We were originally going to eat at Penang, but there was a change of plans and we were brainstorming alternatives.
I had only been to Taiwan Cafe once and it was a take out order for the office. Two of my former bosses, both of Taiwanese descent ordered take out for our group and I went to Taiwan Cafe to pick it up. I recall them slurping soup with pork intestine and blood and I was a bit disturbed. Now I realize, I was just immature. I had not been back since, but I am so glad we went and I look forward to going back for more. New favorite = Taiwan Cafe.
When you walk into Taiwan Cafe, you immediately feel that this dining experience will be an authentic one. Authentic as in no frills atmosphere, bustling tables, waitresses hustling between patrons, the owner wearing Abercrombie and a pleated mini-skirt and asking us to share a table with others. My friend commented that they did not feel as if we were in Boston.
The menu includes fried pork intestine, chilled jelly fish, chilled seaweed, pork and bitter melon soup and sauteed pork kidney. The descriptions on the menu did not describe how each dish is prepared is non-existent so we had to inquire further on each item we were interested in.
Our waitress was patient, explaining in broken English various preparations, sizes and suggestions. We were well on our way to a fantastic meal once they poured each of us two cups of tea.
Golden cat and lucky bamboo
We started with the large bowl of Taiwanese style wonton soup for $4.95. Usually the wonton soups I have had are half the size, for the same price, so these was great value for money. Taiwan Cafe serves the best wonton soup I have ever eaten. It has the most aromatic broth, fresh dumplings with flavorful pork and shrimp filling, greens and a bit of seaweed.
The braised tofu with vegetables (mushroom, carrots, broccoli, bamboo shoots) had the most savory, delicious sauce. The tofu was lightly fried and absorbed all that amazing sauce. We kept eating well past our fullness and both commented that we knew we were just eating because it tasted so good.
The bill came to $14.90 for tremendous portions, flavorful dishes and satisfied customers. We were so happy and were ready to come back again, order the same dishes and try something new. Maybe I will be brave and try my first stinky tofu?
Upon payment (cash only), our waitress clearly wanted to shuffle us out the door. As we were leaving the restaurant, the restaurant was completely full and there was a line of 10 people waiting out the door for a seat. This was a clear indication of the quality, price and popularity of Taiwan Cafe.