Joh vs. Food – CNE Chronicles 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

I hope you sang that line…you know… like that Xmas song and the Staples jingle?  No? Yes? Ok. Moving on…I’m not talking Xmas or back to school.  I’m talking about my favourite time of the year…CNE time!!

The news broke about the new food items at the CNE a few days before opening.  I was quite impressed with this year’s offerings and of course was very excited to try as many of them as my stomach could handle.

The day began early, just after the opening.  Always best to get there early and avoid the food line ups. The first meal of the day was from Far East Taco.  I selected the kalbi and bulgogi bao, both items I have eaten in previous years.  I’ve always enjoyed them, but this year I definitely noticed a difference.  The bao was much bigger, fluffier, but I found that it overwhelmed the filling.  Still made a good breakfast however. IMG_3385

Now it was time to start trying the new food offerings.  First up was Bub’s Bad @SS Burgers and the beef patty cheeseburger.  Yes, you heard me, a cheeseburger with a split beef patty as the bun.  Quite a tasty burger.  Seasoned well.  A nice change to the typical cheeseburger.

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Next up, Jake’s Lobster for some garlic snow crab fries.  My FAVE of the day.  The fries were perfectly crispy and never got soggy.  The garlic aioli was delish, though there could have been a bit more of it.  The feathery shredded crab generously covered the fries like snow.  I’m craving this right now.

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Always time for some drinks.  Some vodka lemonade at the beach bar and then a nice glass of cab merlot at the wine bar near the shopping area.

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After all the savoury, it was time for some sweet.  Out to the midway to find some deep-fried cheesecake.  Creamy vanilla cheesecake, dipped in batter and fried perfectly.  Then back to the food building for some deep-fried red velvet Oreos.  I expected them to have a redder hue, but no matter, they still tasted great.  I am a sucker for Oreos.

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Time for deep-fried gnocchi.  Pillowy potato nuggets with a slight crisp dipped in some tangy marinara sauce.  A good snack.

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Chicken waffle on a stick was something new this year too.  Isn’t everything better on a stick?  Enjoyable.  Some fruity sherbet as a palate cleanser.

Eating at the CNE may have ended, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t continue to eat at home.  Had to get some Jamaican oxtail with rice and peas.  I was disappointed last year (they sold out), so I was determined to get some this year (tears would have been shed if I didn’t).  Craving satisfied.

Lastly, I needed some Filipino snacks.  Banana Turon – plantain banana, rolled in brown sugar, wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and fried to a golden colour.  When I see this anywhere (including my parents house), it always comes home with me and I can eat a ton of it.  FAVE!  And then there was ukoy – a shrimp fritter made with thinly sliced potatoes, some bean sprouts, dipped in batter then fried and eaten dipped in garlic vinegar.  I rarely eat this outside of the CNE, so it is definitely a nice treat for me.

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Yet another successful CNE eating event.  Was able to eat all the new food items I wanted to try.  Threw in some shopping and laughs on top.  It was a fantastic time. =)

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Colorado Chronicles 2013 – Part V

The last installment about my Colorado vacay.  I cannot believe that I went away almost one month ago.  Time is flying by too fast.

Let me tell you about my weekend in Breck!  Oktoberfest in full swing!!  What was wonderful about where we were situated was that it was within walking distance to Main Street where all the festivities were happening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeer, pretzels & turkey legs.  Appropriate.

 

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Lederhosen.  The outfits of choice.

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Spaetzle.  Mac & Cheese, German style, for adults.

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Fruit Strudel for a sweet ending.

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Long lines for refreshing beer.

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Homemade Pierogies and Potato Pancakes.

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Walking off the food, I took in the sights of Breck.

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It was pretty awesome to take the FREE gondola ride up to the Breckenridge fun park all the while taking in the views of the Cucumber Gulch Preserve.

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And then up even higher (over 11000 ft) via chairlift for even more scenic views.

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I absolutely loved the hospitality and atmosphere of the people and places of Breck.  I found it to be a genuinely friendly and beautiful place to spend my time.

Thanks Colorado, yet another terrific trip!!

=)

YAY! BOO! HISS! Ah, It Gets Better…

Those are the words I used this day to heckle characters on the screen as I watched the Sound of Music. I went to the Sing a Long Sound of Music at the Bell Lightbox Theatre. The Sound of Music is my absolute favourite movie. I do not think I can count how may times I have seen it. I just love it. For ages I have been trying to get tickets to the sing a long show and this time I lucked out and bought tickets well in advance for me and some peeps of mine.

For those of you who have never been, sing a long shows basically allow fans to sing out loud to the songs in the musical as well as be interactive with the movie by dressing up(I’m not that hardcore), using props and yelling key words at various characters or moments throughout the movie. We did a lot of cheering for Maria, hissing at the Baroness, woot wooting at the Captain, booing nazis and assuring Gretl that things would get better. To fully understand, please go to a sing a long if you ever get a chance. I promise, it’s a good time.

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20121229-212754.jpg Our Props

20121229-212821.jpg Yay! The start!

After nearly 4 hours in the theatre, I was starving for dinner. We headed right next door to O&B Canteen, part of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group. Basically a market cafe and bakery with a casual atmosphere. I had been here a while ago when it first opened and remembered the great meal I had back then. I was hoping this meal would be just as good this time.

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20121229-213904.jpg Glass of Malbec, AG Forty Seven

I went with an item from the noodle section of the menu – pappardelle with braised rabbit, kale and walnuts. How often do I get to eat rabbit right? Simple yet deliciously rich. The egg noodles were perfectly al dente and seemed to be infused with the flavour of the braised rabbit. The rabbit was tender and the walnuts and kale added great texture and crunch.

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I took half of the dish to go, thus leaving me room for dessert. Still in chocolate mode, I asked for the chocolate eton mess – meringue, brownie, whipped cream and graham crackers. It was more like chocolate pudding, but the meringue was nice and I always enjoy graham crackers.

20121229-215712.jpg Served in this mug, I wondered if I would get out all the chocolaty goodness.

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20121229-215909.jpg I think I did well.

Most days for me start with a tall hazelnut pike coffee from Starbucks. I ended my day with it instead and scored a free muffin!

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An enjoyable meal for sure. I am left craving more rabbit pasta! =)