We’ve been to CNE several times in the past, but for some reason never paid too much attention to food. Instead, we spent most of our time enjoying other attractions. This year we were looking to try out halal food options at CNE and read through the CNE food guide to determine what can be enjoyed. Today happened to be a good day to visit CNE, especially because the weather was good (neither too hot, nor too cold and no precipitation).
Though we were very excited about trying food items/vendors that we haven’t tried in the past, our goal was to really try a few things and not over indulge. After all, it is all going in our stomach and we didn’t want to make it unpleasant for ourselves.
Our first stop was Wild Child’s Kitchen (100% vegetarian & vegan) inside the Food Court. Compared to many other vendors, Wild Child’s Kitchen was fairly busy. It had a very crisp and clean ambiance, which was inviting. We decided to settle for Nacho Rama.
We were a little skeptical since it’s vegan, but we were positively surprised by how light and refreshing it tasted. The various sauces complimented the nachos well and left us feeling light and fresh.
Next up, our main attraction was Yalla Paramount (food truck). This is one food truck we had been waiting to try ever since we heard about it! We made our way from the Food Court to the food trucks, which provided us with enough time to be ready for our next food adventure.
We are a regular at Paramount Fine Foods and enjoy a variety of their menu items. Yalla Paramount has some of the regular items, but Yalla Special is something that hasn’t been offered at Paramount restaurants, so we were very excited to try it. We were under the impression that it would be fries with chicken and seasoning, but it wasn’t just any plain/bland chicken, it was Paramount’s shawarma chicken that went really well with the fries! Of course their garlic sauce along with a mixture of other seasonings made Yalla Special a winner! If you happen to enjoy fries (yes deep fried goodness) and Paramount’s shawarma chicken (also fried) and their signature sauces, then you have to try it out.
Oh, we did receive two $5 off (at Paramount Fine Foods restaurants) coupons as well, which really sweetened the deal for us.
We also ordered Shish Taouk Sandwich, which lived up to expectations. We’ve had it in the past at Paramount and it turned out just as delicious and filling.
By now we were full and fairly satisfied with our food escapades. However, since we’ve never had Steak & Cheese Factory’s philly steak, we decided to slightly over-indulge.
We ordered 8″ Philly Steak & Cheese. BBQ sauce and hot sauce were interesting additions to the philly steak. It was a fairly standard philly steak, nothing gourmet about it.
We decided to primarily stick with water and the aforementioned food items we tried didn’t leave much space for any dessert or drinks. We left feeling satiated and happy. We were very happy to see, literally a plethora of halal food options (particularly halal meat). We look forward to visiting CNE again to try food, drinks and desserts from other vendors offering halal choices.
CNE frequently exhorts fairgoers to take public transit; however, we decided to drive. We were in a shock to learn that CNE parking on a Sunday was $30. Next year, we plan on taking public transit. We noticed both GO Train, TTC buses and streetcars drop you right outside of The Ex, requiring no additional walking.
We hope you have just as good of a time at The Ex as we did, if not better!