We saw them in Canada long before they came to the States, dozens of Tim Hortons running around. Yeah, we’re grammar geeks totally put off by the lack of apostrophes on their signs. Someone must have stolen them for use at the end of plural noun’s.
We’d never been in one, not until this morning. I mean, with great coffee in both countries, why? Because we got bored. Having decided that 2012 is the year of trying new things (dancing tango, growing cilantro, eating paleo – sometimes), we finally gave in to the urge and went over to the Tim Hortons on Thompson Road.
It’s all in the marketing, folks. You can sell anything with good marketing. The interior is a pleasant combination of Starbucks colors and Dunkin Donut fast-food display. The worker bees were bored but did their job well. We each ordered a small coffee, Dave ordered an apple fritter and I ordered a cruller.
The coffee had a decent enough aroma in that it smelled like coffee (some diner coffee does not). It was rather dark and rather strong. But without cream it tasted bitter and flat – really quite two-dimensional. With cream it completely lost its connection to anything tasting of coffee. I couldn’t drink more than a few sips.
I tried the cruller. It had that lightness one expects, but it was lacking texture, was actually on the mushy side, and worst of all, it left a strange fatty coating on the inside of my mouth. I couldn’t find the apple in Dave’s apple fritter and it had none of the crunch or dark flavor that one looks for in a fritter. I mean, if you’re going to eat fried food, for goodness’ sake, let it taste like it was fried instead of steamed!
So we did something we haven’t done since the time we ate at El Canelo (we went directly to the Dinosaur to order a second meal, the first was so bad). We dumped what we’d ordered and went to the right place to get exactly what we hoped to find. Cafe Kubal in Eastwood was happy to serve us delicious coffee and the most amazing, melt-in-your-mouth, bursting-with-flavor little macaroons we’ve ever had. These are not the coconut-laden cookies you may be thinking of, but rather the French macaron, a meringue-based sweet that comes in a variety of flavors. We had one lemon and one salted caramel and were more than satisfied.
Next time I want something Canadian, it’s going to be a new friend or a Moosehead beer. Or perhaps a trip to Montreal. It was grand, trying something so wacky. But I learned my lesson. When you know where the best is, why settle for the worst?