|Typical Carts - This one serves "Salty Chicken"|
To tell the truth, there is only so much Stinky Tofu one can eat at one sitting, and that amount is nowhere near enough to be filling. In short, I was still hungry. So we decided to be like ravenous locusts descending on downtown Taoyuan City and lay waste to any unsuspecting cart that smelled like something delicious was happening there.
In my opinion, the food carts are where it happening in Taiwan. Anyone can walk into a restaurant and find a delicious meal. But you have to pay a price. I went to TGI Fridays, recently, they have them in Taiwan; for $15.00 USD I ate a hamburger and French Fries. I tried to offset the price and make it a reasonable value by drinking approximately 12 gallons of ice tea. But after about a gallon or so, I had to make too many trips to the rest room and had to abandon that plan. The food was marginal, (like all TGI Fridays) and it took me about ten minutes to order Iced Tea. I eventually ordered Hot tea and large glass of ice, then had show all of the waitresses what I was doing. They don’t do iced drinks in Taiwan, because in the words of one waitress drinking iced drinks with a hot meal is not “good for your healthy.” If you are the manager of TGI Fridays, please do not construe this as criticism; I don’t want to go to jail.
There are a number of reasons I like the carts. 1) I can eat at the carts all day for much less then $15.00 USD. 2) I can only order what they cook. Most do only one thing and some do it very well; and 3) This is where you will find the real foods of Taiwan.
|Ten "Xiao Long" stacked and ready to steam|
|Fried Bao zi vendor, look at all the customers|
|Cong You Bing or "Spring Cakes"|
We followed that up with a trip to the Night market for Oyster Omelots. These are omelets made with eggs, fried with oysters and mustard greens. They were made famous by the teen idol drama, “Corner with Love,” starring Barbie Xu and Brian Luo (aka Show Luo.) Unfortunately they were closed, so we went for Spare Rib Soup at another place.
|"Show" Low and Barbie Xu - Corner With Love|
Finally, I was about full, but my friend had one more stop. We stopped at one last place for “Spring Rolls.” I call them the Chinese Burrito. They are made of vegetables, a fried egg powder and sometimes have pork as well. They are wrapped in a white flour wrapper that looks like a tortilla, but isn’t. They are really delicious. They’re about the size of burrito and cost about $30NTD ($1 USD).
|Rollin' up a "Chinese Burrito"|
Other posts you may be interested:
Eating My Way Through Taiwan: Bao zi
An American Presence: What I Don't Miss in Taiwan
Eating My Way Through Taiwan: Niu Rou Mian
Corner With Love photo credit: asianpopcorn.com
All other photos; Chris Banducci