Toronto Grilled Cheese Festival

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On Friday, I attended Joylister’s Grilled Cheese Festival. The premise was that we paid $39.99 ($45 with tax) for an all-you-can-eat grilled cheese and soup experience that included 4 drink tickets. We did a similar non-Joylister event, Burger Day, during the summer and loved it so we thought Grilled Cheese Festival would be something like it. I didn’t take any photos of Grilled Cheese Festival because we were in a frantic mood to try everything. I did however, have this vlog of our first hour:

I didn’t capture the chaos that ensued afterwards. Joylister had totally oversold the event and by 7pm the Roy Thompson Hall lobby was so full of people you could hardly move. My friends arrived during this time and were stuck outside for half an hour before being let in. Me and Nash felt really bad for them so we lined up in separate lines to help our friends get their share of food and drinks. The two of us were lucky because we lined up before doors and were able to sample the majority of things within an hour. There were only 12 vendors and it was ultimately underwhelming, especially for $45. I was surprised when I found out that only half the lobby had vendors. My favourite picks from the night included the Tandoori Chicken sandwich from Market Fresh, that most people ignored. A stand-out soup included the Tomato Feta & Basil from Soup N’ Such.

Personally, the overselling of tickets didn’t affect me because I came early but I felt like what I got for $45 wasn’t worth that price point. Burger Day was $30 and I was completely satisfied with my experience. I don’t know what Joylister did with our money, especially since it was beyond sold out and there wasn’t enough food to feed all.

The vendors themselves were friendly, and worked as hard as they could, despite not expecting the chaos that would ensue. The guy running the bakery stand even offered those that stayed till the end some full-sized pretzels to take home. Cheesewerks is giving out free sandwiches this weekend for those with tickets. I felt bad for sponsors that had to tie themselves to a disastrous festival. Look at this adorable ketchup bottle I won from the Indie88 booth!
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Anyways, I don’t think I’ll be attending another Joylister event until they get their stuff together and I hear some better reviews.


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