Review: Tim Hortons – Washington Galleries

Remember that Paula Abdul song ‘Opposites Attract’ where she was in an questionable relationship with a cartoon cat in the video? Little known fact, that song was actually written about me and Dave. And nothing proves this fact more than the topic of fast food. I could (and would given half a chance) eat McDonalds for every meal and never tire of it. Dave, however could go the rest of his life without ever eating another Big Mac. The middle of that Venn diagram of fast food though; the exception that proves the rule, is Tim Hortons.

I first discovered the Canadian fast food chain; which specialises in donuts and bagels (anything with a hole basically – steady) when I went to visit my friend Laura in Toronto after our A Levels in 2001. I didn’t drinking coffee at the time but was instantly hooked by their chocolate dip donuts and peach juice (which incidentally, I’m now lead to believe contains not one single fresh peach). No wonder I came back off that holiday 2 stone heavier. Anyway, when Dave and I went back to Toronto in 2008 I lured him there under the pretence of great coffee for our drive to NYC. We went for the coffee and stayed for everything else. As far as fast food went, he was definitely on board.

So imagine our glee when we discovered Timmy H was bringing his wares over to Washington, a mere 15 minutes from where we live. We avoided the initial rush upon the store opening, on the first Saturday the queue was about a mile long apparently. So we waited until we were actually passing that way and swung by on our way down to Wensleydale for the night a few months ago.

There are a few reasons why this was the perfect idea, even if I do say so myself and here’s for why. As it was about 10.45 on a Tuesday morning after the schools had gone back, it was relatively quiet. I mean, it was still busy for 10.45 on a Tuesday morning after the school had gone back but the queue wasn’t a mile out the door and we were able to get straight on one of the automatic ordering kiosks. The other reason this worked out perfectly for us, is that as we were actually on our way somewhere new, a mini holiday if you will, it really felt like we could have been in Canada on a road trip. And that’s always quite a cool feeling.

Inside they’ve replicated what they’re like in Canada perfectly and if you couldn’t see the massive Sainsbury over the road, you wouldn’t be able to tell you weren’t in Canada. So that’s a big plus for us. We were only in the market for coffee and donuts which, I can also happily report are pretty true to their Canadian counterparts. Their coffee really is a notch above any other chain restaurant and I include the green mermaid in that too. But as well as donuts and coffee, you can also come to expect breakfast muffins/wraps etc chicken burgers and melts (basically toasties). In fact, the one thing you can’t seem to get in the UK in bagels, which is a shame, an ‘everything’ bagel with cream cheese was always a fave of mine across the pond.

Never mind, you can console yourself with a box to Timbits instead, which is the holes the cut out the middle of the donuts which are more moreish that crack (which is pretty moreish, my sources tell me). We ordered two medium coffees and two donuts and it came to about £8, which isn’t the end of the world for a chain. And it’s definitely somewhere we will be visiting more often as we’re passing on our next adventure.

You’ll also be pleased to know they still do peach juice if you’re not a coffee fan. Just in case you’re running low on artificial colours and flavours.

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