And it’s 2009….

Wow, it’s already five days into the new year and I don’t know where the past few days have gone…

Loads of things going on, but nothing seems to happen fast enough to make any real difference, talk about frustration.
Even so, things are at least progressing forward, which is a nice thing. Hopefully something good will come out of it all in the end.
It’s less than two weeks until we go on holiday now and I’m so looking forward to spending 10 days in Boracay, although we have to spend one night in Manila as well, but at least it gives us a chance to do some cheap shopping.

Yesterday Brenda caught up with me in age, although it won’t be long until I’m older again…
We didn’t do anything special, went out for a meal and chilled out. It’s fairly cold here in Taiwan now, a warm day is 20 degrees in the day, the not so warm ones are about five degrees cooler and at night it’s dropped down to 11 degrees already at times. I guess it doesn’t help living close to the mountains as it makes it even chillier. The big downside here is that heating isn’t standard, despite the fairly cool winters, although our new AC units have built in heating, but it’s not exactly fantastic, but it’s better than the little portable radiator we had to make do with last winter.

I’m going to try to get some more restaurants added to the list, I just haven’t focused a lot on the blog recently, but I really ought to, right?

Famous Larry’s New York Pizza

Good pizza isn’t easy to find in Taiwan, but a little while back Famous Larry’s New York Pizza opened up in Taipei, although I intended to check the place out some time ago, I only got around to it recently.

The pizza they serve is slightly different from the usual stuff you find in Taiwan, as it’s very much American style, although due to lack of personal experience of what real New York pizza is like, I can’t say it’s the real deal here.

You can buy the pizza by the slice which is also unusual in Taiwan and it’s the only place apart from Costco that I know of that sells it by the slice on the island. You can of course order a whole pizza, but as they are rather large at 19-inches, this is more for a group of people rather than a meal for one…

Also on offer is a sallad, if the ones on the menu isn’t to your liking, then you can “design” your own. Then there’s meatballs and spagetti and the meatball here which is a rather large meatball sub.

I went for a slice of the downtown which has peperoni, italian sausage (although the PDF menu on the website says meatballs), onion and Jalapeno on it. Brenda went with the New Yorker which is a super cheese slice of pizza. Both where good, the crust is nice and it’s the kind of pizza you can eat by holding it in one hand, unlike the soggy stuff in Costco. At NT$75-115 a slice the pizza isn’t cheap, but not stupidly priced either.

The only downside when we went there was that they were out of carbonation for the soda machine, so there were no soft drinks on offer. For those so inklined they also got a selection of beer and wine.

Larry’s have two locations in Taipei and rather than adding maps to both, I suggest you head over to the website which is in both English and Chinese. You can find it here

Update: This place was closed a couple of years ago

Gordon Biersch

So, we’ve been to Gordon Biersch a few times already, but I’ve only now gotten around to writing about it. The place is located rather oddly on the second floor in the number 11 Mitsukoshi store in the Xinyi shopping district right next to a bunch of clothes shops, but although first impression might be a bit odd, once you get inside, it’s just like any other restaurant.

The first time we went I wasn’t that impressed by the food, as I ordered cajun jambalay pasta and it was a bit to messy and not saucy enough in my opinion. The second time I was there with some friends and had a pulled pork sandwich which was really tasty and I’ve been back for that on a second occation. Last time both of us had fish, which was ok, but not quite what I expected from reading the menu. The food in general seems to be decent and they have huge burgers, although I have yet to try them, although a friend of mine had one and he didn’t manage to finish his. I’d also like to try out their steaks, but they seem a bit on the expensive side.

But what this place is really good at is dessert, it might sound strange that a German/European style American restaurant with its own micro brewery in Taiwan that focuses on selling good beer, would have excellent dessert. Personally I don’t care about the beer, but a few friends of mine said it was pretty good. However, dessert… they have huge slices or portions of whatever you order and thier carrot cake is just massive, there was no way I was going to finish that off. At the moment they’ve got a cherry and apple strudle special with ice cream that’s really good and Brend is hooked on their chocolate peanut butter pie. The warm apple bread pudding is also excellent, but I’d suggest skipping the cheese cake, as it really wasn’t anything special.

Overall Gordon Biersch have been a positive experience and we’ll be back for more. They’ve got a website here. You might have to call ahead and book a table during busy Friday night and weekend evenings, but otherwise they always seem to have plenty space.