Saturday, December 3, 2011

foods to eat in taipei!!

UPDATED - MAY 2012 EDDY'S CANTINA LOCATED IN TAMSUI IS NOW CLOSED THEY HAVE PERMANENTLY MOVED TO THEIR TIENMU LOCATION

Last weekend I went to Tamsui District, formerly known as Danshui, in Taipei. At this point I was itching to try some food besides Taiwanese or Chinese cuisine. The best place I've come across to find information about different types of food and restaurants in Taipei is from a hungry girl's guide to taipei. Her blog is awesome because she gives so much information about so many restaurants in Taipei. I also like how its divided into different types of food or by location. So based on her recommendations, I went food hunting in Taipei. Her strongest recommendation for Mexican food happened to be Eddy's Cantina, located in Tamsui so it was a perfect time for me to check it out.

tamsui MRT station
To reach Eddy's Cantina, exit left from the Tamsui MRT station and continue on Zhongshan Road. Stay on the right hand side of the street. As you walk for a couple minutes the street will eventually become steeper. This is when you know you're almost to the restaurant. Right after the first overpass/bridge at a big intersection you will see Eddy's Cantina located on the corner.

eddy's cantina
interior
The interior is very kitschy and has a lot of Mexico paraphernalia on the walls. 

taco menu
burrito and sopes menu
The menu was pretty extensive and contained a bunch of pages. Not all of them are seen here.

humongous plate of nachos
chicken enchiladas
soft shell carne asada tacos
I didn't actually expect the dishes to be so huge. The nachos were yummy, especially the side of salsa that came with it. The chicken enchiladas were amazing. The chicken was super tender and the tortilla was so soft and covered in so much melted cheese! The tortillas for the tacos were like the tortillas used for burritos instead of the smaller sized taco tortillas used in America. The carne asada was actually cubes of meat, like the ones served in Chipotle, instead of the beef looking carne asade I remember getting in San Diego. Super yummy but the ratio of meat to tortilla is unbalanced so I was left with a huge amount of tortilla. Each of the main dishes came with a dish of green salsa, sour cream, and habanero salsa. Additional and other kinds of salsa are also available. The dishes were amazing and definitely reminded me of the Mexican food I had in America. Despite how good it is nothing can beat eating street tacos in Mexico!

I liked the mood of the restaurant. The owner is from Canada so everything is very English friendly. He was in the restaurant chatting with the customers. He made sure we were enjoying our food and that our water was constantly refilled. I liked how he sat down and held long conversations with the regulars and actually knew what was going on with their lives. This place was good but is on the pricier side of food in Taiwan. Expect to drop a minimum of $200 NT at this place. Our meal cost $740 NT for three enormous dishes. I definitely would recommend this place if you are in Tamsui.

The next place recommended by hungry girl was Yu's Almond Tofu in Ximen, Taipei.

Yu's Almond Tofu
Take the MRT to the Ximen Station and take exit 4. The store is just a couple of stops away from the MRT exit. I love almond milk tea and almond jello so when I heard that there was almond snow I had to go and try it! I was super stuffed from Eddy's Cantina and so was debating between the almond tofu and the almond snow. The almond tofu is obviously the signature dish, being the name of the restaurant chain. I couldn't eat both but luckily there was a almond snow and almond tofu combo for $70 NT. There is an English menu right in front of the door.

almond snow and almond tofu
My first taste of almond snow was actually one of disgust. The nutty flavor of the almond was very pronounced in the almond snow and its flavor was too close to peanut for me to enjoy it. I tried to overcome the nutty taste and continue eating but it just left a nasty taste in my mouth. I believe I like almond syrup or almond extract more than I actually like the almond flavor because the nutty taste is really disturbing for me. After this no more hunting for almond flavored items. Taiwan uses such natural ingredients that anything almond flavored is usually more nutty flavored than what we have in America. So I am confused now who invented almond milk tea because that flavor is definitely not Taiwanese. The almond tofu is actually almond jello and was super delicious. I'm not sure why in almond jello the nutty flavor of almond can't be detected but I am so grateful. I would come back for the almond tofu. The snow was yummy if you don't mind the nutty taste of it.

The Details
Eddy's Cantina - Tienmu Shop
No. 1, Alley 3, Lane 450, Section 6, Zhōngshān North Rd, Shilin District
Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Access: closest MRT stops: Shipai and Zhishan 
website

Yu's Almond Tofu
No address in English but here is their website with all the different locations and telephone numbers. (only in Chinese) The menu is the second tab found at the top of the page.
website: http://www.yustofu.com.tw/location.html

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