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Monday, September 7, 2009

PNE 2009 - Chris Isaak

Is it wrong that when I look at this picture all I think of is BBQ? The PNE started out 99 years ago as an agricultural fair, so it only seemed fitting that we spent at least some of our last day looking at the animals. The fair actually does a pretty good job of making the connection from barnyard to the dinner plate, something more folk need to learn about.







We had a number of objectives for our last day at the PNE, not the least of which was conquering Jimmy's Lunch. Jimmy's Lunch is another long time fair resident - 80 years this summer in fact. What makes Jimmy's an essential part of the fair for me is not the burgers and hot dogs they sell by the thousands. There are several places that make much better food. No, what endears this place to me is the onions.






Or rather, the mountain of onions that makes it's home on the griddle at Jimmy's on the first day of the fair, and seemingly never diminishes for the duration. As onions are removed to be put on new orders, new onions are added to the pile. And if you look closely at the bottom of the pile you'll notice the presence of meat. Burgers are kept warm beneath, receiving flavour from the onions and adding their own essence to the pile.

Jimmy's is not for the faint of heart. This is greasy burgerness at it's best, but for many it comes at a price. Indigestion is not uncommon, but is a rite of passage for the serious fair goer. I had a Deluxe Cheeburger and fries, and let my stomach rumble as we watched the Superdogs.





Dinner was something new ... considering I've never seen them at the fair before (let me know if I have that wrong). Steve-O's had been tempting me all week long, mostly because it was a good deal ($7 for a 10" pizza) and also because you could have it made to order. We ordered up a cheese pizza with Italian sausage and 10 minutes later we wandered back up to the Central Park beer garden. Aside from the crust being a little undercooked, it was a really good pizza. Nice chew to the crust, and lots of toppings.

After dinner we wandered over to the amphitheatre to take our place in the throng waiting to see Chris Isaak.









My apologies for the poor quality of the video, but as the performers got better, and the fair got closer to the end, the crowds grew accordingly. Chris Isaak's audience was only slightly smaller than the Gipsy Kings, and that was only due to a bit of rain (translation: it poured all afternoon). Thankfully the clouds cleared leaving Chris Isaak and his bright pink suit a beautiful evening to entertain the throng. This was easily the best show of the 2009 fair.

How do you finish off a great day at the PNE? Dessert of course! Round 1, Whale Tails. These are also seen around the world as Elephant Ears and Beaver Tails ... but they're all the same thing. Fried dough with stuff on them. In our case, cinnamon and brown sugar.











Dessert Round 2 was on our way out of the fair. A home made root beer float, made especially convenient with the Buckeye Rootbeer stand right next to the soft serve ice cream stand. And even through the ice cream stand sold floats, Buckeye Rootbeer makes it better. Honest.

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