#FOOD: “THE CRONUT BURGER” AT THE 2013 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION
Now in its 134th year, the Canadian National Exhibition, known affectionately by Torontonians as The Ex for the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day, promises novelty, guilty pleasures and an opportunity for Families and Friends to create memories together. I admit I’ve long outgrown my love for the rides at The Midway and arrive later in the day to take advantage of the $5 Admission Charge after 5:00 PM, enjoying the benefits of less congestion. I am drawn by the festivity, the lights and all that over-the-top charm.
The highlight for me every year is visiting the Food Building, which essentially is one gigantic Food Court filled with every single variety of not-so-great-for-you, whether it be Tiny Tom’s Donuts, Beaver Tails (a fried Pastry topped with lemon, cinnamon and sugar), Homemade Fudge, Fish & Chips or $0.99 Pasta. The rage this year, The Cronut Burger, combines the Pastry Craze which has consumed New Yorkers, The Cronut (combination Croissant and Donut) with an all-time favourite in The Hamburger. The item is available exclusively at the Epic Burgers & Waffles Food Stand only.
Although I’ve been on an all-Vegetarian Diet since January, I decided to make one meat-eating exception to try this Novel Delicacy. Splitting it with my BFF Fran after already being decidedly full, the $10 investment came with mixed reactions. Fran found it “not bad”, while simply it wasn’t a Love Connection for me. For one, the Cronut itself lacked any resemblance to a Croissant, sans flakiness and it appeared to have been sitting out for a while – tough, if you will. A Maple-Bacon Drizzle was completely unnecessary and did little to complement the flavour other than to cash-in on the Bacon trend, giving the Burger a bit of added relevance. The Patty itself was smokey though – not bad. Surely, acclaimed New York City Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel would be fuming if he saw for himself what we were doing to his prized Creation north of the Border. Consumers of the Krispy Kreme Donut Burger at $9, seemed much more pleased with themselves.
If you have $10 in your pocket and want a sure-fire Hit, I’d say go for Far East Tacos, which took noted Korean-American Chef David Chang‘s concept of the milk-infused Steamed Bun (Bao), which can be enjoyed at his Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto, fusing it with Asian-inspired fillings like Breaded Fish Filets, Kalbi Ribs and more. Add a bit of cheese, lettuce, tomato, hot sauce and Kimchi (Pickled Cabbage) and what you have is a sensational delight. You get two for $10 and you have the option of enjoying it in Taco form also. We learned sadly that the Shop only will be available at The Ex with no immediate plans to launch into a Restaurant just yet.
Learn more about The Ex and start planning your visit right here!
UPDATE 8/21/13 9:00 AM EST: Thank you for everyone’s concern as I’ve received multiple messages asking if I’m well after News of this broke this morning. Multiple Outlets are reporting that at least 12 people fell ill last night after eating at The Ex and some are reporting that these Patrons consumed The Cronut Burger.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)