Pat Kiernan, NY1 Morning Anchor, Talks Tim Horton's, Shreddies & Other Canadian Delicacies
Pat Kiernan is a familiar face to nearly every New Yorker with a television. He brings us not only our city's daily news, but also the occasional piquant observation during his "In the Papers" segment (an online version of which can be had at PatsPapers.com). It's no secret that Gotham's favorite local news anchor is actually from Canada. He opens up about what foods he misses from his native land, his fervent hatred of melons, and why Tim Horton's is better than Dunkin' Donuts.
The NY1 anchor is from Canada... and so is his breakfast.
You're one of the first people up in the city. What do you like to eat for breakfast?
I've been, for the last 13 years, importing Shreddies from Canada. I was stunned to arrive here and realize that what I thought was such a ubiquitous [breakfast] cereal wasn't sold here. I subsequently learned that it was for a short time, but they never really put any marketing behind it and people couldn't see it to be any different from Life or any other square cereal. I was just up in Mont Tremblant, skiing over Christmas, and in the back of the car, in addition to the ski equipment, was a dozen boxes of Shreddies.
I thought you might say Tim Horton's. Are you a fan?
Yes. I think Tim Horton's has cleverly de-emphasized the doughnut in the name and are in a healthy -- or healthier -- eating space. There's some nice sandwiches... I actually have a weakness for apple fritters. I'm curious to see how the U.S. expansion goes because I think they're in a good spot, in terms of fast food. It's neither a Subway or a McDonald's.
Isn't it a Dunkin' Donuts competitor?
Every experience I've had with the two is that Tim Horton's has done fresh better than Dunkin' Donuts. It's interesting, the rabid Canadian fandom of Tim Horton's -- I don't think there's quite the same affinity for Dunkin' Donuts.
Does it taste the same as it does in Canada?
I was worried that they might not execute well here because the locations are, in some cases, revamped Dunkin' Donuts locations and the Riese Organization, [which owns and operates them], doesn't have a sterling track record. But I think Tim Horton's set some pretty clear quality standards and I've been impressed with the quality.
All of this said, I'm a little bit conflicted on the whole U.S. expansion. Now, there's a Tim Horton's three blocks from my home. And for the aforementioned 13 years I've been in New York, it was my Canadian airport treat. Now that it's down the street, it doesn't seem as special. You're drawn to what you can't have.
Speaking of wanting what you can't have, are there any particularly Calgarian -- is that even a word? -- foods you miss from home?
There's a restaurant chain in Western Canada called Earl's and their signature dessert for as long as I've lived has been a mocha-Kahlua pie. It's not particularly complicated. It's a frozen ice cream pie on some sort of crumbled Oreo crust, but it's one of those things that, every time I go back, I seek it out and enjoy it still.
It doesn't seem like there are any many specialty dishes from that part of Canada?
It seems like that's the case with many Canadian foods -- other than poutine. My kids go to the United Nations school and one of the things they do from time to time is a class pot luck. The Italians bring in their pasta and the Japanese kid brings in sushi, but it's not so easy with Canada. We brought in some cheddar last time.