Monday, April 23, 2012

Emperor Chops (君悅排骨) - Taipei

There's Nowhere like Home
The Taiwanese diaspora try in vein to replicate the pork chops from home.  Those I've sampled in NY are but the distant cousins of the Taipei originals.  I don't blame them for trying, something this good should be shared.  The 君悅排骨 version were juicy planks of pork kept warm in a crispy, deep-fried coat.  They'd no doubt been dunked in a soy sauce, white whine and garlic bath and then dusted with corn flour, sugar and five spice, the most important of the five being the szechuan black pepper. This was a quiet, blind meal, each of us happily chewing with our eyes closed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coffee Alley - Taipei

Interesting Coffee Choices
On my first visit to Taipei I took note of the coffee fanaticism. It looked to have recently blasted off and dropped the boosters.  Just thirteen months later it's arrived at the outer rings of Jupiter, at least at Coffee Alley. Ordering a "tiramisu latte" seemed like a good idea.  My logic was something like this: I like tiramisu and I like latte.  She was a skin deep beauty, so pretty for her picture, but lacked depth and charm.  The powdery topping lodged in my lungs like asbestos and I nearly coughed up the bland espresso.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Street Noodles - Taipei

Back to the Streets for Eats
Bouncing around the globe, trailing crumbs in my wake, I land in Taipei with the cutesie on my arm.  I feel confident, worldly, hungry.  We take down a batch of street noodles like two pros, she with the order, me with the mouth.  Well, ok, she with her big mouth too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Panini Durini - Milan

Pork Belly Perfection
When I moved to Brooklyn, nearby Carroll Gardens was still rough and tumble.  I used to tiptoe over for an Italian sandwich once in a while.  I sported a sidewalk gaze and acted humble, hoping to pop in and out without any static.  The sandwiches were worth the risk but their equivalents in Italy might tempt you to greater feats of daring.  Whole other level of tasty!  At Panini Durini I chomped down on a memory-rending combo of pancetta tesa, caciotta dolce and peperoncini, aka black-peppered pork belly, sweet cheese and peppers.