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2012 Early July--Best Restaurant in Indianapolis

If you're interested in witnessing the birth of a place that's likely to make a big impact on the Indy food and beverage scene, check out Bluebeard, which just opened this week.

Co-chefs are John Adams, the former executive chef of H2O Sushi, and Abbi Merriss Adams, the former sous-chef at Recess.

I haven't been personally, but early reports from my family in Indy are very, very positive.

http://bluebeardindy.com/

Jun 29, 2012
Condimentality in Great Lakes

Trying to find a certain candy available in Taiwan in the late 1980s!!

They're not bad. Interesting. Kind of like a Smarties or Sweet Tarts, but sweet and salty instead of sweet and sour, so they don't really fit your "sweet, tart, and fruity" description.

Trying to find a certain candy available in Taiwan in the late 1980s!!

Is this what you're looking for? They are flavored with plum powder but are not flat. They're more like cylinders.

Vegetarian in Taipei or places that don't use meat stocks

Makanputra is right. Buddhist restaurants are common throughout Taipei and many non-Buddhist restaurants will have a few clearly labeled (in Chinese, at least) vegetarian dishes.

For a casual lunch, a decent choice is Minder Vegetarian (明德素食園), a buffet style restaurant found in many of the more upscale mall food courts in Taipei. For locations near the W, there's one in the Xinyi Eslite food court and one in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A8 food court.

http://www.minder.com.tw/store.php

Most night markets will have at least one Buddhist vegetarian stall serving various things, including vegetarian stinky tofu.

If you're looking for more upscale (i.e. not in a food court or night market) vegetarian, I can't really help you, but I'm sure there are places out there.

Of course, since the friend eats seafood as well, there is a lot of good sushi in Taipei, as well as excellent seafood prepared in various Chinese and Taiwanese styles. Your friend should have no problem with the latter as long as you confirm that no four legged creatures were used in any stocks or broths.

In short, your friend will have no problem finding things to eat, especially if you have a Mandarin speaker with you.

Best Beef Noodle Soup in Taipei?

My personal favorite is Mama Zhang's (家廚川味牛肉麵) at No. 18 Section 1 Heping East Road right by Guting station.

Din tai fung in taipei

Yeah, more or less. It's about a block north and a block east from the rear of the Regent Hotel on Changchun between Linsen and Xinsheng North Road. I haven't actually been there, but it's on my list (and close to my house).

To get there, go to Zhongshan MRT station, out exit 4, and walk east towards Zhongshan North Road. Cross Zhongshan and turn left, walking past the Regent Hotel on your right until you get to Changchun Road (the Gucci store is on the corner. Turn right onto Changchun and walk until you cross Linsen, and it will be on your left. The walk should take you about 10 minutes.

Truffle dumpings at Din Tai Fung

I was at DTF the other day and asked one of the waitresses who confirmed that they're black truffles imported from Italy.

Truffle dumpings at Din Tai Fung

I had these the other day. They are very good and have a great truffle flavor. It was my first time at Din Tai Fung, so I didn't know at the time that they are new. I recall them being around NT$ 480 for 5, which is crazy expensive, but they were definitely worth trying.

Tea: Tea plantations & teahouses near Taipei

Yaoyue was nice. We went primarily for the atmosphere, which was great. It's a pleasant 30 minute walk slightly downhill from the Maokong gondola station to get there, and the grounds themselves are quiet and secluded. There really isn't a view (at night at least), if that's something that you're interested in.

The food was fine (cold tea smoked goose and chicken with Chinese wine), but nothing mindblowing.

We didn't really do anything tea-related, but they appeared to have lots of choices. Prices seemed reasonable (NT$90 base "water fee" per person plus the cost of the tea, which ranged from about $200 to $600 if I remember correctly), but I don't have much of a basis for comparison.

Though I did completely forget to ask them while I was there, I called them just now, and they said that they do offer English-language service.

Tea: Tea plantations & teahouses near Taipei

http://en0229392025.tw.tranews.com/

I'm going to be going here tomorrow night. They are open 24/7/365. I'll report back on how it was after we go, and I'll try to remember to ask about English service.

33 rooms - taipei

It sounds pretty fun, actually. I'm just more concerned about the cats, really. Are they really everywhere? In the dining room?

Kaohsiung - Any Good Eats?

Wow wow wow. That's all I can say.

This is exactly why I love this site. I never would have found this place otherwise, and it is really really worth finding.

Klyeoh had it pretty much spot on. I wish I had remembered to ask for the soup refill, because the broth was really really good. Perfectly seasoned (the perfectly sweet spot between bland and too salty), richly colored, with an amazing depth of flavor.

The pieces of beef were incredible as well: tender and flavorful, with enough texture to not fall apart.

The knife shaved noodles were fine. I might try regular ones next time.

From what I can remember from the menu, they also offer a dry version of the noodles and a rice plate.

I also had the dried tofu and stewed egg side dishes, both of which were great as well.

Overall, this place was great, and a steal at the price (70 for the small bowl, which I got, and 85 for the large).

Thanks a ton for the recommendation. I'll be back for sure (I'm living here for the month of July).

Pictures here:

http://condimentality.tumblr.com/post...

33 rooms - taipei

"Very nice meal" is a reference to the food only: high quality ingredients, creative or classic preparation and presentation, that type of thing.

Atmosphere sounds... unique. The boss sounds pretty interesting and possibly quite fun, but I'm pretty allergic to cats, so I'll probably give this place a miss. Thanks a lot for the reply.

33 rooms - taipei

Has anyone eaten here? It's a Japanese-style restaurant without a menu. You choose how much to pay (nt$1000 and up), and the proprietor decides what you're going to have. Apparently, she's quite the character. Apparently, there are lots of cats involved.

I'm looking to have a very nice meal at the end of July. This place was highly recommended by an acquaintance, but I'm looking for additional opinions. Any out there? Any other suggestions for something similar?

http://www.33rooms.com.tw/

Indianapolis tasting menus?

I second both of huiray's suggestions.

Omakase at H2O tends to include a tasting of all of the daily specials (often but not always posted on the facebook page), an assortment of sushi and/or sashimi, and sometimes some other things. If you want something truly interesting and high quality, I'd highly suggest contacting chef Adams in advance, as he will then have time to order and prepare some truly special things that might not otherwise be available a la carte.

The process at Recess is pretty well known and self-explanatory at this point. Also highly recommended.

Jun 27, 2010
Condimentality in Great Lakes

Taichung, Taiwan

It hasn't really been much of a surprise, actually. Not much has changed since I lived here last (2008). Though, that time was in Yilan, and this time I'm in Taipei, so there's quite a bit more variety here in the big city.

Thanks for the links. I'll take a look through them, especially for Kaohsiung recommendations, as I'm moving there on Thursday.

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

I did have a mango ice at YK15. It was quite good. The quality of the mango was excellent and the sheer amount was absurd. There must have been close to three mangoes' worth on it. Add to that the scoop of sorbet on top, and I don't think the price is toooo unreasonable. Here are some photos:

http://condimentality.tumblr.com/post...

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

We got tonkatsu, which was quite good but not anything truly special, a grilled 秋刀魚, which was quite good, and enough unaju to feed an army. The unaju was a huuuuge hit. I'd really like to try the eel liver skewers sometime, but we were there pretty late.

I moved away from that part of town on the 17th, so I didn't get to try any of your suggestions, but I'm sure that I'll be back at some point soon. I think that ramen place is on the top of the list.

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

Do you remember exactly where on Yongkang Street the Yilan green onion pancake place is? I've been trying to find it with no luck.

Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge or elsewhere in Brooklyn

Many practicing Taiwanese Buddhists are vegetarian, so there are many restaurants here that cater to them. Most neighborhoods that are near a Buddhist temple will have a vegetarian buffet restaurant or something more formal. They are actually a great option for non-vegetarians as well, as the food is quite cheap, tasty, and relatively healthy.

The only one that I can really recommend is located next to the big Foguang Shan building in downtown Yilan. I often got bento boxes there, and they were consistently very good. As far as bigger cities go, I can't really say as I have spent most of my time in Taiwan up to this point in Yilan.

Jun 14, 2010
Condimentality in Outer Boroughs

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

Ok, I am only staying close to Yongkang street for another couple of days, but I keep realizing I still have more and more places to try.

It's obviously zongzi-mania-time around here, so I'll pick some up at Gaoji when I head down there for lunch as well.

I passed by Sushi Yau last night on the way to Shida night market and they are closed for the week, unfortunately.

I am taking a date to Hizen-Ya tonight, so I need to be careful not to eat too much at lunch...

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

The clawed pancake vendor is right on the corner directly opposite from Yongkang 15. It's actually right next to the Cheng Ji Vietnamese place, and they appear to share the same "kitchen" so I'm not sure if they are related or not. This link should point right at it:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

I have actually been to Cheng Ji (Thanh Ky) before, and really enjoyed the Pho there, so I am going to either go there or Da Yu Chirashi Sushi ( http://yuann.tw/?p=1580 ) for lunch today. I will suck it up and wait in line at YK15 to try it in the name of science and report back. I went to Little Water Buffalo (小水牛) in Yilan yesterday (pics here: http://condimentality.tumblr.com/post... ) so it will be interesting to compare the two.

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

Yeah the news stations were out in full force. In fact, you might have seen me :P

The hours are definitely vague, as I went by there again last night around 5:30 to get some food (temporarily staying very closeby) and I hoped to try it out and avoid the line because it was absolutely pouring down rain. It was closed, though.

I agree with those who say that the price of the original was pretty extreme for what, to me, is pretty much the same shaved ice that you can get anywhere on the island. I still would give it another shot, though. Still, the area is really nice, so it's a shame that the closing of the original IM hurt the business of the less well known places on Yongkang.

Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge or elsewhere in Brooklyn

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I'll forward them on to my friends. I'm actually now in Taiwan, aka Vegetarian Chinese heaven, but I'm sure they'll appreciate checking them out.

Jun 13, 2010
Condimentality in Outer Boroughs

Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

I was on yongkang street today and just happened by the grand re-opening right as they were starting business for the day. The whole corner was jammed with people, and it was quite a scene. I didn't want to wait in line to try it out, but the scallion "clawed" pancake across the street was pretty good, especially with the basil and egg added, so I hope their business picks back up.

Taichung, Taiwan

Thanks for all of the additional suggestions.

As far as Taichung is concerned, I've been looking both at the nightmarket website and these two blogs:

http://carol218.pixnet.net/blog/post/...
http://sezna627.pixnet.net/blog/post/...

I have talked to some friends who live in Yilan, and they are going to introduce me to some of their friends who live in these cities, so I should hopefully get some good recommendations from them.

Once I start trying these places out, I'll be back in here to let everyone know what I think.

Good Mexican Restaurants in Indianapolis?

As far as the northwest side of town is concerned, I'd recommend Pancho's Taqueria (7023 N Michigan Rd. - http://www.panchosmexicantaqueria.com/) The food itself is pretty good, but the highlight is the self-serve salsa bar, which contains 5 or 6 different types of salsa that are all very good. My favorite is their light-green "salsa yucateca", which has a creamy rich consistency unlike most salsas available at restaurants in Indianapolis.

If this part of town still counts as "northwest", I'd also recommend the taqueria located inside the "Carneceria Guanajuato III" at 5210 West Pike Plaza Rd. It's located inside a large Mexican supermarket that also includes a very busy and large meat counter, so the meat that is used is always very fresh. The menu here is pretty basic: tortas, tacos, burritos, and a few other things. Everything is quite good, but I'm a fan of their barbacoa (pretty much a lamb pot roast) that they serve on weekends. It can be a bit oily, but the taste and texture is fantastic.

Both are order and pay at the counter and then get a number type places.

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Pancho's Taqueria
7023 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46268

May 31, 2010
Condimentality in Great Lakes

Taichung, Taiwan

Thanks for the night market info and suggestions for things to look for. Turns out I might be going to Kaohsiung or Hsinchu instead, so I'll check out the Kaohsiung thread as well (doesn't look too promising from what I recall).

Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge or elsewhere in Brooklyn

Is there a Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese place on or near 5th Ave in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge? I'm looking for the type of place that one can find all over Taiwan.

If not, are there any Chinese (any region) places in that area that are particularly vegetarian friendly?

Failing that, are there any places elsewhere in Brooklyn that would fit either of the previous descriptions?

I am taking some friends who were big fan of the Greens restaurant in Brooklyn Heights before it closed down. I read somewhere that a new restaurant called Vegetarian Ginger opened in the same place, but it seems to have mixed reviews. Can anyone who has been to both Greens and Vegetarian Ginger give a rundown of how the two compare?

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Vegetarian Ginger
128 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

May 24, 2010
Condimentality in Outer Boroughs

Getting My First Apartment, Total Foodie--What Is Absolutely Necessary to Buy?

Mortar and pestle. Grinding your own spices is a simple, inexpensive way to significantly improve your cooking.

May 19, 2010
Condimentality in Cookware