Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tim Hortons Takes Manhattan


When I was a kid growing up in Hamilton, Ontario Canada we always used to get our donuts and my mom's coffee from Tim Hortons, or as my mother, for some inexplicable reason would call them, horny Tims. As far as I knew Tim Hortons was a small Canadian chain started or at least named after the famous Canadian Hockey player.

The particular doughnut shop that I remember from my early years was on Ottawa street and had more in common with a greasy spoon in an Edward Hopper painting then a slick fast food place - actually it looked like the picture above that I found on their website. Indeed as I read more I see that there very first store was in Hamilton and I had no idea that I took part in Tim Hortons history! The place pictured is the place I used to go to all the time. How weird is that?

Apparently their two most popular early donuts were the Dutchie and the Apple Fritter. Indeed I do remember the apple fritter it was huge and doughy with lots of sugary cinnamon soft cooked apple generously mixed into this wonderful doughy concoction.

All of a sudden Tim Hortons has 6 locations in Manhattan, the one that caught my attention the other day is on Union Square East in the huge two story space that use to house Zen Palate a fairly tasteful Asian vegetarian restaurant that had been there for ages. When they closed the space has laid empty for years, but now Tim Hortons has come to the rescue! Or something like that, actually Tim Hortons is now owned by Wendy's and is on it's way to becoming an international fast food chain, giving Dunkin Donuts a run for their money.

In recent years Neil and I would sometimes stop into Hortons in Toronto and get the maple glazed. I'm sure no maple is harmed or used in the making of this donut.

Nostalgia may have a strong pull, but I have moved on to another donut shop that retains some of it's local, quirkiness and even more importantly uses all organic ingredients. They have 27 locations in Asia and on in DC and are just in the process of opening up one in the Chelsea Hotel. Their donuts are also sold at Commodities on First Avenue.

Luckily the original The Doughnut Plant happens to be down the street from where I live.

(You say Donut I say Doughnut let's call the whole thing off? Apparently both are correct, on Tim Horton's website they use Donut the Doughnut plant does not. I need more coffee.)

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