Breakfast: Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Tim Horton’s. Tim Horton’s Who? (aka the “Tim Horton’s Discovery” Post)

photoSo I’m the butt of this knock-knock joke, because until yesterday, when I was deep in discussion about this Canadian doughnut chain’s “NYC invasion” — which consisted of transforming a dozen Dunkin Doughnuts locations from DD to T-whatchamacallit between Friday afternoon and Monday morning — well, I’m pretty sure I got Tim Horton’s name wrong, and had no idea that the chain was named after a pro hockey player, let alone a hockey-player-company-founder. (Watch this video, it’ll get you up to speed.)

photo-1Anyway, I made up for it with a doughnut exploratory adventure this morning. Apparently, NYC is digging on Tim Horton’s, because when I got to the TH shop (can we call it that?) in the LIRR wing of Penn Station at about 11 a.m., the doughnut case was looking pretty bare.

In essence of the tasting, I bought a bunch of “Timbits” — aka doughnut holes, aka DD munchkins — one of each respective flavor. Here are my translated-from-a-yellow-stickie impressions:

1. Original. I knew you were original. Nice and airy. Light glaze. Sure, I can see how you, as a whole, might give other doughnuts a run for their glazed money.

photo-42. Blueberry Cake. Really? Blueberry doughnuts? Excuse me, Timbit, but you sort of taste like a bad blueberry muffin. But that’s probably why people like you.

3. Honey Dipped. Whoa there. If I wanted cinnamon anywhere in my mouth, I’d be all over you. Because way more than honey, you taste like cinnamon (I get the honey part, too).

4. Chocolate. Smack, smack, so thick and cake-y! But I guess if chocolate for breakfast is your thing, then, hot damn, go for it.

5. Is it sour cream or old-fashioned? Either way, this lumpy, cantankerous Timbit reminded me of nothing so much as a super-sugary finger-dip into a crock of store-bought frosting.

Overall: Some are better than others, but then, I’d never eat all these flavors of doughnuts in one sitting, anyway. As a non-regular doughnut eater, I say: Bring it on!


Breakfast: D-I-Y Smoothie Bar (Midtown Oasis)

photoPick a fruit, any fruit, and one of the two sweet girls who are perpetually manning the counter of this no-name mid-block oasis will blend you a custom smoothie.

Or, you can pick from a menu with names like “Berry Sunrise,” “Tropical Paradise,” etc. I just love the fact that I have the option to order off-menu.

photo(2)Is there a strawberry, mango, banana smoothie on the menu? No. Was I in the mood for a strawberry, mango, banana smoothie this morning? Apparently so. Did I have a strawberry, mango, banana smoothie ($4) for breakfast? Hell yes I did. Love it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This no-name shop is one of the best things going on in the greater Penn Station / Port Authority neighborhood.

Smoothies, fresh pressed juices; croissants, danishes and big, thick slices of banana nut bread and carrot bread on the counter under a glass cake stand; a rotating selection of snacks, healthy and otherwise; Lotto tickets, fresh flower bouquets. It’s on W. 37th Street between 7th and 8th avenues — you can nearly spot the fresh flowers and palm frawns from either avenue. Go.

Breakfast: Friday, March 27, 2009

p-1600-1200-bf171e5d-58a8-4e42-8fa6-b8026842101a.jpegWhat is it about the sweet, doughy smell of the Penn Station LIRR corridor in the 7 o’clock hour that makes me helpless the coy, “come hither” beckon of the pastry cases? Today I succumbed to the chocolate croissant from a Hot & Crusty outpost (top).

Au Bon Pain, Hot & Crusty, Krispy Kreme … I’m sure there’s others I’ve yet to fully register. Ordinarily savory is my weakness — cheeses, French fries and such — and I wouldn’t give a muffin the time of day.

What is this place? Have I happened upon some parallel, inverted universe?

COST: $1.95, plus OJ from home.