Taiwan Cafe has a special place in my heart (and many special places in my stomach). In college, friends and I used to go there all the time for cheap, authentic, tasty eats. 10+ years later, it is still one my of favorite places in the city. In fact, I have friends from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York who often visit, and the first place they want to go is Taiwan Cafe. They all miss the same thing: pork chop rice!!
Called pai gu fan (排骨飯) in Chinese, it's a Taiwanese comfort food staple -- fried pork chop over rice, with stewed pork, pickled mustard, and an egg. That is all I need for happiness.
Take a look, and see if you don't fall in love yourself:
Taiwan Cafe's version is the best pork chop rice I've had in the States... and to be honest, I'm having trouble of thinking of a better place in Taiwan. It's THAT good. The breading is light, crispy, and slightly sugary -- gives the meat a lovely sweet taste. The meat itself is always tender and fatty as it should be. The stewed pork on the rice is also very flavorful. Don't forget to put a little of the picked mustard in every bite -- a sour kick is great with the pork! I also love the Taiwanese cabbage they include, makes me miss Taiwan so much!
The dish comes with chicken, corn, and egg soup.
Totally hit the spot.
Let's not forget about the other dishes at Taiwan Cafe, which are all soooo good. Exhibit 1: sha cha chinese watercress with beef.
Sha cha sauce is basically Chinese bbq sauce, and it is super addicting. Taiwan Cafe makes a mean watercress - perfectly cooked, bright, and fresh.
In fact, we like it so much that we also ordered the noodles with sha cha watercress and beef.
Basically, it's the same thing as the previous picture, plus noodles. Who can argue with that?? Kevin pretty much ate this whole plate himself.
Christine (our humble vegetarian) was in our midst, so we ordered a couple of veggie options for her. First, veggie dumplings.
Pretty solid. I will say that if you're looking for dumplings, go to Dumpling Cafe, as dumplings will be better there. But these held their own for sure.
We also ordered the ma po tofu.
Nice and peppery, this was also pretty good. This picture reminds me that we also ordered the scallion pancakes... apologies for lack of a better picture, but trust me, the scallion pancakes were superb!
Look how happy they are!
Well, maybe Kevin is thinking: man, we should have gone for multiple orders of pork chop rice.
Do it, Boston people. Go to Taiwan Cafe for pork chop rice. The faster, the better.
34 Oxford St