Check out the Latest Posts:

From extreme bacon concoctions to deep fried butter, extreme artery-clogging food has been the theme at the Ex’s food scene in recent years. Thankfully, this time of indulgence only comes once a year!

At the Ex

I’ll be honest, when I go to the Ex, I spend the majority of my time in the food building or eating something on the Midway. You’ll rarely find me without some food in my hand.

Inside the Food Building

Our first stop was Epic Burgers to try the Cronut Burger ($10) which has generated a ton of buzz since the public was first made aware of it. Today, they’ve received some bad press after a number of people fell ill at the CNE (source unknown at the moment). For the record, Mike and I were fine.

Anyway, if you recall, the Krispy Kreme burger brought Epic Burgers to fame and this Cronut burger was essentially the same idea. A patty with cheese is sandwiched between a cronut (made by Le Dolci) cut in half. The cronut, part croissant and part doughnut, was invented by Dominique Ansel a few months back and has been all the rage.

The Cronut Burger

The cronut burger was significantly smaller than I expected and the cronut reminded me of a sugar donut. It wasn’t very croissant-like since it didn’t have all those nice layers I was expecting. I suspect the cronuts had been sitting around for too long in the humid food building. I’m curious to try Le Dolci’s cronut on its own though – fresh from the bakery.

The Cronut Burger

The menu described the burger as “Part Croissant. Part Donut. All Epic.” How did I find it? Not bad…but not epic either.

The Cronut Burger

Our next stop was Pull’d, which debuted at the CNE last summer. After debating amongst their pulled pork offerings, we decided on  Jack’d – pulled pork layered in between three thick red velvet pancakes buttered and doused in Jack Daniel’s infused syrup ($12). The pulled pork was decent but the whole thing just needed more sauce or more of that JD-infused syrup.

Red Velvet Pulled Pork Pancakes

Can’t go to the Ex without spending a fortune on some Fresh Lemonade ($6)!

Fresh Lemonade

One of the favourite things I ate at the Ex was the Deep Fried Pickle ($4.25) from Pickles Deli which was served with ranch dipping sauce.  Simple but oh-so-satisfying. A must-order for pickle fans! They have non-deep fried pickles too but if I’m at the Ex, I’m going to get it deep fried.

Deep Fried Pickle

Just Cone It has also generated a lot of buzz this year for their “Spice Cream Cone” which consists of vanilla soft serve in a pizza cone topped with bacon, chili peppers and nutella. I was in the mood for something savoury and passed on the Spice Cream Cone.

Just Cone It

We ordered the Philly Cone – braised beef, green peppers, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and cheese ($8.50). It was pretty tasty and made for a nice snack but I preferred their pulled pork cone which I tried last year.

Philly Cone

As we made our way to Bandshell Park to watch the New Pornographers, we realized that the Ex had a Rib Fest. I couldn’t resist and ordered some Pork Ribs ($13 for 1/3 rack) from Gator BBQ. I liked the sauce but wish they were a little more tender and saucy.


At this point, we were done with the savoury and moved onto the sweets starting with a Deep Fried Mars Bar – wrapped in bacon ($8)…one slice of bacon. Food is expensive at the Ex, eh? I love deep fried Mars bars and you really can’t go wrong with adding a bit of bacon to your sweets.

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Whenever I go to the Ex, I have to get a Hot Ice Cream Waffle Sandwich ($3.75). Hot waffles sandwiching a thick slab of vanilla ice cream…it’s a classic that never disappoints!

Hot Ice Cream Waffle

Something new this year are Panini Gelatos ($7.50) from Sweet Escapes which consist of fresh gelato sealed within a warm brioche bun.

Panini Gelato

Maybe it was talked up a little too much but I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary (especially at the steep price tag). It was definitely tasty but nothing special in my opinion. I later realized, it’s probably because I ordered it with plain chocolate gelato. I hear the hazelnut gelato is the way to go!

Panini Gelato

It was quite the day of indulgence, to say the least… Until next year!

  1. Ken (Reply) on Wednesday 21, 2013

    Have you had deep fried pickles elsewhere around town? I’ve had them at the Lakeview on Ossington (along w/ their other crazy food items like apple pie milkshake and deep fried mac’n’cheese), and I can’t remember where else I’ve had deep fried pickles too — possible even St Louis’ Wings?
    I heard great things about the Swiss Waffle waffles — impossibly light and airy, with a really rich cream-tasting ice cream.

    • Jess (Reply) on Wednesday 21, 2013

      I can’t remember the last time I had deep fried pickles in Toronto. I’ll have to give the Lakeview a try – it’s been on my list for a while.
      I’ve never tried those swiss waffles at the CNE – another thing I’ll have to remember for next year 🙂