Monday, May 22, 2006

Donuts From the North Country

Saturday morning – In Toronto, and, after a long discussion with our cab driver about the Buffalo Sabres and the future of hockey in America, I arrive at my hotel and immediately hit the streets in search of a donut.

While the Toronto metropolitan area has over 500 donut shops to choose from (see previous post), the downtown location where I'm staying is dominated by Tim Horton’s – there were 6 within a few blocks of the hotel, further proving that Canadians love donuts.

I stop in the first Tim Horton’s I see and order their newly-released Carrot Cake Donut and a small black coffee. The counterman looks at my $20 bill graced with Andrew Jackson's head and says, “Where do you think you are?" – then he turns to his co-worker to share a laugh. I leave to look for an ATM, all the while questioning the cab driver’s assertion that every place in downtown Toronto takes American dollars. Luckily this Horton’s is attached to a bank – I withdraw $40 Canadian and return for our donut.With our order in hand, I hit the streets looking for another donut shop – all I find is another Tim Horton’s. This time a Canadian Maple frosted is in order. I withdraw the Carrot Cake from the first TH and set it next to the Canadian maple. A Horton's employee walks by, commenting, “Didn’t you only order one donut?” “Yes,” I respond – “This one is from the Tim Horton’s down the street.” He looks perplexed but returns to his station behind the counter while I eat.

The Canadian Maple is the perfect welcome to Canada – not only a great tasting donut, but a symbolic representation of the nation’s most widely recognized icon, the maple leaf. It was filled with a Boston-esque crème and frosted with Maple Intensity – far more potent than its Dunkin Donuts counter part here in America. The Carrot Cake tasts almost exactly like its namesake, but due to its fried exterior and the inherit perfect-ness of the donut’s ring shape, it's more suited to be eaten with hands than its wedged cousin. While Tim Horton’s may be a major chain, it was a nice diversion from the pop-donut monotony in the States.

While going through US customs prior to my flight home, I'm asked to declare any purchases made in Canada – I declared two donuts at a total cost of $1.50.

Donut Scores:

Carrot Cake - 7.5
Canadian Maple - 8.8


Bill Belew said...

Tim Horton's are taking over the world! Can you believe that Dunkin Donuts went out of business in Dublin, Ireland, but Timmy Horton's is booming?! Sheer craziness!

Jim Dwyer said...


Next time you're at a "Timmy's" in Toronto--or Buffalo or Portland (Maine) because those cities have a few Tim Hortons too--you must try a Walnut Crunch.

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