Every August when the CNE rolls into town, visitors are most curious about the new eats. Deep fried deliciousness and over-the-top creations are always expected, and this year is no different. We had the opportunity to preview some of the dishes that will be available on the fair grounds when gates open on Friday, August 18.
From deep fried chicken feet to seafood Big Macs, these are the CNE food hits and misses of 2017.
The Juicy Oink — If you love pork dumplings, you’re going to love this tasty creation. Five different types of pork; five-spice pork belly, slow roasted pulled pork shoulder, sweet longanisa sausage, crispy pork skin, and a Shanghai pork soupy dumpling, are stuffed inside a bun, and topped with Okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and honey apple slaw. Get it from Hot Bunzz Street Cuisine in the Food Building.
Deep Fried Cheese Curds — Deep fried cheese curds are as delicious as they sound. Located on the Midway, be sure to stop by The King of Curds to try The Great Canadian, deep fried cheese curds topped with icing sugar and pure maple syrup; The Potato-less Poutine, deep fried cheese curds topped with gravy; or plain deep fried cheese curds which are perfectly battered and surprisingly light.
Southern Slang — If you love fried chicken, you’ll want to give this sammie a go. Juicy buttermilk chicken and zesty coleslaw sit in between two cinnamon buns, combining savoury and sweet for the perfect bite. Find it at Fran’s.
Three Cheese Lobster Arancini — Pictures don’t do this deep fried cheesy creation justice. Get your fix of seafood and cheese by grabbing a few of these balls from Buster’s Sea Cove. Also be sure to visit Buster’s Sea Cove at the CNE’s first-ever East Coast Kitchen Party on August 19 and 20 for their beloved lobster rolls.
Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches — No trip to the CNE is complete without a mega dessert. And if you’re craving something sweet and creamy, we suggest grabbing an ice cream sandwich from Chloe’s Doughnut Ice Cream. A scoop of ice cream is served between two doughnuts coated in one of two toppings: Oreo or Cap’n Crunch.
Crab Mac Burger — Here’s another dish you can expect to see during the CNE’s first-ever East Coast Kitchen. This burger is Fidel Gastro’s take on the Big Mac. Get it with one patty or challenge your stomach and get two.
Spaghetti Donut Balls — Spaghetti and doughnuts are two things that never needed to meet. To create the balls, Fritta combines spaghetti and bread crumbs before battering and deep frying them. Visitors can choose from two different flavours: savoury or sweet. The result is dried out spaghetti that no amount of sauce can save. Best to save your dollars for Fritta’s gnocchi poutine instead.
Deep Fried Chicken Feet — Another deep fried dish gone wrong. If you’ve ever eaten chicken feet, you know that they are all skin and bones. Heavily battered and deep fried, the crunch on the chicken feet from Coco Concessions on the Midway is nice, but every bite is full of oil, masking any hint of chicken.
Dragon’s Breath Crepes — Okay, to be fair, this dessert isn’t bad, just overrated. While yes, it’s cool that this Eative dessert is made with liquid nitrogen, and you do sort of look like a dragon while eating it and breathing out of your nose, it tastes just like a Pirouline cookie. Save your cash for something else and Instagram it from afar.
Pancake Bowl — Filled with scrambled eggs and topped with bacon and maple syrup, this pancake bowl from Eat my Bowls has all the makings of something delicious, but just misses the mark. If you do try this dish, be sure to try it hot and fresh out the kitchen. There’s nothing worse than cold pancakes and scramble eggs.
What dish are you most excited to try at the CNE this year?
All images by Amanda Phuong.
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