Ed’s diner

I haven’t posted any reviews of eateries in Taipei for quite some time, but this is one that’s well worth a visit, even though the location isn’t the most conveniently located. A few months ago a place called Ed’s diner opened up across the river from the Taipei City airport, not too far from Miramar (if you’re not familiar with it, it’s the big mall with the Ferris wheel on top), the full address is 1/F 216 LeQun 2nd Rd, Jhongshan District and if you’re in a party of more than two people, do call ahead on 02 8502 6969 as they tend to be quite busy. You may be forgiven for thinking that Ed’s diner is a typical American style diner and if you did then we’re sorry to disappoint.

Instead, Ed’s diner is a BBQ place that servers ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork and a wide range of side dishes. This isn’t your average BBQ place though, as the owner has had a custom-built smoker installed which means that the meat you get here is not like anywhere else in Taiwan to my knowledge. The owner favours dry rubs, so don’t expect the kind of saucy, sloppy, baby back ribs you get in the traditional “north American” establishments in Taiwan.

So far we’ve only tried the pork ribs, brisket and pulled pork burger, so we still have plenty of things to try and new things are continually being added. The owner also smokes up turkey for the holidays, although this has to be pre-ordered. Overall this is a place well worth a visit, even though it might not be local to where you live. Currently they only have a facebook page rather than a website, but it has the menu on it and some pictures of their food.

Update: We’ve been back several times since the original post and I’m happy to say that the place is still as good. We’re still sticking to pretty much the same items from the menu, although we’ve tried a few more sides like the baked beans which are really good. Just be aware that Ed’s is very busy during the weekends and you’re best off booking a table and food before you go to avoid disappointment. The only disappointing thing we’ve had so far was the crème brûlée which wasn’t really the real deal, but at least it didn’t taste bad, it was just a bit too solid.

Yuma SouthWestern Grill

Ok, this was supposed to have gone up some time ago, but I’ve been so busy that we in fact have managed to eat a few at Yuma since our first time there. I guess that in itself is a good sign, as we don’t tend to go back to places we don’t like…

We’ve tried all sorts of things ranging from ribs and pasta to starters and Quesadillas. The Fajitas might not be as authentic as the stuff served up by Eddy’s Cantina, but it’s more to my taste. The tortillas seem to be freshly made by Yuma and are at least grilled before being served. I found the Peri-Peri ribs to be a bit on the sour side, but they were way better than the fatty stuff that TGI’s serve up.

The pasta was good too and the cheese Quesadillas are great. Just be aware that both the Quesadillas and Fajita’s come with a side of rice, so you get a pretty big meal, unlike what you get at TGI’s once again. The starters are also good, although a bit more dip sauce wouldn’t go amiss, as it’s not quite enough sauce to go with all of the starters on their sampler platter. Yuma also have a bunch of different sauces to go with your food which is also a bonus.

One oddity is the fact that the coleslaw comes with lingonberry jam, although I think they’ve mixed it up with cranberry sauce, but the two doesn’t taste anything remotely the same.

I suggest you head over to Yuma and have a try yourself, as the food is great. You can find their website here and the location is marked on on the FindIT map.

Update: Sadly this place has closed and On Tap, a UK style pub has taken over the location, although they’ve kept some of the menu items, or at least something fairly similar.

Gen Tei Shoku

Last night we ended up trying out a fairly local Japanese place after a terrible experience on Friday night in a really awful Japanese place that I don’t know the name of. Gen Tei Shoku is a semi chain-restaurant (six locations in Taipei, two further south), but we were pleasantly surprised.

I ordered some kind of beef with spring onion (大蔥牛肉燒) and peppers in a small skillet and it came with rice, soup, a small salad and two kind of pickles. Brenda ordered some deep fried chicken with peppers in a light sweet and sour type sauce (a limited time special) and she got the same side dishes. We also got in a side ordered of deep fried prawns which was an extra NT$30 each. The food was very flavourful and tasty and not overly expensive for what you got. As this is a Japanese place, you also get free hot green tea.

Their sushi and sashimi also looked very fresh and nice and they serve it in big pots filled with ice that look really cool. We’ll definitely be back here again, although it’s not a super cheap place, so it’s more of a weekend eatery than an everyday place. They do lunch boxes for NT$150-250 which seems very expensive.

You can find their menu here

Evan's burger

Despite the American influence, Evan’s is a Taiwanese outfit through and through. This doesn’t make it a bad place to eat as such, although don’t expect everything on the menu to be what you think it is.

The menu consists of a wide range of appetizers (we didn’t try any of them), salads, sandwiches, burgers (of course), fajitas, hot dogs and “steaks”. There’s also a breakfast/brunch menu.

I ordered a chili beef burger and Brenda ordered a tornado beef burger which comes with onion rings. The good news is that all the burgers come with fries and a drink. Considering that most seem to cost between NT$220-250, this is quite reasonable. The jumbo and super jumbo burgers are of course more.

The not so good part was the buns, as they were the typically sweet kind of bread you get in Taiwan and even Brenda complained about it and she normally likes sweet bread. As my chili burger had enough jalapenos on it, I didn’t really notice it after a couple of bites. Vegetables come on the side and consisted of some pickles, a couple of tomato slices and some lettuce. The onion rings were also awful, they tasted very greasy and like they’d been sitting since the day before and they weren’t crispy at all. The fries were pretty decent, somewhat similar to the stuff you get in Burger King.

At under NT$500 for the two of us, Evan’s is cheap and cheerful if not great. My only concern was that of what I saw in the kitchen, where a guy had a big pot full of chicken on the floor and loading them into a tray. The floor was anything but clean and who knows what the rest of the kitchen was like. I didn’t see him drop any chicken on the floor, but I’m not keen on the way they interacted with the food in the kitchen. I don’t think we’ll be back in a hurry and there are a lot of choice when it comes to burger places in Taipei now.

Could someone please just get some normal burger buns in? I really don’t care for all the strange burger buns that’s been showing up as of lately…

You can find Evan’s burgers website here and I’ve added a map marker on the FindIT map. It’s near ShiDa road.

Is it already March?

Wow, time really flies and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The last couple of weeks made it seem like summer came early this year, but now it’s a bit colder and wetter again. There was talks about a draught here, as it hadn’t rained very much so far this spring which is unusual in Taiwan, but it looks like the next week is going to be wet, wet, wet, with a few thunderstorms to boot, which again isn’t common here. At least it’s been a long time since there’s been any large earth quakes which I guess isn’t a bad thing in itself, as long as it doesn’t mean it’s building up for a big one…

Right now things are just plodding along, nothing much new to report, just trying to get on with stuff and keep my fingers crossed that everything will work out in the long run. For those of you that live in Taiwan or are visiting, you might want to head to the Tavern this Thursday night, as the Taipei Tech Club is meeting up, if you’re interested in meeting up with some of the people that works in the tech industry here. We try to meet up once a month, although we’re not so well organised, so it happens a bit at a whim.

Well, I keep saying this, but I’m going to try to get better at updating this thing now when I have a proper host that makes it a bit easier. Until next time…