Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Them Road Food Blues
Oh, Canada...you kinda let me down this trip. I'm languishing in an out of the way part of Ottawa, with nothing really grand going on, dining-wise. Is a disappointment, for sure.
It can be a struggle for the road warrior to always find a good meal. Sometimes, you end up in places where your options are limited...which might be a good thing since you GAINED weight on the last road trip, and had to work all the next week to get it off.
However, there is a least 4 Tim Hortons within a 10-mile radius, so all is not lost. (Do not ask me why Tim Hortons is not Tim Horton's...I have no idea if this some sort of Canadian grammar rule against the apostrophe/possessive or just marketing language like the Chick-fila cows' bad spelling, and I don't care...just hand me another donut. I have a hard enough timing trying to remember to spell "centre" and "cheque" while I'm here. And not picking up "eh," lest my customers think I am mocking them. "Eh" is a pretty good all-purpose word...much better than "you know," and it sounds sort of friendly and cheerful...like "y'all" does. You hang out in a room of 10 Canadians for about 8 hours, and it will roll naturally off your tongue, too.)
If you're not familiar with Tim's, try to move closer to one...it's way better than Starbucks, in both taste and value. I like a well-rounded cuppa joe...not too bitter or acidic, and not $4 a pop.
Tim Horton was an NHL Hall of Fame player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the Flyers, the Rangers, and the Sabres, who opened his first coffee and donut stand in 1964...he's the Ray Kroc of the donut world. There's a blue million of them now, one on practically every corner in all of Canada. Sometimes, I think the official symbol of Canada should be a hand with a Tims cup instead of the maple leaf, because everybody goes to Tim's.
(I was wicked annoyed when I was in Toronto last month and there wasn't a Tim's on the other side of Customs. Seriously. I had just expected there would be one, and since I had to be at the airport at 4:30 am, it was not unreasonable to want my Tims fix...I purposely did not stop at the 27 Tim Hortons that I passed on the way to the airport, because I *knew* there would a Tim's fix in the airport...and there is...just not on the US side. That Toast! kiosk does not, I repeat, does not hold a candle to Tim Hortons! Will not make the same mistake tomorrow when I fly out of Ottawa...I may hit every Tim's I pass on the 90-minute drive to the airport.)
I like Tim's donuts, because I like cake donuts the best (the Honey Dipped is mighty fine)...and if you show up anywhere with a box of Timbits (donut holes), you are an instant hit, no matter how deadly dull and boring your meeting material might be.
Tim Hortons is now part of Wendy's International, and there are inroads into the U.S. Mostly in the northern states, like Michigan, New York, and Ohio, but I'm hopeful they will continue to march southward. Tim's is scheduled to open in Syracuse in the next year, so that will make visits to the home office a bit more enjoyable. And, if anyone has a spare $400K or so just lying around, I'd be more than happy to help you do the paperwork for a Tim Hortons franchise in the Rocket City...just let me know when to sharpen my pencil.