Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tim Hortons – Hallstead, PA

Have you ever avoided a restaurant chain because you didn't think it would be worth your time? Without any solid reason, other than a feeling? On a recent vacation in the Northeastern US, we noticed Tim Hortons restaurants, many of which were paired with convenience stores and gas stations right off the highway.

We try to avoid the usual fast food joints, and because most of the Tim Hortons stores we saw were in such an arrangement, I assumed it was just another fast food sort of chain. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I can only eat so many meals of burgers and fries before I want something slightly more nutritional/imaginative.

We were traveling south on I-81 in Northern Pennsylvania and as lunchtime approached, we began scrutinizing the highway signs, looking for a place to eat. We always appreciate finding restaurants that offer food a step above the usual fast food fare, but without breaking the bank.

As we approached Hallstead, PA, a small town on the Susquehanna River, about 20 miles south of Binghamton, NY, my wife Tiffany spotted the Tim Hortons sign and said, "Let's try it." We were all hungry and ready to stop, so we decided to take a chance.

What a pleasant surprise.

Now I'm sorry we hadn't taken the opportunity to seek out other Tim Hortons locations during our travels. This turned out to be one of the best surprise finds we've ever stumbled on.

Tim Hortons on UrbanspoonI ordered the chipotle turkey Panini with a Danish pastry for desert. The sandwich was outstanding – fresh ingredients; absolutely one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten. The Danish was equally impressive. In fact, Mom, a gourmet cook for 50 years, told us it was some of the best pastry she had ever eaten. High praise from a baking expert; not given lightly. The staff in Hallstead was friendly and smiling, and the restaurant was clean.

A little background: Tim Horton was a hockey player; a defenseman who played 24 NHL seasons from 1949-1974, for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was killed in a car accident at age 44 in 1974.

His restaurant chain began with a few stores in 1964 offering just coffee and donuts. After Horton's death, a business partner bought out the Horton Family and continued to expand the chain, adding stores across Canada, Northern and Northeastern US, and Persian Gulf locations, now operating more than 4300 stores (note the lack of an apostrophe in 'Tim Hortons' is intentional, and is now the legal corporate name).

Unfortunately, we live in Texas – far from the nearest Tim Hortons restaurant, so hopefully this excellent chain will soon figure out they need to invade the Lone Star State. We already have hockey here, and we definitely need quality restaurants like Tim Hortons.

An excellent restaurant in a convenience store – who would figure such a thing would be a great place to eat? Kudos to the staff and management in the Hallstead, PA store for providing a clean, friendly, comfortable, outstanding eating experience for us. We expected typical fast food, but we were astonished at the great food and reasonable prices – an unbeatable combination at Tim Hortons.

Tim Horton's
25106 State Route 11
Hallstead PA 18822

© 2014 Larry Manch

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sandy's Lighthouse - Misquamicut Beach, Westerly, RI

Okay, so sand is everywhere. You're on the beach, what would you expect?

Prices are a little high. You're on the beach, you're going to pay for it.

Service is a little slow. You're on the beach, laid back is the rule here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Waffle House – Arkansas & Kentucky

Pick any two Waffle House restaurants at random – say, Waffle House #668 (Forrest City, AR), or Waffle House #1894 (Mt. Sterling, KY) - and you will find a cook behind the grill that knows exactly how to cook perfect breakfast food. Regular Waffle House patrons know you will get a great meal at any Waffle House, and these two locations are no exception.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

George's Family Restaurant and Pizza Castle – Mountville (Lancaster), PA

We learned a long time ago that when traveling, stepping away from tourist areas and seeking out restaurants where locals eat, usually leads to an excellent, home cooked style meal. It's not always easy to spot these places, as they tend to be in areas off the usual tourist routes. We have been fortunate to find several of these outstanding eateries in places like Silver City, New Mexico, Mystic, Connecticut, and most recently, a comfortable place called George's Family Restaurant and Pizza Castle, in the Lancaster, Mountville, PA area.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Conversation with Astros President Reid Ryan

Most fans of the Houston Astros have been blacked out for more than a year from watching their team on any television platform. This is my Twitter conversation with Astros President Reid Ryan on the subject.

Monday, March 17, 2014

#1 With A Bullet

Thanks to interested readers, 'A Sports Junkie' reached #1 in several categories in several countries for sports books during the free promotion on March 15-16. 

Readers in the US, UK, Italy, and Germany downloaded their free copy, sending the book to #1 in those countries in the sports history and sports essay categories.

The book is now back to regular price.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Free Promo

My latest book, 'A Sports Junkie', is free Saturday & Sunday, March 15-16. Click the link to download and enjoy the book free. Free readers are available for virtually every computer, smart phone, and tablet. 

Download and enjoy this book!