Canadian coffee and donut shop Tim Hortons is king when it comes to Canada’s fast food landscape – and there was much fanfare earlier in 2017 when they announced their first branch in Europe would open in Glasgow’s Argyle Street.
Dumb fucks queued up overnight on one of Glasgow’s shittiest streets to be among the first to sample the menu, with the added consequence that they are unlikely to get their hole ever again. Because what’s sexier than someone who sleeps rough just to be able to say “I was first”? The same goes for those arseholes who queue for days for the latest Apple product. Just stop it, for fuck sake…they make millions of them.
Now that the dust has settled on that inexplicable nonsense, Review Gangsta went along of an autumn evening to see if the Scottish version stacks up against the Canadian branches – some of which I’ve visited, and loved, before.
To a Canadian, a review of a Tim Hortons is like a review of a McDonalds – a bit silly as there are millions of them and they’re all much the same. But as this is the only one in Europe so far, it’s worth letting y’all know the deets.
In Canada, I got hooked on the fantastic French Vanilla coffee and smashed more than a few jalapeno bagels with cream cheese. So I was disappointed to discover the jalapeno bagel hasn’t made it on to the Glasgow menu. The French Vanilla is there though and, thankfully, it’s every bit as delicious as the Canadian version.
All the chat has been about TimBits (superb) and the ‘double double’ coffee. The latter doesn’t appear on the menu, which confused me. But a helpful chap behind the counter explained that any of their coffees can get the ‘double double’ treatment if you ask. It’s double the sugar and double the cream.
The French Vanilla is already as sweet and as creamy as a motherfucker, so I don’t even want to imagine it after the ‘double double’ treatment.
With my dream bagel not on offer, I opted instead for the steak and cheese panini. And I have to say, it was more than a little underwhelming. The steak was pretty much the exact same stuff you would get at Subway, but the cheese was decent. Limp looking red onion slices did little to add to the experience.
I was asked if I wanted to pay an extra 50p for some potato wedges and, you know, of course I did. I popped one in my mouth while reaching over for some sauce, but soon realised they didn’t need anything else. They were perfectly seasoned, although some were overcooked and brick hard.
I also had a Boston Cream donut which was excellent, every bit as good as anything you’d get from Krispy Kreme.
It would be wrong not to mention the prices, which are staggeringly cheap. My medium coffee, panini and donut came in at just £7.68. You can’t argue with that for value.
On the way out I grabbed a £9.99 box of 50 TimBits – those are the little dough balls that are supposed to represent the missing holes in donuts – to share with my work colleagues the next day. Not so much because I like the motherfuckers at work, but more because they’d have kicked the shit out of me if I hadn’t fed their sugar addictions. They’re like crackheads, seriously.
Nobody has a bad word to say about TimBits. And what’s not to like? They come in a selection of flavours, every one of them more wonderful than the last. My favourite is the little white fucker, coated in a frosting that quite possibly includes real crack and might explain my workmates’ behaviour the next day. Nobody died, but in the rush to tear open the TimBits box, a few got hurt.
In short, Tim Hortons makes amazing coffee and awesome donuts. But when it comes to the savoury offering, you’d be best to look elsewhere.
More Glasgow stores are on the way, and no doubt other UK cities will soon have Tim Hortons too. McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and others like them probably won’t be shaking in their boots. But Starbucks and Costa (pay your taxes you scumbags) and Krispy Kreme will be sweating for sure.