Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: canadian

My stories 04: Tim Hortons in Dalian

In February and March, J and I were stranded in the city of Dalian in northeastern China because Wuhan was on lockdown and we were unable to return. One day, I found out by chance that Tim Hortons opened two stores in Dalian, one of which was right next to the hotel where we were staying! Since this Canadian coffee chain entered the Chinese market (called Tim’s in China), it has successively opened stores in three cities (the other two are Shanghai and Zhengzhou, and I had already visited the first one to open in Shanghai last year). About Tim Hortons, its status in Canada is like that of Starbucks in the US – you could almost find one on every other block. The Canadians’ enthusiasm for Tim Hortons is no less than the Chinese people’s love for bubble tea. It’s not that the coffee is amazing or anything, but it is the taste of home that is irreplaceable. Grab a large dark roast double/double – mmm, such rich and familiar aroma that brought me a touch of colour and nostalgia in an unfamiliar city!

Large dark roast double/double with a Cesar chicken wrap. The wrap was mediocre but the coffee was desirable. I never had the dark roast in Canada and upon trying it for the first time in Dalian, felt that it was a bit too strong. I went back another day for a normal coffee double/double and immediately that authentic, familiar taste came back. Still, my favourite was the large steeped tea double/double, which I got during my third and final visit to the Dalian location. Unfortunately the steeped tea did not live up to my expectations 😦 Maybe Tim Hortons will come to Wuhan eventually…?

Poutine in Glasgow? This is getting serious!

OK, let me begin by saying that I think this post deserves being written as a seprate entry instead of being incorporated into a general Glasgow/food/other post. We’re talking about POUTINE here – what other justification does anyone need?

So here’s the deal. I was looking up restaurants in Glasgow that serve various types of cuisine – Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Belgian, and Korean, just to name a few. I know I know, so much for trying local food, right? Don’t worry, I’ll get to the haggis and the deep-fried Mars bar. Of course, I thought, I should look up some beloved food from the True North Strong and Free, and what better to represent the land of Canadia than…POUTINE! (What is poutine, you ask? To put it simply, poutine, pronounced pu-teen, is a Canadian dish of French fries with cheese curds and gravy, invented in Quebec. Let’s not try to think of the implications on health here…)

With anticipation I Googled “poutine in Glasgow”, completely ready to be disappointed. But what I found made me gasp for joy (and worry a little, for my health), for what do you know…there is indeed a place in the city centre that serves our cheese curd-topped, gravy-dripping, artery-clogging goodness. Bread Meats Bread – a clever name for a burger restaurant, isn’t it? My Canadian soul screamed, “GO TRY IT.” So I did.

The restaurant was quite busy when I arrived and I had to wait for a seat. One of the advantages of dining out alone is that you can take the odd seat instead of waiting for a proper table, which were all occupied. After about 2 minutes, the server led me over to a seat in the corner of the restaurant. It was the rightmost one in a horizontal row of three, and the two others have already been occupied, so naturally, the remaining seat would be perfect for me, a lone diner. The best part about this seat? It faced the street and I could see it right through the glass. It was a perfect time to people-watch as I waited for my food, and maybe I was being watched from the outside as well? Who knows 😛

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Goodbye Toronto, once again.

I’m at the airport waiting to board my flight to Paris via Zurich. There are 45 minutes left in my laptop battery (unless I plug in my adapter which I don’t want to) and about 30 minutes till boarding, so I’ll make this quick.

It’s been nice seeing you again, Canada. Everything was exactly the way it was when I left a year ago, yet nothing was quite the same anymore, especially with people.

Perhaps when I get back to Bordeaux (which will be next week), unpack, and reflect, I wouldn’t have thought that this was such a disappointing trip after all.

I’ve wanted to write a Toronto entry for awhile. I have the images; I just didn’t have the time to blog. Here goes my final entry in Canada.

Goodbye Chinatown at Dundas and Spadina. Really, Scarborough is a Chinatown on its own, so I don’t have to go all the way downtown to get my Chinese goodies, but you’ve served the Toronto community well over these years. Thank you.

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