You know what the best things on earth are?


Those little chocolate cups filled with chocolate that you get for dessert when you spring for Via 1. They’re the best things on earth.

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You know what the best things on earth are?

  1. Stop gloating…

    • Perhaps what Sophie meant to say is, are they worth the approx. $150 difference in fare between Via 1 and “regular”?

  2. Very nearly.

  3. I would tend to agree, but would suggest a close competition between those chocolate cups, Ardbeg Provenance, and the guitar solo in Steely Dan’s “Chain Lightning”.

  4. The chocolate cups after the dinner are very good but I also like that they really liquor you up too!

  5. Seconded! I remember one evening they were going to throw the rest out as it was the last run, so instead they packaged a little box for me of all of the Strawberry ones.

    Gawd, they’re good.

  6. You know what would make them better? If you could eat them while on a high-speed train.


      • Maybe in addition to the high-speed-cake-serving, they’ll give you an additional $100 of my taxes with each ticket. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.

  7. No way – the best thing on earth is the Stone’s song ‘Paint It Black’ played on a Oud! (for those of musically instrument challenged and have no time to search on things it’s an egyptian Lyre – sounds kind of like a very big and robust Gibson 12 string)!

  8. Nah. You wanna know the best thing on earth? OK, here’s the best thing on earth. President’s Choice key lime pie…rich and creamy, with a graham cracker crust.

    Oh my god…looks like I need some “me” time here.

  9. Oh, and it goes with coffee, of course.

  10. Via 1 eh! must try it some time. I do have fond memories of the kingston run. Do they still throw those supper boxes at you? The best part was throwing them back as the attendent hustled on through. Only in Canada eh!

  11. Mmmmmm,

    I love those.

    Then again, I’m usually pretty liquored up on the Toronto-Montreal line by the time they bring those little cups, but I maintain that their awesomeness is not liquor-induced but genuine.

    They really are (and are the ONLY thing) just about worth the difference in price.

    That, and the fact that there tend to be fewer families (esp. of the “small child” variety) on the Via1 car.

    In summary: Little chocolate cups good – Families bad.

  12. I had my fill of chocolate over the holidays.

    • Well, well, well. An unfortunate missed opportunity to divert some discretionary $ to a favoured political party…

  13. The best things on earth:
    The love of a lifetime partner?
    Learning that the lump was benign?
    Look ma, no cavities?
    Getting to second base before you even quite know what all the bases are?
    Congratulations, it’s a girl?
    Here comes the bride?
    A grandson’s first birthday?
    Don’t worry, this is under warranty?
    We’ve found a matching donor?
    Coaching your pre-school kid’s micro-soccer team?
    A chocolate on a train.
    Must find me a way to expense-account myself a ride in VIA1. First step: find me an expense account…

    • You forgot perspective, a sense of humor, and giving people a reasonable benefit of the doubt.

      Also, I have some suggestions for your list.

    • madeyoulook, you mademethink

    • What happens when we assume, myl?

      • I know, I know! It makes an– hey, you wait just a minute! How come you’re the only one allowed a little rhetorical fun? If I put a little “*” on the last line of a comment, can we then, ahem, assume that I get the joke, too?

  14. via1 is well worth the upgrade. the meal is gnerally alright, the amount of liquor served is more than adequate and often pretty indulgent, they provide hot towel service, and as PW points out, those chocolates are fantastic.

  15. You easterners can have yr trains and chocs. I’m happy just sailing up johnstone strait with the kiddie , dog and wife, heading on up island to catch th killer whales off of Alert bay. Times like this i couldn’t care if Quebac goes and takes the rest of the country along for the ride. Yes siree! the best things in life indeed!

  16. You’re welcome.

  17. On behalf of the 98% of the Canadian population who subsidize Via Rail but will never ride on it, you’re welcome.

    Yes yes, high speed rail, low-carbon panacea, 2025, blah blah blah. Kidding of course. :)

    • To be fair, the stretch between Toronto and Montreal (incl. Ottawa) is not subsidized. If Wells was taking Via to North Bay, you might have a point.

  18. You are nuts, Paul Wells.

    The cognac is the best thing on earth. Stepping off the train at Dorval, blitzed and happy, looking out at that airport of misery…. that’s the best thing on earth. The chocolate is but a nice accompaniment.

    Man, I hope we end up on a train together someday. I’ll drink your cognac for you while you program my ipod with delectable sring quartets.

    • Deal.

    • I notice you didn’t offer to give him your chocolate…

      • Heck no! I’m keeping my chocolate. But you can have the viva chips bag with 9 chips in it.

        • Do they have those viva chips in Via 1? I thought they were manufactured for distribution only in Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges.

  19. As long as we’re bragging. I’ve never been in Via 1 but I once got a first-class pod seat on a trans-Pacific flight from Toronto to Asia. I’m not sure it was my favorite thing in the world but it was pretty effing nice.

    And you know what the best part is? Looking back through the curtain into the coach class and knowing that you’re not in there.

  20. They are indeed the best. And if you tell the server that you think the little chocolate is “the best part of the whole day,” and if the car’s not full, she’ll sometimes give you a couple extra ones. This has been working for me for years.

  21. The best thing on earth is effective rail service which is currently denied most of the country for lack of vision by a series of so-called leaders.

  22. Room to relax and nice glass of sherry
    Chocolate that comes in a cup (makes me merry!)
    People that treat you like you were the king
    These are a few of the Via 1 things!

    Hot towels and menus and food never frozen
    Blankets tucked ’round you when they find you’re dozin’
    Now I’m so happy I’ll give you a ring
    These are a few of the Via 1 things!

    When the train stalls
    When the wireless drops
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply request a few Via 1 things
    And then I don’t feel so bad!

    • Bravo! Bravo!

    • Hat’s off!

  23. Paul Wells wants high-speed rail that will be so fast you won’t have time to eat your little chocolate things. Think about it, won’t you!

  24. According to Jean Pelletier, high speed rail died in Paul Martin’s fire of ideas…

  25. Whilst I freely admit to never having traveled Via 1 (yay econo…erm….’comfort’) how exactly do you have a little chocolate cup filled with chocolate? Do they not simply become solid chocolate?

  26. The red Lindor chocolates come close to the VIA cups, but not. I may email and ask who their supplier is.

    They go much better with Port than Cognac or coffee, imho

  27. Ahh Sophie…the chocolate cup is refridgerated hard chocolate…and the middle is a more creamy liquid chocolate…you can get white chocolate too.

    Also they’re just the capper on what’s usually a fantastic menu.

    For those worried that the high-speed link would preclude this, I always found they leave a tray by the door so you can grab a couple of roadies.

    Don’t put them in your pocket though.

    And yes, the extra money for Via 1 is worth it. For lots of reasons…here’s something I do…park at Trudeau in the cheap lot far from the Terminal.

    Fly one-way to Toronto, do whatever.

    Next morning, Via 1 back to Dorval, walk a couple hundred metres and retrieve my car. Civilized travel (Via 1) for usually less than the Tango fare…you just gotta have the time. Scratch that, you just gotta *make* the time.

    Cheers all.