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Tag Archives: food and drink

CNE Moves Into The Future With The Food Building App


The CNE is one of my favourite times of year.

Maybe that’s because I’m still a little kid at heart, or because I love spinning rides and the excuse to eat 2000 calorie fried foods. But it’s really because it feels like everything that is great about summer all rolled into one: long days spent outside with great friends in the sunshine, eating anything and everything you want, discount shopping at its best, entertainment in all its forms, and remembering how it feels to be truly alive via the risk you take letting your body be thrown around in metal contraptions controlled by teenagers working their first job (fair rides are truly the greatest adrenaline rush).

This year though, the CNE moved  into our digital future. The Food Building – aka half the reason we attend the CNE every year – got an app that allows you to skip the lineups and order your food ahead of time.

Yes, that means you can be waiting in line for a ride, order what you want from your app, and walk back to the building just as it’s being prepared for you.

As we all know – because of the fanfare around the crazy foods at the Ex – the lineups can sometimes be insane in the Food Building, especially on a busy weekend around dinner time. The ability to skip the line is exactly what the CNE has needed all these years.


I loved that I was able to order while doing something else, and by the time I got to the booth in the Food Building, there it was, ready and waiting for me.

You can download the CNE Food Building app now, and use it this weekend while you’re getting those last CNE moments in before summer says goodbye for another year.

A couple things to keep in mind: it doesn’t have every item from each vendor listed (just specific ones); they charge a small service fee for every transaction; and if you use a gift card or a promo code – make sure you use it all at once or you will lose whatever funds you didn’t use. You also can’t order from 2 separate vendors at the same time – you have to go back in the app and process a separate transaction (which is to be expected, since you’re paying a different vendor).

The one thing I hope they improve on it for next year is the options – while there was a nice variety of food choices available on the app, there were many more options in the building that were not on the app. Here’s hoping they can get everyone on board next year!

To any food vendors unsure if the app is right for you – I can tell you right now – your customers want it, and it will definitely help increase sales when you have less people waiting in line. No one will turn away from your booth just because the line is too long, as I have done so many times in the past.


Behind The Scenes At Mohawk Racetrack


As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Mohawk Racetrack last Thursday. Here’s a little rundown of how it all went down.

We started the evening at the Terrace Dining Room, which, after passing by last time, I was excited to check out.

After ordering a round of drinks and some apps, we watched the races begin and decided to try our hand at placing a bet on the horse with the name we liked best (great strategy, I know). Unfortunately, Deep Impact didn’t win, but our luck (and strategy) improved as the night went on.

For dinner we ordered the salmon tortellini and a pepperoni pizza, and despite being stuffed we had to follow it up with dessert because the brownie martini looked amazing (and the apple crumble was even better). The food was delicious – we were so full we could barely move once it was time to take the tour.

The dining room patio provides a perfect view of the track along with quick access to the betting machine, and the servers were all friendly and very attentive. If you head to Mohawk, I highly recommend staking your spot up there. But be warned – if you choose to sit on the patio, the mosquitoes get bad once the sun starts to set – my feet were covered in bites, so dress appropriately or bring bug spray.


After the meal and a little success betting on a couple horses with good odds, Mark, the communications coordinator at Mohawk, took us over to the Paddock to get a behind the scenes look at how it all goes down at the racetrack.

The horses arrive from all over Ontario in their trailers, then they’re moved inside and grouped together based on the race they’re running in.

At the back of the paddock there’s a special area where they test the urine of the horse that wins each race, along with a random horse from each race, to ensure they haven’t been given any performance enhancing drugs.

Each horse has their own caretaker who carefully bathes them and takes care of them before and after the race. These guys are the true unsung heroes of the sport, who unlike the drivers and coaches, get no glory and have to deal with literal horse shit – but have deep love for the animals.

At Mohawk, the horses are all Standardbred – which I learned means they are more durable horses than Thoroughbreds (who can only run once a month because of their daintier bone structure). Standardbreds are able to run once a week without causing too much stress to their bones.

Just driving alongside the horses as they race, no biggie. @MohawkRacing #behindthescenes #offtotheraces

A video posted by Turn The Record Over (@lisalagace) on

By far the most exciting part of the evening was that, after the tour, we were able to get on the track in the car that drives in front of the horses to get them together in line as the race starts. Hearing their hooves clop along the pavement and being right beside them as they ran was an incredible once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. The power of the horses on the track is especially impactful when you get to be there right in the action of the race.

FYI Just a reminder that you still have time to make the quick trip to Mohawk this summer to take a selfie in front of the track and win $1000 gift certificate! Just post it to twitter and use the #OffToTheRaces hashtag and you’re all set. Remember, admission to the races is always free, and they’re open from 6pm to 11pm five days a week.


Robot Bartenders Mean The Future Is Here

robot bartender monsieur

Technology is a beautiful thing. It makes our lives infinitely easier in insurmountable ways.

Do you ever think about how different life was just 15 years ago? Or 25 years ago!? Children today will never understand what it’s like to live without a screen in their face – and while that can be a scary thought – the benefits outweigh the negatives no matter how you look at it.

I just found out that there are now ‘robot’ bartenders – and that has been something I’ve been dreaming of since I tasted my first drink at the ripe old age of 17.

A team of engineers developed that AI above and named him Monsieur – yeah, like your very own personal drink butler.

It’s basically just a techy version of those drink dispensers (of which I once owned but gave up on because of how sticky the booze makes the taps), but it actually makes complicated drinks for you – all you have to do is load it up and push the button for the drink you want.

You can fill it with 8 different bottles and mixes, so there’s limitless options  – especially if you stick to one or two forms of alcohol.

This guy isn’t the only booze robot out there. There is now a cruise line that features a bar where robot arms make your drink while human servers bring it to you (soon enough the servers will be robots too!), and I can only imagine how this technology is going to start appearing in bars around the world.

The only issue – sometimes people go to a bar to interact with the bartender; to get recommendations on drinks, flirt, or unleash your problems over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Can a robot really provide that booze connoisseur/therapist relationship actual bartenders are beloved for? I doubt it, but I think we’re going to find out.

When it comes to home bars though, I am dreaming of one day owning a Monsieur.

I’m required to disclose the relationship between my site and Intel Canada, but all opinions are my own!


Giveaway – Back To School With Sapporo, Herschel and SOL REPUBLIC Headphones

 herschel SOL republic sapporo giveaway

I’ve been sitting on this sweet giveaway for a while, as it seemed to make the most sense as a way to get you all excited for back to school. Or at the very least, for those of you who are past the college years, a nice way to cheer up about the cold weather that’s about to return.

Courtesy of Sapporo, I have a giveaway I’m super pumped for (I wish I could have the headphones for myself!) that includes the following:

  • a black Herschel backpack
  • a pair of SOL REPUBLIC track on ear headphones
  • and of course, Sapporo (gluten free!) beer for you to drink

The total value is around $200, and to enter you just have to be a subscriber to my newsletter (be sure to hit the confirmation email you receive or you won’t be entered). If you are already a subscriber, comment below with the email you used to subscribe so I know you want to be included.

Subscribe here to enter the giveaway:

If you want a bonus entry, Facebook fans can, as usual, like/comment or share my page’s status about this giveaway on Facebook.

Followers can retweet my tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.

And Insta followers can like my photo on Instagram about this giveaway.

You’ll have until September 8th at midnight to enter, and the winner will be contacted via the email address they used to subscribe, the following day.


Sponsored Video – Gotta Love A Stop Motion Video


I’m a big fan of stop motion animation, and I’m also a big fan of *safe and legal* alcohol consumption. This means that I am impressed when a company brings these two things together in a new way. The Dutch brand Bavaria is one of those rare guys who understand how to make beer advertising interesting. They’ve avoided the gross bros in bars trying to pick up fake boobed blondes concept we are all too familiar with when it comes to beer marketing, and instead used the beauty of stop motion technology to make a hand out of their beer cans – which sounds strange in writing, but is actually pretty fun to watch.

The Hand – as they call it, seems to be on a journey of its own. First, it was seen skateboarding around a city. This time they’ve made it break dance in the street like a pro. Who knew a beer can hand could be so versatile?

While I’ve never had a Bavaria 8.6 Original myself as I’m not much of a beer drinker, I like that it is a 7.9% beer – far too often, the percent of alcohol in beer rivals that of apple juice. Also, it should be noted that they use four unique varieties of malt to brew these guys – which means little to me but is apparently a very good thing in the beer world. I think it might be similar to the importance of the grape variety in wine, which, I’ve recently learned, is very very important.

Have you guys ever been impressed by a companies unique branding ideas before? Are there any stop motion videos I really need to see? Tell me in the comments after watching the video below:

This post was sponsored by Bavaria, but all words are my own!