This weekend marked the first ever Mac and Cheese Festival in Toronto. I will be upfront – maybe give this festival a few years to get its footing down before attending …
The night started off pleasantly enough! My friends and I took an exciting streetcar ride to Liberty Market to attend the festival! The space was beautiful and cool and industrial and chic!
The way the festival worked was similar to Taste of Toronto in that we didn’t outright use cash to buy little bowls of mac and cheese; we had to buy tickets first, and the dishes from each booth cost a certain number of tickets. My friends and I each bought 20 tickets for $20, since it was the best deal.
The line for the tickets was very very very long, so my friends and I had a dancing/singing party to pass the time. The performer who the Mac and Cheese Festival hired was very soulful.
Once we got our tickets, it was time to get in line. Each line was EXTREMELY LONG AND SLOW. My friends and I eventually split off into different directions in the hopes of tasting more mac and cheese! One group got some cheese balls, while some other friends and I got an oily truffle thing.
Thanks to Dangerous Dan being part of the cheese balls group, I was able to try both types of mac and cheese. The cheese balls were very messy to eat, and another downside was that any conversation pertaining to them instantly sounded inappropriate and awkward. I liked the oily mac and cheese, but I felt bad about it because I’ve been trying to eat more healthily. (What I was doing at a Mac and Cheese Festival, I do not know.)
So we had eaten our first sampling of mac and cheese! It was time to move on to another booth. Unfortunately, most of the tents were squished together in a narrowish alley thing. As you can see in the picture below, there were no lines; it was just a giant mass of people. It was basically impossible to get to the tents to get the food! The only line that was shorter was the vegan tent, for obvious reasons! My friend and I decided to try our luck and stick with one line. We finally made it to about 2 metres away, practically able to taste the deliciousness, when the people at the booth stated, “Sorry! We’re sold out!” Everyone around me screamed out “NOOOOO!!!!” and dropped to their knees and melted.
At this point, my friends and I were FED UP. All we were doing was waiting in line and not much mac or cheese was being consumed! Some of us decided to just blow all of our tickets on the cheese balls because that line had been on the shorter side. Others went back to the long and winding line outside of the festival to sell the rest of their tickets. My friend and I decided to try one other line. We spent the rest of our tickets there, and I was greeted by this cheesy mass of Kraft Dinner-looking stuff with some zucchini salad on top! It didn’t taste great.
So as you can see, the Mac and Cheese Festival was not one of my most favourite food events to date. I think it really just boils down to the fact that the organizers didn’t expect so many people to come (but come on! It’s mac and cheese! Everyone loves mac and cheese!).
There is one more day of this craziness if you’d like to attend! Perhaps it will have calmed down by tomorrow. (According to the Facebook event page, changes are being made for tomorrow so that things are more organized!)
Here is a picture of the beautiful sunset to offset all the mean and critical things I said in this post. Even though I was surrounded by a bajillion people for the majority of the time, it was still a very fun night out!