I’ve been very amused with the coverage of Tim Horton’s getting into the NYC market. As a recently displaced Canadian New Yorker, I wonder if it might be a slow news day. There were two articles published in the NYT, one on the day Tim Horton’s unveiled itself, the other the day after with more personal stories. There were also two blog postings on Diner’s Journal. The first one was a taste test between the Dunkins and Tim’s doughnuts and a taste test of the coffee.

Not surprisingly, I’m not a fan of Tim Horton’s. Don’t get me wrong, you will see me from time to time with a cup of Tim’s, and perhaps a doughnut. But honestly, the coffee is just serviceable, and I usually don’t eat the doughnuts. And the last Timbit I had was hard as a rock.

Instead, I’d like to suggest some better options for coffee and a doughnuts in the 5 boroughs:

Cafe Regular I used to live right around the corner from this place, and it’s a tiny place with strong coffee. Chocolate croissants there are also great.
Gorilla Coffee also in Park Slope, a great cup of coffee and a nice place to sit if you can snag a seat.
Klatch, the one spot in the financial district that doesn’t feel like the financial district. Lovely service and great place to hang out.

Doughnut Plant in the Lower East Side, the best thing to get is the creme brulee doughnut. I’m a yeast doughnut person, so any of their yeast doughnuts are fantastic. Their cake doughnuts are pretty good too.
Peter Pan Bakery in Williamsburg/Greenpoint is supposed to be the best. I haven’t gotten around to it, but it’s on the list.

Ok, not a doughnut, but I can’t help but to think of chocolate croissants when I want a cup of coffee. The best place for croissants and chocolate croissants in the city is Patisserie Claude. Heaven in a brown paper bag.

I would just add that I found the best bakery so far in Toronto, and it’s the Harbord Bakery. They had these magnificent chocolate chip cookies with pistachios and whole wheat apple cider doughnuts.

harbord bakery


I was at Shopper’s the other day, browsing for some snacks to bring with me to the movies. (Moon, which I totally recommend) I found an old favourite of mine I haven’t seen in years.

pirate cookies

I’ve been living in the US the last little while, and they certainly don’t have these cookies down there. Anyway, I remember loving these as a kid and the 350g package was on sale for $1.50! Normally I would not let myself buy a big package of cookies just for me. The inner food snob in me knows these cookies are full of sugar and vegetable oil, but the kid me won out. Nostalgia works in this instance.

pirate cookie

Toronto has been the first place that I’ve seen mulberry trees grow. I have been seeing them around town, and the other day, I saw someone eating from the tree. We were walking over to the parade, and noticed that there was a person under the mulberry tree picking fruit off the tree and eating. It had never crossed my mind to actually eat the fruit. We stopped and had a few berries.

eating mulberries off the tree

The ripe berries fell off of the branch once you touched them and are the colour of blackberries. The shape of the mulberries were longer and less plump than blackberries. They tasted less sweet, and more delicate.

mulberries on a rainy day

The whole thing reminds me to try to figure out how to preserve fruits and vegetables. Or, just to stop and eat mulberries instead of hurrying off somewhere.