sense but you are buying this for the novelty of it.

Deep Fried Cheesecake – Pickle Pete’s -$7
A New York style cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried and served with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup on top. This was recommended to me to give a try as it was surprisingly light; but I am not a cheesecake lover.

Food Truck Frenzy

This year there seemed to be a Beer Event being held within the Food Truck Frenzy and there were beer pairings offered for foods from the trucks. I personally wasn’t a fan of this as I don’t drink beer and then all of the trucks didn’t offer drinks this year. My only option was to go to the Coca Cola stand to buy Coke products. I don’t drink pop or caffeine either so I had to wait until I found my lemonade vendor as I know they are always in the Direct Energy Building. I will say I wasn’t the only one to complain. I heard many complaints and surprisingly men to were at the top of this list to air their feelings.

Slaw Dog Millionaire – Bacon Nation – $12
Bacon wrapped hot dog with apple slaw. I never eat hot dogs and when I do they are always chicken hot dogs so this was a great change for me. I loved the saltiness of the hot dog and the crunch of the slaw.

Apple Porkfection – Bacon Nation – $12
Pulled Pork, bacon strips, apple slaw on a bacon bun. This was sweet and salty the perfect combination.

Athens Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $9

Feta, Tzatziki & gravy. I’m a sucker for a poutine without the cheese curds. I couldn’t finish this and had to share. The tzatziki is the best I’ve ever had as it was thicker, creamier and more complex. I’m not sure what they did to it but it was amazing. I would go back and buy and container if that was possible.

Feta Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $8
Just like the Athens Fries minus the gravy. I preferred my version better; but this was still amazing and the owners were so polite.

The Lumberjack – Gorilla Cheese – $10
Bacon, granny smith apple, maple syrup, aged cheddar. A sweet and salty combo that was very satisfying and worth every penny.

Shawarma Bombs – Gourmet Guyz – $7
Tabbouleh, rice and chicken wrapped inside a wonton wrapper served with dipping sauce. This was one of the more inventive food options at the food truck frenzy.

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – $3.50
A must have for me. This time I had a cherry lemonade a favourite flavour of mine. It’s never too sweet and the perfect refreshing palate cleansing drink.

Like usual I had an excellent food adventure and everything I tasted was delicious. This year I noticed those ingredients that Canadians love being: poutine, gravy, cheese bacon were available at every food truck and I’m not complaining, were in Canada eh!

Bacon Nation - Apple Porkfection - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Apple Porkfection – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven - Cherry Lemonade - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine - O' Canada - Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine – O’ Canada – Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz - Sharwarma Bombs - Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz – Sharwarma Bombs – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Athens Fries & Feta Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Athens Fries & Feta Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese - Lumberjack - Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese – Lumberjack – Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

CNE Food Truck Frenzy

CNE Princess Gate - Candy Coated Culinista

CNE Princess Gate – Candy Coated Culinista

When: Friday, August 24th 2012 – 11am-10pm, Saturday, August 25th & Sunday August 26th – 10am-10 pm & Friday, August 23rd 2013 – 11 am-10 pm, Saturday, August 24th 213 – 10 am 10 pm & Sunday, August 25th 2013 – 10am-10pm)
Where: Princes’ Boulevard in front of Allstream Centre & Direct Energy Centre

I watch a lot of Eat St. on Food Network and when I say a lot I mean like 1 episode a day. Even if it’s a repeat it’s a fun show that makes me very envious of all the food trucks in the U.S.A. Toronto is slowly grabbing on to this food truck revolution and street meat isn’t only hot dogs but now are some very authentic, classy and inspiring foods. I subscribe to Toronto Food Trucks; so when the better weather comes around and the food trucks roll out and I get updated to where the trucks will be. I have visited some and when summer hits I always try and see if any are in my area.

For three years now I go to the CNE with Mr. C. and two of my friends. I am hoping we can make this a yearly thing and for two years now the Food Truck Frenzy has been on. The frenzy features many food trucks from around the GTA.

The first thing I do is see all the offerings from each food truck and then I line up and get my grub on. There are plenty of trucks at this event. We had a great time tasting foods and food combinations we wouldn’t normally. We all left the CNE grounds full and when I got home I managed to find a little more space for the Greek fries I had left over.

Here’s the rundown of my stops over the last two Food Truck Frenzy’s

Blue Donkey Streatery
This truck is a bright blue with a donkey on it, you can’t miss it and they offer a selection of Greek inspired foods.

When we were ready to leave I needed to make one more stop for a late night snack before the park closed, I grabbed the Feta Fries with Tzatziki for $8. The Greek fries are hand cut and sprinkled with feta. I have had something similar before from The Arkadia House in Scarborough and this too was amazing. To me it’s like cheese fries but a classier.

Beach Boys Food Truck
A rotating menu of summertime food inspired by the 60’s rock band, with a blend of the California
culture they personify.

Bacon Nation
A USA food truck that is driven by “slow food” combined with a Northwest style.

Mr.C . went here and had a burger with bacon, ham & pulled pork. By the time I got to him to take a pic it was almost done. I’m guessing he really enjoyed it. He did laugh at the fact that it was all pig in various forms.

Buster’s Sea Cove
A sea food focused food truck that sells oysters on the half shelf, lobster rolls, fish tacos, crab rolls & Key lime pie. I also saw them at the TO Food Fest 2013.

Crossroads Diner
Healthy seasonal options and some guilty pleasures. Their focus is a modern twist of the diner classics at affordable prices and great quality products.

Food Dudes
They are a full service catering company that uses the highest quality ingredients and the best service while tending to the clients’ needs.

Frankie Fettuccine
Gourmet Pasta dishes is sold by this Food Truck.

Fidel Gastro
This truck serves up sandwiches with a twist.

Let’s Be Frank
A Toronto based food truck that serves Nathan’s Famous all beef dogs.

I ordered the sliders: a pair of mini hot dogs which was the perfect snack. I topped my hot dog with Dijon mustard, ketchup and relish. I usually don’t eat beef hot dogs, but this was great. I would have this again as a full size dog. My friend ordered the Ultimate Dog, a hot dog wrapped in pea meal bacon topped with melted cheese.

Gourmet Gringos
Gourmet Latin food.

Gourmet B1tches
Healthy food options with some flare.

Hank Daddy’s Barbeque
All things BBQ’d. Serving pork, chicken, beef and ribs at fairs, festivals and catered events.

Hogtown Smoke
BBQ smokehouse slow & low with an on board truck smoker.

Mike’s Dog House
Mike’s started as a hot dog stand that grew to a special event catering vehicle

Per Se Mobile
This food truck has taste from all the diverse roots in the GTA.

When I went to this food truck there was one thing on the menu that caught my attention, and also the attention of us all. The Raw Sugar Cane Lemonade; as 3 of us have Caribbean roots we gravitated to this and Mr. C just liked the idea of it. The lemonade is made with Real Panela (whole cane sugar) served in a 16oz cup with a lime and ice for $4. It was one of the best lemonades I’ve had, you could taste the sugar cane and we enjoyed it so much that we all went back for seconds when we had our late night snack.

This year again all four of us enjoyed the raw cane sugar lemonade. It is that good and we looked forward to having it again.

My friends had the Per Se Poutine which is a Demi-Glazed (Gravy) with Brisket, Cheese Blend all served on a bed of Fresh Home Cut Kettle Chips. This looked delicious and I must say even though this is food truck food, they style & plate their food well; even if it’s going into a paper dish.

Pretty Sweet
Mobile cupcakery specializing in noveau flavours and artfully decorated creations.

Stuft Gourmet Sausages
This food truck is street meat at its finest. Toronto has lots of hot dog vendors but none like this. Here the bun just has a hole at the top to stuff your meat and sauce into it. It’s definitely a less messy way to eat a hot dog and a smart idea.

Mr. C. came here and ordered the Creole Turducken, a turkey, duck and chicken seasoned in authentic Creole spices and topped with a mustard sauce for $9. I snagged a bite and it tasted good but the seasoning isn’t my thing however; Mr. C. loved it and would have it again. A year later he still raves about the Creole Turducken.

Sweetness Bakery
Quality baked goods whipped up by accredited pastry chefs and bakers. This truck is named after the owners daughter Chloe “Sweetness” is her nickname. Their boy Foster, at 2 was diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies and after that experience they needed to find better food options for when they eat out. The food truck has a line called “Foster favourites” a nut free alternative.

Texas Tornado
Tornado fries are seasoned in five different options – Sour Cream & Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Dill Pickle, Wild Buffalo or just Sea Salt. Also on the menu is Tornado potato, Twister Dog, Poutine & French Fries.

Tiny Tom Donuts
A regular at the CNE is Tiny Toms you must try this even if only once. Mini doughnuts are served fresh right in front of you. You can watch the hopper toss out the doughnuts and select from cinnamon,chocolate, icing sugar or apple-cinnamon at $5 a dozen.

This has too much topping for me but this is a favourite for many, and for once a year why not just do it right?

The Urban Smoke 2012-2013
A southern style both traditional and fusion Gourmet BBQ.

I ordered the Dirty Bob, a Texas Brisket with Swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms $8. I have never had brisket before so I decided today was the day to give it a try. It was like a grilled cheese sandwich to me with meat added. I really enjoyed it but Mr. C. abruptly said after taking a bite “never make brisket for me please”. It’s a fattier meat and he did not like that at all.

Wood Fired Pizza
There was a pizza place there that was serving thin crust pizza in 3 spicy flavours including a vegetarian and of course pepperoni. Mr. C. and the girls loved it. Not too much crust and falvouful toppings.

Yalla Paramount
Middle Eastern Cuisine: Shawarma, Falafels, Grape Leaves & Musakaa can be found here.

Yogurt by weight: You order you yogurt and add any of the toppings you want.

Other food trucks there were: S.W.A.T., Nazca and Pancha.

Per Se Poutine - Per Se Mobile

Per Se Poutine – Per Se Mobile

Yogurty's - Candy Coated Culinista

Yogurty’s – Candy Coated Culinista

Wood Fire Pizza - Candy Coated Culinista

Wood Fire Pizza – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweetness Bakery - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweetness Bakery – Candy Coated Culinista

Per Se Mobile - Candy Coated Culinista

Per Se Mobile – Candy Coated Culinista

Let's Be Frank - Candy Coated Culinista

Let’s Be Frank – Candy Coated Culinista

Fish Taco - CNE Food Truck Frenzy

Fish Taco – CNE Food Truck Frenzy

Ultimate Dog - Let's be Frank

Ultimate Dog – Let’s be Frank

Sliders - Let's Be Frank

Sliders – Let’s Be Frank

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