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Boston Area

taiwan cafe - no write dish


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taiwan cafe - no write dish

piney | Aug 22, 2004 12:15 PM

before traveling to boston, i checked boston area posts, and it is easy to see that taiwan cafe is a popular place. as described in many posts, the "(spicy) home style braised eggplant w/ basil" was perfect.

searching as many tc posts as possible, there seems to be a dish about which no one had written . it is listed under appetizers as "fried fermented tofu w/ paou tsai" (easy to pronounce as "tow doe-foo"). in the us, this dish's appearance on the menu tends to distinguish taiwanese restaurants from the taiwan-ish. this may have something to do with its commonly translated english name "stinky tofu".

actually, even in taiwanese restaurants in the us, it is hard to get highly aromatic tow doe-foe, probably because the kitchen and dining room could smell like the worst areas of a barn on a hot, summer day. at tc, a mild-smelling version is served. at most, you will only get disapproving looks from your tablemates.

it is sort of like taiwanese scrapple in the sense that scrapple smells pretty vile when it is cooked but tastes pretty good. tow doe-foo does not taste like it smells. it is hard to describe, but, to me, it can taste anywhere from a strong brie to a light brie with an eggy taste. tc's was the latter. it is served with spciy cabbage, which tc's was quite good and extremely generous amount, and a spicy dipping sause, which in tc's case, it was already resting in, and also quite good.

be warned that some persons seem to not be able to overcome tow doe-foo's smell and enjoy it, while others become addicted to it and start mumbling phrases like "gotta take a trip to flushing, ny to try some more of this". one additional warning, if you are dining with a mixed crowd, adventurous non-adventurous, either order it exactly like it is written on the menu or say "tow doe-foo". asking for "stinky tofu" will definitely raise eyebrows, and possibly, objections.

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