Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Ex - Food Heaven or Hell?

The Ex not a great place to look for healthy food.

I have been feeling sick for the past few days so I haven't been in the mood to do any cooking or other heavy duty household duties.   But I was getting stir crazy at home and wanted to go down to the Ex today because it was the last day of the Food Truck Frenzy and the same day that my favourite Food Network Chef Chuck Hughes (Chuck's Day/Week Off) was doing a food demo... well more like chatting while his restaurant chef was doing some cooking.  I am starting to feel like I am stalking him at this point since I was sitting in the audience and listening to him talk and then all of a sudden he says "Hi" and looks in my direction.  I didn't even realize he was talking to me... so out of it still from being sick and just kind of didn't expect him to stop mid sentence and say hi.  So I had a 30 second delayed reaction and then all I did was wave... still out of it... he says "she doesn't look happy to see me"...  of course I was...   he was my diversion for the day so that I didn't sit at home being sick and feeling miserable.   Going to see Chuck is more like going to see a stand up comedian lately.   He spends the whole time telling stories, cracking jokes and answering questions.    I have been trying to arrange an interview with him for my documentary and finally met his publicist face to face.   I always find it weird to email someone you haven't met and ask for something when they have no clue who you are and if you are legit or not.   So now she knows who she has been emailing so that made the trip down to the Ex worth it.    I had to think about going today because it is getting really expensive to go to the EX these days unless you go after 5 which I have been doing the past couple of years.   But since it was the last food truck day and only day for Chuck Hughes I forked out the $16 admission price and because I wasn't feeling 100% I drove down and then had to dish out another $25 for parking.   Paying for parking was well worth it when I finally left and didn't have to wait for a packed bus to the station because by that time I had just left the FOOD Building Oven and was so hot I just wanted to drive up the parkway with the windows open.

I went into the Food Building to see what Bacon Nation was all about.  Bacon on a stick, bacon wrapped hot dogs and some other concoction with Nutella which just thinking about it makes you want to toss your cookies.

I was also on the lookout for other weird foods new to the Ex this year.  I walked by this booth and saw this picture of a hot dog in a chocolate eclair.  I used to love chocolate eclairs when I was a kid but this one I don't think so.

Then I spot this food vendor selling food in a cone.  I suppose this makes sense since there isn't really enough seats to sit down and eat your food properly in the Food Building and since it's a million degrees in there anyway it's always better to hand hold your food while walking out of the building.  They had Sheppard's Pie in a cone and some chicken thing and a few others savoury things I can't even remember now.

So it made me wonder if this was Foodie Heaven or Hell?  Most things were either stuffed in a bun, deep fried, with bacon,  sweet and savoury mix or all of the above as in the case of the krispy kreme hamburger or the eclair dog.   All I kept thinking about is all the people with The Ex Food hangover that had to go and buy some pepto bismol or tums to get through their day.   All the sick little kids hurling all over the place and the parents saying "never again" but then doing it again the next year.

What about the people who are Vegan, Vegetarian, eat only Kosher or Halal or Raw food diets.   I guess the Ex would be Hell for them.
Is it Heaven or Hell for a foodie or food blogger?  It was kind of a mix of both for me.

The Heaven this year was the lineup of Food Truck Frenzy where I picked up some Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos from the Gourmet Gringos food truck.  Even though the fish was fried it had a nice light fresh batter with some crunchy slaw to balance the hot/cold/greasy/fresh taco.   One of my other favourite food trucks Buster's Sea Cove who had their Lobster Roll and Shrimp and Fish Tacos had a huge lineup.  I would have gone for that but decided to try one of the other trucks to see how it compares.  It was good but Buster's is still my fav.

A couple of hours later I went back to the food trucks but wasn't in the mood for the mostly brisket and pulled pork and taco options that the trucks had so I ventured into the Food building to see what I could get.

I managed to find a baked potato vendor and had a mexican baked potato.  There you go... something not deep fried.   Only one person in the line ahead of me.   The big lineups were for all the deep fried, greasy, heart stopping foods you could find at the Ex.  So I suppose it's like a license to eat whatever you wouldn't normally eat when you  go to the Ex.

One of my All Time favourite things I almost always get when I go to the Ex is the Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.   The Hot Waffle sandwiched between the cold ice cream hits all the sensory spots.  Cool and refreshing and also warm and comforting.   A friend of mine just went to the Ex and had almost the same things to eat as I did.   So there is food for everyone there.   You just have to do a little searching to find it.

The Food at the Ex.. Heaven or Hell?  
You Decide.

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