Tag Archives: american

western/american: forkers

date september 14, 2011

contact No.8, Alley 10, Ln. 223. Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區忠孝東路四段223巷10弄8號/02.2771.9285

hours 7 days a week 12:00-23:00

price 300NT-600NT

rating ♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT or Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT(捷運忠孝復興站或捷運忠孝敦化站)

website http://www.forkers.com.tw/ (Chinese and English)

I’ve heard about Forkers and passed by it several times, but just never found a time to go. Since we were in the area we ended up at Forkers to get out of the rain.

Forkers has two stores: the Zhongxiao store (where we went) and the Zhongshan store (No. 15, Ln. 16, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City/台北市中山區中山北路二段16巷15號). The Zhongxiao store is located between Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興) and Zhongxiao Dunhua (忠孝敦化) MRT stations.

The inside of Forkers is nice and seats a decent amount of people. It has a nice laidback atmosphere. We ended up there on a Friday night and didn’t need reservations.

They have menus both in English and Chinese. They originally gave us all Chinese menus, but Michael was being lazy and requested an English menu, which we all ended up looking at anyways.

All of their burgers come with two sides and a drink. They have a list of sides you can choose from on the menu that range from a garden salad  to cajun fries to macaroni salad. Between the four of us we ordered:
– The Hack Burger (海客漢堡) 290NT
– The Monster Burger (漢堡怪獸) 270NT
– The Mexican Burger (墨西哥漢堡) 270NT
– Creamy Bacon Burger (酸奶培根漢堡) 280NT
– Dijon Dill Potato Salad (蘿勒馬鈴薯沙拉)
– Hawaiian Pasta Salad (夏威夷沙拉麵)
– Salad of the Day (每日特製沙拉)
– Cajun Fries (紐奧良薯條)
– Hand cut Fries (手工薯條)
– Garlic Fries (蒜味薯條)
– Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake (草莓巧克力起司蛋糕) 140NT

First things to come out were the “salads”.

Michael got the Dijon Dill Potato Salad (蘿勒馬鈴薯沙拉). No one really got any hint of dijon at all, but we did all get a lot of dill. Like, a lot of dill. I personally liked that there wasn’t much mayonnaise in it since I don’t like mayo, but other than that, this was mostly just mashed potatoes with dill.I decided to attempt the Salad of the Day (每日特製沙拉) which ended up being some sort of beet and green bean salad. I don’t generally like beets, but this salad wasn’t bad. It tasted like it had been tossed in some sort of creamy dressing, but I couldn’t really pin point what kind.

So the dijon was missing from the dijon dill potato salad, but it was not missing from the Hawaiian Pasta Salad (夏威夷沙拉麵). Nothing really made this “Hawaiian” except for the random pineapple thrown on top. This wasn’t great.

Michael ordered The Hack Burger  (海客漢堡) for 290NT and got Cajun Fries. The Hack Burger is described as “Crazy like the man. This burger is topped with cheese, chicken finger slices, bacon and smothered with honey mustard sauce.” This burger looked intense. I didn’t try any, but Mike said he liked it. I liked the cajun fries the best of all the fries. Salty and seasoned, but that’s kind of how I like my fries.

Kelvin opted for The Mexican Burger (墨西哥漢堡) for 270NT with regular fries. The Mexican Burger is described as “Fajita spices, sauteed onions & peppers, guacamole, cheese, jalapenos, salsa and FORKERS burger sauce.” Kelvin said he liked it, but that it was spicier than he expected, which I’m guessing was from the jalapenos.

Will went with the Creamy Bacon Burger (酸奶培根漢堡) 280NT. This burger was described as “A flavour explosion with cheddar cheese, bacon, crisp onion strips, sour cream, lettuce, onion, tomato and Forkers burger sauce.” The description sounded pretty good and Will said that he thought it was pretty good.

I got The Monster Burger (漢堡怪獸) for 270NT with garlic fries. The Monster Burger was described as “Spicy Red Hot sauce, blue cheese, fried onions, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and creamy ranch dressing.” What ultimately made me get this burger was that it was supposed to be spicy, had blue cheese, and fried onions. I thought this burger was okay. I actually don’t remember there being ranch dressing on this…which is sad because I love ranch dressing. This burger was in no way spicy at all, which was disappointing. Also, I could have used more onions. I did like that they use wheat buns, but overall I found the meat patty itself to be rather average. It wasn’t as juice as a good burger should be. The garlic fries were not really garlicy. I was hoping they’d be more like garlic fries you’d get at Gordon Biersch with minced garlic. Instead I think they just powder on some garlic salt/powder.

Will and I decided we needed to order dessert, so we decided on the Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake (草莓巧克力起司蛋糕) for 140NT. I’m kind of always on the search for good cheesecake, unfortunately this did not fall into that category. I found the cheesecake to be dense and dry. Also, if you describe something as strawberry cheesecake I want more than tiny specks of strawberry in the cake itself. They put two sauces on the plate. STAY AWAY FROM THE GREEN SAUCE! When we got it we were like, what is this. Mint. It’s mint sauce. Personally, I don’t think sweet minty sauce goes with strawberry chocolate cheesecake at all, and my friends agreed. I think the other sauce was a raspberry sauce, which I like, but the raspberry completely overpowers the already light strawberry flavor of the cheesecake.

Overall, I thought Forkers was okay. I love a great burger, and I don’t know that I’d classify Forkers as great, but it’s not bad either. Just average I guess. It would not be my first choice for a burger in Taipei, but at the same time I wouldn’t be opposed to coming back to Forkers.

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american/western: rock sauce bistro and bar (味子餐廳)

 date may 29, 2011

contact Space 45, No. 1, Sec. 1, Chengde Rd., Datong District, Taipei/台北市大同區承德路一段1號45櫃/02.2552.6836

hours [weekdays] 11:00-21:30/[weekends] 11:00-22:00

price 250-400NT (+10% service charge)

rating ♥♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

nearest MRT Taipei Main Station MRT (捷運台北車站)

A large group of indecisive people is how we ended up at Rock Sauce Bistro and Bar located on the first floor of QSquare mall at Taipei Main Station. After trying to figure out what to eat for 30minutes, Gary and I decided to take charge and just picked the nearest restaurant to where we were standing that looked decent. Rock Sauce is located outside of exit U5.

When you first walk into Rock Sauce, it doesn’t look that big. There is a bar to the right and a few tables to the left. We were initially worried that they wouldn’t have room for our party of 10. We were wrong.

There is a whole back seating area with plenty of seating.

The menu at Rock Sauce is in English and Chinese. The names of the dishes are in English, but the details are in Chinese. The average dish is about 250NT. Note that there is a 10% service charge. Also note that the English description isn’t exactly the same as the Chinese. The menu has things ranging from pasta to burgers, to salads to western style breakfast. Another thing to note, according to our waiter, they don’t serve pancakes on the weekends…yeah…I ended up getting the Norwegian Salmon Sub (挪威燻鮭魚堡) for 280NT.

I love smoked salmon so I figured why not. This is not a sub, obviously from the picture. The Chinese said 堡 (burger), so I’m not sure why the English said sub. Anyways, all the burgers come with french fries, but not a lot. All of the burgers also come with a flag…me and two other people got the Denmark flag and my other friend the Canadian flag. The burger was pretty good. The bread was nice and fluffy, lightly toasted. The salmon was pretty standard smoked salmon with capers wrapped in it. All together, this made a good sandwich. Taste-wise I would probably get this again, but price-wise it’s a little on the steep size for what it is (308NT total).

My friend Daniel got the Hawaiian Beef Rice (夏威夷排飯) for 260NT. According to him, the beef was flavorful and tender. From the looks of it, it looked pretty decent. I didn’t have any, but he seemed pretty happy with it and as a fellow food lover, I trust his opinion.

Mike and I were originally both looked at the Norwegian Salmon Sub. Then we both looked at the Club Sandwich. Result, I got the “sub”, he got the Club Sandwich (總司令三明治) for 280NT. It looked like a classic club sandwich, although I’m not so sure about the lunch meat…

A few people got the Black Pepper Burger (黑胡椒牛肉漢堡) for 240NT. Everyone seemed to like it. It looked pretty good.

Overall, this place is okay. Are there better places for burgers? Definitely. Would I come back? Maybe. I don’t know that I would ever be like, OMG LET’S GO TO ROCK SAUCE, but if someone wanted to go, I wouldn’t be opposed.

american/mexican: GoodDay

date April 16, 2011

contact No. 18, Lane 177, Sec. 1, Dun Hua S. Rd., Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區敦化南路一段177巷18號/02.8771.9620/fax 02.8771.0703

hours weekdays 11:00-23:00, weekends 11:00-00:00

price <NT300

rating ♥♥ (2 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT (忠孝敦化捷運站)

website http://www.gooddaytw.com

If you’ve ever seen the giant gingerbread man statue wearing a sombrero and wondered what it as for, I can tell you it’s for GoodDay: California Style Mexican Food. I had seen the gingerbread man before, but never really knew what it was for. So, when a friend told me it was a for a place that sold tacos and burgers, I figured, why not give it a try.

GoodDay has a few locations. I remember seeing the gingerbread man at Ximen Ding (西門町) before. The Dunhua location has two floors. We sat on the basement floor; both floors have a decent amount of seating.

I will preface this review with this: as a native Californian this is in no way real Mexican food. I’m not sure what they mean when they claim that they serve “California style Mexican food”, as the store boasts on its storefront, but Mexican food in California is leaps and bounds better. With that said, this place is not bad, it’s just not great.

The menu is pretty eclectic; they have burgers, “Mexican food”, sausages, pizza, etc. Most items range from 180NT-300NT (per person). Most items have the option for ordering the standard portion (標準版) or the “Goodday” portion (原版), which is about 20NT-30NT more than the standard. We were told that the “Goodday” portion is about 25% larger than the standard (note that not all items have this option.). All meals come with tortilla chips, small scoop of macaroni salad, fruit, and your choice of one of four sauces: chedder cheese (切達乳酪醬), salsa (墨式莎莎醬), pico de gallo (經典辣莎莎), and honey mustard (蜂蜜芥末). The pico de gallo is pretty great: a mixture of tomatoes, onions, jalepeno peppers, and corn. One great thing I love about this place is that they have Cholula hot sauce! They also have Tapatio and some scary kelly green habanero sauce.

  

Stephanie and I decided to split the carnitas torta (卡尼塔豬墨西哥漢堡) for 240NT and the standard portion chicken quesadilla (雞肉香烤墨西哥酥餅) for 180NT.

The carnitas torta was okay. I don’t know that it’s really that torta like, but there was nothing really bad about it, it just wasn’t great. The torta comes in four flavors: pork chop, chicken drumstick, chicken, and carnitas. I personally found the carnitas to be a little dry and lacking in flavor. Inside the torta was the carnitas, shredded lettuce, onions and mayo. Steph was sad there was no cheese, as was I (we are both cheese lovers). We both found the overall sandwhich to be lackluster. The addition of cholula added some needed flavor, but still only made it okay, not a standout. In comparison to the cuban sandwich that Steph had previously ordered from them, she said she preferred the cuban.

The quesadilla comes in three flavors: cheese, beans, and chicken. We decided on chicken. When we asked the girl at the counter about how much cheese would be in it if we chose chicken she said not much, but we figured it’d still be cheesy enough. I mean, it’s a freaking quesadilla. We inquired about adding extra cheese and she said it would be an extra 30NT. In hindsight we should have added the extra cheese. When the quesadilla came out, it was pretty dry. The chicken was pretty well seasoned, and not too dry; however, there was not much cheese in it at all. I did like that there was a hint of spice in the quesadilla. I’m not sure if it was because they used a pepper jack cheese or if they just had some jalepeno in it. Either way, I was a fan of the flavor. All it needed was some more cheese and this would have been much better.

We went with a group so a lot of other things were ordered. They had a 3 for 250NT taco deal going on. 12 different flavors of soft tacos (塔可夾餅) to choose from: steak, beef, shrimp, fish, carnitas, honey mustard chicken, veggie, pork chop, sausage, chicken, chicken fajita, and smoked chicken. I think our table ended up with like 4 orders of various flavors. From the sounds of it everyone was happy enough and they looked pretty decent.

You can also get hard tacos (酥炸塔可), although I think our group preferred the soft.

William decided to get a beef burrito (牛肉波利多捲) for 200NT.

Overall this place isn’t bad. It’s just not great. Steph mentioned that the quesadilla was not as dry the last time she got it. In the end, I don’t know that I’d necessarily go back to GoodDay, but it’s not because it was bad, it’s just because there is so much other stuff to eat in Taipei.

american: toasteria cafe.

date 12. 23.2009

contact No. 1, Lane 72, YunHe Street, Daan District, Taipei/02.2365.3051/台北市大安區雲和街72巷1號

hours Monday-Thursday 10am-11pm; Friday-Saturday 10am-2am; Sunday 11am-9pm

happy hour Monday-Friday 3pm-7pm

price 100-200NT

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

~::~::~::~::~

UPDATE

While walking around Shida Night Market I noticed that the Shida location of Toasteria closed on June 04, 2012! Not to worry, they still have two other locations in Taipei.

1. No.2, Lane 248, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei/台北市忠孝東路4段248巷2號/02.2731.8004
2. No.3, Lane 169, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei/台北市敦化南路1段169號3號/02.2752.0033

~::~::~::~::~

A good friend of mine found Toasteria Cafe and decided with our love of salads and paninis we had to try it. Toasteria is located inside of Shida Night Market (師大夜市) off of YunHe Street (雲和街). The cafe itself is really cute and open; go on a nice day and enjoy the open patio-like feel.

The menu has a wide variety of grilled sandwiches, at least 20. They boast proudly on their business card that they are “Taipei’s home for the grilled cheese”. While I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, they do make a pretty mean panini. The average sandwich ranges from about 100nt to 170nt and for an extra 70nt you can add fries and a drink (coke or grape fanta). My friend and I opted to share a sandwich, salad, and add the fries and a coke.

grilled jack chicken 160NT

We finally decided on the Grilled Jack Chicken sandwich, grilled jack cheese, chicken, and caper aioli for 160NT. First off, the fries were really good. They were really cripsy without being hard or oily. I’m sure they came out of a bag from Costco or something, but still they were very good. The sandwich was great. There was a nice spicy kick to it from the jack cheese which I’m pretty sure was pepper jack. The chicken was also well seasoned and not dried out. Another awesome thing about this sandwich, the caper aioli sauce on the side, SO GOOD. We didn’t put it on the sandwich, instead we just dipped the fries in it. Highly recommended.

gouda salad 170NT

For salad we had narrowed it down to either the Toasteria salad or the gouda salad. We decided to go for the gouda salad because both of us love cheese. Unfortunately the first salad that was brought out to us had a worm, like full on slug/worm, in it. We took it back to the counter and they apologized and made us a new one. Usually something like that would turn me off from a restaurant, but they were very apologetic, made us a brand new salad and gave it to us free of charge. Back home in the US you would expect this kind of service, but in Asia I’m more used to just picking certain things out and eating around it. So the free salad was a nice surprise. After that issue was taken care of, the salad itself was actually pretty good. The vinaigrette was some sort of balsamic red wine mix that was pretty good. Other then that there was three slices of gouda, red onions, watercress, and some toast. The salad is a little pricey considering its size, but in my opinion it’s pretty worth it considering how tough it is to find good salads in Taipei.

Overall, Toasteria is a great place to grab some lunch or maybe even dinner. There are definitely plenty more of the panini’s that I want to try and they have Stella Artois on TAP! I will definitely be going back for that. I read on the happy hour menu that all beers are 90NT during happy hour, so maybe I’ll go then. Also, they have buy one get one free margarita’s Monday and Tuesday according to the chalk board inside. I think next I’ll try the Spicy Grilled Cheese or the Eggplant one.

american: california grill.

california grill.

date 10.10.2009

contact DunHua South Rd., Section 1, Lane 238, East District, Taipei/02.8771.94.23/台北市東區敦化南路1段238巷

hours Monday – Saturday 11:30am- 10pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm

price 150NT-300NT

website http://californiagrill.blogspot.com/

rating ♥♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

My friend brought me here one night since we couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat. I’d heard of California Grill before, but didn’t know where it was. Now I do, and I’ll be back.

California Grill offers about 10 types of burgers including: tofu burgers for the vegetarians, salmon burgers for the pescatarians, chicken breasts for the non red meat eaters, and regular burgers for the meat lover. They also have a few salads on the menu as well. Out the four of us there that night, three of us ended up with the Western Bacon Burger (205NT).

my western bacon burger (205NT)
my western bacon burger (205NT)

The Western Bacon Burger came with “onion rings, BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese on a white bun”. I opted to swap the white bun for a whole wheat bun for an extra 10NT and added fries and a drink for another 50NT. The burger was delicious. The hamburger patty was moist and juicy. I loved the onion rings on it and the BBQ sauce was nice and tangy. Bacon is always my friend, so it was also delicious. The fries were good, crispy without being too crispy. Overall, it was amazing.

My friend’s girlfriend got the grilled tofu burger, which she said was good. She also got a salad instead of fries, which also looked good. The guys were excited that they had root beer as well.

In comparison the burgers at The Diner the ones here, at California Grill, are better (at least in my opinion). The patties are more moist and overall there was something about it that just made it a little better. The burgers are a little smaller than the ones at The Diner, but it still made me plenty full. So if you’re looking for a good burger in Taipei, stop by California Grill.

american: the diner

the diner.

date 10.23.2009

contact No. 145, Rui-An St., Da An District, Taipei/02.2700.1680/台北市大安區瑞安街145號

hours Mon.-Fri. 10am-10pm, Sat.-Sun. 9am-10pm

price 150NT-300NT

rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

website http://www.thediner.com.tw

I came here for the first time three years ago while studying abroad at National Taiwan University. At that time it had just opened and we were a bunch of hungry American exchange students that after almost a year couldn’t wait to get some American food into our stomachs. I must say, The Diner does the job.

outside of the diner.
outside of the diner.

The Diner is located on Rui-An St. (瑞安街) off of Heping East Road (和平東路). The bus will drop you off less than 5 minutes from The Diner (get off at either 安東市場 or 龍門國中) which is right up Rei-An St. a few minutes.

inside the diner (ground floor).
inside the diner (ground floor).

I don’t know about the decor necessarily feeling “American”, but the menu for sure is. They have a lot of good options for breakfast, along with burgers, sandwiches and SALADS! My friend and I love salads and being in Taiwan makes us miss them. We decided that we’d split a salad and a burger, which ended up being the perfect serving size. We ended up with the spinach salad and BBQ burger while my boyfriend opted for the California burger.

spinach salad with bacon, hard boiled eggs, croutons, and red onion with vinaigrette (220NT)
spinach salad with bacon, hard boiled eggs, croutons, and red onion with vinaigrette (220NT)

First thing that came was the salad. We both love spinach salad so it was the obvious choice for us and I we were not disappointed. The spinach was fresh, the croutons were crunchy, the vinaigrette was light and the bacon was delicious. My only complaint would be that the spinach needed to be cut up. The leaves were huge so it got a bit messy trying to eat it, but the taste was great. I’ll definitely be getting that again.

the diner.
bbq burger with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and bbq sauce (200NT)

The BBQ burger was tasty. I have to admit that the hamburger patty at California Grill was more moist though. Even so, the burger was great. I like that they put the lettuce, onion, tomato and pickles on the side so that you can chose what you put in and so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt. The BBQ sauce was nice and tangy and the cheese was cheesy. Their buns are also really good: moist and fluffy.

 

california burger with avocado (200NT)
california burger with avocado and swiss cheese (200NT)

The California burger was also good. The avocado was really good and even better in the burger. Like the BBQ burger, the hamburger patty was not as good as it could have been, but still overall the burger was good. Dan also opted to turn his burger into a combination meal. All burgers come with fries, but for 80NT more you can add a soup or salad and drink. Dan got the soup of the day, which turned out to be Minestrone and he said it was pretty good.

Basically The Diner is good American food in Taipei. I’ve only had their burgers so far, but I am eager to try their breakfast foods. I saw a lot of it go by and it all looked good. I’ve also been craving buffalo wings lately which they have and I plan to try. There was a Bloody Mary on the menu too, which I am curious about. I love a good Bloody Mary, and my bar used to make a great one, so I’m curious about The Diner’s. Hm…maybe I’ll have to go for breakfast one weekend afternoon and order a nice Bloody Mary to wash it down.