I wandered into a place entitled Taiwanese Specialties due simply to the sign in the window touting the fact that they sold Taiwan Beer.
Taiwan Beer, a state owned product, brewed by a state owned Brewer, has been discussed on Chowhound, most recent on my Roberta's review.
I happen to enjoy this beverage.
Anyway, the venue, Taiwanese Specialties, is like walking into a Chinese restaurant in the United States, and so unlike what one encounters in Taiwan.
I say this simply because I entered this busy restaurant that does continuous turnover of seating during weekends and busy hours. I entered during such a time, and simply told the waitress that I would like to take beer only.
I was one person.
Immediately upon seeing my being seated, an inquiry came from the male maitre d'. He ended up quickly issuing a scolding denunciation, in Mandarin, stating "what, this is bar" 這裡是酒巴嗎!
I apologized to the waitress, and she simply brushed it off, his remark, and kept busy with her job, that is attending to customers.
Of course such loud insults leveled at his co-worker does not make for a good environment for dining. I simply attended to the beers I ordered, and was able sneak in small chat with the delightful waitresses.
To my surprise many come from Fujian.
Though staffed with non-Taiwan people, the reel of music played is Taiwan old songs 台灣老歌.
I eventually took some food, and the maitre d' ended up with a table of one who spent near 40 dollars, majority Taiwan Beer, with some snacks. Did I order the food due to my Judeo-Christian guilt complex? Perhaps so, but it served to satisfy my curious taste buds.
Taiwan sausage 台灣香腸
Pig's large intestine 大腸
I will never eat Taiwan sausage outside of Taiwan ever after this experience. Anyway, in a restaurant, one is not going to find Taiwan sausage, unless the location is in Queens. It would have been nice if they were grilled. Nice bar snack in Taiwan, but here failed to live up to what they are.
The Da Chang (Pig's large intestine 大腸) was passable, but hardly as good as one would get anywhere in Taiwan. I would state that much preferable would be Fuzhou regions of Brooklyn and Queens.
Far cry from our beloved Taiwan. The atmosphere is like a Chinese Ponderosa Steakhouses, minus the salad bar.
I spotted some things on the menu that I would like to return to try, but with the friendly efficient waitstaff, girls from Fuzhou and some other Mainland places, being the only factor that equates with quality, I dare say I shall skip it. Especially when they get yelled at right in the dining room full of customers.
I spotted duck blood and some other nice Taiwanese food items at 刷刷 (shabu Shabu), a Chinese owned 刷刷 place on 18th Ave in Broooklyn, the staff are from Taishan (台山縣和台山市廣東省), Guangdong Province.
This has hot pot as well, and frankly, it is not trying to do anything other than offer nice food and atmosphere.
Reasonable prices, unlike the over-priced fare at Taiwanese Specialties. They do not serve beer, but you buy from near by store for in restaurant consumption, 免費的 (no extra charge) 沒關係!
刷刷樂 Shabu Shabu
Look for the Taiwan section of the menu!
7204 18th Ave
Here is a portion of Shabu Shabu 18th Ave menu
When a Taiwan friend comes to visit, I would not go to this so not like a Taiwan place at all.
In Taiwan, and Fuzhou for that matter, one would never encounter this exaggerated response to simply being a customer. My Japan friends in Taiwan would take me to McDonald's with a bottle of Johnny Walker to be set in the middle of the table. 沒關係!
84-02 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373